Nature Out & About Sydney Sights and Streets Wildlife

Malabar Headland Coastal Walk

This walk is a relative newcomer to the Sydney Coastal Walk network, with the 2 sections forming the loop opening in 2017-2018 through collaboration between local Council and NSW National Parks.

Following the coastline is a section approximately 3km in length, featuring views back to Maroubra Beach and Coogee in the distance, before reaching Magic Point and Boora Point. The problem though, the ANZAC Rifle Range sees this section close when the range is in action. Details from NSW National Parks

Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
Freedivers enter the water from the rocks, and views to Maroubra Beach

Thanks to the more recently opened trail on the western side though, permanent access is available between South Maroubra and Malabar beaches, if missing some of the stunning clifftop views.

Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
On the return to South Maroubra along the western path.

Today, our highlights included smaller creatures along with some beautiful flowers and stunning cliffs, if you’re there in the right seasons and get lucky, you may spot some migrating whales or resting seals.

Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
Lots of legged reptiles scurrying around. We think this is a Bearded Dragon
Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
One of the Banksia variants seen
Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
Sydney’s well known sandstone presents layered wonders, contrasted with sheer cliffs dropping to vivid blue water

Malabar Headland has had many uses over the years, with military operations included for a large part of its European history. Remnants of fortification from World War II including gun emplacements remain, while others have been demolished over the years.

Malabar Headland Coastal Walk

After exploring the exposed trails along the sandstone cliffs, Malabar Beach can form a delightful rest-stop mid walk, or as a destination of its own. All the usual conveniences of a beach are present including public bathrooms and showers, a shaded kids’ playground and grassy knoll. It can be a great place to relax especially is Maroubra is a little busy or has too many waves for you.

Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
Malabar Beach is much smaller than nearby Maroubra, however offers a large sheltered bay
Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
A grassy knoll welcomes visitors. Stand-up paddlers can be seen enjoying the calm water.

WHAT TO KNOW:

Avoid days when the ANZAC Rifle Range is operating as this will limit you to the shorter western track

Access points are South Maroubra Beach carpark, or from either Pioneers Park or Malabar Beach. From South Maroubra you can start along the beach, or follow the large trail next to the large fenceline immediately behind the beach for the Coastal section; or follow the same fence away from the beach to find the stairs at the start of the western section. At the other end, the coastal section meets the end of Fishermans Road, next to the Malabar Boat Ramp and carpark, while the Western section starts at Pioneers Park. Between the 2 trails is some parkland that is an easy walk, and parking adjacent to both trailheads.

Bathrooms are available at either end, as are typical beach and parkland facilities. There is a cafe next to Malabar Beach, while Maroubra Beach has many options, an easy walk from South Maroubra. Continuing past Maroubra can link you with more Coastal Walk options towards Coogee and Bondi.

Air Fire & Rescue Incidents Fire Rescue

WA Helitacks Working Kenwick Bushfire

Perth firefighters were kept busy today with a number of bushfires and a structure fire starting during the afternoon.

This bushfire started near Brentwood Rd Kenwick. It burned fiercely and crossed the nearby major roads of Tonkin Highway and Welshpool Rd, which were both closed during the height of the fire. An Emergency Warning was issued for the fire with properties under threat.

WA’s Helitacks, provided to DFES by McDermott Aviation worked hard to protect properties and assist firefighters on the ground to contain the fire.

Photographed below and in this gallery are Helitacks 672, 673, 674 and 676. Also attacking the fire was Helitack 739, the Erickson Air-Crane known as “Georgia Peach”. A firebird being used as air attack platform, as well as the Air Intel aircraft were also on scene.

Helitack 676 - Bell 412

Helitack 672
Helitack 672 - Bell 412

Helitack 673
Helitack 673 - Bell 412

Helitack 674
Helitack 674 - Bell 412

Helitack 676
Helitack 676 - Bell 412

Air Fire & Rescue Training & Events Fire Rescue

NSW Rural Fire Service Aviation Training

Last weekend I participated in a training day that was somewhat out of the ordinary with the NSW Rural Fire Service. The headline – learning about aircraft that the service uses, and how to work with them at an incident. It was a morning in the classroom, and an afternoon under the rotor wash of helicopters and watching fixed wing bombers.
If you want to go straight to the photos, here’s the gallery

Aerial resources have become increasingly used and heralded for saving homes and lives while fighting Australian bushfires. This training was focussed on ground based firefighters who may call on these resources or work with them at a bushfire. Through the training, a better understanding is gained of the various types of aircraft and firefighting agent (water/foam/retardant) used to monitor or fight bushfires. The practical training involved communicating with aircraft via radio to execute various ‘bombing’ missions, practicing aspects of the communication, drop types and effectiveness.

On hand for the practical component were 3 helicopters and 2 fixed wing bombers. The helicopters landed at the training area and the pilots and crew interacted with firefighters on the ground, before taking to the skies. The fixed wing bombers were operating out of nearby Warnervale airport where another training day was taking place.

Helicopters used in firefighting are given callsigns according to the type of aircraft and the tasks it performs. On hand we had 2 helicopters designated as Firebirds. These are a lighter duty helicopter generally used for a mix of aerial observation, aerial incendiary deployment (igniting fires from above) and water bombing with under-slung buckets. The third helictoper on hand was designated a Helitack. These are a medium duty helicopter, generally more focussed on water bombing with a heavier payload meaning a larger under-slung bucket or fixed belly-tank can be used. All 3 were utilising ‘Bambi’ buckets on a long-line.
Fixed-wing aircraft (planes) are also given callsigns in the same fashion, and we had 2 Bombers on hand. Fairly straightforward, bombers are designed to ‘bomb’ the fire with water/foam or retardant. All 3 firefighting agents were utilised over several drops.

Firebird 234 is a ‘squirrel’ – the colloquial term for an Aerospatiale AS350 helicopter. It’s operated by Sydney Helicopters and for those interested, the airframe was manufactured in 1980, an AS350BA model.

Firebird 281 is a Longranger – Bell 206L3. It’s operated by National Helicopters and was built in 1987.

Helitack 201 is a recent acquisition by NSW Rural Fire Service who now own the aircraft. It was previously a joint NSW Police/Fire & Rescue NSW aircraft with callsign Polair 5/Fireair 1 (dependant on mission). NSW RFS own the aircraft and it is maintained and operated under a contract by a private provider.
The aircraft is a BK117B2, built in 1990. With this aircraft being twin-engine equipped, along with bombing and observation tasks, it also has a winching capability. NSW RFS utilise RAFT (Remote Area Firefighting Teams) and utilise this winching capability for deployment of crews into remote areas. It can also be used to assist the State Emergency Service in flood and other rescue missions.

Along with the helicopters, 2 Pays Aviation operated fixed-wing bombers made several drops.
Bomber 218 is a less common type, equipped with float skids which allow it to scoop water from rivers and lakes. This meant it was able to utilise the local waterways to greatly shorten the turnaround time between drops.

Bomber 358 is a more common type, requiring a landing strip and ground crew to fill with water. This was undertaken by crews at Warnervale who were completing other training at the same time. The turnaround time for this was approximately 25 minutes. To get the most from the training, we utilised a number of ‘split-drops’ where the aircraft would drop only half its load of water on each drop and therefore save time for our training purposes.


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