Dalpura Canyon

26-03-16

Tal, Mandy and my good self

DCIM100GOPRO
DCIM100GOPRO

Dalpura is a Wiradjuri (?) word meaning “Calm.”

Dalpura brook is a calm little creek off the Bells line of Road, near Bell, that has some shallow, short but very pretty canyon sections along its length before it plumbles over the cliffs into the Grose valley.

It was a bit of stop,start, on again, off again, change plans again and again this weekend. I was originally aiming for something a little more remote, an over nighter out to Crikey or something. But for various reasons it just wasn’t going to happen so then we revised the plan for a double header of Dalpura and another, lesser know Canyon nearby. It was just Me Mandy and Tal available so it didn’t really matter what we did.

Then Tal got invited to go camping with his mates so we thought maybe a little romantic walk up near the Glowworm tunnel to scout out a dry-ish canyon I knew about but wasn’t 100% sure of the location.

Then a few of Tal’s mates called in sick so he didn’t go camping.

Sleeping in a little and waking up to a very pleasant day we finally decided on plan D 2.1. It would be a shame to waist a nice day so let’s atleast do Dalpura on it’s own.

Dalpura is a fairly short trip with a few short, shallow canyon sections. Not something people would set aside a whole day to drive up and do but living close by it seemed like a valid option to me.

Once again trying to keep that exploratory feel I didn’t read too much about it but printed out the notes for Tal and Mandy to use as a guide. We parked off the highway at a little gate blocking an old fire trail. It kind of matched the description but we were a bit further east than the Grid reference given. Looking at the map it looked possible to head straight down south and hit one of the many upper gullies that ran into Dalpura Brook. So that’s what we did.

It was a little scrubby along the ridge but we avoided a hanging swamp and found ourselves following a small water course down to the cliff line. Where we were blocked by a reasonable size drop. We scramble around to the left where another gully drops in. and are stopped by a smaller drop. Back around under the cliff line to the right we find a fallen tree that gives easy access to the canyon floor.

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Mandy sliding down the log. It’s steeper than it looks

We have come into a dry creek bed in a pretty amphitheater. Down stream is a short canyonious section

 

but then the gully opens up and became very over grown. Looks like the 2013 fires had burnt right through here. There was lots of dead fall and the regrowth was jungle like. Thick scrubby and not much fun in the heat of the day, in wetsuits.

Then the cliffs closed in and the now flowing stream dropped through a narrow cleft into an amazingly green pool.

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It looks so inviting

 

We had debated about whether to bother with wetsuits but in the end had decided I’d rather carry them in and not need them than leave them at home and go hypothermic. We had put them on in the first little canyonette which had some deep wades but they had been getting uncomfortably warm during the scrub bash down the more open section. Peering into the sublime chamber below we couldn’t wait to get in.

We set the ropes and Tal lead the way. This is a nice little abseil into what would have to be one of the prettiest little canyon chambers in all of the Blue Mtns. My photos just don’t do it justice.

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I’m not sure what minerals give the water this colour but it really is sublime.

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Mandy happy to swim back through for a photo

After stuffing around with photos and videoing , and Tal exploring the possibility of scrambling back up to do it as a jump (to no avail) we continue down stream.

 

There are several short canyon section inter-spaced with pleasant creek walking

 

Even the yabbies have taken on the pale aqua-blue colouring.

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2 large mesial carpal spines of E.Spinifer

Although the slot was never that deep there was some nice bits to it including a tunnel like section. Part way through this a log jam has created a tight duckunder that I had to remove my pack to  enable me to swim through

We stopped for lunch at the top of the optional abseil that marked the end of the canyon. Shall we head down for a look? says I.  OK says Tal. Not I says Mandy.

It’s an interesting little drop done in 2 stages, both slippery a snot. Tal steps into what he thinks is a shallow pool between the two stages and promptly sinks well  over his head…

The ledge below had promised views over the Grose Valley (I’ve never understood what’s so grose about it. Even Charles Darwin described it a s”Stupendous” and “Magnificent” maybe it should be the “Grouse Valley, mate”) However these as just glimpses through the scrub at the edge of where Dalpura drops over the steepness amongst a mass of boulders.

We scramble back up beside the water fall, pick up Mandy and make our way out along Jinki ridge which has some great views out over the pagoda country almost as spectacular as those at the Lost City,

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Tal on a plate pagoda to left of shot. Mt Vic in the fast distance to right of shot and the cliffs of Blackheath in the distance just right of center

Party Size: 3, all experienced

Times: 4hrs car to car relaxed pace lots of photos and mucking around

 

Bell Creek Canyon

19:03:16

Edwin, Garry, Meggs, Ben and myself

This was one I’d earmarked to do this year. Some of the others seemed a bit dubious, it’s a long walk in for something with no abseils, says they. Yeah but it’s got  a great constriction in deep water, says I. I think I convinced them. Sort of. They agreed to come in any case.

Tal was out with a twisted ankle from 7 games of basketball through the week  and to be honest I was feeling a little worse for wear from reffing 7 games of basketball through the week, but the wet canyoning season was drawing to a close for us wizened (or is that soft?) souls and I was keen to get it in before the cold set in.

Mandy wasn’t keen on the thought of a 3hr walk in and Bryson pulled out at the last minute.

The second part of the walk in is zero-tracking and I had heard of groups struggling to find their way in and ending up in the wrong creek so Thursday night I thought I’d double check the batteries in my old E-trex just in case. Screen was, well, not blank but as good as. Belatedly I remember it once having two battery covers, the water proof one and one that doubled as a bike mount. Last canyon it didn’t make it into the dry bag. It had the bike mount. Bugger! But it was purchased in the 90s so probably time for an update. ‘Cept no one but no one in my area had any in stock.

I find a plot online and get Dukesie to enter it into his Garmin 800 bike computer for back up just in case we need it.  Turns out navigation was fairly straight forward anyway but I get ahead of myself.

We depart the ‘Go around 7am, head up to meet Ed at Mt Wilson and set off on foot just after 7:40am.

The hike in starts with a pleasant stroll along a fire trail with stunning views over the Wollangambe wilderness, before continuing onto a foot track down to Du Faurs creek at the start of Clatterteeth canyon.

I’d done Clatterteeth canyon with Mandy and Scott in the early days of our first canyoning craze I think it was the 3rd or 4th canyon we’d ever done but I remember parking the car further down the main road towards the big bend and fighting the leeches through dense scrub across the hill. Now there was a clear trail and we made good time with no dramas.

The scramble down into Du Faurs was a little intimidating back then but seemed fairly straight forward with a fixed line in place this time around

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Ben scrambling down into Du Faurs crk

Clatterteeth gets nice really quick but we head straight across and scramble up the other side. From here there will be no trail and I have map and compass ready.

The undergrowth is fairly sparse so it wasn’t really “bush bashing”. I pointed Ed in the right direction and he had no trouble following the ridge up and around. Occasionally we double check with the bike computers to see if we are still on the right path but the only bit that really needed confirmation was where we choose to head down the other side and we seemed to have hit that spot on.

Hold up, calls Meggs. Ben had bonked. Out of energy. Flat. Kapunked. We’d been going steadily for around 2hrs at this point, with some steep terrain thrown in. Ben had simply run out of energy and was tripping over himself. Teenagers! Back in my day…

We stop for a break and Meggs pumps some food into him. Refueled Ben looks a lot better. Good to go. We continue down into the gully that would deliver us to our first slot. Belfry Canyon

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The lumins always shine on Ed.

Belfry is a pretty little canyon and having lugged his SLR all the way in Edwin gets busy with the tripod to grab some shots.

Us less fussy photosnappers do our best with our phone cameras

There was some scrambling to get in, a tricky slide/climb down a log and around onto a ledge then some very nice constriction. Followed by some airy down climbs and boulder hoping once things opened up again.

Bizarrely as I wait on top of the big vertical down climb my phone dinged away with in coming text messages. 2 bars of service. Cool. I fire off a photo to Mandy and Tal to show them what they are missing out on.

We soon reach the junction with Bell crk and head down stream into the constriction.

It was pretty special.

 

 

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Gaz straddling a stick jam high in the walls

 

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No idea what he’s pointing to

I’d told the guys to bring lilos as there were some long deep pools but there were also lots of log jams so we didn’t inflate them just yet.

 

Should we inflate the lilos? Na, a bit of tricky down climbing.

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Should we inflate the lilos yet? Na, its a bit shallow.

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Should we inflate the lilos yet? Na, looks like a bit more scrambling yet

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Should we inflate the lilos? Na, it’s a bit narrow and shallow

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Should we inflate the lilos? Na, too late waters deep, constriction is narrow. Too much awesomeness distracting us to bother now.

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You don’t see too many photos of the main constriction in Bell crk, now I know why. It’s a dark, sustained slot in deep water. Too dark for a quick shot. Water too deep to set up a tripod. It’s a bloody nice bit of canyon.

It’s a long cold swim and by the half way mark we are all thinking the lilos would have been a good idea but the delicate curving of the walls keep our minds off the cold.

The canyon opens out a little and the water becomes shallow enough to wade. Up ahead we see a dry beach, maybe that’s a good spot to inflate the lilos

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Fossilised tuck of a giant wooly kangawalafox, Kanobo Imaginatious. spans the canyon walls

It wasn’t until we find a sunny spot for lunch we realise how cold we had gotten. The sun was nice but once we stop moving hands quickly turn numb and I, at least, begin shaking a bit.

 

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Finding a bit of sun after a long dark section in deep water

 

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Ed spies what he first thinks is a large leach on a log in a patch of sunlight. Turns out to be a a fish, a good 6feet above the water line…. OK…

It was a bit of a struggle to get going again but with more boulder hoping and scrambling to be seen down stream I don’t think I’d bother with lilos next time either. Sure it was nice to take them out for a walk but I’m sure they’d be just as happy back at home.

 

 

Some more nice, openish canyon follows before we reach the junction with Du Faurs crk, several kms down stream of where we had crossed it earlier in the day.

 

We head up Du Faurs, AKA the bottom section of Clatterteeth canyon, encountering a long upstream swim (Should we inflate the lilos yet?) in a very nice section of canyon

 

Then up Joes canyon, another pretty little constriction, which offers an easy scramble out the top and hence up to the main Wollangambe track and from there back to the car

 

Party size: 6. all experienced

Time.: A bit over 8hrs car to car with plenty of photo faffing

Mt Banks

Access: Easy-moderate walk. Steep.

Navigation: Navigation is fairly straight forward.

Map: Mt Wilson

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The big basalt cap of Mt Banks is one of the most recongnisable features in the Blue Mts .

In 1804, when George Caley attempted to cross the mountains he gazed out from the Paramatter plains and declared there wasn’t a single peak that would take more than half a day to scale. Mt Banks was one of the peeks he had noted and set out to concur. His goal had been first Mt Tomah then across what seemed an easy saddle to Mt Banks and on to Hat Hill. Of course that “saddle” between Tomah and Banks is cut by a maze of canyons that are still serious undertaking for modern canyoners with all the right gear and maps.

After spending the night in “Dismal Dingle” being threatened with mutiny by his convict assistants he beat his way back up to the ridge line, and approached  Banks from further around.

From the top of Mt Banks he was struck with awe and dismay. The mighty cliffs of the Grose valley barred his way to Hat Hill, the next peak he had as a destination. Forcing him to hang his head and admit defeat. Little did he know that if he had went straight past Mt Banks and stuck to the ridge line he would have found his way to Lithgow, a day or so walk away. A route which would later be “found” by Bell as an alternative to the GWH.

Of course the walk out to the top of Mt Banks is no longer such an ordeal

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Getting there: From the Bells Line of Road the turn off is well sign posted. Follow the dirt trail for just over 1km to the car park.

The trail to the summit is sign posted. Follow it past the summit and down the other side to the cliff lines. The views are outstanding though the cliff lines are exposed and airy. There are many small caves pocketed throughout the clifflines.

Return the same way.

You can also take the longer walk around to the left from the car park on a fire trail to explorers wall.

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Note: The great outdoors is an ever changing place. Bush fires, changing weather, vegetation growth and forestry activities can all affect the trail conditions and thus the difficulty of the walk, or even the drive to the car park. These are a rough guide only and are by no means meant to be a definitive guide . They do not replace the need for adequate map reading and navigational skills

Note 1: Taking care  While reasonably well known these spots are still wild places and care needs to be taken around cliff edges and on the steep trails.  Carrying the right gear as well as having adequate food, water and clothing is important. Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to get back.

Cliffs in the area are seldom fenced off and are often under-cut. Fragile ironstone ledges can extend out a meter or more yet be only centimeters thick. the rule of thumb is no closer than a body length and a half to the edge without tying into a safety line.

On pagodas this is disastrous in a different way. It’s taken millions of years for the distinctive Platey pagodas to form but one careless footstep can damage the formation. Platey pagodas are unique to our area. Don’t ruin them from carelessness.

Emergency beckons (PLBs) can be hired from Katoomba Police or Blackheath NP office for very little.

Note 2: First aid A basic first aid kit is essential bit of kit whenever heading into the Aussie bush. First aid training is highly recommended

Note 3: Maps and Navigation Having the right map, a compass and knowing how to read them is very important when heading into the bush. If you are new to bush walking joining a club or accompanying more experienced walker for your first few outings is a very good idea. I found practicing map reading on well defined trails was helpful when I started out.

The Maps mentioned are the 1:25000 series. They can be purchase at Lithgow tourism information center, from outdoors shops or online for around $10 each.

Note 4: These are wild and beautiful places, respect them. If you are able to carry something in you can carry it out. Don’ be a tosser. Leaving your rubbish behind is a sure way to ruin it for every one else.

mt banks

BACK

Goochs Crater

Access: Moderate walk.

Some Rock Scrambling.

Some Navigation required as the trail is not clear in some places.

A 4WD is handy to reach the car park described especially in wet weather.

Alternatively mountain bike in from below Bald Trig to the start of the walking trail then stash the bikes in the bush.

Navigation: Navigation is fairly straight forward though there is a bit of zero tracking to get down through the cliff lines.

Map:  Wollangambe

Time: It takes about 45 min to walk down the to crater site.

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Goochs Crater is not an actual crater but a natural depression that looks a bit like a crater on aerial photos. It is a popular among scout and bushwalking clubs as an over night walk from Bell. This takes 4-5hr each way but there is a much shorter route in from the back side from Clarence off the Dumbano fire trail,

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Turn off the Bells Line of Road/Chiffley rd at the ZigZag railway at Clarence and follow the Newnes forest rd 4.8km till you reach an intersection below Bald trig. Take the right turn and follow this, there is a rough hill and some muddy patches so 4WD may be handy. Look for a turn to the right about 3.5km in, there is some old steel cable near the corner of the intersection this is at MGA459967.

Park here and follow the side trail on foot right to the end, ignoring motorbike tracks that cross it at several places. Continue along the ridge. The trail is hard to follow in spots as it crosses rock out crops but basically follows the ridge top. In a few spots you’ll be able to see Clarence colliery a few ridges over.

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It’s about a 1.5km walk from the car park to the point were you can see Goochs Crater  down to the left at MGA460951. The trail down is scrubby and can hide rock steps so care is needed.

The Crater is just one of many interesting features in the area and a little exploration around the site is suggested, You never know what you’ll find

 

Return: The same way you came

Back

Trip Report 05-06-16

 

gooches

http://www.mapmyhike.com/routes/view/1406859547

 

 

The Waterfall Walk

Access: Easy walk though a bit steep in spots

Navigation: Navigation is fairly straight forward on good paths.

Map:  Mt Wilson

Time: It takes about 1hr

This is a nice little loop in the picturesque village of Mt Wilson. It winds it’s way through a  rain forest down to Waterfall crk. There are 2 falls to look at. The first is a little cascade in a pretty, shaded grotto typical of what is to be found throughout the Blue mts. The second fall is larger and a bit different. Instead of the usual sandstone that is more common around the mountains it tumbles down an outcrop of basalt.

I’m not posting any photos as it’s a nice surprise when you see it.

Getting there: Drive into Mt Wilson and follow the signs to Waterfall reserve and park in the spots provided. Wander across the reserve, tending a bit left and you will pick up the trail on the far side. The trail leads down to the creek then winds back past the two falls before looping back to the reserve.

Note 1: Taking care  While reasonably well known these spots are still wild places and care needs to be taken around cliff edges and on the steep trails.  Carrying the right gear as well as having adequate food, water and clothing is important. Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to get back.

Emergency beckons (PLBs) can be hired from Katoomba Police for very little.

Note 2: First aid A basic first aid kit is essential bit of kit whenever heading into the Aussie bush. A basic first aid is highly recommended

Note 3: Maps and Navigation Having the right map, a compass and knowing how to read them is very important when heading into the bush. If you are new to bush walking joining a club or accompanying more experienced walker for you first few outing is a very good idea. I found practicing map reading on well defined trails was helpful when I started out.

The Maps mentioned are the 1:25000 series. They can be purchase at Lithgow tourism information center, from outdoors shops or online for around $10 each.

Note 4: These are wild and beautiful places, respect them. If you are able to carry something in you can carry it out. Don’ be a tosser. Leaving your rubbish behind is a sure way to ruin it for every one else.

 

Back

The River Caves

AKA River Caves Canyon, AKA the Water Tunnel

Access: Easy walk though there is some steep loose stuff off natural bridge into the gully no swims but some deep wades. No abseils but some rock scrambles, especially if you want to stay dry above the waste . You will be walking through the creek and the rocks can be very slippery, you will need shoes with a bit of grip that you don’t mind being soaked. Woolen socks help hold off the chill.

Navigation: Navigation is fairly straight forward under normal conditions though the trail can be over grown and hard to follow in the gully.

Map: Cullen Bullen, Lithgow and Rock Hill 1:25000 maps are handy to find your way in These can be purchased at Lithgow Tourist information center or online for around $10 each.

Time: You could probably get through and back in 1.5hrs or so but why hurry? Give  yourself a few hours to enjoy the experience.

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River Caves is another short but spectacular canyon with relatively easy access.

The floor of the canyon is relatively wide but higher up the walls narrow and twist in such a way as to make it seem dark and cave like in spots.

It is possible to do the walk as a loop but most parties walk in to the bottom of the canyon, work their way upstream until it opens out and then turn around and come back the way they came.

Once you have done it a few times and are 100% confident on the walk in and out it is a nice trip art night, when the glowworms come to life and fill the walls with their changing constellations.

Getting there: The walk starts at the locked gate on the Mt Cameron fire trail above Natural Bridge (A low saddle between gullies). The Newnes state forest is a working forest so roads conditions are apt to change or new roads appear. Having the correct map will help

Drive out along the Glowworm Tunnel from either Lithgow or the Zigzag Railway, to the Bungleborri picnic area.

Reset our odemeter here. Continue along the Glowworm tunnel road for approximately 9.5km and turn right onto the Eastern Boundary rd (Usually sign posted.)

Continue up the hill for approx 500m and turn left onto the Mt Cameron fire trail (10km mark). Veer right at the Y intersection just down from here.

At about the 13.1 km mark you will come to a Y intersect. Left points to Mt Cameron. Right to Deep Pass. While it is possible to take the left there is a rough 4×4 creek crossing (Diner Crk) at the bottom of the gully so most people will want to detour around this by taking the right toward Deep Pass.

Follow the main road toward the Deep Pass car park until a left turn at the 14.1km mark. Follow this trail down (a little rough in some spots so not good for cars with low clearance,4×4 recommended just for a bit of ground clearence) until it rejoins the Mt Cameron Fire trail. Remember this intersection for the drive out. Go right and follow the road to the locked gate  at the 16.8km mark.

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Finding the canyon: Pass the locked gate and follow the old road (now a rough trail) down the hill to where it flattens out in a low saddle. This is Natural bridge.

Look for a narrow trail leading down to the left and wind your way down into the gully. This can be steep and loose in spots.

Once in the floor of the gully follow the trail down along a dry creek bed. The trail can be hard to follow here. It is possible to make your way down either the right or left side of the gully but I find it easier to start in the creek bed and look for the trail along the left hand side. Approximate 1km in you come to the main creek, Budgary (Buggary) Ck. The canyon is just up stream for this junction.

Head up stream and you will soon see the narrow, cave like slot in the walls.

Making your way  up stream the canyon starts reasonably wide and vegetated but soon forms a narrow darker section. This finishes with a deepish wade (mid thigh depending on water levels) which brings you to an open chamber. Continuing up the creek from here involves getting wetter as it passes through a low tunnel on the far side of the pool. Alternatively with a bit of a rock scramble  you can climb up on the right hand bank and make your way over the top of the tunnel on ledges to where it joins back up with the creekbed at the top of a small cascade.

Another dark section follows to a cathedral like opening at the far end of the canyon. To do the loop you can continue around to the left, taking the left option at any fork until you ascend a steep gully up through the cliff line then up a ridge to the road, up hill of where you parked. Or alternatively make your way back down the canyon and back the way you came, which is the more popular option.

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Other things of Interest near by:

On the opposite side of natural bridge an old rd leads down to Deep Pass north and the ruins of an  old hut (Guzzlers Hut?), complete with outdoor flushing dunny perched up on the cliff edge…

The trail down from Natural bridge quiet over grown these days and it is possibly easier to access from back along the Mt Cameron fire trail a little ways (there is another locked gate/barrier at the start of a side road that leads down over rock ledges)

Deep Pass Canyon is also worth a visit while you are in the area

http://www.mapmyhike.com/routes/view/1407757273

 

Trip Report and photos 19/11/2016 / 26/06/2017 26/06/2017

BACK

The Dry Canyon

AKA Wolgan View Canyon. AKA Nobles Canyon

Access: Easy walk, no swims or abseils but some rock scrambles.

Navigation: Navigation is fairly straight forward under normal conditions though the trail can be over grown at times.

Map: Cullen Bullen 1:25000    8931-3-NThis can be purchased at Lithgow Tourist information center or online for around $10

Time: You could probably get through and back in under an hour but why rush? Give your self a few hours to soak in the ambiance.

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Being dry and fairly non technical I think The Dry Canyon is seriously underrated by “serious” canyoners but the lower constriction, particularly, is deep and narrow and relatively sustained. This is a really nice walk with nice views out over the Wolgan Valley at the end.

Getting there:

Follow the Glowworm tunnel road out of Lithgow. Approximately 30km along here you will come to the turn off to the Coach road. Keep to the main road (left fork) and approx 4km further on there is a small area to park your car on the left (MGA408166 on Cullen Bullen Map.) at a barricade blocking an old 4×4 trail. This is just after a narrow cutting and approximate 1km before the first tunnel.

The Walk: Go past the barricade and follow the old trail down to a small camp ground. Continue to the right and the trail leads you around some nice open scrub to a dry creek bed. Follow this down to the start of the canyon.

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Where the creek drops into the start of the upper constriction (MGA403167) there is a tricky , exposed scramble down some boulders, this can be avoided by swinging up to the left and following a steep but easier trail down from higher up.

The top section of canyon is a picturesque gorge. While short and not that deep the overhanging cliff on the left is stunning.

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This section soon opens up and the trail continues on,  swinging a little left before entering the lower constriction. If this contained deep water it would be the most popular canyon on the Plateau. It’s deep and dark, a very nice constriction.

There are a couple of small rock scrambles to negotiate on the way through and then it opens out over the Wolgan Valley. With care you can head around to the right for better views but care is needed as the edges are loose and the cliffs exposed and you are still a long way up.

Return the way you came in.

http://www.mapmyhike.com/routes/view/1407754048

Trip reports and more photos 10/03/2016 / 14/11/2016 / 04/03/201724/06/2017

BACK

Walls Cave

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Access: Easy walk. 1km lots of steps

Navigation: Navigation is fairly straight forward.

Map:  Katoomba

Time: It takes about 30min to walk down to the cave site

Walls Cave was an aboriginal occupational site on Greeves crk, Blackheath.

It is situated between two dams and the area was off limits for a long time due to Sydney Water declaring it a restricted zone. Access is now reopened and well worth a visit.

Getting there:  Park at the end of Walls Cave rd, which is to the right off Evans lookout rd about 2km in from the highway. From here the start of the walk is well sign posted.

Head on down the stairs, after about 500m in there is a turn to the right (Straight goes to the cliff above the creek upstream of the lower dam). The creek cuts through an impressive  tunnel section just to the right of a little bridge. Continue down the trail there are some stepping stones across sections of the creek so you may get wet feet.

The cave site is very impressive and is of special significance to local aboriginal peoples so please show the area the utmost respect and stay within the fenced area.

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Return the way you came

Other points of interest near by

Grand Canyon Loop

Note: The great outdoors is an ever changing place. Bush fires, changing weather, vegetation growth and forestry activities can all affect the trail conditions and thus the difficulty of the walk, or even the drive to the car park. These are a rough guide only and are by no means meant to be a definitive guide . They do not replace the need for adequate map reading and navigational skills

Note 1: Taking care  While reasonably well known these spots are still wild places and care needs to be taken around cliff edges and on the steep trails.  Carrying the right gear as well as having adequate food, water and clothing is important. Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to get back.

Cliffs in the area are seldom fenced off and are often under-cut. Fragile ironstone ledges can extend out a meter or more yet be only centimeters thick. the rule of thumb is no closer than a body length and a half to the edge without tying into a safety line.

On pagodas this is disastrous in a different way. It’s taken millions of years for the distinctive Platey pagodas to form but one careless footstep can damage the formation. Platey pagodas are unique to our area. Don’t ruin them from carelessness.

Emergency beckons (PLBs) can be hired from Katoomba Police or Blackheath NP office for very little.

Note 2: First aid A basic first aid kit is essential bit of kit whenever heading into the Aussie bush. First aid training is highly recommended

Note 3: Maps and Navigation Having the right map, a compass and knowing how to read them is very important when heading into the bush. If you are new to bush walking joining a club or accompanying more experienced walker for your first few outings is a very good idea. I found practicing map reading on well defined trails was helpful when I started out.

The Maps mentioned are the 1:25000 series. They can be purchase at Lithgow tourism information center, from outdoors shops or online for around $10 each.

Note 4: These are wild and beautiful places, respect them. If you are able to carry something in you can carry it out. Don’ be a tosser. Leaving your rubbish behind is a sure way to ruin it for every one else.

Ida Falls

Access: Easy walk, thanks to Ty N. and all his hard work fixing up the old track. There is some steep uneven dirt steps and a couple of spot where you are stepping over or along logs but no abseils or rock scrambles.

Navigation: Navigation is fairly straight forward.

Map:  Lithgow  1:25000 These can be purchased at Lithgow Tourist information center or online for around $10 each though not really needed here

Time: It takes about 30min to walk up to the falls.

Ida

Ida Falls is a nice little walk on the outskirts of Lithgow. There are hand stencils in the area suggesting it was important to the native peoples prior to white settlement. The lower gully was once a coal mine and relics from that era are easy to spot.

Familiar to generations of Oakey Park kids as a semi secret hidout and yabbie hunting spot.

Half way up the gully is over looked by Top Points on the ZigZag railway to the left and a forgotten look out (opposite PoW memorial on Scenic Hill) and old climbing crag to the right.

In recent years a young local took on the task of fixing up the trail so others less adventurous could visit it. Please respect not only all his hard work but the very nature of the location, a piece of pristine beauty right on the edge of town

Getting there:

Head down Inch st this becomes Bells St after the second rail over bridge. At end of Bell st cross a little bridge (Notice the tunnel this creek comes out of on the right) and there is a small parking area on the right. Walk back towards the last house, down toward the crk. You need to get to the other side of the railway line and you do this by passing through a cool old culvert.

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Mandy in the tunnel

Once through the tunnel look for Ty’s home made signs as the guide you across the creek then up to the right to avoid the boggy ground and hence up the gully towards the falls

 

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The Falls don’t always have a flow going over them so it’s best to do the walk after a bit of rain, or even while it’s raining. Return the same way

It’s possible scramble up through breaks in the cliff lines and visit the upper gully to but care and respect is needed

Note: The great outdoors is an ever changing place. Bush fires, changing weather, vegetation growth and forestry activities can all effect the trail conditions and thus the difficulty of the walk. These are a rough guide only and are by no means meant to be a definitive guide . They do not replace the need adequate map reading and navigational skills

Note 1: Taking care  While reasonably well known these spots are still wild places and care needs to be taken around cliff edges and on the steep trails.  Carrying the right gear as well as having adequate food, water and clothing is important. Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to get back.

Emergency beckons (PLBs) can be hired from Katoomba Police for very little.

Note 2: First aid A basic first aid kit is essential bit of kit whenever heading into the Aussie bush. A basic first aid is highly recommended

Note 3: Maps and Navigation Having the right map, a compass and knowing how to read them is very important when heading into the bush. If you are new to bush walking joining a club or accompanying more experienced walker for you first few outing is a very good idea. I found practicing map reading on well defined trails was helpful when I started out.

The Maps mentioned are the 1:25000 series. They can be purchase at Lithgow tourism information center, from outdoors shops or online for around $10 each.

Note 4: These are wild and beautiful places, respect them. If you are able to carry something in you can carry it out. Don’ be a tosser. Leaving your rubbish behind is a sure way to ruin it for every one else.

 

ida falls

 

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