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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

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OT: Canyons around Canberra

8:00:04 AM
I've been poking around the interweb looking for some canyon info for around the ACT. Figured there must be something in the Nerriga sandstone or the Budawangs, but can't find any info. Any ideas where to start looking?

Might have to do some onsight instead. Will need a rack of logs for the abseils.
8:11:36 AM
The closest established canyons I know of are at Bungonia.

BUT, if exploring is the go (can I come?) tributaries into upper ettrema creek (a little east of nerriga) must hold possibilities. I imagine a lot may of been done but would be undocumented and have no trace of anyone previously there.

8:17:42 AM
On 18/11/2009 widewetandslippery wrote:
>The closest established canyons I know of are at Bungonia.
>BUT, if exploring is the go (can I come?) tributaries into upper ettrema
>creek (a little east of nerriga) must hold possibilities. I imagine a lot
>may of been done but would be undocumented and have no trace of anyone
>previously there.

I've done Bungonia Main I think it was. Liked it generally, but totally different to the Blueys experience. The dead fox lying in a shallow pool for 6 months before we got there changed my outlook also.

Sure you can come. Bring whiskey. I've been thinking about the logistics of onsight canyoning and would definitely prefer some experienced hands around. Reversing a waterfall could be interesting. I'm going to spend the day looking on Google Maps for some possibilities.

8:34:17 AM
Hey Evan use the six viewer, so you can overlay topo maps at the same time...

8:45:36 AM
I remember going down a creek out in the limestone country to the south of Wee Jasper back in 1994. It had a couple of pool jumps in it, but wasn't long. Looking at Googlemaps, I think that it was Micalong Creek. Access via Nottingham Road.

9:17:04 AM
I have always been interested in looking for Budawang canyons. If you think about how the blueys canyons formed you might be able to find similar spots. I havent been able too yet but it has been a pretty half arsed effort so far. Another one is Marble Arch near the Big Hole south of Braidwood. Very touristy so wouldnt expect much of a trip. also been intersested in the Duea river NP. steep country with decent vert fall in there so might be some kanagra type canyons. lets us know what you end up discovering.
9:47:44 AM
If there were slot canyons or Kanangra/Bungonia-type canyons in the Budawangs/Nerriga, wouldn't
they be described on the still available sketch map of the area already due to bush-walking
devotees of decades past doing hard walks?

Kinda OT... I have deliberately reversed a couple of canyons using prusiks, the canyon closest to
Sydney was the hardest and coldest, but the cascading fall below that (below the tourist stepping
stones) is easier due to being able to put your feet on the rock.
There is a YouTube vid of Dan Osman reversing a waterfall, more a sloping cascade, dressed in
wetsuit and face mask, and using ice tools.

10:27:18 AM
some ppl i know have done canyoning trips somewhere near canberra, i think the name of the place is Tuross falls or something, can put you in touch if you want info. i think it wasn't really the type of canyons you get in the bluies, more like a bunch of waterfalls in limestone

10:29:01 AM
This is looking interesting

10:51:49 AM
I am sure plenty of walkers have been around the rectangular slot that you have highlighted. The saddle near the final ascent to the Castle is a pretty good camping area. Pretty dry up there in summer.

11:14:24 AM
On 18/11/2009 evanbb wrote:
>is looking interesting

i've been through the one on the right, at least from about halfway as part of a loop around the northern part and back to the gulley to the east (the labyrinth?), its all an interesting place but not "canyoning" by any means. also a fairly common walking area. lots of interesting places to explore but i think you'll regret taking a wetsuit

11:31:38 AM
I have done all the canyons around Bungonia. Spring Creek is currently off limits, due to loose rock, which is unfortunate because it is bloody unreal. I wrote to the National Parks about it and it doesn't seem like it will be opening again.

There is canyoning at Tuross falls (and climbing and DWS of sorts), south of CAnberra. I haven't been there but it looks good. There used to be a rough PDF guide on the CCA website but it seems to have disappeared. I do have a copy of it.

As others have said there may be canyoning of sorts in the Budawangs/Ettrema regions but don't coun't on getting wet. The Budawangs are very dry. Any canyons in the Ettrema region will be more open type canyons like the Bungonia Canyons or Dione Dell up near Kanangra. More like hard bushwalking really.

Maybe try Jerrara Canyon at Bungonia. It's pretty good and then you can continue down Bungonia for a good days canyoning all up.

8:59:08 AM
I can confirm the canyon that Cruze was talking about above Michalong creek at Wee Jasper. It has
anchors and from memory four pitches. More of an abseiling (some of it low angled) trip down a series of
nice waterfalls rather than a canyon. Nice day out.

My experience dates back to 1999.

Let me know if you want more specifics.
9:00:21 AM
I've been in that slot near the castle you have picked out, it is an interesting spot with
interesting slabby sandstone. I was new to Australia then and absolutely could not believe
the place wasn't chock full of climbing.

Not really canyoning, but a cool place to visit. I was told it was called Monolith Valley. At
the top of the valley on the right side of the slot there is a big arch which is cool to hike up
to. The second half of this set has some photos from back in there:
12:27:12 PM
On 18/11/2009 anthonyk wrote:
>some ppl i know have done canyoning trips somewhere near canberra, i think
>the name of the place is Tuross falls or something, can put you in touch
>if you want info. i think it wasn't really the type of canyons you get
>in the bluies, more like a bunch of waterfalls in limestone

It actually granite, the canyoning goes up stream from the Tuross water fall (~50m).
It fairly easy, no ropes required, but it can get very cold in those shady pools, so make
sure you wear a wet suit. There are sections where you need to swim 50m. Takes a 2-3
hours. Its great fun and there is plenty of bouldering and climbing in there as well

google is your friend

shows a large boulder, Adski and I put up two route on this around 2003

If anyone needs the climbing guide then email or pm me and I can send a pdf to you.


1:17:15 PM
There is a publication titled "Canyons around Sydney" by Rick Jamieson. It mentions the Bungonia canyons, they are Jarrara Creek, Spring Creek and Bungonia Creek.

As a once upon a time canyoner and bushwalker and I love the Budawangs, there is nothing there.

Really you have to go to the Blue Mountains if you want to do some serious canyoning.

Check out:

I do wonder though given the terrain in Duea National Park, if there is the potential for canyons.

1:25:09 PM
I've got Jamieson's book, and Tom Brennan's. I've just moved from the Blueys, so I'm not all that enthusiastic about driving back up there...

The Bungonia canyons are sort of cool, but not quite the full banana. Like you, I just figured there must be something in all that geography along the coast. Seems the Budawangs are a bit dry; but I think WWS and I might go on some whiskey-fuelled exploring missions through Nerriga in the near future.
1:59:19 PM
Yeah I'm also pretty sure you wont find any 'canyons' in the Budawangs.
A few waterfalls to abseil.
And a walk along Byangee walls is best finished by abseiling off.
And walk through 'canyons' in Ettrema gorge.

And I've always wanted to rap down to camp in one of those inaccessible caves in the slabby Budawangs cliffs. (Climbing up would be toooo scary...)
2:04:33 PM
There is actually one local canyon:
Waterfall Creek in the Brindabellas.
see e.g.
but I think you'll find it dry at the moment
2:14:10 PM
I read evans post wrong I thought he had a book on Jamesons, I like Jamesons. I'll come up with some names of places and locations as suggestions.

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