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Monday, May 31, 2010

Easter in the Wollemi Wilderness

The Wollemi is the largest wilderness area in NSW, with 3610 square kilometres of declared Wilderness enclosed in the somewhat larger National park. Our Easter 2010 trip used a route we've used before that starts with a steep 260m descent from Crawfords lookout to Wollemi Creek.

Looking down over the curve in the Wollemi Creek (campsite and saddle)

Wollemi Creek is usually too deep to make wading up the creek possible, and the vegetation along the banks is very dense, but once it reaches the Colo river the easiest way to get along is to walk on the sandbanks and wade the deeper sections, occasionally encountering the (in)famous Wollemi quicksand, which, to date, has never been more than waist deep.

The Great Confluence of the Capertee and Colo RIvers and the Wollemi Creek

It came on to rain pretty heavily in the afternoon, so we set up an early camp in a commodious cave well above the river. As we sat out the rain another party of bushwalkers came by, on a multi-day walk from the Western side of the park. It is unusual to meet another party this far up the Colo, but that's Easter, I suppose.

Paul and Lise at the Serendipitious Cave

We left this camp set up in the morning and spent the day walking up the river and back, to see how much ground we can cover on a longer trip next year and what the campsites are like. The third day we moved camp to another cave back on Wollemi creek and explored a quicker route back up to the top. The second photo is taken from a rocky ridge looking out in three directions over Wollemi Creek - a magic spot.

Wollemi Creek at our last water pumping stop

From the top of the New Route (not much of a photo but a record at least)

Day four was up the cliff by the new route, but with full packs, so quite a contrast to romping around the day before, and leaving us hot and sweaty at the top, and then a couple of hours back to the road.

Paul, David and Lise Triumphant at the Lookout Rock

To see these photos in hi res, and more from the trip, click here

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