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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Winter in the Budawangs 2010

For the third year running we did a winter walk in the Budawangs. In 2008 we did the classic walk from Long Gully to the Castle and Monolith Valley and in 2009 we walked in from Sassafras, spending a night in a cave below the Wilson Pass and another at the top, on Folly Point.

This year we used the Wog Wog park entrance near Braidwood and did the classic circuit via Corang Arch and the Corang River. Here we are at the property outside Braidwood where we stayed the previous night:

The team at Mona

We met a wombat at the very beginning of the walk:

The walk continued through dry forest scattered with glorious Banksia  and then climbed up to the Corang Plateau. Here it was was much swampier, and the path continued with a lot of boardwalks.

A few hours later we got to the Corang Arch. Here's the view through the arch:

Corang Arch

One of the party made a desk for the top:
Mel on Corang Arch

And here's Lise Marie taken when your intrepid photographer finally go to the top:

Lise, from Corang Arch

And finally, despite the poor light for it, we took a photo of the party on top of the arch:

The heroic party stands at the apex of the arch of progress for the bushwalking classes

Conglomerate slopes are fun to play on!

Shortly after this we had probably the highlight of the trip, the view during the descent from the Corang Plateau to Canowrie Brook, with Profile Rock in the centre of the picture and various famous Budawangs peaks on the horizon:

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A classic Budawangs view at the end of the Corang Plateau

The descent from this point goes down a conglomerate slope. In this picture you can see a useful cave that we really only noticed properly on a later trip, despite having this photo of it!
Descending the conglomerate slope
As we descended into the valley the light in the trees was glorious:
The last stand of trees before we enter the valley, descending from Corang

A short walk took us to Burrumbeet Brook, where there are some very comfortable camping caves. The little valley in which the caves are found is beautiful, and as well as dry caves there are fern-filled grottoes in the conglomerate cliffs where small streams fall from the plateau above:

Sunny valley, storm in the east

In the morning we walked down Canowrie Brook to the Corang River. The track follows the creek rather than ascending into the higher ground and the dry eucalypt forest, and so is narrow and pushes through dense vegetation. Where the creek meets the river there is an extraordinary series of rapids and pools as the river forces its way through a set of parallel 'ribs' of harder rock. We had a long lunch here and explored the rocks.
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A short afternoon's walk (necessarily, given the winter day) brought us to a campsite by a large pool that would be a magificent place for an evening swim in warmer weather, below which is a set of rapids, shown here with the alpenglow lighting the trees just before dark.

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And here are a couple of us enjoying the evening:
Kristie and Mel by the river at the campsite

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On the way out Lionel was amazed by the size of our termite mounds!

Lionel and the termites

It rained overnight, the only rain we had on the trip, in stark contrast to the two previous years. But this wasn't entirely unwelcome, as the cloud kept it above freezing. A half days's walk the next morning brought us back to Wog Wog in time for clean clothes and a late lunch in Braidwood.

Back safe and well fed at the Albion, Braidwood.

Spot the anomaly in this picture: someone isn't a tetrapod. Your blogmeisters haven't fixed it because this has been deemed historic.

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