One of the advantages of taking leave on a weekday is that you have the national parks to yourself. Although the weather was superb and Bungonia is just off the Hume Highway, there were only a few people in the camping area, and the three of us had the canyon completely to ourselves. We arrived about 10.30 and took only a few minutes to get down into Bungonia Creek and start following it down.
After a few minutes we arrived at Lots Wife, probably turned to stone after fleeing from the Sodom and Gomorrah that is Bungonia camping area at Easter. The official temperature was only 22C but it was much warmer than this in the canyon, which acts as a sun trap.
Soon after the jump we arrived at the top of the big drop - supposedly 80m.
From here on, there are no photos from the day, as we were a bit busy climbing the ridge between Jerrara Creek Canyon and Bungonia creek. However, I took some photos from the tourist lookout on another visit. On this image you can see the ridge on the left hand side of the waterfall, nicely picked out with yellow wattle bushes. For scale, the waterfall is about 70m.
The description in the Brennan canyon guide is spot on - 'very exposed, on scree and poor rock...quite dangerous'. The ridge is very steep - in places about 30 degrees off vertical - with some sections of scree with only vegetation as hand holds, and some of rotten rock where even quite large blocks can come away in your hand. At some points you are exposed to a fall right down into the canyon. There is nothing here to deter an experienced scrambler, and if you just went for it you could get out pretty fast. However, being at the end of long day, and thinking safety first, we used the rope and did it as three 40m 'pitches', with Chris belaying me while I clipped the rope to slings around a series of reasonably solid looking shrubs until I reached one of the very occasional trees, and then me belaying him from the tree on the first half of the rope, and Kate on the second half. While very safe, this, naturally, took for ever and by the time we were half way along the track back to the camp site we were using head torches. We finally got back about 8.00, having been away for 9.5 hours and feeling as pictured below!
Despite the unforced error on the first abseil (always test the pull-down before the last person comes down!), and the consequent long day out this was a great day in the bush. I would recommend the 'longer' exit to the Red Track, as boulder scrambling in a creek bed is more fun that getting scratched up on a scrubby ridge. Special thanks to Chris for the prussik ascending!