Trips

Boars Head Rock is an obvious rock formation west of Katoomba, clearly visible from Narrow Neck. An exciting abseil trip goes down a series of gullies and ledges below Boars Head Rock. It involves a fair bit of exposure, so best for experienced abseilers and those comfortable with exposure. It can be rigged with safety lines for protection for beginners. Unfortunately the gullies in the area tend to channel the breeze, and being mostly south facing, it can be very cold and windy.

Park at a pull in area on Cliff Dr 150m south of Cahills Lookout (signposted). A sign points to Boars Head Climbing Area. Walk down the well formed track to the lookout. Boars Head Rock should be obvious to your right (west) across a small gully. Look for a set of chains on the slope towards the gully. This is the start of the abseil route.

The first drop is 24m into the rainforest gully below. Swing left, facing in, if your ropes are on the short side.

Head down the gully and around on ledges to the right. There is a bolt early on, and another near the start of the exposed traverse into the slot. There are three more ring bolts, and a couple of carrots in the slot itself, so take at least that many spare carabiners (bolt plates optional if you want extra protection) to rig up a safety line here. The 17m rope we had was just long enough for the safety line if you just use the bolts - you need more if you want to start at the tree below the first bolt.

From the end of the traverse, there are chains for a 15m abseil down the narrow slot on to a small ledge.

There are more chains here for a 25m drop back underneath the slot down into a dry gully. There are a lot of loose rocks on this abseil. The first abseilers are advised to take cover underneath the overhang at the bottom. This applies particularly to the rope pull down.

From the bottom of the gully it is another 27m to the bottom of a dirt bank below, but it is possible to scramble the last bit of the rope is short. Be careful on this abseil as it is very easy to dislodge rocks from the gully.

Head around on a track to the right. You would be advised to rig another safety line shortly as the path heads down on to a narrow ledge which drops away 30m to your left through small shrubs.

At the next point, locate the bolts and rings on the nose above, behind two small gum trees. It is a roughly 35m drop, mostly overhung, to the first ledge below. With 2 longer ropes you can continue another 12m to the next level. Either way the pulldown is a bit difficult.

If you don't do the full drop, head off to the right and scramble or abseil down a gully where there is a tape around a tree.

Another option for the last abseil would be to traverse around another 40m from the point to a big gum tree with slings on. However, I don't know how long the drop is - I imagine around 30m, but two ropes would be advised just in case. This comes down just past the gully mentioned above.

Either way, turn left, facing out, and follow a track back for 500m along the cliffline to where it meets the Devils Hole track. Then head directly up the gully through the Devils Hole and back to the road. Turn left and walk 400m back to your car.