Trips

Carrabeanga Falls (often written Carra Beanga) is a spectacular but remote trip in the most rugged part of the Kanangra-Boyd Wilderness. Like most of the Kanangra canyons, it is more of an abseiling trip, though there is a deep gorge below the main falls that contains many of the abseils. It is usually done as a two day trip, and indeed, many parties do not even reach Kanangra Creek on the first day, and are forced to overnight in the gorge.

Entry

Park at the locked gate at the start of the King Pin Fire Trail (MGA287400) on the Kanangra Road. Walk along the fire trail to Thurat Trig. Head down Thurat Ridge. There is a track that follows the ridge but it is difficult to pick up. Navigate on to Burra Gunama Ridge, walk down to Burra Gunama Hill and descend north into the creek and then down the creek to the falls.

Notes

The first four abseils can be done on the left hand side of the falls. Each is less than 20m.

This brings you to a wide rock ledge at the top of the main falls, which are about 110m high. The falls can be abseiled on either side, but the right is probably easier. Cross the creek on the ledge and scramble down the ridge on the right for about 30m. A short abseil to a ledge is followed by two 40m+ abseils from large gum trees to get to the bottom of the main falls. The intermediate abseil points may involve traversing on the rope to reach.

Below the main falls, the creek drops into a narrow gorge. There are around 6 abseils, generally short (10-20m) apart from the first, which is 28m from the obvious tree below the main falls. There are usually multiple anchor choices. Many of the waterfalls go down chutes into pools. It is possible to stay dry, but in some cases this involves exposed scrambling along narrow and loose ledges to get to an anchor that will take you beyond the pool.

At the end of this section, there is a larger waterfall. There are several anchors close to the falls, for two longer abseils. For a dry option, there is a large gum tree about 50m to the left and down a dirt/loose scree slope, a 12m abseil. A short walk down to the right takes you to the bottom of the falls.

There is one more large abseil, a 42m abseil ending in a waist deep pool.

At this point the creek turns sharply left. From here it is about an hour's walk to the Kanangra Creek junction. There are several short drops along the way, some of which may need abseils.

Exit

There are numerous options for exiting. One of the quickest is to climb up the ridge to the north of the junction of Carrabeanga Brook and Kanangra Creek, to Mt Cyclops. Follow Thurat Ridge back to the fire trail and along the fire trail to the road.

Alternatively, exit via Gunama Steeps, or walk up Kanangra Creek and up a ridge to Mt Berry. The latter needs a vehicle at the Walls car park.

Comments

Carrabeanga is a serious undertaking, and should not be underestimated. Routefinding and anchor choice is difficult, particularly on the bigger abseils, as it is not obvious what the rebelay options are. This can often involve traversing on scree slopes above large drops. Loose rocks are an ever-present issue, and helmets are strongly advised. Party size should be kept small, for safety, speed, camping options and space on small ledges.

An early start is needed to get through the abseils before camping. Depending on route choice and scrambling ability, there are anywhere from 15-20 abseils. Many parties do not make it through in a day, and are forced to camp in the gorge.

While it is often considered a dry trip, it is hard to avoid knee deep wades in the lower gorge, and a waist deep wade is likely. Depending on the water level and wind, spray from the larger waterfalls may also get you wet. A light rainjacket may be handy. Parties considering doing this as a winter trip should already be familiar with the canyon.

Campsites in the gorge are few and small. The best options are:

  • a large flat ledge to the left at the bottom of the main falls that a small party could bivvy
  • a larger flat area after the 42m abseil

Best is to reach Kanangra Creek, where there is a decent spot for a number of tents about 50m north of the Carrabeanga Brook / Kanangra Creek junction.


Tom Brennan : website@ozultimate.com : updated 2012-05-06