Galah Canyon is an excellent canyon in the lower reaches of Rocky Creek. It features a number of interesting abseils and a magnificent cathedral-like chamber at the end. It was discovered by Ted Daniels and Chris Cosgrove on a joint NPA-SUBW trip in 1977 and named due to its proximity to Galah Mountain.
See Newnes Plateau & South Wolgan Fire Trails for information on how to drive to the starting point. From the locked gate at the end of the Rocky Creek exit track at MGA467143 (AMG466141, Rock Hill), head N along the fire trail, staying on the fire trail when the Rocky Creek exit track turns off to the right. At the end of the trail at about MGA477169 (AMG476167), head NE along the ridge for 500m and then E and then SE to the bend in the creek at MGA484172 (AMG483170). There is a short section of attractive canyon with a couple of deep wades in the top of the creek, including a short drop that you could leave a handline on to get back up on your way out, if you exit that way. A relatively easy creek walk follows before the main canyon starts at about MGA490177 (AMG489175).
There are a couple of options for the first drop. Best is probably to scramble down the small gully on the left and abseil about 20m from a tree at the bottom. Be careful of loose rocks. Alternatively abseil a bit over 30m from the obvious gum tree just left of the creek. There is a rebelay point after about 12m on the far side of the big chockstone, but it is quite tricky to get to.
Then there is an awkward 5m abseil, followed by a slide or abseil down a log. A slightly dodgy slide into knee deep water follows, or bridge down the tricky waterfall on the right. Then there is a 7m abseil over a chockstone, and a drop of about 3m that can be scrambled. The final abseil is about 5m but the sling is about 4m back, and the waterfall is very slippery. There is a bit more canyon, and a possible wade or short swim before it opens out near Rocky Creek.
Once the canyon opens out, traverse around under the main cliff for about 200m until you are well above Rocky Creek. Just past a short exposed section across a slab, look up to the right for (hopefully) a rope hanging down from a tree. This climb of about 6m leads to a steep ramp and gully that takes you up through the cliff line. Continue around to the point and then head up to the top line of cliffs, and follow it along until it rejoins the creek. Continue up the creek and either exit where you dropped in at the start, or earlier at an amphitheatre on the right.
Alternatively you could walk upstream on Rocky Creek to one of the other exits.
- Difficulty: MH
- Abseils: 4-7
- Longest abseil: 35m
- Quality: 8/10
- Time: A long day
- Distance: 12km
- Ascent: 300m
- Wetsuits: Optional
Tom Brennan : email@example.com : updated 2009-03-15