Trips

Jerrara Creek flows in to Bungonia Creek, and Jerrara Creek Canyon is similar to Bungonia Creek Canyon. Though the Bungonia area is famous for its limestone caves, the canyons cut through quartzite and similar rock. The abseil down Jerrara Falls is around 80m in total.

Jerrara Falls has recently (2016/17) been rebolted, so the anchors and lengths will be different to those described below.

Entry

From the far side of the campground, follow the Yellow Track down to Bungonia Creek and up on to the ridge on the other side. Continue along the Yellow Track to its end at a fenced lookout over Jerrara Creek. Walk past the Track End sign, across the end of an old fire trail, and north down a gully into Jerrara Creek. The first abseil is immediately downstream.

Notes

Scramble down into the pool and climb into the cleft on the right. Abseil 20m off slings around a chockstone. There is a very small stance at the bottom, before a 40m swim.

Some creek walking follows before the next drops. There is a 5m waterfall that can be scrambled. Then a jump in of a couple of metres before the next big abseil. This is about 45m from tapes around a tree on the left, or 40m from bolts on the right. Both are a bit tricky to get to if the rock is wet.

The next short drop is about 7m, and can be abseiled on the right or hand-over-handed on the left.

The next drop is 8m, from bolts on the top of the big chockstone. It is also possible to jump, but the landing zone is very narrow. The abseil ends in a deep pool, with a 50m swim to the end.

A bit more walking brings you out at Jerrara Falls (even though not marked as so on the map). At this point it is possible to take exit (2) below.

To abseil the falls, scramble down from left to right to where the slope steepens. There are several options for abseils. A sling around a small casuarina can be used to get to a set of three (rusty) bolts about 6m down the face. It is about 80m to the bottom from those bolts. There are slings about 20m down from the bolts on the next ledge. The ledge below (40m from the top bolts) has several casuarinas that can be used as anchors. A further 20m down there are slings from 2 rusty pitons, and finally it is about 20m into the pool at the bottom. It is possible to head left and stay dry.

Walk downstream to the junction with Bungonia Creek.

A little way below this is another large drop. It is possible to scramble around this drop to the left. Otherwise, there are a couple of options. Scramble or abseil down a few metres to a large casuarina on the left, and abseil 45m to another ledge above or into a pool depending on whether the pool is full or empty. There are also slings on the right hand side of the creek, but with the pool empty it may be difficult to get out.

There is one more big drop but it is easily scrambled on the left. Continue down exit (1). There are a lot of large boulders in the creek, which makes the going quite slow until the creek swings east.

Exit

There are a couple of options to exit:

  1. Walk down Bungonia Creek to Breton Creek and the Red Track, and exit up this. Note that Breton Creek flows down a narrow slot at the bottom, so keep an eye out for it. Then walk back along the Green Track, or via the roads, back to the campground
  2. From the top of Jerrara Falls, climb the knife edge ridge to your right. This is very exposed, on scree and poor rock, and is quite dangerous. The rock can also get very hot in the afternoon sun and be painful to hold. There are limited opportunities to set up safety lines or belays. Once at the top, walk along the ridge until you pick up the Yellow Track, which can be followed back to the campground.

Comments

Jerrara Creek has a fair few swims, some of them fairly long. However, being an open canyon the water in summer is fairly warm, and wetsuits are optional.

The abseils down Jerrara Falls are big and exposed and a couple of experienced leaders are needed to decide which ledges to stop on.