20/02/2004 - report - photos - Bungonia Creek Canyon track notes

Participants: Tom Brennan, Gill Fowler

Needing to be in Albury for the weekend, Gill and I stopped in at Bungonia on the way. It was my first trip there, so I thought we'd do something reasonably easy, and visit Bungonia Creek Canyon.

The day was a scorcher, and the sky a brilliant shade of blue as we headed down the Yellow Track. It was one of the shortest walks in I've done - less than 15 minutes and we were in the creek. Not that there was much of a creek running. The occasional stagnant pool was about it. It made keeping our feet dry easy for now.

As we rounded a corner, the creek dropped away dramatically, into a deep blue pool. It didn't seem that far, but rigging the abseil with the single 60m left it well short, and I had to rerig with both ropes. The pool at the bottom was pleasantly warm but still a refreshing dip.

Another abseil followed, and then a number of pools to swim through or scramble around. The creek was obviously about a foot lower than normal, and very few pools were flowing. Shortly we reached the final drop, a long sloping waterfall - with no water - into a large pool at the bottom. Abseiling from the right hand side, we weren't sure whether our ropes would reach, or whether there were any rebelay points, but though we'd give it a go. After a fair bit of mucking around it turned out that the ropes reached, dangling just off the ground over the bottom ledge.

After lunch in the shade, we headed off up Jamieson's "quick" exit. The steep scree slope had an exposed drop off the right hand side and was slow going. Near the top there was a traverse above a long drop down to the bottom of Jerrara Falls, and we set up a short belay. Once we reached Jerrara Creek, there was still a nasty looking climb up to the ridge. And nasty it was, with loose rock, scree slopes and steep drops off either side of a knife edge ridge. I burned my finger climbing as the rock was so hot, which didn't help. At one point Gill dislodged a medium sized rock which luckily passed underneath me on its long drop to the bottom of the falls.

We finally reached the top and collapsed on the ground, more from the mental exhaustion than the physical. It was an easy walk back along the marked track to the car. A dodgy but successful day's canyoning.