15/01/2006 - report - photos - Whungee Wheengee Canyon track notes

Participants: Tom Brennan, Rachel Grindlay, Matt Dowle, Tania King, Sacha Vidler, Sarah Wentworth, Duanne White, Henry

After canyoning on a rainy Friday, and staying at home on a sunny Saturday, it seemed perfectly normal to then be canyoning again on a wet Sunday. I had plans to do Whungee Wheengee, with Waterfall of Moss as a backup if it was raining a bit much. Sacha, Sarah and their friend Henry were waiting as we pulled into Cathedral Reserve. There were plenty of wet campers, and quite a few groups heading off to various canyons. Duanne pulled up a few minutes later, having driven his 4wd van around from Blackheath, and we set off for our canyon. Down and up and down and up and down we went (plus probably a few other downs and ups) before we reached the big tree on the cliff edge above the creek. A party of three guys was already there, but they, and soon their rope, quickly disappeared into the creek as we suited and harnessed up.

In the creek, everyone went every which way into the canyon. Some jumped in above the first duckunder (which was the closest I've seen it to a duckunder for a while). Some climbed down the tree, and some jumped in to the first deep pool past the squeeze through. Then we had lots of swimming, scrambling and wading through some of the best bits of canyon around. The glowworms were in their full glory, and the misty passages added a slightly surreal feel to the day.

With no rain in sight, we had a break for lunch at the clearing shortly before the abseils. However, most people were getting a bit cold by the end of lunch, so we quickly set off again. The first abseil proved a bit tricky, although everyone negotiated it OK. The bolt at the top had a tiny bit of play in it, and the glue appeared a bit dodgy. I wonder if it will last the year before someone takes a wheel brace to it? The second abseil enjoyed a bite out of Sacha's finger when he got it caught under the rope.

The final section of canyon was also excellent, although the light wasn't as good as it has been previously. Soon we were out in the spa-like water of the Wollangambe. Those who had them blew up lilos, and those who didn't started swimming. I picked up a large yabby, although in trying to pass him to Henry I left my finger in a vulnerable position and it got revenge quite effectively.

At the exit, a number of us climbed up and did the jump from the opposite side. Sarah and Henry decided that it had to be done naked, and demonstrated to the rest of us.

On the way out we passed a group who had bushwalked down to the Wollangambe, a slightly odd activity on a somewhat damp day. Some steady climbing in light rain and plenty of mist got us back to the cars. We tried to arrange a rendezvous at the cafe at Bilpin for Devonshire tea, but it was closed til March. Our carload headed to Richmond for a healthy dose of grease aka fish and chips. An excellent day in the bush.