29/03-01/04/2013 - photos
Participants: Tom Brennan, Rachel Grindlay, James Yorston, Richard Pattison
Rachel also has photos from this trip
Easter was fairly early this year, and the forecast was looking reasonable. We used the opportunity to head into the Numietta-Coorongooba area for 4 days of canyoning. We had been in the area before, on the previous two Easters (2011 and 2012), but this trip was to an area between the previous trips, and all of the canyons were new to us.
- Day 1 - we climbed up a pass on to the tops and walked out along a ridge to a good aboriginal art cave. After spending a while there, we continued on along the plateau and after lunch, descended a good quality narrow canyon with full packs. At a creek junction, we left packs and walked up the creek and through a low quality canyon. After returning to the packs, we headed downstream, first through a pleasant canyon, and then through a deep and impressive section of canyon, including a swim. By this stage it was late in the day, and we camped at the next creek junction on a small flat (small enough that we couldn't put our groundsheet down until the evening fire had died down!), accompanied by the local glowworms.
- Day 2 - After breakfast, we continued down the creek for a while until we reached a waterfall. Rich managed to climb up and around the waterfall and back down into the creek. After returning to our packs, we climbed up the side creek, and Rich forced a pass up on to the ridge. Leaving packs, we walked along the creek and dropped in high up in the headwaters. There were a few sections of canyon in the creek, which was also narrow but not as impressive as the canyons from the previous day. At the end of the creek, I found an easier pass up on to the ridge and back to the packs. We tried contouring around a large hill to our next creek, but quickly admitted defeat and went up and over the top. Dropping into the creek, we hit canyon very quickly. This was another good canyon, with several abseils and some more narrow sections. Climbing down tree roots at one point to avoid an abseil, the root broke under me, leaving me hanging, luckily with a good grip for my hands, and a nice scar on my knee! The last drop looked like an abseil, but James had already climbed down it by the time the rest of us arrived. At the end of the canyon there was a small overhang where we decided to camp for the night. With a little daylight, we headed up the main creek, which turned into a beautiful canyon. We reached where Rich had climbed around to in the morning, and Rachel swam up to the waterfall to have a look. Returning to camp, we had a pleasant evening around our campfire next to the cliff.
- Day 3 - we continued down the pretty gorge until we reached another creek junction. Here we left packs and headed downstream and up a a creek we hoped would give us a pass up on to the tops. James was still recovering from tonsillitis and so decided to sit out the morning's activities. Our creek headed into a canyon before hitting a waterfall, which Rich unsuccessfully tried to scale. Instead, we climbed out and on to a ridge, and around under cliffs. At the head of another creek we walked through a cave, and were impressed to find quite a few hand stencils and some boomerangs on the walls. We also searched in the similar cave at the head of the next creek, but couldn't find anything. Dropping down the creek we reached a short upper section of canyon with a fair drop, that we were able to scramble around. Lower down it had one abseil, but the canyon was short and not particularly good. We continued down the creek to a large drop where Rich managed to find a scrambling route around and back down to the larger creek. A short walk brought us back to James having a nap under his tarp, and lunch. After lunch we walked downstream along the beautiful creek, flanked with massive blue gums. Heading up to the cliffs we tried unsuccessfully to find a pass up the ridge. I had looked at the aerial photos, and it looked like our best option would be to try around the left, and after bit of searching, we found a reasonably straightforward pass. Getting late in the day, we left packs and headed along the ridge and into a side creek. After a bit of a creek bash, we dropped in to a canyon, but while there was a fair bit of it, it was low quality, and full of debris. One of the least pleasant canyons I've been in! At the end of the canyon, we skirted the cliff and climbed up the pass we had discovered earlier, and back to our packs. We camped on the ridge at the best spot we had noticed on walking out to the canyon, not great, but serviceable.
- Day 4 - With a slightly later start, we climbed a nearby knob for great views of our surrounds. Then it was on to the first aboriginal cave for morning tea and some more photos. We headed down a nearby creek, which was almost as scrubby and unpleasant as the one from the previous afternoon. After an abseil, it dropped into canyon which was similarly long but low quality, and also plenty of debris. Eventually we hit a creek junction, and after lunch, Rich and I explored up, finding a small but interesting canyon that we were able to climb up and around into. Then it was down our original pass and back to the car, the end of another good trip in this great area of remote canyons.