Long Gully Canyon is a series of abseils down Long Gully into the Shoalhaven River. The highlight is the second abseil, nearly 60m into an amphitheatre. Like most of the Bungonia canyons, the rock is quartzite, some of it quite loose.
From Bungonia, head out of town on the Lookdown Road for 6.2km, and turn right on to a fire trail which leaves the road between two sections of private property. After 400m you reach a small national park sign and a parking area. From here the road gets rougher and 2wd cars may have some difficulty. You could park here and walk the 2km in. Otherwise, continue through an open gate, along and up a rough and eroded section of fire trail, and through another gate into the national park at MGA263410. It is another 1km of easier going to the parking area at the junction of the Stan Jones Fire Trail and the Trestle Track, at MGA271413.
From the car park, walk east along the Stan Jones Fire Trail, crossing over Long Gully after about 15 minutes. Head along the ridge above the creek until the next creek junction at MGA277400 to avoid some scrub in the creek. Continue down the creek, with a few small scrambles, to the first drop at MGA284398.
There are about 10 main drops, and numerous short drops which can be scrambled.
The first abseil is about 8m, with an anchor about 5m back on the left. There is then a walk/scramble of about 500m to the main abseil. This is about 56m from a tree on the left.
Some more walking and scrambling leads to another abseil of about 8m from a tree up on the left.
The remaining abseils come fairly thick and fast. The fourth drop is again about 8m from roots on the left. Then there is a drop of about 6m down a chute into a pool (wet feet). However, it may be easier to scramble down just to the right of the falls. The sixth drop is a nice one, into another amphitheatre, about 20m from trees in the middle of the creek. The seventh drop is a little further on, fairly short, about 5m. The eight drop follows immediately, and is about 20m into a slot from a tree on the right. There are pools at the bottom but these can be easily avoided. A little walk leads to the ninth drop, another short one, about 5m from a tree in the middle. Finally the tenth drop is about 5m, but is probably easier to scramble on the left (or right).
A short walk brings you out to the Shoalhaven.
The easiest exit is to walk downstream for about 500m to a steep ridge at MGA291407 that leads up to the Trestle Track. Turn left once you reach the Trestle Track and it is about 2km back to the cars. Alternatively walk another 1.3km further downstream and walk up the Trestle Track, marked with blue markers.
- Difficulty: M
- Abseils: 8-10
- Longest abseil: 60m
- Quality: NA
- Time: 7-9 hours
- Distance: 8km
- Ascent: 550m
- Wetsuits: No
- Maps: 8928-3N Caoura
There are no swims, and you are unlikely to even get your feet wet, so it can be done at any time of year. Unless there has been recent rain, most of the creek is likely to be bone dry. There is a lot of loose rock, and parties need to be careful to manage this. Helmets are strongly recommended. In dry weather, some of the main drops can be scrambled by experienced parties.