Newnes Plateau – 8 October 2016
For me to drive up to the Newnes Plateau at the crack of dawn for a daywalk there has to be a pretty good reason, after all it’s a 6+hour round trip. But this was a non-abseil canyon I’d not heard of before, plus there was the opportunity to walk with another group, Upper Blue Mountains Bushwalking Club, so was worth the 4.30am wake up call?
I met up with the leader (Peter M) and the rest of the group at the Zig Zag Railway and off we went. We drove almost to the Glow Worm Tunnel and then set off into the bush, and before long we were looking out over the exit of the Glow Worm Tunnel (although we couldn’t see it) and across to Honeycomb canyon. Peter detoured to take us over to this side of the ridge as a side trip, and to see if there was anything of interest here. Looks like lots more slots and gorges to explore, nothing big but still an interesting area.
We then swung around and made our way over to the canyon itself, two branches of a creek that exits the plateau into the Wolgan Valley. We first checked out the canyon from above, and then sidled around to where we could drop in.
After walking down the first arm of the creek, we popped out into the open with lots of trees, this part of the creek would continue down into the Wolgan Valley (with a bit drop downstream I imagine and an awfully long walk out).
We then went up the second arm of the creek, this section had water in it and from the top of the cliff-line we could see a way down, so you could abseil it, but a long way to carry a rope for just one abseil.
The canyon ends in a pool about waist deep and towards the end was so constricted that you couldn’t walk through but if you went in the pool, you could duck down and go through a small hole. We didn’t go through the waist deep water (very cold) but by climbing up about a metre, we could see beyond the constriction and pool to a lovely mossy “waterfall” that you could probably abseil down (but then the moss would be worn off!).
We then backtracked all the way to where we’d dropped into the creek earlier in the morning and followed it upstream then headed off into the bush again. It was a 400m walk through fairly open country back to our cars. Definitely an easy canyon to get in and out of, a half-day one that you could combine with Wolgan View (or Noble’s or Dry, depending on which name you use). Whilst this is an unpublished canyon, there was evidence of a lot of traffic, a lot of compaction in spots that were obvious places to step.
Yes, it was worth getting up at 4.30am for, it was a good day’s walking with a few scrambling challenges, we had great weather and I met a lot of really nice people, UBMBC is a club that’s full of vitality, with enthusiastic members. PLUS, I got to stop off on the way home and visit with DS and FINALLY see Love Actually!
(Banner at the top: brilliant green lichen [I think] on an overhang’s walls, have seen yellow and red before but not this green.)