Sunnyside’s secrets – Wolgan Falls

SUNNYSIDE RIDGE, NEWNES – 23 August 2019
Most people that I’ve walked with know that I “don’t get out of bed for a day walk”, but three day walks on Sunnyside Ridge with the legendary John G, who could pass that up?  John had put a great play-list together … Wolgan Falls, Cracks of Doom 1 & 2 and a return to Gang Gang creek.  This is Day 1 of the Trifecta – Wolgan Falls.

I thought after walking in the West Macdonnell Ranges that I’d be fit enough but I still had trouble keeping up with John (Kanaka) and Bill (Mule).

We drove to where John figured we should access Greens Spur and headed off into the scrub … and it was a big scrubby.

Arriving at a side spur about 1/2 an hour later, the views weren’t all that good, but we were promised better.

Another 10 minutes or so and we popped out on a motorcycle track, if we’d known that was there we could have saved ourselves a lot of scrub-bashing.  There are motorcycle tracks like this all over the plateau.

John checking out the way ahead on Greens Spur

The view from Greens Spur – pagodas as far as the eye could see.  Our route out would be up this creek to one of the spurs/ridges in the distance.

John and Mule on the last pagoda, there was not much point me going out there, there’d be too much exposure, and these days I don’t trust myself not to trip myself up.

The return route from the kast pagoda.

Me sitting on top of the second last pagoda (taken from the last pagoda that John and Bill were on). (Photo: John G)

John and Mule thought that they could get down to the next level (from here – note the second last pagoda is there on the left), when they said there was a small ledge I decided that the exposure wasn’t worth the trip.  Sort of sorry I didn’t go with them now, but in reality I would have held them up too much.

They used a handline to get down and when I looked over the edge at the ledge down below, I thought “that’s not so bad”, but probably a good thing I didn’t go.

I sat in a sheltered spot for what seemed like an hour but probably wasn’t that long, then heard a “cooee” and climbed back up on the pagoda to look down at the falls, and there they were at the top.  The falls look to be about 60m but not sure if they’re that big.

Apparently they had to go through this slot. (Photo John G)

Writing this, I’m having a major case of FOMO! John did say they had to scout around quite a bit to get to this spot, and in reality, I wouldn’t have gone where Mule’s standing anyway – lol. (Photo John G).

When they got back to where I was sitting, we had lunch then headed off to find a way down into the creek.  There was a pretty good route, then we walked up stream, crossing and recrossing the creek.  We eventually came to a little side creek that we explored, short little canyon section, nice and mossy.

John on one of the log crossings.

And me on another one, I think the words I uttered were “I thought my log walking days were over” and then there were another two logs to cross. (Photo: John G)

Eventually we decided that we’d seen enough creek and when John said the fire trail we’re heading for is just 100m away, we all agreed that it was time to exit stage right.

When we’d gone less than 50m we came across yet another motor cycle trail, and as it was going in the right direction, we followed it to the end and it popped out 100m from where the car was parked … bonus!

We were out walking for about 7 hours, although we hadn’t covered that much country.  Saw as much of the upper Wolgan River as we needed to see, but the lower section with the pagodas and waterfall were the highlight of the day.

We were back at camp by 4pm and found that Min had arrived, so we lit the campfire and proceeded to reminise about past adventures.  Thanks for a great day out John.

Banner:  You always know when Spring is imminent – the wattle is out!
Thumbnail:  Close up of Mule & John looking over the edge of the last Pagoda – waaaay to close to the edge for my liking!

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