The penultimate canyon before the Lockdown

NEWNES PLATEAU – 21 March 2020
Cerberus Creek – if I’d known this would be my second-last canyon for the foreseeable future, I might have chosen a different one … but on the bright side, we have a new canyon to explore when this whole thing is over.

We were supposed to go and do Gloucester Falls on this weekend, but with a big dump of rain in the week prior, we decided we’d be better off somewhere a little dryer, plus, I’d only been home for 4 days after the Big Tassie Adventure, so I was up for something not too hard.

John G came up the idea for this trip, and Trish M and Penny S joined us.  The Oz Government had advised everyone to Socially Distance from each other at least 1.5m away, but other than that, that was all we’d been advised to do.  We talked about it before the trip and decided that we could say 1.5m from each other, and if any of us became sick in the following 2 weeks, we’d notify each other.  I have to say though, that our efforts to socially distance were abysmal, we forgot so quickly, then we’d remember and back off, since this trip, I’m far more conscious of what to do.

We were able to park quite close to the start of the walk, the fringe of vegetation at the edge of the fire trail was relatively untouched by recent fires.

Away from the road though the devastation was incredible.

Evidence of the recent rain, nice clear water.

We’re not keen to get wet,  nor to cross back and forth over the creek, was fun trying to keep our feet dry at the start, but we eventually got past that.

When we got to this creek though, we couldn’t get around it, John walked through it and bridged but we weren’t able to do what he did, after all he has loooong legs!

Further downstream and there creek bed is now nice slabby rock.

This was cool, if it hadn’t been for the fires, we wouldn’t see this, it’s a plant.

The creek’s closing in on us now, and you can still see that the fire went right into the crek.

Just after the log we arrived at Cerberus Falls, 5m falling into a 20m sandy bottomed pool.

Another pool that John waded through, we found a way around it.

Our detour

The inevitable rockpile

And an excellent canyon section.

More of the canyon section (photo: John G)

Shortly after this, we came to a very big waterfall.

It would have to be abseiled, we thought we might be able to drop down to it after traversed along the edge of the cliff-line above the creek.

So, we walked another few hundred metres along the top of the cliff-line, but no way down! However, the creek was definitely canyon-like (hard to tell though without being actually in it).

We did find a very big camp cave above the creek, and discovered a lot of climbing bolts, including a series of quick draws that had been left in place – interesting.

We considered our options and then decided to backtrack for a few hundred metres and  exit via Little Cerberus Creek.

One of the features of Little Cerberus Creek is the number of tree ferns in it, and how quickly they recovered after the fires. Other than the tree ferns, the creek was unremarkable, except for the fact that it was a nice sandy creek – in a few years when all the vegetation grows back, nice spot for an easy camp.

At the top of our exit route, up an easy spur, good spot to see the extent of the 2019/20 fires.

Unsurprisingly, John led us unerringly back to the cars, it’s uncanny the way he can navigate his way through the Australian bush, I mean, we literally walked through the bush right to the vehicles!

We hopped in the cars and as we had a bit of time, went to Bald Hill, a spot I’d read about in trip reports but never knew where it was – turns out it was in a totally different spot to where I thought it was!  John said that they had some aboriginal grovings up there and that was worth looking at.

Two small water holes and grooving marks above them (where the aboriginals sharpened speers).

Even more interesting were these series of holes, two of which were next to the grooving marks.  These just didn’t look natural, where they intentionally ground out by the aborigines, they form an almost straight line, I’m inclined to think that they are man-made.

So, after our side trip we headed over to Cathedral of Ferns campsite, cause I really didn’t want to camp in the burned out bush.  This turned out to be a big mistake – the campsite had about 100 people in it, including one big-arse caravan that was parked in the oval.  We decided that we didn’t want to camp with all those people (hadn’t they heard of social distancing?), so found our own private site, and a spot for the future!  Had a nice campfire and talked about what we’d found today, and trips for the future …

Unfinished business – down Cerberus Creek, abseil the waterfall and check out the canyon below and make our way all the way down to Dingo creek and then try to find an exit near the Howling Arch rock formation – something to look forward to in the future, after we’re out of lockdown!

Banner:  you wouldn’t normally see this fern in flower, at least I haven’t, and it was amazing how quickly it had come back after the fires, that had virtually burned everything on this cliff-face.

Thumbnail:  Penny walking the plank

 

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2 Responses to The penultimate canyon before the Lockdown

  1. Jenny Hughes says:

    With such amazing adventures every weekend, how are you going to cope with staying home constantly?

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