4 Watagans creeks – 0 canyons

WATAGAN NP – 4 June 2020
As some of you may recall, I’ve been searching for some elusive canyons in the Watagans alluded to by the (late) legendary Dug Floyd in a Facebook post many years ago.  This was to be my fourth foray into the wilderness, and I almost didn’t make it!

I forgot to put out the garbage the night before and in my haste to get the bin out before the garbage truck passed my house, I tripped over in my driveway.  Another step further and I would have fallen under the truck’s rear wheels.  The driver very kindly hopped down from the cab to help me up (in my dressing gown no less). No real injury other than some grazes and a sore bruised knee.  Turns out it is more dangerous at home compared with out in the wilderness.

Whilst we didn’t find a canyon, this has to be one of the best creek walks I’ve ever done in the Watagans, we’ve named the creek “Palm Grove Creek”, lots of palms and rock slabs.  The creek was so nice and the walking so easy that Trish queried whether it was even blog-worthy, it was almost a stroll in the park.  But 300m from the end of the walk, the bush threw everything that it had at us!

Paul S and Janine S joined Trish M and me for this Thursday off track walk. I actually abdicated my position as leader on this day cause I was babying my knee, and the group was really good, negotiating a route so that we kept our feet dry and didn’t have any dodgy climb-downs.

Unlike most rainforest walking, we dropped down off a fire trail into nice open country.

We kept high for some of the time, crossed two small side gullies and then dropped into our creek.

This little fungus (about the size of my little fingernail) was everywhere.

Nice mossy log to do some yoga on.  Note the tree beside Paul and it’s roots clinging to the rock face.

Another tree with its roots dropping down into the creek bed, these roots just called out to be climbed.

Easy walking on slabs, a few downed trees to scramble over, no sign of any canyon-like rock though.

A 2m drop that we negotiated our way around.

Lovely moss covered rocks.

Trish found a hammock/swing.

Flat rock on the creek bed, how good is that!

The rocks at the side starting to close in, this is what I expected from the topo map – almost a canyon but not quite.

Rock face on the other side.

And a little further down the creek, almost a canyon but not deep enough.

Lots of pools.

Looking downstream, we are almost at the junction of our exit spur and the creek.

At the junction with our exit spur.

The topo map shows an old logging trail, which finishes 2/3 the way down the spur, to our delight, the logging trail went all the way to the creek, so easy walking out … so far.

We had been clambering over a lot of fallen logs, which was tedious, but 3 – 400m from the end, the going got really touch, lots of fallen trees, lawyer vine, sword grass, you name it, we had to battle through it.  Up to now we’d been able to skirt around the bad stuff, but not here, we were near some sort of hanging swamp.

And this is how it was right up until the locked gate.  Really, really bad scrub, someone needs to get in there with secateurs.

You wouldn’t believe how happy we were to make the fire trail, and do the 1.5k road bash to our vehicles.  So, we didn’t find any canyon, but found a stunning creek, and one really stunning campsite, we’re talking about a decadence overnight trip just so we can use that beautiful, untouched campsite, just need to decide how we’re going to avoid that awful scrub at the end of the logging trail.

Car to car it was about 5 – 6 hours, and we weren’t hurrying, from our start at 10.15am, and we were having lunch at 12.30pm adn on the road home at around 3.30 or 4pm.  Very easy day, thanks so much Janine, Trish and Paul for joining me on this adventure and striking another creek off the Wish List.



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