NEWNES PLATEAU – 13 June 2020
Cerberus Creek – when we did this back in March before the Lockdown, we were stopped by a waterfall that we couldn’t get past without ropes, unfinished business … so we determined that we’d come back with ropes and finish the creek. So, here we were, on a very cold weekend and the aim of the weekend was to keep dry!
John G put this trip on the MSS calendar and the usual suspects turned up (me, Trish M, Anna O-B fresh back from South America) and a few who were new to our exploratory group, Diana and Felix O-B (Anna’s extremely competent son).
We set off from a convenient fire trail.
Then headed out to a spur, we were able to look down into Cerberus Creek and spot the big cliff that we’d walked under last time.
Heading down through the burned out trees, they’ve recovered a bit since the fire.
Diana and Felix dropping down, the fire definitely made the walking easier.
We can hear the waterfall, now it’s a case of how do we get below it.
John on the convenient downclimb that we found (the rope’s there for a handline).
I decided to abseil down as the drop was a bit high, and made the whole thing look decidedly ungraceful. (Photo: Felix)
Anna definitely made this look easier than the way I came down.
A bit of a drop below so out came the rope, Anna setting it up. It didn’t look that far.
Anna on the abseil.
Getting ready for the abseil (Photo: Felix)
John on the abseil with Felix looking on.
Me on the abseil, it was longer than it looked from the top (photo: John G)
At the base of the abseil was a big pool that initially looked impassable without getting wet. I actually scrambled around on the lh side and just stepped across the small constriction of the pool, only getting wet up to my knees. For me it was a safer way to go than the way the others went.
Felix tentatively walking the log, it wasn’t very strong, so other logs were added. He then climbed up.
Then he made a meat anchor out of himself and dropped a bit of tape for Anna to use to pull herself up.
Traversing the ledge after the pool, Diana checking out the way ahead (this was her first trip with us, I’m sure she’s thinking “where the heck are they taking me?”
After the pool, and a small bounder choke, there was another pool, most people walked the log, I decided it was safer to straddle it (Photo: Felix)
The next pool and a convenient log to walk.
A small waterfall, most people were tall enough to use the log and get around this boulder, Trish found a great way under it, which is the way I went, thankfully no-one was watching to record how ungracefully I made it look.
Nice photo of Diana going upstream (Photo: Felix).
Finally we can see the waterfall that stopped us (viewed from the bottom), it is such a nice waterfall, and the creek overall was very nice so we’ve determined to come back in the summer to do it as a wet trip.
Lovely photo of Trish at the waterfall (photo: John G)
Anna, Felix and me returning on the log. (photo: John G)
Looking back up the creek towards the waterfall (photo: Felix).
Heading downstream, we’re off now to find the Pool of Diana and the Pterodactyl Cave, two points of interest.
The creek was a little untidy, so we headed up towards the cliff-line and found this nice slot, would have been difficult to get to the top, not impossible though.
The cliff line was a good choice, nice easy walking for about 200m, and of interest was the proliferation of bolts for rock climbing!
We also found this nice amphitheatre (very similar to the one in Suboir Canyon).
We’re ;now in swamp-land, totally burned out and a thick layer of charcoal, indicating that there’d been a big rain event (which we knew happened in February), which had washed all the charcoal into the swamp. I sure wouldn’t have liked walking through this before the fire (looks like it would be snake infested).
And John led us to the Pool of Diana (and how appropriate to have Diana so we could take her photo). This pool was stunning, very deep and crystal clear.
We were able to make our way around to stand under the waterfall by using the right hand bank which had a nice narrow ledge to walk along.
Back into the swamp, it became a game to try to keep our feet dry and not sink into the sludge.
Felix continuing to play the game, we’d all given up by this time and sought dryer land.
From time to time we checked out overhangs for possible camp caves. With the vegetation burned, it’s easier to see the caves from creek level. (Photo: Felix)
And here we are at Pterodactyl Cave, or arch. This is really spectacular and has a bit of a water fall at the back of it, more a continual leaking soak I think.
Much better photo from Felix.
We crossed the swamp again and made for a gully that John suggested might be a good route out and voila, turns out there’s an old logging trail all the way down to the creek, was faint and difficult to pick out initially but eventually turned into a full on trail.
At the top of the gully a good viewing platform. This country is a maze of pagodas, you could spend years exploring this area (as some people have – and written books about the area!).
We were back to the vehicles in no time and then made our way in true 4WD fashion to the campsite and a great fire that Kathy and the kids had set whilst we were on our walk. Thanks everyone, great team work and a special mention of Diana, this was her first off track adventure with us and she handled every challenge we threw at her like a pro, well done Diana.
Big thanks for John for putting the walk on, great day of exploration!
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