WATAGAN MOUNTAINS – 12 February 2022
Our big adventure at Bungonia NP was called off due to too much rainfall down that way. It had been raining a bit here on the Central Coast – in fact all over the state, I couldn’t find an area for a Plan B, so decided the weekend was a write off. Then I had the bright idea to take those who lived closer to the Coast up to the Watagans to do a couple of minor canyons.
Brad M, Trish M, Alissa M and Dane C joined me, it would be Dane’s first real canyon!
First things first, take precautions for the possibility of leeches. I favour Vics Vapour Rub all over my feet and ankles and then I wipe off the residue on my socks, then I hit my shoes with Aeroguard – mind you as soon as the shoes are wet the Aeroguard is useless.
The walk down to the creek was uneventful, just all downhill on a fire trail, and then we’re into the water. Was a little higher than both Trish and I had encountered on past trips, but still easy walking so we weren’t that worried.
Alissa trying to determine the best way into the creek.
A cool water chute, Brad walked it first before I slid down the chute, didn’t want to encounter a big hole!
Dane on the chute. Was good fun.
On past trips, this was just a large slab of rock, so the water is probably 6″ or 10cm higher than “normal”.
Ali on the slide into the deep pool.
Trish on the slide.
The next obstacle. A slide into a deep pool and then a jump into another deep pool. Both Ali and I looked at the hydraulics of the water – you can’t float in aerated water like this, so you have to do a quick bit of dynamic swimming otherwise you can get caught and not get out.
This is what it looked like from where we had to go down into the two pools. We decided that it was a bit too risky to chance the first pool, no guarantee that we’d be able to easily get out, and no way to “rescue” the first person if it was dodgy, so we opted to walk around this challenge.
Dane at the next waterfall – the one we’d just walked around in the distance showing the second waterfall where we would have had to jump into a pool.
Again, this pool was a bit too white water for us to jump so we opted to abseil it, we set the rope so that it was just the right length and sent Ali over first!
Next went Brad. After the abseil, there was a raft of white foam – like a big pavlova cake that we had to swim through.
Ali after her swim, her helmet was covered with foam.
Dane on the abseil, his first abseil into a canyon!
Brad at the end covered with foam.
Dane on the swim through the foam.
Me on the abseil.
Me thinking about getting into the white water, sort of wanted to have a bit of adventure, but eventually gave up on that idea.
A handy log before I made the swim through the foam.
While we were all having fun on the abseil and not so much fun swimming through the foam, Trish was up above fighting off leeches – oh yes, failed to mention that we were constantly picking the little buggers off our feet, shoes, hands, legs and necks!
We decided that we wouldn’t bother with the second small canyon, the leeches were just too many, every where you looked they were poking their little heads up ready to latch onto us. So, we beat a hasty retreat to our exit track – dodging the little buggers all the way back to the cars. We got out of out wet clothes, de-leeched and got into the cars as soon as we could.
We had a very civilised coffee at Cooranbong and then headed home. Then we had the leech count when we got home, you’ve got to hunt them down and kill them before they take up residence in your residential garden! Thanks everyone for joining me, it wasn’t the best canyon day out, but we had a load of fun.
There’s nothing glamorous about bushwalking, caving or canyoning, but it sure is fun! If you’re an armchair bushwalker, someone looking for new adventures, or one of my friends who just wants to see what I’ve been up to, this site is for you, sign up to get email alerts now!