Caves to Caves

stevezammit
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Caves to Caves

Unread post by stevezammit » March 18th, 2012, 11:44 pm

Hi everyone, I thought I'd share a trip we did last Easter through The Blue Mountains National park from Jenolan Caves to Wombeyan Caves. This was the first multi day trek we did as a group and was very much a experience builder in view of a Fraser Island trip coming up later in the year.
The vehicles in the group were a Jackaroo with a lift, a Prado and a bog stock D40 Navara.

the trip started with brekky at Katoomba and it was off to Jenolan Caves. The road off the highway to Jenolan is pretty good and the narrow section down into the caves is controlled by limiting the direction it can be used by the time of day. This keeps all vehicles heading in the same direction to eliminate any passing on what is an extremely narrow road for most of the way.
Once at Jenolan Caves we parked and had a bit of a look around and explored the areas that didn't require a guide. While we were there we were fortunate to see a platypus swimming in the larger pool, he hung about for about 30 minutes and was one of those rare priviledges.
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Look real hard and you'll see him, unfortunately we had no zoom lens.

The view of Jenolan Caves from the top carpark, don't try this walk unless you're in good shape otherwise I'd suggest the courtesy bus.
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From Jenolan caves we headed to our first overnight campsite at Kanangra Boyd at the Boyd River site. The road turns to dirt not far beyond Jenolan Caves and was in pretty good condition however don't forget it's a busy section of road and should be driven at a safe pace. This site doesn't have a great many spots where you can park close to your tent but it does have a pit toilet and running water nearby. Although freezing cold on the night it was a very peaceful spot and quite pretty. Firewood was plentiful and there are fireplaces provided with hotplate but be sure to take an extra blanket and warm clothes because even Autumn and Spring can be freezing overnight.

Leaving Boyd River campsite
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From here to Kanangra Walls the dirt road is excellent but busy on weekends and especially holiday periods with quite a few 2wd vehicles. Once at the end of Kanangra Rd you can Park and take a walk to see the walls and if you're feeling fit you can walk down to the waterfall. I highly recommend this as it is beautiful and on a hot day would be great to cool down. On the day the mist was too thick to view the walls but I can assure you from a previous trip it's quite a remarkable sight. Beside the road here there are picnic tables so you can take a break or grab a bite to eat after the walk to the waterfall.

Entry and picnic area
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The walk in and the waterfall
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From Kanangra Walls we back tracked along Kanangra Rd to the Kowmung River Fire Trail which is well sign posted and this is where the 4wd'ing starts to become more fun. There is a fair amount of track through here where you should use low range and the crossing itself at Kowmung River is excellent. Be sure to take some time to have a look around while you let the diffs and axles cool down. This is a pretty place and if it's later in the day, not a bad spot for a wash. Just after the river crossing there is a bit of a steep climb and ruts getting up the first real hill towards Dingo Dell still travelling on the Kowmung River Fire Trail but even the novices will make it with a bit of caution and forethought.

Kowmung River
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In no time you'll be at a great place to camp, Dingo Dell. Pit toilets, freshwater stream nearby and a selection of tracks up a climb to suit every level of driver and vehicle. I recommend this spot to everyone even if you only manage a day trip.
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My favourite part of the trip was the drive from Dingo Dell to Yerranderie, this section passes through some magnificent forrests and some of the views are spectacular. There are some creek crossings and some steep tracks to keep you awake and eventually you will pop out in the pine forest.
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After quite a few hours we eventually rolled in to one of the nicest places to visit in the Southern Highlands/Blue Mountains.
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Yerranderie is an old mining town that has a huge history too long to go into here but I highly recommend having a read. The day we arrived was special and sad in that the woman who owned the town and had been restoring it for decades was handing it over to National Parks and Wildlife which most believed was to be the death of it being a place the public could enter. Most there feel NPWS will put running it into the "too hard" basket and close it which is a great shame but that didn't put us off setting up camp and exploring it for a couple of days. The number of old mine shafts and relics is enormous and the Silver Peak Mine is worth a couple of hours on its own. There are great bushwalking tracks and we were fortunate enough to be led around by a very experienced bushwalker who showed us some of the rare flora, in particular an orchid which is endangered.
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Silver Peak Mine
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Some of the other things to see in Yerranderie
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And don't forget to visit the cemetary
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If you have some friends you'd like to introduce to 4wd'ing then I reckon this is the trip to do. Avoid it in late Autumn & winter as it gets very cold and will even snow at times. To give this one justice, a minimum of 4 days will give you opportunity to take your time and explore some of the side tracks and get the most 4wd value. The route is extremely well documented in all the usual offroad guides and doesn't require any specialised mods or equipment if you're sensible.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Steve

VK1
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Re: Caves to Caves

Unread post by VK1 » March 19th, 2012, 9:11 pm

Nice report mate. Have done this before when you could include Limeburners as part of the trip but unfortunately that is gated off now. Looks like you had a great time. Thanks for posting.
Cheers

freedomseka
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Re: Caves to Caves

Unread post by freedomseka » March 29th, 2012, 5:44 pm

Great trip report mate. I want to do the trip to Yerranderie. My great grandfather was the baker out there for some time.

stevezammit
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Re: Caves to Caves

Unread post by stevezammit » March 29th, 2012, 6:24 pm

freedomseka wrote:Great trip report mate. I want to do the trip to Yerranderie. My great grandfather was the baker out there for some time.
Hi Freedom, here's a pic of the bakery. I'd recommend doing the trip soon before NPWS close it to the public.

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Timmo
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Re: Caves to Caves

Unread post by Timmo » March 29th, 2012, 6:32 pm

Did you do the guided "Town Tour"? It is well worth it for anyone considering taking the trip out there.

We were up there about 12 months ago and a group of us were shown around all the buildings and had a good look throughout. I remember the bakery being very impressive inside. They are all very well kept considering their age and limited resources.
Cheers,

Nathan

Wok-ss
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Re: Caves to Caves

Unread post by Wok-ss » April 1st, 2012, 11:39 am

Nice trip we did this same trip in 1986, it was a great trip back then, still have the pace notes for it, and it was are very wet week leading up to the time we left to start, I have our trip in photos and on Video now DVD, it was also ANZAC day and was on a Friday that year and a long weekend, looking at your photos it has not change at all, like us look loke you enjoyed it as well, good fishing in the river near your camp, thanks for your story and your photos, and for bring back all them great memories I was only 27 back then once again thank you. Re: Warrick

stevezammit
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Re: Caves to Caves

Unread post by stevezammit » April 1st, 2012, 4:14 pm

The girls did the guided tour of sorts while we men folk put up tents.. It's one of the nicest places I've camped that can be accessed by a 2wd vehicle however I don't rcommend low profile tyres. On the way out we stopped to help the god daughter of the woman who owned the town and her husband (both doctors) and their daughter (15 letters after her name too I think) who had 2 flat tyres on a rented XR6. We plugged one of the tyres and pumped them up and followed them out and they were extremely grateful people.

TroopiePete
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Re: Caves to Caves

Unread post by TroopiePete » April 1st, 2012, 4:26 pm

Steve

When are you looking at visiting Fraser?
Our club is doing a trip around the areas you visited over Easter, unfortunately I will not be going but love the area.
If you wish to know anything about Fraser, more than happy to help.
Peter Richens - VK4FSD
HF Radio club - 4115
River City 4WD Club - President 2010 - 2014 http://www.rivercity4wdclub.net

Timmo
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Re: Caves to Caves

Unread post by Timmo » April 1st, 2012, 4:51 pm

Couldn't agree more Steve, it is a great spot. One of my favourites for sure and I will definitely be heading back again.

Whilst a 2wd can follow the graded roads to the town itself, the highlight of the caves to caves run is the "off-the-beaten-track" trek to get to it. So many great sights to see along the way with some fun 4wding thrown in.
Cheers,

Nathan

stevezammit
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Re: Caves to Caves

Unread post by stevezammit » April 2nd, 2012, 1:23 pm

Hi Pete, we did Fraser last September for 2 weeks but may do a week trip in Aug/Sept this year as a buys only fishing holiday.

jfoldbar
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Re: Caves to Caves

Unread post by jfoldbar » October 12th, 2014, 4:01 pm

i just done this trip, but in the reverse order. sorry to say a little dissapointed. i expected more. it was damn dry and dusty though and the whole place would probably look a bit greener after a bit of rain. but all in all still a good weekend. i was surprised though at how much driving you gotta do to get to a place thats not really that far from sydney. we drove for 4 hours and only saw 1 other car.
im curious though as where this river crossing is? as it says kowmung river crossing, but the river i crossed was different.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rU9AN8CV4KI

abw1
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Re: Caves to Caves

Unread post by abw1 » October 16th, 2014, 8:16 pm

That'd be Morong Creek. Heading along Kanangra rd, past Kowmung ft and the campground I think. Hang a right onto Morong Creek FT. It connects up with Kowmung FT down to Kowmung river.

TLC60S
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Re: Caves to Caves

Unread post by TLC60S » October 17th, 2014, 12:34 am

Went & had a look at that Morong Creek campsite on the saturday of the long weekend for next time we go camping on a long weekend & if the Boyds River campsite is full we will camp there instead of off the side of the Kowmung FT.
Have to admit there was not as many people around for a long weekend as what normaly get there, there was even room for a camper at Dingo Dell
We camped at Boyds River friday night after arriving at 8.30pm & the fog was as thick as I have ever seen it . I could not see the road at all driving there.
On the southern end of the Kowmung River FT it looks alot different now after the pine forest was harvested.
I did pass a group going through the pine forest to Dingo Dell , it wasn't you in that group was it jfoldbar ! we went & camped at Silent Creek in Abercrombie.
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This photo is taken parked on the banks of the Kowmung down stream from the crossing.
The white water you see in the photo is the crossing.

Cheers TLC60S
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jfoldbar
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Re: Caves to Caves

Unread post by jfoldbar » October 17th, 2014, 4:54 am

nope, wasnt me tlc. i was alone.
and i drove all day from wombeyan caves to kanagra walls rd and only saw 3 cars

rabbithunter
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Re: Caves to Caves

Unread post by rabbithunter » March 27th, 2015, 9:26 am

As a local boy from oberon and Former Tour Guide at jenolan, i have done that run a few times and recommended it to clienets as well.
A good run would be head south down to mittagong, follow wombeyan caves road, camp over night at wollondilly, there is an old bloke who caretakes the sight gary his name is, large area, really good on the river.
up the next morning to visit wombeyan, continue on wombeyan road, until the Oberon goulburn road, head north through the abercrombie river at bummaroo ford,from there 24kms north turn on to cosgrove road, follow all the way until the end, turn left, then your immediate first right, that is banshee road and that will bring you right to kowmung river ford, camp there the night then proceed through, follow road right through the end, you will be on kanangra boyd road, either turn right to view the walls or turn left and follow to jenolan caves.
Josh
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Rabbit Division

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