Monday, May 14, 2018

WOLLEMI NP - DUNN SWAMP - KAYAKS AND HIKE - 10 MAY 2018

STAY

Ganguddy Campground in Wollembi National Park. Camping fees $6 per adult. firewood is provided and fires are permitted. there are toilets but no showers or drinking water.

Access via dirt Coricudgy Rd then turn left at the camping sign.

8 MAY 2018

I was off in the campervan for a few days of hiking and kayaking.

GLOWWORM TUNNEL NOT!

The start was adventurous but didn't work out too well ... I was heading to the Glow Worm Tunnel near Lithgow. My GPS showed the turn off as next to the closed ZigZag railway. The road was dirt and passable but there were some larger dips so I had to keep my speed down to 40 km/h ... a slow drive. There were lots of other dirt roads leading off here there and everywhere. After an hour, of driving, stopping, checking and some backtracking I reached a point where the road had deteriorated immensely and was not feasible to drive over in a van. There were no signs indicating anything about the tunnel so I had to drive back. Later, I found out that I was driving there the longest way over the worse road.

OLD RAILWAY STATION

Back on the highway, I put aside my dream of the glowworm tunnel and headed towards Dunn Swamp on the edge of Wollembi National Park.





On the way I passed an old railway station. I had to have a look. The structure of the building was sound but the interior as trashed. It seemed strange parking my van on the station platform and wandering over a place that was once bustling with activity.



DUNN SWAMP - WOLLEMBI NATIONAL PARK

I continued on to Dunn Swamp in Wollembi National Park.

Dunn Swamp has a dam at one end. It was constructed for the use of the Kandos Cement Works. The water has backed up along the Cudgegong River making an ideal place for kayaking.

I parked near the water way at Ganguddy campground and had lunch.

After lunch, I unloaded the kayak and paddled towards the weir. It was such a great paddle. the highlights were: an azure kingfisher (so pretty), paddling next to the cliffs and around the rocks, a deep narrow crevice which fitted the kayak and paddling around the buoys that marked the limit nearness to the weir.







I parked up in the section for vans, lit a fire and cooked dinner. There were a lot of birds hovering nearby while I was cooking. Then wham, a kookaburra swooped in and grabbed some lamb of my plate. I shooed it away then wham another dived in behind me. The bastards ha ha!







9 MAY 2018

It was a very cold night for sleeping.

Just after sunrise, I launched the kayak from Kookaburra Beach at the eastern end of the campground and paddled in an easterly direction.

The water was shrouded with thick mist that was beginning to lift in places. It was eerie and pretty paddling with the mist swirling around the birds and reeds. The mist soon lifted as the sun began to quickly burn it off. The paddle gradually became narrow. At times, I was paddling through a narrow path of reeds. There was a large overhang etched into the cliff face that was large enough to engulf my kayak. A bit odd knowing there was a lot unstable rock above me.






I had breakfast at Kookaburra Beach and rested for awhile.

Later in the morning, I hiked the Pagoda and Weir trails. I walked the east track with glimpses of the river. After a short while there was a turn to the left which was the Pagoda Track. This track was heaps of fun as there was a lot of rock scrambling and once at the top there were great views and big drop offs. I wandered around the top, carefully picking my trail and remembering the way I was going. It wasn't like you could get lost back the paths meandered around and over the pagodas in a very random fashion.







I backtracked to the Weir Trail and followed it to ... yes the weir. It was a pleasant hike with steps in the steeper sections, views over the river, cliffs and a few side tracks. At the weir, The path was blocked to the wall but not to the base. I enjoyed the walk around the forbidden area of the base. Ha ha!






Back at the campground, I had lunch then spent the afternoon sitting on the river beach and reading in the warm sun.

At my campsite, I lit a fire, cooked dinner, watched out for thieving birds and then rugged up for another cold night.

10 MAY 2018

Yes, it was a cold night but not as bad as the previous night as I had rugged up more.









While the mists were still swirling over the water, I had another kayak. the highlights were: icy cold fingers, sunrise over the pagodas, water reflections on the cliff faces and water, a black duck diving under the water again and again and a bizarre cloud of refracted light colours ... so pretty.






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