2014 Bungonia - Shoalhaven River

summary: Aiden needed to finish off his Duke of Edinburgh hike, so a bunch of us got together and walked down the Shoalhaven river valley
date: 1st March
region: Bungonia Gorge NP
distance: 22 kms
tags: HIKE - ADVENTURE - BUNGONIA - REPORT - 2014
views: 1586

EARLY START

We had to get up early to do this walk. And I picked Dave and Aiden up at the crack of dawn. The rain was still falling, and we knew we were in for a pretty interesting weekend!

We headed up to Robertson where we met up with Mark and Steve before heading off to the trail head. We arrived there and yes, it was still raining! It didnt dampen our spirits too much though, we quickly got prepared with out wet weather gear out. Mark gave Aiden the briefing and then pointed him in the direction of the trail.

From here we slowly made our way down the steep track into the river gorge itself. The rain wanted to stop, just enough for us to take off the rain jackets, but soon started up again. The trail was amazing though, great views down the valley and then once on the valley floor there were remnants of great floods all around to see.

We pushed on from here heading south, with Aiden doing the navigation very well. The trail kept us alongside the river most of the way which sometimes helped, sometimes hindered our progress.

We crossed the entrance to Bungonia Gorge at one stage - to which I have never visited. I must say that I was somewhat underwhelmed! I thought it was going to be much more impressive, but I guess you need to walk down its length to get a full appreciation.

We eventually got to the point where we had to cross over the Shoalhaven River. Some of us decided to take off the boots, and others just plowed on through the raging torrent. What we were to find out shortly is that five minutes down the trail, we once again had to cross the river at which point everyone kept on their boots!

With the river navigated, we soon found our campsite for the night. It was a great location with a little beach onto the river and a great flat area for pitching tents and setting up the fire.

Later in the evening we were joined by several others that also braved the weather to join us for the night.

DAY TRIP

We all woke to a much more pleasing day,it still looked like rain but initially it was all good.

We set off south again to navigate through some of the amazing gorges off the main river valley. I must say that I was very impressed with what I saw. there was also several great campsites along the way with access to water and plenty of weather protection.

We decided not to jump off the diving rock (cant remember what Mark called it) as we couldnt tell if the water was deep enough for us. But on the way back to camp, Mark, Aiden and myself braved a deep section of the Shoalhaven to cross over and check out the old mining relics that had been left behind.

We eventually got back to camp where we packed everything up and then headed up the rather steep climb out of the valley. The climb went on for ages, relentless in the pain and suffering it was bestowing on us mere mortals. It was no wonder that when Mark came running up behind me, that he eventually convinced me that I would move faster if he carried my pack ("but I really want to see how your pack feels on my back").

Once the pain was over though, we had some great views back down into the valley, more mining relics again too. From here we did a car shuffle before stopping for a well earned refreshment at Sutton Forest.


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