2005 Budawangs - The Wrath of Burumbeet

summary: Second time I have been into this valley and now it was starting to fight back.
date: 15-18 July 2005
people: Graham, Doug, Mark
distance: 51kms
tags: HIKE - REPORT - BUDAS - BURUMBEET - WOGWOG - CAVES - 2005
views: 874

Budawang's Part II – The wrath of burumbeet

One more attempt to conquer The Budawangs and the Burumbeet valley. I must remember though that next time Mark wants to go hiking in the Budawangs, I’m going to be busy!!

Day 1

Early start for this trip, Mark and Doug came past my place at 6:45am. We transferred all the gear into my truck and then head off to the park. After a quick stop at Nowra for some fresh bread and then it was on to Turpentine road. Ooops, there goes our turn off!! We eventually got to Wog Wog camp site and ready to hit the track.

We left Wog Wog at about 9:25am on a perfect morning for walking, the sun was warm, the skies were clear and there was no wind to be spoken of. Our first issue was the amount of rain that had fallen over the last few days, which raised Wog Wog creek to a much higher level than what we had expected! No longer was it a hop skip and a jump across the water. We moved up the creek and found a log to cross, after I took my first spill!

Shortly after Wog Wog creek we hit the Godsell creek turn off and turned off the main track and headed along the creek line. The track was in good condition, and much different area than the main track. The first main stop was at a nice camp site which would be a very useful camp site for future use. There was a very large watering hole and waterfall here too.

Yet another river that was too high for a jump across, so Doug and I took our boots off and braved the freezing water!! Wasn’t that a big mistake! We started walking in the direction we thought was correct but Mark had a feeling we were in the wrong place! So we doubled back and tried to pin point our location. Eventially we did, and the realized that we were infact in the wrong place and we shouldn’t have crossed the creek! When we got back over the creek, we found the correct, well marked track and took it toward our first nights camp.

About 200-300 meters from our final stop, we found another wonderful river with another watering hole that was amazing!

We found the camp site ok, and it was nice and close to the creek. And this time the water filter worked perfectly for us ☺ Doug had prepared dinner for us, a nice pasta dish which helped warm us up as it was becoming incredibly cold! I was freezing, and my wet boots, pants and socks weren’t helping!! Once I got the thermals on though, I was fine ☺

We were in bed by 8:30pm as we were buggered from the walking already and the early morning. The night was very cold!

Day 2

Woke up at 7am and straight out of bed to see what this country had thrown us overnight. Expecting a heavy frost, I was surprised to see that there was no frost at all!! I gave the guys another half hour together in their tent before waking them at 7:30am.

After breakfast we head off along the creek line to intersect with the main Burumbeet track. Of course following the creek line meant the track was pretty wet and boggy, putting our shoes and socks to the ‘wet all day’ test.

The main track wasn’t too far, and since the sun was out, the day was proving to be a very good one for us. After a short break at the entrance to Burumbeet camping area, we pushed on to Bibenluke which would be our lunch stop. First we had to contend with the steep climb out of the burumbeet valley. At this point we lost Doug for a while as he took a wrong turn and started heading off to Pigeon House or somewhere a long way from where he should be! He caught up after 10 minutes or so, and after we let him recover his breath, we head off to bibenluke.

The campsite here was not too bad. It was very open, but it had a beautiful natural spring behind it with the clearest water I have ever seen. Tasted good too ☺ But we only stopped for lunch here, which was good as the wind was starting to cool the day down. And with wet feet, it was not too comfortable.

The walk through this valley was interesting though with varying types of vegetation, and what felt like small forest areas that we were traveling through.

Unfortunately from this point on, our trip took a turn for the worse. We are still not sure where we went wrong, but we got off the main trail and started heading though what really should have been uncharted territory. Unfortunately, we were following some pink ribbons tied to various trees and shrubs which we thought were marking the main trail. I guess it was someones idea of a joke!! We crawled through heavy undergrowth, back tracking often until we found another ribbon to follow. We scaled small cliff faces, and were slowly worn down. We took a break at one stage perched on a small cliff and pondered turning back, but no, Mark thinks it will only be another 200-300 metres.

Eventually we heard voices in the distance!! “I hope that woman we can hear is a masseuse” was one very optimistic comment!! But amazingly, we stepped out onto the main trail just as we bumped into the couple that we had passed several times the day before! When quizzed if they had also hiked along the road less traveled, they replied no we followed the ‘new’ main trail

Well from here it wasn’t too long before we got to the camping caves of Mount Cole which were going to be our place of residence tonight. We collected up plenty of fire wood as we were very keen on having some camp time tonight. The caves were very good protection from the weather so Doug and Mark camped out in their bags rather than pitching the tent.

Day 3

This morning we arose at 7:15am and the plan was to have breakfast and then head off for a loop through The Green Room, and down to Monolith Valley. We would eventually come back to this camping cave so we were leaving our packs behind and traveling light with just a day pack.

We head off at 9:30 in the direction of The Green Room.

The first obstacle we had to contend with was a sheer cliff, probably 15 metres high. After several attempts to go around it, it took just one of us to start the vertical accent to prove that in fact it would be safe. Unfortunately Eddies previous comments about climbing a rock face “its always harder coming down” would mean that we do not under any circumstance want to come back this way!!

We eventually got to the top of the mountain, and what should be the entry to The Green Room. At this stage, Mark and Doug were trying to convince themselves that this was the same Green Room that they had visited the year before. But hadn’t the terrain changed since then!

We set off down through The Green Room, which is a natural rain forest valley. It was amazingly beautiful with so much green vegetation, and obviously slippery green moss on everything. The way was pretty tough and once again looked like this was definitely the road less traveled!

We were not following any defined track at this stage, but figured we needed to get to the bottom of the valley and the main trail would show itself. To get there though, we had to traverse steep drop offs, though slippery chasm’s, climb down cliff faces using tree roots as ropes, and negotiate many obstacles that would ordinarily have turned us around if it hadn’t been for that sheer cliff we didn’t want to climb down at the entry to The Green Room!!

We eventually got to a clearing at the bottom of the valley, however it had taken us a lot longer to get here than expected. We took a GPS reading and found we were about 400m too far along the valley! And no track had shown itself! So we decided to turn back and try and find the track. Of course the going was still very slow, the 400m was going to take as 30 minutes or so.

We eventually decided we must be almost there and so we headed away from the creek, only to stumble upon another cliff face, and in the sandy ground below it big letters had been written spelling out “HELP”!! Fortunately there were lots of foot prints and no dead bodies around, so we deduced that the party requiring help, actually received it.

So after a short break and some map reading, we decided to head off in one direction and traverse around the cliff face until we found the valley which we needed to be in. We followed this plan for some time, cutting along the cliff face. There were some amazing views here and some even more incredible camping caves, which we are sure we will never be able to find again! But we eventually dropped back to the valley floor and found some sign posts!!!

Once again Doug and Mark debated the time they were last here, as we head back up what they were now thinking was the track back to the green room. We passed The Arch. And the guys started to think that we should turn back as this was not going to take us to where we needed to be. We decided to go for another 10 minutes and then turn around if an exit had not presented itself.

Well fortunately, we popped out the top of the valley a few minutes later and had a good laugh when Doug and Mark finally decided that this was the valley they were in last year, thinking it was The Green Room. (Note that we are still unsure which valley was the real Green Room).

But from here, the traversed along the cliff line to The Pinnacles, and then back around the cliff face until we reached our original camping caves area. Of course now it was far too late to continue on anywhere tonight which was our original plan. We collected more fire wood and settled in for the night again.


Day 4

The plan for today was to get off to an early start and try and walk all the way back to the car. We did have supplies for another night, but we figured we were all fit young men and a 30km hike in one day was very achievable.

We left the caves at 7:30 and planned to stop at the Bibenluke camp site for breakfast on the run. Fortunately, traveling to Bibenluke via the main train took us only one hour, as opposed to the three hours it had taken two days ago on the pink ribbon trail! Much of the muddy track had been frozen this morning, so there was lots of ice and slippery footing to contend with.

After a leisurely breakfast, and admiration of a plant next to the spring that was totally encased in ice, we head off for Burumbeet. Amazingly we were walking at a hell of a pace. We made it to the camping area of Burumbeet by 11am, right on our overly optimistic schedule.

The climb out of Burumbeet took us up the 100 steps of heart break, just before the cliffs of disdain, and finally the Corang Arch. The wind was starting to get up too, so we just pushed on. We decided to continue on and stop at the better lunch spot, which was still a couple of kms away. We made it there by 12:30, which means we are well within range of the car park by the end of the day. At lunch we basically ate most of the food we had left, both lightening the load and giving us the energy required for the final 8km stretch to the car.

We eventually got back to the car around 4:00pm, after completing the Wog Wog creek crossing without event. A cooling ale was waiting for us in the truck while I tallied up the GPS distance reading for the days travel. The final tally was 27km walking in just one day...We are buggered!


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