2006 Budawangs - The Castle

summary: The Budawangs are just a short drive from home, so attempting to climb The Caslte seemed like a logical decision.
date: 4-5 November 2006
distance: Not the distance, but the elevation that matters!
tags: HIKE - REPORT - BUDAS - CASTLE - 2006
views: 1298

Day 0 - Friday

We didn't too bad as far as leaving times go, we got away from the office at 4:00pm. The trip was going to take a little over 3 hours, so we should still make camp with plenty of light. We stopped off for a break at the Rainbow Pie Shop in Milton at around 6:00pm. If you are ever down that we you HAVE to stop off and grab a pie, they really are amazing! And yes, I would say they are much better than The Robertson Pie Shop!!

After the quick pie, we headed off again, leaving the safety of the sealed road, and locking the hubs in for the short off road trip to the camp site, and the official start of The Castle track.

The first camp site had a few cars in it, so we continued on to the main car park site. We arrived there at 7:00pm, and to our surprise, there was only one other person there. We spoke to her and she was waiting for a group of people to arrive from The Sydney Bush Walkers club. They did arrive, but very late at night. We later found out that their tour leader's wife had been taken to hospital, so they had some rather long delays in Sydney traffic.

Our evening was very relaxing, and the weather was looking good for the weekend. We feasted on chilli, and drank beer and port. The camp fire kept the chill off, but there really wasn't any sign of the rain that we had experienced back in Wollongong.

Day 1 - Saturday

Saturday morning and I woke to the sound of many campers preparing for a hike. I then rolled over and went back to sleep...

I eventually got up about 7:20am. The weather was still looking fine, it was overcast but no hint of rain or too much heat. I gave Eddy's tent a shake on my way past to the toilet, just to make sure he was awake and realised where he was so early in the morning.

We had the typical car camping break fast of bacon and eggs. But by the time we were done, everyone else had left the car park and started walking!

We weren't concerned about being a little slower on the get go, we knew our youthful exuberence was likely to help us in the long run!!

We got going at a little after 9:00am, and there was another group of hikers in the car park preparing for the walk. We had a quick chat, and found they were heading for the same spot as us. And then off we went. The first obstacle we were expecting to encounter was the fast flowing Yadboro river. We were glad to see that the water level was a lot lower than usual, and we didn't need to shed the boots for the crossing!

The first hour of the walk was all up hill, as we expected. But we evenutally hit the bottom of The Castle, which is where the track begins to get really steep!! The next target we were aiming for was the track junction which splits walkers between The Castle walk and The Castle Saddle area which provides access to Monolith Valley and Coyoyo Creek.

It took us a couple more hours to get to the track junction, and let me tell you, walking up that track is one of the hardest walks I've been on!! It is a relentless track of up hill. Most of it on steps which were made for your average NBA basketballer, so they were all too far apart for anyone under 7' tall!! Then there was the up and over, in and out, back and forward of the obstacles, the bushes, the trees, the rocks!! You name it, we had to avoid it!! And then of course there was the poorly marked track which gave everyone a very good chance of getting lost in the park forever!!

We eventually got to The Saddle just before 1:00pm. This was quite a long way ahead of schedule so we made an executive decision, and after lunch we dropped our main packs and headed off to Monolith valley.

We left for our 'short' walk around 1:30pm, and headed off to the valley floor. Our first main obstacle was finding our way across the main plateau. Yes, we got lost! But we heared voices, so we had an idea where we were going wrong, and follwed the voices until we got back onto the main track :)

Once we got back onto the correct path, it wasn't too far until we hit the main valley floor. We took very careful note of all the signs along the way to make sure we knew our way out of this place!!

We continued along the track up the valley, and to The Green Room. It was looking pretty amazing today, and we were even able to get across the track to an often unseen area. We were able to do this due to the low level of the creek, but it was an amazing little area, but unfortunately too dark to take a good picture!! But monkey did enjoy it very much!

From here, it wasn't too much further to the end of the valley, and a view of the Seven Gods Pinaccles. There was still a lot of low cloud around so the view wasn't as good as it could have been. From here, we turned around and head back to the saddle and our packs.

First detour was a stop off at The Natural Arch were we met up with our friends from the car park camp site.

From here, we head off quickly, and up out of the valley. We reached to top of the plateau a lot quicker than we were expecting. And after a little detour, and long consultation of the maps, we decided we were on the wrong side of the valley!!! So we back tracked to a junction that we earlier made an executive decision to make a wrong turn :) So now we headed off in the RIGHT direction.

Before we got back to the saddle, we crossed paths with another group of hikers, they were hoping to get out to the Seven Gods, but I think we convinced them that it was a little too far before dark!!

We picked up our packs, and got down to Coyoyo Creek camp area around 5:00pm. There was still plenty of room here, despite having several groups of campers already here. Including the earlier group we passed in the car park. But like earlier trips to The Buddawangs, there was almost no fire wood around so we reverted back to the Banksia flowers as material, and it did just enough to keep off the nights chill, that and the port :)

Day 2 - Sunday

Unfortunately I never got around to finishing off this report - probably because we never made it to the top of the castle. Not sure why, but if you check out all the other entries on here regarding The Castle you might find out more!

Google Maps

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