Canyoning - Wollangambe River
Fantastic full day adventure. Great for hot day, because you're going to be spending quite a bit of time in water. Try something different. Bushwalking & canyoning!
Day trip: 6 - 7 hours circuit + time spent commuting
Difficulty: Challenging, swimming and rockclimbing involved
Starting / Finishing point: Mount Wilson (Blue Mountains, NSW)
Track Notes: Driving from Sydney to Mount Wilson - Bells Line of Road - about half way between Mount Tomah and Bell turn off to Mount Wilson Rd. Park your car and start your walk on Merewether Lane Fire Trail which joins Wollangambe Entry Track. Use this pass to approach the river. Takes about 1hr to get there.
Get changed - preferably into the wetsuit, water is really cold and you will spent there next 5 hours. Neopren - scubadiving boots are great, keep you feet warm, but you can do it in trainers too - there will be lots of rock scrambling, don't go bare feet. Bring small backpack and drypack - keep all your stuff in drypack (and drypack in your backpack), everything will get wet, because you're going to be swimming with your backpack. It's good fun, but don't do it if you can't swim - some part has deep water. If you are not confident with your swimming skills, bring life-jacket or even small fins or a floatation device would be helpful to get you through swimming passages faster.
The river track start pretty easy walk - just follow the stream, but not long after your will have to jump into the water and start swimming. The place is amazingly beautiful, and untouched. Clear water surrounded by massive cliffs reaching to the sky. Swimming parts alternates with shallow water or rock scrambling. Enough beautiful spots on the way to stop and rest and have a lunch and recharge the fuel (pack it to be waterproofed). Water in the river is very clean, you will see heaps of yabbies swimming and hiding under the rocks and brunches. (not sure if water is safe for drinking).
You probably hardly meet anyone there - so keep in mind in case of emergency. Also start your journey early enough so you don't get stuck there after the dark. Bring GPS / navigation (mobile phone is good enough, but don't rely on Google maps - they don't show the pass / fire trails / nothing - useless in this case) so you know where to exit the canyon. There are no signs, exit pass is pretty steep in the first part. On the very beginning there are two almost vertical climbs, no ropes to help you out of there. There are strong tree roots you can hold on to. Nothing what average fitness person can't do, but need to be careful.
Leaving the canyon through "Wollangambe Exit Track" towards "Northern Fire Trail" which takes you back where you started. Takes about 1hr to walk back.
What to bring with you for the river part: wetsuit and closed shoes/scuba diving boots ideally. Dry pack or anything what is water tight. Small daypack / backpack. If you have small fins or life jacket (maybe even helmet for safety reason) Pack your lunch and enough water. Sunglasses - preferably polarised - reduces reflections on the water. Mosquito repellent for later. GPS / navigation.
Check out our 2 Youtube videos from this adventure!