An easy canyon in the Blue Mountains, requiring no abseils and basic navigation skills.
Leaving Sydney around 8:30am, we were parked at the Mt Wilson fire station and on the track down to the Wollangambe River by 10am. The plan was to hike/wade/swim “Wollangambe One” (also known as the Upper Tourist Section), and possibly continue on and complete Wollangambe Two (Lower Tourist Section).
It’s about a 45min walk down (3km) on a narrow but well-defined track; the track forks a few times and we took the left fork each time so we entered the river at the uppermost point that can be access from Mt Wilson (via an established trail!).
The first kilometre or so is easy going, with water depth no more than about a metre. Pleasant wading on a warm summer day! A beautiful tiger snake led the way for a short while and crayfish were frequently spotted, before we reached the “normal” entry point for this section of the canyon (Wollangambe MGA546914).
From here, it got very slow. And very wet. Having ignored the recommendation to wear a wetsuit and bring a lilo, it was very slow and tiring with long swimming sections. About 80% of this section of the canyon is “swimming depth”, with a few rock scrambles and a bit of wading. We reached the end of Section 1 (at MGA560916) around 4pm, exhausted and very cold – the exit here is well marked, with a large arrow marked on the cliff behind a small beach.
In hindsight, a wetsuit was not required (being a fairly warm day – although of course the water was pretty cold) – but a lilo would have made it a much more enjoyable excursion! While we only saw two groups along the way, at the exit point there were about 20-25 people, including a number of families and children. All of whom were clearly more sensible than us and had wetsuits, lilos – and waterproof bags that actually kept their possessions dry!
About an hour or do later and we were back at the car; the track up is well marked with one short-but-steep section that requires some care.
|Location||Starts at Mt Wilson fire station (off Bells Line of Road, Blue Mts)|
|Distance||Around 9km. Allow up to six hours.|
|Grade||Easy-moderate (with a lilo!). Easy navigation.|
|Season/s||Ideal in summer on a warm day. Avoid before heavy rain or storms.|
|Resources||OzUltimate.com has helpful track notes|