Summary: An off-track route in Wollemi National Park from the Long Ridge Trail. The loop explores some remote gullies as it follows the base of three cliff-lines.

This is another off-track “exploratory” bushwalk in the Wollemi with Yuri, this time along an unnamed ridge off Long Ridge and down into some gullies. We set off from near the middle of the Long Ridge Trail, a firetrail which crosses a few private propertes (access was organised by Yuri) towards the highest point along the ridge, shown on the topo mark as a 538m spot height.

As well as many flannel flowers, the ridge has a number of what I think are Australian Daisies [I’ve subsequently been advised it’s an Olearia, possibly Olearia tomentosa] – a diverse family which has 20,000 species worldwide, and almost 1,000 species indigenous to Australia, with most unknown in cultivation.

From here we soon descend the westerm side of the ridge, dropping through some rocky ledges.

It’s a steep but relatively easy descent and we soon reach the head of a small creek, which is a tributary of Tootie Creek.

We descend about 200m to reach the base of the first of three cliffs; we will follow the base of the cliff line, before looping back up to the cars.

There’s a bit of bush-bashng through more dense scrub, as we cross a small gully between the first set of cliffs, and the second.

The next cliff-line is more interesting, with rocks towering high above.

There are lots of caves and shelters which we explore as we make our way slowly along the base of the cliff-line.

Hoping to avoid some of the thicker scrub below the cliffs, we take a fairly high route… until we reach a vertical drop of over 20m…

…the only option is to back-track until we can fnd a safe route to drop further down.

Unfortunately this means we need to battle the thick undergrowth in the gully between the second and third cliff-lines. It looks a bit like a scene out of Jurassic Park – but intead of dinosaurs lurking in the ferns, it’s an assortment of stinging nettles and hidden logs determined to thwart our progress.

We finally make it through to the next cliff-line.

It’s relatively easy again from here, with almost no undergrowth at the base of this cliff-line.

After a brief lunch stop, we make good progress along the base of these towering cliffs.

At the end of the cliff-line, Yuri finds a viable route back up to the top of the cliffs.

A steep-ish climb takes up back to the top of the ridge, traversing a few fields of flannel flowers, to complete the loop.

We finish around 3pm, giving me just enough time to visit the Charles Trig station and the Emu Cave (which has hundreds of Aboriginal rock carvings of emu prints carved into the wall) before heading back into Sydney.

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