Coorongooba Canyoning (2017-01-26-to-29)

After spending most of the day walking in we started our first canyon at 4pm. Smiffy had done it before but didn’t remember anything other than there being lots of drops. Time to be efficient then!


Tom bridging after one of the early drops


Tom about to reach another pool


Tom on yet another abseil


Smiffy below a drop as I investigate anchors for the next few drops


Smiffy abseiling


Smiffy above another short drop


Looking back up as Smiffy abseils.


Tom on the final drop

Normally I like my wilderness canyons to have no evidence of previous parties, but in this case with so many drops, some without obvious anchors I was happy to see anchors/slings in place! We were pretty glad to make camp while it was still light. The rain set in but the temperature never really dropped. It was a hot and uncomfortable night.


Glad to have a camp cave as the forecast (which is correct) is for rain

On day 2 we climbed up a nearby tributary (with a bit of effort), and then descended another creek. We then pioneered an increasingly sketchy pass which is unlikely to be repeated given there is an easy walk-up ramp nearby. Finally we descended a creek that didn’t deliver any canyon but had a series of nice waterfall abseils.


Tom ascending a waterfall



Toni making her way up the next drop


Toni & Smiffy climbing up another waterfall


Smiffy abseiling in a different creek


Tom abseiling


Our afternoon creek had lots of lovely waterfalls but wasn’t really canyon


Tom getting off-rope


Another nice waterfall


We got quite wet on this one

On Day 3 we moved on from our camp cave. Heading upstream we explored a couple of creeks, neither of which delivered much on the canyon front but again had some nice abseils. Finally we climbed out with full packs and headed over the tops, having a high camp above the creek we intended to descend the next day. Our objective was to have an earlier happy hour than the previous two days (not hard since I think the earliest we’d made it to camp was 7:30pm!). Even so we struggled to meet the objective, ending up making camp around the same time… but that was ok as Tom had promised day 4 would be a short day (more on that later).


Nest morning while packing up camp I nearly stood on this guy! (assume it’s a death adder – it certainly wasn’t going anywhere)


Thank goodness for Christmas shortbread that we could pack as last minute morning tea! (Thanks J&N&C&J)


This creek had little more than one abseil. But it was a pretty spectacular abseil!


Toni & Smiffy checking whether we are going to make it to camp for an early Happy Hour (unlikely!)


More waterfalls


Tom above another big drop


Abseiling the big drop


Toni on the final abseil while Tom sits on the log she’s abseiling off to keep it in place


High camp on night 3. It was very warm night, fortunately not too many mosquitoes as I didn’t get into my sleeping bag all night.

Day 4, our final day, was 3km down a creek and then a walk back to the car… I just believed Tom and didn’t look at the map until we’d covered about a kilometre in the creek. I then discovered we still had another 5km to go! Chances of it being a short day. Slim. We made it to the end of the creek at 4pm, with at least 11km still to walk. A big thunderstorm hit which was a bit scary as the lightning was close, and we were pelted by hailstones. Made it to the cars at 7:10pm – earliest finish of the trip! Though of course we still had the long drive back to Sydney. A great weekend, if not particularly relaxing!


Beautiful pools


Tom abseiling


Smiffy coiling the rope below our third abseil


More beautiful rock formations


Final abseil


Tom doing a shoe clean-out just as the rain arrives. Not long later we were in the eye of a massive thunderstorm including mentos-sized hailstones.