Pondage / Point Cameron access

NSW & ACT specific bushwalking discussion.
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NSW & ACT specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Pondage / Point Cameron access

Postby jon_b » Mon 02 May, 2022 11:37 am

Has anyone been out to the Pondage / Point Cameron recently? I'm interested in both Long Swamp Rd condition and to what extent fire regrowth might be impacting the condition of the route/track/pad in through Mcleans Pass, Mt Jamison etc.

I'm taking some teenagers out who won't be up for the same amount of regrowth-bashing as I and my friends might be! :)

I suspect Long Swamp Rd has copped a hammering with all the rain, likely Cox flooding, and likely continued use by 4WDs throughout. I spoke with the Forestry office in Bathurst and they weren't sure. They were hoping to have someone check it out in the next week or two.

I have a reasonably capable 4WD but it's not high clearance and I don't want to do any serious 4WDing as such. Happy to tackle a puddle or two but not much more.

Thanks
Jon
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Re: Pondage / Point Cameron access

Postby keithj » Mon 02 May, 2022 2:12 pm

jon_b wrote:Has anyone been out to the Pondage / Point Cameron recently? I'm interested in both Long Swamp Rd condition and to what extent fire regrowth might be impacting the condition of the route/track/pad in through Mcleans Pass, Mt Jamison etc.

I'm taking some teenagers out who won't be up for the same amount of regrowth-bashing as I and my friends might be! :)

The track to Mcleans Pass is good - not espec overgrown. Continuing to The Pondage has head high native tobacco in some places, but all still navigable through the regrowth.

jon_b wrote:I suspect Long Swamp Rd has copped a hammering with all the rain, likely Cox flooding, and likely continued use by 4WDs throughout. I spoke with the Forestry office in Bathurst and they weren't sure. They were hoping to have someone check it out in the next week or two.

Long Swamp Rd has some biiiiiig deep muddy puddles - so maybe wait for a few days with no rain. There's one small short rutted hill just before Bicentennial Trail that may be washed out. The other potential issue is 2km from the car park at the end - there's a tree down & the diversion to the left over soft soil needs reasonable clearance - eg an empty Forester would be OK if you had a car full of teenager to push. Trees come down all the time, so if you have a chainsaw, it'd be worth taking.
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Re: Pondage / Point Cameron access

Postby jon_b » Tue 03 May, 2022 12:32 pm

Thanks keithj. Really appreciate the info. I have Land Rover Discovery Sport which is pretty good on ruts/climbs/traction/etc. Clearance probably as good if not better than a Forester but not much more.

(Happy to hear from anyone else who's been out there too)
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Re: Pondage / Point Cameron access

Postby Hoojar » Wed 04 May, 2022 10:59 am

I am not exactly sure of track names, but I was in the area on Easter Sunday in a friend's jacked up 4x4. The route west of Blackfellows is extremely steep and for serious 4x4 only. It is then fairly good along the escarpment. Where the trail drops down through the pagodas towards Baal Bone is again for serious 4x4 only. We got turned back in the swamps about 1.5km short of Baal Bone, we got bogged, as did 4 other cars that we saw. The track towards Cape Horn is fine (but there is a burned out Forester at the intersection). The track that follows the Coxs River is reasonable, with care I think I could get through in my Outback.
Last edited by Hoojar on Tue 10 May, 2022 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pondage / Point Cameron access

Postby jon_b » Sun 08 May, 2022 9:00 am

Thanks Hoojar. It's that track along the Coxs I am most interested in.
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Re: Pondage / Point Cameron access

Postby jon_b » Mon 16 May, 2022 9:19 am

In case anyone comes across this post in the next few weeks or months I thought I'd give an update.

Road: Long Swamp Rd is very very wet. Small creeks were flowing along much of the road. ~95% ok in AWD. ~5% needs a 4WD due to mud, deepish puddles, and a few short rut sections on the hill. Between driving out to the walk and returning, a few of the mud sections had deteriorated a fair bit just due to vehicles driving through, just in 24 hours.

Route to Pondage/Point Cameron:
Minimal sign of the previous track/pad. A fair bit of head+ high regrowth and trees down along many of the treed sections along the ridge before Mcleans Pass. Not spikey though and quite passable if you are ok at route-finding.

Once you reach the more open rocky parts of the ridge approaching Mount Jamison (where it used to be fairly scrubby in places) is now very open. So open that you can also now walk down and across the pagoda country close to the cliffline, rather than having to go as far as Mount Davidson. Several creeks flowing well.

The Pondage itself is half full of water. Other half was wet underfoot. All the trees and shrubs are heavily burnt...bit of a moonscape....not a great place to camp at the moment. We camped elsewhere.
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