Bungonia to Nowra

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Bungonia to Nowra

Postby eastgate » Wed 01 May, 2024 8:14 pm

Hi everyone! I'm a long time lurker, first time poster.

I'm wondering if anyone has experience walking from Bungonia to Nowra, or if it's even possible? I'm not really concerned with doing the most scenic route, I just want to get from point A to B.

Looking at the map it looks as if it could be possible by starting at Bungonia and crossing over the Shoalhaven River and climbing up to the Tolwong Mines Walking Track (maybe wishful thinking).

Then following: Tolwong Mines Walking Track -> Drovers Ridge Trail -> Tallawal -> Buangala

Then either stay on the southern side of the river and continue to Burier -> Bamarang -> Nowra
OR cross the river at Coolendel -> Bugong -> Illaroo -> Nowra

My apologies if I'm way off, I'm familiar with Nowra (I was actually born there), but I know nothing west of Illaroo.

Any help appreciated! I live in Tassie, so I'm happy to help anyone out when they're down this way :)

Cheers,
~Josh.
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Re: Bungonia to Nowra

Postby puredingo » Thu 02 May, 2024 8:19 am

Mate, Can’t speak for other parts of your proposed route but the drovers track is totally gone. I walked a portion of it 18 months ago and it was torture!
I’ve walked it previously quite a few times and never struck another human and that was when it was basically a road! So I doubt it’s been opened up by foot traffic.
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Re: Bungonia to Nowra

Postby eastgate » Thu 02 May, 2024 10:31 am

Thanks mate, appreciate your reply! I may have to rethink it. My vague plan is to divert from the Bicentennial Trail (from South) at some point and veer over to Nowra.
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Re: Bungonia to Nowra

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Thu 02 May, 2024 1:46 pm

Try to get hold of one or both of the "Fitzroy Falls and Beyond" and "Bushwalking and cycling around Kangaroo Valley" books. The latter, by Robert Sloss details many of the routes along/around the lower Shoalhaven below the dam, eg. around Yalwal, Coolendel and west of Nowra. FFAB also describes many of the routes in the broader area, but in particular describes a route (not a track!) from Yalwal to Ettrema via Morley Saddle, 12 Apostles Spur, Pauls Pass (and check out Possibility Point and Dog Leg Cave while there) then down into Ettrema. From memory Paddy Pallin pioneered that route? That could then be extended via Transportation Spur or Howards Pass then up and across the Tolwong road to the upper Tim's Gully area to Wineglass Tor then the horseshoe bends (via Backbender or the other one to the south who's name escapes me) near Bungonia, then out via the Matadoro track. Of course this can be reversed, and the Sloss book mentioned above has routes linking Yalwal to Nowra, or at least part of. Much more scenic than the route you described (acknowledging that that's not a criteria) but potentially very scrubby in parts and mostly off-track, so good nav needed. Last times I did Transportation and Wineglass/Backbender the regrowth was getting pretty ratty in parts, and admittedly i nearly shat myself on the narrow slab when i've done Pauls Pass, although most people with a decent head for exposure would be fine with it.
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Re: Bungonia to Nowra

Postby tom_brennan » Thu 02 May, 2024 1:55 pm

Yalwal to Morley Saddle via the (unnamed?) plateau between them was getting pretty overgrown even by mid-2021. Acacia on the spur up from Yalwal, Hardenbergia on the plateau. Could be better now, though probably more likely worse!

Lower Bundundah Creek was nice though, at least the section we did!

Transportation Spur was still fairly good Feb 2023. A few short sections with regrowth, but not too bad overall.
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Re: Bungonia to Nowra

Postby kanangra » Thu 02 May, 2024 2:48 pm

I did the trip a few years ago. I started at Coolandell and finished at Marulan. I came up at Badjerys and could have finished at Tallong but there was no train due for several hours so I kept going to Marulan. It took me about a day and a half. I really enjoyed it. Like Dingo says the Drovers Track is very indistinct now but I was able to follow it. I slept out on the track before Tolwong and walked through the property the next morning.

On another trip I attempted to come down the creek at the old Tollwong Mine site and got benighted and bluffed. In the end I had to retreat and come another way. The track is completely gone through there.

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Re: Bungonia to Nowra

Postby eastgate » Thu 02 May, 2024 9:13 pm

Amazing! Thanks everyone for the invaluable information!

Sounds like Drovers Track might be a bit of a barrier, I guess I may have to heavily rely on gpx assistance for that. I'm not going to be doing this particular route for quite some time (maybe even not for a couple years), but I'm trying to scope it out early because it's part of a much larger and personal expedition which will take place over the course of 2 months. I'll be branching off the Bicentennial Trail (from the South) for this particular route.

I'm going to be in the Shoalhaven briefly at the end of this month, so I'll try find "Fitzroy Falls and Beyond" and "Bushwalking and cycling around Kangaroo Valley" while I'm there, thanks!

Speaking of Yalwal and Bundundah Creek, I've been contemplating branching off the Bicentennial Trail earlier, so this could be a viable alternate option. I guess there'd be more road traversing between the Bicentennial and this way though, which I'm trying to limit.

@kanangra - your route sounds promising! How did you cross over to get up to Badgerys? It looks like a steep decent off the plateau. Did you do it from Iron Pot? Those contours look menacing, but looking at the satellite map at least it's not think bush!

Thanks again everyone, I really appreciate it!
~Josh.
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Re: Bungonia to Nowra

Postby wallwombat » Sat 04 May, 2024 9:20 am

I've walked from Tallong to Nowra twice, in the 80s. The first time was down Badgery's Spur to the Shoalhaven , up Sparkes Buttress, across the plateau to where we could drop down into the headwaters of Tullyangela Creek. Down Tullyangela Creek (through Dungeon Canyon ) to the junction of Ettrema Creek. Then we followed Ettrema Creek to the junction of Yalwal creek, which we followed to Yalwal and then onto Nowra.

The second time we walked down the Shoalhaven, to Canoe Flat and walked up a ridge to Dynamite Pass and onto the plateau and then continued as for the first trip.

The highlight was definitely Tullyangela Creek and Dungeon Canyon. The was some boring road walking at the end and we got a bit sick of walking on river rocks by the time we got to Yalwal.

We chose Tallong as we could get a train there. The same trip could easily start at Bungonia.
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Re: Bungonia to Nowra

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Sat 04 May, 2024 9:32 am

How navigable is dungeon canyon without ropes etc? Comparability to, say, myall ck?

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Re: Bungonia to Nowra

Postby wallwombat » Sat 04 May, 2024 11:40 am

I've never used ropes on Myall Creek. We may have had 10m of 6mm to lower packs, etc but we didn't need them to get down the creek. Just a long day of creative scrambling.

Also the used to be a stretch of Tullyangela Creek that had Giant Stinging Trees. Keep an eye out for them. I got stung. It wasn't fun.
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Re: Bungonia to Nowra

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Sat 04 May, 2024 2:06 pm

wallwombat wrote:I've never used ropes on Myall Creek. We may have had 10m of 6mm to lower packs, etc but we didn't need them to get down the creek. Just a long day of creative scrambling.

Also the used to be a stretch of Tullyangela Creek that had Giant Stinging Trees. Keep an eye out for them. I got stung. It wasn't fun.
Thanks. Sorry question was confusing.... Haven't used ropes on myall either so was wondering if tullyangela is similar. I saw a video of a party trying to exit ettrema via tullyangela and from memory they reckoned it was impassable so scrambled out to the plateau via a break in the cliffs

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Re: Bungonia to Nowra

Postby kanangra » Sun 05 May, 2024 8:57 am

Josh,

Yes I went from Ironpot. Past the locked hut in the clearing and out to the edge. Great views across the gorge from the rim. Straight over the edge. No track. Very steep but no bluffs. I wouldn't give up on Drovers. I was able to follow it most of the way. Worst bit is at the eastern end. You do cross private property though.

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Re: Bungonia to Nowra

Postby wallwombat » Mon 06 May, 2024 9:20 am

Yes, Tullyangela Creek is one way only - there was a short jump down that would be very hard to reverse. If I remember rightly, this is where we lowered the packs on the first trip. Second trip we didn't bother with the rope and didn't really have a problem. Dungeon Canyon is a real canyon. Its just short and not very technical. Tullyangela Creek is an amazing place.
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Re: Bungonia to Nowra

Postby eastgate » Mon 06 May, 2024 8:38 pm

wallwombat wrote:I've walked from Tallong to Nowra twice, in the 80s. The first time was down Badgery's Spur to the Shoalhaven , up Sparkes Buttress, across the plateau to where we could drop down into the headwaters of Tullyangela Creek. Down Tullyangela Creek (through Dungeon Canyon ) to the junction of Ettrema Creek. Then we followed Ettrema Creek to the junction of Yalwal creek, which we followed to Yalwal and then onto Nowra.

The second time we walked down the Shoalhaven, to Canoe Flat and walked up a ridge to Dynamite Pass and onto the plateau and then continued as for the first trip.

The highlight was definitely Tullyangela Creek and Dungeon Canyon. The was some boring road walking at the end and we got a bit sick of walking on river rocks by the time we got to Yalwal.


Thanks wallwombat, it's encouraging to hear you've done it using different routes. Tullyangela Creek looks awesome!

kanangra wrote:Yes I went from Ironpot. Past the locked hut in the clearing and out to the edge. Great views across the gorge from the rim. Straight over the edge. No track. Very steep but no bluffs. I wouldn't give up on Drovers. I was able to follow it most of the way. Worst bit is at the eastern end. You do cross private property though.


Thanks again, kanangra! I think Drovers is looking the most likely route the more I study the map. Where's the private property situated?
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Re: Bungonia to Nowra

Postby kanangra » Tue 07 May, 2024 9:40 am

Coming from the East you first hit private property at Tallowall Ck which is only an inholding and then of course at Tolwong. It is possible to skirt well south of the homestead and I didn't have any problems.

Also if you do a search on the site under Shoalhaven Shuffle #2 you will find a report of a trip I did to the old Tolwong mine site that I referred to in an earlier post. It includes a picture of the hut on the eastern side of the gorge but the track shown on maps that goes right past it has all but disappeared.

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Re: Bungonia to Nowra

Postby mirv2535 » Sat 18 May, 2024 6:27 pm

I have thought of a route Badgerys down the river to Needles Pass ( possibly packraft) across to Deception or Baron Pass dowen to Ettrema then Coolendel
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Re: Bungonia to Nowra

Postby wallwombat » Mon 20 May, 2024 9:09 am

mirv2535 wrote:I have thought of a route Badgerys down the river to Needles Pass ( possibly packraft) across to Deception or Baron Pass dowen to Ettrema then Coolendel


That sounds good. I don't know anyone who has been down Deception Creek and through Deception Canyon but it looks pretty interesting on the map.
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Re: Bungonia to Nowra

Postby Hughmac » Wed 29 May, 2024 4:00 pm

Just be aware that you are proposing to walk right through one of the worst firegrounds from the Black Summer fires. From my own experience, and other comments I've read regarding post fire access to traditional tracks, I would anticipate a very challenging experience.
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Re: Bungonia to Nowra

Postby puredingo » Sat 01 Jun, 2024 7:28 pm

Hughmac wrote:Just be aware that you are proposing to walk right through one of the worst firegrounds from the Black Summer fires. From my own experience, and other comments I've read regarding post fire access to traditional tracks, I would anticipate a very challenging experience.


Quite right, Hugh. I spoke my peace on it…a tangled Hell.
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