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Sun 19 Sep, 2010 2:38 pm
Yesterday I decided to get away for a much needed day in the hills. I drove south through Mittagong and parked on the banks of the Wollondilly near 500 Acre Flat. Glorious spring day. Forded the river which was 100m wide and flowing well and walked up through the scattering of houses at Baraillier.The locality is named after the French explorer who attempted to cross the Blue Mts in 1802 only to be defeated by waterfalls of Christy's Ck. On the far side of the river the few houses would be quickly cut off in flood times. These and other signs of civilisation were soon left behind as I head up the Murruin Ck valley. Taking its rise under Mt Werong on the Great Divide this beautiful creek makes its way east then south before emptying into the Wollondilly. In its lower reaches I make quick time as there are several grassy flats. Timber from a couple of old buildings is heaped up in a few places and an old excavation is fenced off? Then the country starts to close in and the going is slower. The creek is crystal clear as it runs over a stony bed. I spy several native fish in the deep pools. Several large enough for swimming. I come upon an old set of yards on a sloping bank. Now overgrown they were complete with gates and rails now long abandoned; the bush growing back to reclaim them.
After about 2 hours of steady going I burst out onto a large flat. This is accurately mapped on the Bindook 1:25,000 sheet at 285:087. It is just inside the Blue Mts. NP which takes the creek as its western border. This is near the southern boundary of the park which stretches all the way from Deep Pass in the north, to Wombeyan Caves, not far from here, to the south. Here the valley opens out and so it is possible to get views of the surrounding ranges which are steep and rugged. I interpret the landmarks wrongly and believe my position to be near the junction of Little Wombeyan ck but I'm out by a couple of k's. Oops. I soon realise my error and push on for another hour or so before arriving at the junction with Bindook Ck which is dry here. I look in vain forn the remains of Neville Lang's hut which I suspect has long gone. Then I head a little further upstream looking for the old bridle track which is shown crossing the creek in this vicinity. I spy a pig trap on the bank and see an old track coming down the slope. I look in vain for a continuation of the trail on the eastern side but although maked on the map it doesn't exist on the ground.
Here I top up my water and climb steeply up over several false tops to the summit of Bindook Mt. There are excellent views on the way up out over and up the Murruin Ck valley to Old Buck on the far side and Mt Shivering to the north. At the top I pick up an old 4WD track which I follow out onto Bindook Stn. First selected in 1878 this property was farmed for many years by Neville Lang who was effectively cut off when Warragamba Dam inundated the Burragorang Valley forcing him to build a new road along the Murruin Range to Oberon. That road is now the only public road into Yerranderie. A recent diversion of the road bypasses his property all together so few even know of its existance. It is an open expanse of green pasture land surrounded by NP. The property straddles Bindook ck which plummets nearly 600 feet into a chasm just below the old homestead. No one is home and the whole place is eerily quiet as I pass through. It must ahve been a lonely existence out here all those years; come to think of it, it still is today.
I close the boundary gate behind me and make my way up to the Camden-Oberon stock route. I follow the road for 3kms and in that time only one car passes. At the turn off to the DCA beacon I turn right onto the Bullnigang Trail the entry to which is blocked by one of those huge waterboard white gates; locked with several padlocks. A short way along I decide to stop for lunch, washing down my lamb sanwiches with the water brought from the creek. I pass the turn off to Tomat Ck station. Operated by the Gardiners if anything it is even more isolated than Bindook. Soon the country starts to improve with taller timber and a grassy covering. Another inholding is passed and after 2 hours a fork in the track. I take the left turn which is better made but soon realise it is wrong as it heads East and I need to be going south. So I retrace my steps. Once back on the correct track I soon come to Bullnigang. Two old SRA railway carriages stand abandoned off to one side. How difficult must it have been to drag those things in here? Each looked as if it weighed over 100 tonnes! Then a little further on I came to a house in a clearing with a few old cars around. I bypass the property and follow a side trail uphill. At the end of the track are another 3 abandoned cars and the remains of an old caravan. It is 3:00PM.
Ahead lay an unkown descent back to the Wollondilly and the car. The last time I had descended to the Wollondilly from the northern side via the Millnigang Ridge it had been long, difficult and dangerous. This time would prove to be no different. I started badly by loosing the ridge in thick scrub and dropping off the side into a high clearing. I climbed and sidled to regain the ridge something I would have to do several times on the descent. Route finding is so much easier while ascending. I had noticed some high bluffs on the far side of the river when I started out that morning and so I was hoping to avoid those. The going was slow through thickets of thorny bush that scratched my legs to shreds. Next time I must bring gaiters. Whilst still high up on the mountain I tripped over a fenceline which was only 10 inches off the ground. That sent me tumbling but fortunately no damage was done. Every now and again there would be some clear grassy tussock but most of the way was through scrub over broken rocky ground. There were also several deep saddles on the descent which meant height lost had to be lost again. At last I cut an old track which led to the river right beside the bluffs I had noticed in the morning.The descent had taken 2 hours!
I fashioned a staff and made my way across the river and picked up a farm track on the far side which led back to the car. It had been an excellent day.
There are several other possibilites for trips out that way. It would be quite feasible to do a through trip to Kanangra Walls via Colong caves and the Unirover Trail. You would require a 2nd. day for that and would probably camp on the Kowmung River. Or you could walk through to Katoomba via Mt Cloudmaker and Narrow Neck. You'd need to asllow a third day for that. Alternatively you could do a round trip through Yerranderie via Mt Colong and Mt Egan. Another possibilty would be to walk from Wombeyan Caves to Jenolan Caves. Or even a walk right through the Blue Mts NP from Wombeyan Caves in the south to Deep Pass in the Wollangambe wilderness. So many possibilites. So little time.
Sun 19 Sep, 2010 7:06 pm
Hi kanangra, nice walk in some nice country. I have been to Yerranderie a few times and to Bindook as well, both for work when I was in the telco game. Lovely places. Lots of Aboriginal artefacts at Bindook.
Mon 20 Sep, 2010 10:14 am
Climberman. tell me more. Were you laying cable out there? What artifacts did you see?
Mon 04 Jul, 2011 12:55 pm
A walk I did in 1979 was out along the Boyd Range Track (called Uni Rover by some) - up Lannigans Creek to Colong Caves - Acetylne Spur to Bats Camp, where Neville Lang sat me in the back of his ute on a kangaroo he had just shot and drove me to "Bindook" - then over Bindook Mountain and down Murruin Creek to the Wombeyan Caves Road, where I got a lift off Telecom workers into Berrima. (3 days). I've been combing the Bindook Highlands ever since. In 1984 I found a small cairn out there on a rock platform. A pencilled note under the top stone was signed by Myles Dunphy, January 1935. Along the bank of Murruin Creek was a great big pile of rusting old rabbit traps, I wonder did you see it?
Wed 06 Jul, 2011 11:09 pm
No I didn't. But I did see a lot of other old relics including beer bottles from the '30's and also some old yards with a small gate. Some lovely flats beside the river. I camped on one a few weeks back and really enjoyed it. The valley is rarely visited these days. No sign of any campfire rings much less rubbish. There is an unusual excavation just before you reach civilization. Something to do with an old demolished dwelling?
Thu 07 Jul, 2011 10:59 am
That pile must have had a hundred traps in it. Maybe it is overgrown now. Up stream looks interesting on the map. When the Colong Caves campaign was on they were looking at the limestone there and finding small dry caves. Yes, probably one of the least known parts of the Southern Blue Mountains. Old Man Lannigan is buried in there somewhere.
Mon 18 Jul, 2011 11:28 am
Is that Old Man Lannigan after whom Lannigan's Ck is named?
Also saw no evidence of Neville Lang's old hut at the junction with Bindook Ck. Also the track marked on all the maps on the Bindook side just upstream from the junction no longer exists. There was a track going up the western side. It had a pig trap at the bottom of it on a rise above the creek.
Mon 18 Jul, 2011 8:57 pm
kanangra wrote:Climberman. tell me more. Were you laying cable out there? What artifacts did you see?
Hi K - not cable, no, although I have laid a heap of cable across the country over the years (gumph, guffaw, etc) for various carriers. At Yerranderrie I was involved in the replacement of the old single yagi antennae with a set of directional microwave antennas on a new tower. A much better solution particularly in fire emergencies. At Bindook I was involved in the installation of a USOsat system on an inholding. There were a number of artefacts, nothing 'amazing' from an archaeological perspective (mainly debitage), I am always humbled by how widespread artifacts are across our landscape..... 40 000 years is a long, long time.....
Wed 20 Jul, 2011 3:34 pm
Kanangra, yes, Edward "Lanky" Lannigan. His hideout was Lannigan's (now Colong) Caves. I can't recall a hut at the junction of Murruin and Bindook the only time I was ever there, which was a little over 30 years ago. This is old bushranger/stockmens' country.
Climberman, was it you who put that big ugly tower up on Bindook Mountain?
Wed 20 Jul, 2011 7:03 pm
No - Bindook is (I think - happy to be proved wrong) a beacon thingy for the air traffic / airport stuff. When you are on a plane in a pattern around that neck of the woods waiting to get into Kingsford Smith you are being directed around Bindook.
Wed 20 Jul, 2011 9:45 pm
That is the DCA beacon up on Myanga Mountain. The tower on Bindook Mountain might be for mobile phones, I'm not sure. The owners of Bindook Station (presumably still the Langs) would know.
Thu 21 Jul, 2011 8:31 am
I must admit I've never seen the hut myself but it is referred to in the SURC guidebook "Gundungra" Published in 1970 it says "at the junction of Bindook Ck. there are the burnt ruins of a hut where Neville Lang used to spend the winter months tending pastures". Obviously completely gone now?
Thu 21 Jul, 2011 8:44 pm
kanangra - thanks. I dunno what's at Bindook then. The ACMA database lists:
Site Search Results
Sites where any detail matches "bindook".
Results 1 - 6 of 6 possible matches.
Site ID Name District State & Postcode
9010338 Airservices DVOR Site Nyanga Mountain BINDOOK NSW 2570
100739 Telstra Customer Colong Stock Route Burfoot via BINDOOK NSW 2787
9010337 Airservices DME Antenna Nyanga Mountain BINDOOK NSW 2570
10427 Airservices Site Nyanga Mtn BINDOOK NYANGA MOUNTAIN NSW 2787
9010336 Airservices NDB Site Nyanga Mountain BINDOOK NSW 2570
10409 Telstra HCRC Repeater BINDOOK BINDOOK NSW 2787
No mobile phone stuff, but a range of customers and air services stuff.
Lovely place either way !
Fri 22 Jul, 2011 9:48 am
Good work, Climberman. The tower on Bindook Mountain must be the Telstra Repeater. I think it was put there during the 1990's. Bindook Mountain is a basalt cap on part of "Bindook Station" that was cleared many years ago. The cap is visible from the surrounding tops, so the tower is a prominent feature there now.
Wed 27 Jul, 2011 2:06 pm
After spend many years playing flight simulator I have learnt that Bindook tower is a VOR-DME (VHF omnidirectional radio range)(Distance Measuring Equipment) and there is also a NDB (Non-directional beacon) on the site as well. They are used for flight navigation. I have used these radio masts numerous times in many many hours that I have spent flying around the area (in the simulator). Bindook VOR has a Frequency of 116.80 MHz and a range of about 195nm.
Fri 06 Jul, 2012 9:15 pm
I just came across this report. A huge day walk through some rough country. Impressive!
The Bindook- Colong- Morong is one of the most overlooked and underrated part of the Blue Mountains generally. Many bushwalking people would not even know it exists.
Walked from Goodmans Ford via 500 Acre Flat - Bindook Falls- Mt Colong - Church Ck Caves- Kowmung - Kanangra Walls- Gangerang Range -Carlons Head to Katoomba in 2001. Sensational walking country. I thought I was a fast walker and it took us seven days (mid winter, full packs). You must be a tiger-walker Kanangra. The layer of history you provide is fanstastic. On my map I noted "old clearing" and "pool" at the junction with Little Wombeyan Creek, but nothing at Murruin Ck/Bindook Ck junction (and I generally keep an eye out for such things).
Bindook Falls was on the front cover of a Gregorys Guide to NSW National Parks from the 1990s (the same as the street directory publishers). It was this picture alone that motivated my walk. Those who have seen the falls would understand.
I agree, so much exploring to do- all those side creeks with cascades and waterfalls, crystal clear waters, deep valleys and beautiful open forest. Magic wild country.
Sat 07 Jul, 2012 7:10 am
G'day K, Great report I had my topo map out and followed you all the way. As clarence said you must of been realyy moving to get that many K's in before you found yourself walking out in the dark.
Just wondering where it was you crossed the Wollondilly? I walked down from Goodmans ford awhile ago with intention of heading up Murrium Ck but crossing would of meant swimming it (which I wasn't too keen on) I seen a homestead on the otherside which looked like they had a small Jetty set up...maybe a pont system?
Sat 07 Jul, 2012 2:08 pm
Thanks guys. I'm glad you found the report interesting. I agree that it is a neglected corner of the BMNP. Clarence that sounds like an excellent trip you did. One I would like to do myself some day. Did you explore the caves in Church ck? they have some very pretty formation. These days I just take it steady and keep trundling along.
Puredingo. The trick is to cross at the ford at Baraillier. To find this when you strike the gate at 500 Acre Flat go through it and before long you will notice a 4WD track off to your left. This takes you down to the river where there is a ford. The ford is wide but not deep and it easy to cross there. Above it though the pools are very deep. Not far below here the Murruin Ck comes in. It is above where the Wollondilly chucks a big right hand bend changing its direction from generally south to east. There are several excellent camping spots on the Murruin Ck flats not far upstream. At one of them I found some in tact beer bottles from the 1930's.
Mon 10 Sep, 2012 8:04 pm
I walked up Murruin creek today. Absolutely stunning. I believe the excavation on the river flat is a disused sheep dip. There were a heap of red belly black snakes up there, so keep your eyes peeled!!
Tue 11 Sep, 2012 9:20 am
Of course you are right. A dip it is. Did you make it right up to the very big flat further up the valley.
Thu 28 Nov, 2013 1:31 pm
Some great reports there, it must have been unbelievable to find that note of Myles Dumphy. I have done some walking out that way however what I write now is purely from memory. We did a daywalk once from Goodmans ford down to tomat ck. up the ck. to the falls then scrambled up on the l.h.s looking towards the falls.We then followed the road south passing the rail carriages to the end. the bindook sketch map shows an old bridal trail that was cut during the war which we hoped to locate, we didn't, however we did find some small tree stumps which had obviously been cut that kind of went in some sort of line. Like one other contributor commented it was extremely scrubby and we ended up in Murruin ck instead of the junction which was our goal.
another Easter trip featured a visit to the Haunted Loops and a traverse of Mt. Shivering, the only camp at all was at the foot of shivering after a very wet and tiring afternoon, also a great camping spot at the junction of Murruin and bindook Ck.
Thu 28 Nov, 2013 6:45 pm
You know I looked for that camp spot because I had heard it was good but couldn't find it?????? I also thought Neville Lang had an old hutat the junction but could find no trace of it either.
Thu 02 Jan, 2014 5:09 pm
Had a free day today so I decided to head on up Murrin creek. I made it to the biggest flat and climbed the mountain behind it for the view, which was excellent. But really what this walk done for me was to fully appreciate how much area you covered K, you are by far the walkingest SOB I've ever (electronically) met. My GPS read 22 klms by the end and it felt like it...it was 35 degrees at one stage, I'd hate to imagine your mileage! My hat goes off to you.
I stuffed up by parking at Goodmans ford which put a few unnecessary boring K's on the trip. I noticed on my way back I could of parked right up at the Baraillier crossing ...DOH!
Thu 02 Jan, 2014 6:13 pm
The secret is just to keep moving. I did park right up at 500 acre flat though? it must be an extra 5ks to start at Goodmans. It was also nowhere near as hot as you experienced yesterday.
I covered a lot of ground on my last trip. About 120ks over two and a bit days. I will post some details when I get a chance.
Tue 14 Jan, 2014 11:35 am
Fri 07 Nov, 2014 9:43 am
kanangra wrote:You know I looked for that camp spot because I had heard it was good but couldn't find it?????? I also thought Neville Lang had an old hutat the junction but could find no trace of it either.
Neville did have a hut down there at one time he used it when he would take stock from bindook to his other property up the other side of meruin ck. Iam good friends with his daughter Sue we have had many a night talking about the old days of bindook and when they used to run joorilands station down the valley. just so happens that my brother has property out on the millnigang not far from that little grassy area you mention in some other posts. its good to see you guys out trecking about looking for the same places. Have you ever found the old hut down on the millnigang creek. nick named the barallier hilton???
Sun 27 Nov, 2016 12:56 pm
I see that "Bindook" has been put up for sale? What is the story?
Tue 29 Nov, 2016 8:39 pm
K once when I was a the junction of the two creeks I climbed up onto the flat at the base of the spur that leads up to the property. I did find the remenants of some kind of building.
Whether it was Langs hut or not I don't know? It was the usual stuff, tangled fence wire, corro roof iron sheets and hardwood fence posts.
Sounds like the perfect opportunity to pick yourself up a bit historical realestate...and maybe instate full time caretaker who only asks a moderate wage and time to explore?
Wed 30 Nov, 2016 9:58 am
Pure Dingo is that a proposition?
Wed 30 Nov, 2016 10:02 am
I've just been told that the owner has sold to a neighbour. Perhaps the owner of Tomat Ck?
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