Party: Tim Vollmer, Phil Davey, Damian O’Connor, Ian Wallace, Julian van Wel, Steve Hony
Despite being only a few hours walk from Katoomba, and about an hour off one of the busiest tourist bushwalks in the Blue Mountains, Cedar Creek is an incredible spot that has been barely touched by people. Just south of the Ruined Castle, it cuts a deep, cliff-lined gorge all the way to the Coxs River. Best of all, it contains crystal clear water and an absolutely spectacular camp cave, making it a perfect spot for an overnight bludge walk.
I’d been down there several times, and walked a good way down it, so when the old man crew was looking for a spot to go it seemed perfect. (I think the main selling point was that it had water, after a very dry previous trip over Mt Solitary, which I try not to speak of…)
I’ve been down to the camp cave from both sides of the valley, picking different routes each time, but the one common factor has always been lawyer vine. This trip I finally found the perfect way in, which meant we made it from the Ruined Castle to the camp site in just over an hour. I won’t go into detail (given the appeal for me is the fact that there aren’t any tracks in this valley), but I was happy enough with it that I think my seven-year-old son is almost up to doing the trip himself.
Down in the creek there was plenty of time for exploration, with the whole area full of lush green growth and the sound of water bubbling over small cascades. The camp site itself had plenty of wood and we settled in for a very nice night of wine and extremely gourmet cooking (except for mine).
Ian hit the jackpot, pulling several $2 coins out of the dirt near the fire, but other than that the camp site was pretty clean.
In the morning the crumbling sand in the cave was dappled with streams of light cutting through the trees, making for a beautiful view without even needing to leave the sleeping bag.
Even with a slow start and some nice breakfast, the steep but easy walk back out of the valley had us lunching on the Ruined Castle before we knew it.
Not long from there and it was back to the cars, and the real world.
I never get sick of Cedar Creek. It makes such a good spot for an easy overnight trip that doesn’t eat up the whole weekend, while still providing a wonderful feeling of solitude and remoteness.