Bushwalking / Camp cave

Old man Cedar Creek walk

Party: Tim Vollmer, Phil Davey, Damian O’Connor, Ian Wallace, Julian van Wel, Steve Hony – photos

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 man. 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…)

Magpies fighting over scraps on Ruined Castle

I’ve been in from both sides, and picked slightly different routes each time, but the one common factor has always been lawyer vine. This trip I think 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 nice 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 morning without even leaving the sleeping bag.

A slow start, some nice breakfast and an easy trip back out and we were 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 this place, and it makes such a good spot for an easy overnight trip that doesn’t eat up the whole weekend.

Ian and his radioactive bottle


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