Abseiling / Canyoning / Nude / SUBW

Why Don’t We Do It In The Road: nude

Driving into Mt Wilson, it felt like we’d gone through a time warp. As we drove along the road we passed antique cars from the 1920’s while dirty, depression era people casually strolled along carrying century-old tools. A roadside stall sold fruit from stacks of wooden boxes. We actually seemed more out of place than they did, given some of the spectacular old building in the area like the tree fern surrounded church and impressive Turkish bath house.

It took us a minute, but eventually it clicked. We’d stumbled upon filming for Baz Luhrmann’s latest film, The Great Gatsby. Once we realised what was going on we started looking more closely at the occupants of the fancier cars, but didn’t manage to catch a glimpse of Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire or any other recognisable Hollywood names involved in the production. We did feel a little sorry for Pete Raines when we realised the day’s filming was happening directly outside his front door!

We drove on to the Cathedral of Ferns, where the film crew had set up several huge tents to cater for the massive number of people involved in the production.

We’d spent the weekend doing two very impressive canyons near Glen Davis. A combination of the physical demands, fairly miserable weather and a throbbing hangover from the night before had convinced me there was no way I’d make it through either of the tough Glen Davis options we were considering for the day. Thankfully the others were willing to accept a substitute, so we decided to head to Mt Wilson, where we had to go anyway to pick up Adrian’s car, and just do an easy canyon in the process.

On the way we stopped in Lithgow for an early lunch, finding a spectacular old-fashioned take away place (which is the first decent food I’ve stumbled upon in Lithgow). By the time we hit Mt Wilson the weather was actually improving a fair bit.

We’d decided to do Why Don’t We Do It In The Road (Serendipity) Canyon because of its ease, and the fact two of the group had been forced to twice skip it because of major thunderstorms. Once we’d decided on the canyon there were a few joking comments about how it was so easy that it would be the perfect nude canyon.

Finally, as we stood in the crowded car park we all decided that we were up for a nude trip, and that to be done properly we had to do it car to car! With gear sorted we were just about ready to strip off when two oldies pulled up right in front of us. One of the group politely warned them, which gave them a laugh, then it was pants off and packs on.

As we started walking through the bush the sun came out for the first time all day. Soon we were working up a sweat and thinking that sunburn was going to be the biggest risk we’d face all day. It felt amazing to be strolling along au natural, breathing deep of the fresh air.

Despite the entry track being very obvious we got briefly turned around at a point where a large tree has fallen across it, leading to a very distinct false track forming. Eventually we were back on track and dropping down into the side gully that leads into the canyon.

A couple easy abseils beside pretty waterfalls had us down into the lush creek which had a healthy flow of crystal clear water from the recent rains.

After the initial canyon section it is a long walk along the pleasant creek. While a lot of creek walking turns into a bash, with thick scrub, this one is pretty throughout, with lovely ferns and mosses lining the banks.

Eventually we reached the main canyon section at the end. There are several short abseils, down some very nice waterfalls, as we as a few swims and squeezes.

In no time we were at the end, where the creek drops down through a stunning cavern to the Wollangambe River. We followed the exit track along the high ledge, dropping packs at the point where the track starts heading.

We headed down to the nice swimming hole for some fun water jumps (including some very impressive tandem efforts). The ‘spa’ that usually offers are nice back massage was pumping way too hard, with a strong flow threatening to wash us past the exit on the bank. With a final pause to wash the sand from our shoes we were off.

The group flew up the hill — well all bar me — and in no time we were back on the fire trail and heading for the cars. The whole trip had taken just three and a quarter hours. We got changed, packed up, and went to collect the car that had spent the weekend sitting nearby.

We eventually regrouped at the Royal Family Hotel in Richmond, after one of the group paused for some nettle hunting on the way home. Here we enjoyed a well earned drink and a great feed while seating at the pubs renown viking-style tables.

While we sat there the phone rang. Apparently the police had become a little worried by the canyoner’s car sitting abandoned at Mt Wilson and had rung his wife to confirm all was okay. Good to know they were looking out for us!

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18 thoughts on “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road: nude

  1. I have been abseiling clothed, sure looks like fun nude.
    Would love to bush walk nude. Maybe someday

  2. Any ideas about the Royal? Plenty of swimming holes and beaches. My own group likes Curracorrang and Marley and the area of sand hills and swamp behind it. Only five other hikers all day on the coastal walk Bundeena to Wattamolla. Their response good natured.

    • Sounds like you had a great day. I’m not surprised that the responses were all good natured. Bushwalkers have been skinny-dipping in the Royal for the best part of a century!
      I’ve got a few other walks in the back of my mind that include some coastal stuff, and the ability to swim, but are a little further afield. With the weather warming up I need to get planning!

  3. Walk nude from Bundeena to Wattamolla frequently on winter weekdays. Just liberating. Fantastic. No one objectds. Just cheerful hellos. Shade at Little Marley…so stop there for lunch break, swim there and, if safe, at Big Marley too. Then dress just before Wattamolla because the track goes through carpark. Strip off again once I am past the carpark. A great track south. Strolling nude along cliff face and over heath. Two waterfalls on way. The descent to Garie is great, going down like a native, and brown all over by this time. How we should all do it – forget Werrong. The whole coastal track belongs to us Gymnos Aquatic Bushwalkers.

  4. Here’s a draft credo for our organisation, Gymnos Aquatic Bushwalkers. Nude walking and swimming in The Royal and eventually elsewhere. Let me know what you think. This is, if you like, our mission statement:

    .The Gymnos Aquatic Bushwalkers respond to the strong evidence that full-bodied exposure to sun is healthy – boosting Vitamin D levels, countering toxicity, improving mental health

    .The Bushwalkers know the liberation that flows from dropping the last of your clothes on grass, rocks or sand…and strolling stitchless with your companions to the water’s edge

    .The Bushwalkers feel the joy of our whole bodies immersed without clinging swimsuits…we respond to the sanctity of swimming bare-arsed, as God made us, of diving and plunging without a stitch, of setting out to the other side, to the further shore, in our birthday suits and nothing else

    .The Bushwalkers stand in a tradition that reaches back to the bare-nude Olympics of ancient Greece, to the baths of Rome, to cow-hands and farm laborers seeking relief from summer sun in creeks, lakes and swimming holes, to Marines on the beaches of tropical islands and to old YMCAs with swim suits banned from their pools

    .The Bushwalkers believe fiercely in lustrous all-over tans – without even a hint of timid “tan lines” – perfectly even tans, secret to the workaday world, tans as a symbol of our freedom, and a salute to golden-skinned natives from various continents who walked bare-bottomed across savannahs, dived for pearls buck-naked or fished from rocks without loin cloths

    .The Bushwalkers reject the artificiality of official “nude beaches” with lolling sunbakers who have not earned the right – with a demanding hike or climb – to this liberating clothes-free state ; further, we believe all beaches should be available for free swimming, we adhere to that cheeky old adage, “not swimming nude is rude”

    .The Bushwalkers believe in a membership that is flab-free, committed to athleticism and fitness and slim waists and that beer-bellied obesity is not suitable to be revealed to the sun’s rays and view of one’s companions

    .The Bushwalkers assert the right to not only swim nude but, when the instinct takes us, to walk the trails in a state of nature, as bare as Adam in the Garden of Eden, especially to welcome the gentle sun of winter – subject only to the practical protection from sharp grass or entangling bush afforded by loin cloths or g-strings

    .The Bushwalkers recognize that while the above only appeals to males we always live in the happy suspense that, without warning, at any time, a party of females – nurses on a jaunt, housewives on an excursion, Girl Guides on an outing – could take us by surprise…and this unsettling possibility, too, is part of the age-old tradition we honor.

    First hike likely to be Jibbon Beach along the cliff to Marley and its sandhills, great for jogging, then to Wattamolla.

    • Thanks for that Harry. Looks interesting. Good luck with it. Just a couple thoughts from me:
      1) “The Bushwalkers believe in a membership that is flab-free, committed to athleticism and fitness and slim waists”. That rules me out! 😉
      2) “The Bushwalkers recognize that while the above only appeals to males…”
      I’m not sure about this line… I know quite a few women who enjoy the odd nude walk / canyon / abseil / skinny dip / camp fire. Not sure why you’d cut off 50% of your potential membership straight up!

      • Very diplomatic response Tim. Personally i wouldve found it difficult to bite my tongue to such an extent.

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