- FreezeFest was much bigger this year, with quite a few trips taking place over the weekend, so each canyon has been written up by a different participant. This trip report was produced by Grant Innis:
Party: Grant, Joshua, Drew, Peggy, Albert, Shaun, Helen, Mike, Andres, Fritz, Sky, Mon, Ulla, Nicola, Ian, Wannes and T2
The weather on Sunday was perfect, with blue skies and sunshine.
After a quick breakfast we headed off mid-morning for Acoustic (Sunnyside) Canyon, in the Gardens of Stone National Park.
We left our vehicles at the end of a dirt track and headed off on foot for some light bush bashing down a hill until we reached some rocky outcrops leading to a long narrow slot providing access to the canyon.
At the base of the slot we dumped our gear, drank from a crystal clear pool of water and headed out along a ledge for some easy walking that revealed glorious views of the Wolgan Valley.
At the end of the ledge the group dispersed, some of us stopping to enjoy the views while others explored this end of the canyon, scrambling down to the floor and making our way over boulders and logs, back toward our gear.
The boulders eventually disappeared, revealing a level floor of fine pebbles, some water and beautiful green ferns as we headed back toward the slot.
Here we collected our gear and headed further into the canyon, reconvening at the acoustic chamber where we ate food, drank beer and were entertained by a magnificent rendition of the Bohemian Rhapsody, performed by Joshua, Drew, David and Andres, while others provided backup vocals.
Further up the canyon the boulders reappeared, providing some fun scrambles and constrictions.
We exited the canyon on the opposite side, some by climbing a tree, others scrambling up some rocks and using exposed tree roots to climb out.
Somehow Andres ended up on the opposite side of the canyon to everyone else. After some searching he found a suitable pass to re-enter the canyon and cross over to the other side, eventually making his way to the group who were enjoying exploration of the rock formations typical of the Gardens of Stone National Park.
Again we headed toward the Wolgan Valley, climbing a large pagoda buttressed by a knife-edge of rock, which revealed magnificent 360 degree views of cliff faces and the valley below.
We loitered here for some time, relaxing in the sun and trying to avoid the wind which had been building during the afternoon.
Eventually we headed back to the cars, crossing through the canyon via an easy pass that required very little scrambling and exiting via the original slot.
It was a magnificent end to a weekend filled with fun, a lot of laughter and the enjoyment of canyoning in the middle of winter.
Check out the rest of the canyons visited during FreezeFest 2013 on the Newnes Plateau:
- A proper FreezeFest — Twister and Rocky Creek
- Tiger Snake Canyon (a.k.a wussy FreezeFest)
- The Dry Canyon and Glowworm Tunnel
- A quick trip through River Caves
- Twister Canyon: nude, at night, in snow!
- Wolgan View Canyon at night