Colo River Passes and Routes: A bushwalkers guide

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Brian Corlis
$35 inc postage – to order email

*** UPDATE *** Brian no longer has any copies for sale and is not planning to reprint the book.

For those that have stepped foot in the majestic Colo River gorge — with its rugged, impenetrable walls — it is hard not to have your imagination captured by some of the most truly rugged wilderness in the Sydney region.

Based on extensive personal walking — along with the details of Bob Buck and Geoff Daley’s iconic 70’s sketch map of the region produced for the NPA — Corlis provides brief but precise details of more than three dozen passes allowing access to the most rugged parts of the river.

The booklet is not designed for the casual walker — with most of the details kept scant — but for an experienced bushwalker interested in delving into this region it will provide invaluable assistance with route finding and trip planning. There is also information on the level of difficulty and exposure, with enough insight to ensure you aren’t left with a freaked out beginner frozen on an exposed cliff-edge.

The self-published booklet, which runs to just 32 pages, also contains excerpts from the relevant topographic maps with navigatable routes marked on them to reduce possible confusion when transferring the limited written descriptions to what is seen on the ground.

Corlis also includes a range of suggested walks — mostly of just a day or two — but leaves plenty of scope for walkers to imagine longer and more adventurous explorations of the area.

While the price is a little on the steep side, given its limited size, it is the most definitive and accessible guide to bushwalking in the more remote and difficult areas of this part of the Wollemi.

— Tim Vollmer


3 thoughts on “Colo River Passes and Routes: A bushwalkers guide

  1. Thanks T2. I now have a copy and agree, it’s the most definitive guide to this section of the Colo Wilderness and for me certainly does its job in inspiring further exploration!

    But to me it’s lacking in some ways. I’d be more critical. For a start, the book needs a good editor – the grammatical errors and poor formatting are sticking points for me.

    I’d also prefer to see his routes in digital form over base map data. It’s not cheap however (and cost would of course have been a factor for Corlis, self-publishing this guide). His hand-drawn stuff looks a bit tacky – eg. the yellow highlighting for sandbanks, Liquid Paper on Map #4 etc. It’s also a shame the Colo Meroo area isn’t covered – although admittedly the 1:25000 topo is adequate for the tracks out from Mountain Lagoon. I was also hoping that Corlis would refer to Armstrongs Track, which I’ve read about elsewhere, apparently a common pass from the north to Colo Meroo.

    Disappointing not to find more history on these passes. In the Colo’s case, there’s plenty of it, with fishing, railway, dam planning and early exploration. I know of one book specifically on bass fishing the pools of the Colo Gorge.

    Lastly, for a more regional guide, Anthony Dunk’s “Exploring the Colo Wilderness on Foot” is a reasonable companion to this book. It’s wider ranging in its scope (extending up the Wolgan and Newnes Plateau, plus some of Northern Wollemi) and possibly more thorough as a bushwalkers’ guide, with sections on equipment, navigation, liloing, and low-impact walking/camping.


    • Hi Tim – do you know the name of that book on bass fishing the Colo gorge? I would love to get my hands on it? Thanks

    • Hi Tim,

      Could you give the name of that bass fishing book you refer to? I would love to get my hands on it.


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