16 October 2012 Mt Budawang and Currowan Falls

Tree fern beside Currowan Creek

Map: Braidwood 1:25000

Getting There

This walk was organised and led by Linda G as an irregular CBC Tuesday walk:

Tuesday 16 October - Mt Budawang and Currowan Falls - L/R. Mountain views, rainforest creek and a waterfall! Approx 1hr 45 minute drive from Canberra. From the junction of the Budawang Road and Mount Budawang Road, walk about 2 hours up firetrail through pleasant forest to Mt Budawang which has views to the coast from one side. Retrace our steps for 1 km to approx E 716 N 750, down a fairly clear ridge to cross the source of Currowan Creek, then over a scrubby ridge into Currowan Creek at around E 693 N 760. Descend the creek (slow) through patches of magnificent tree ferns to the top of Currowan Falls, then NE to Budawang Road and back to the cars. Main ascents and descents are 400 metres up to Mt Budawang, 600 metres down to the falls. Patches of heavy scrub. 7-8 hours actual walking. Map: Braidwood 1:25,000.

5 of us met in Queanbeyan and drove in 1 car via Braidwood, then along the Little River Rd to Mongarlowe. Then Budawang Rd and Mt Budawang Rd to just before the Budawang NP gate.

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Walk - Track Notes

All new country for me, a wonderful day. Even a new fire trail is exciting, particularly the vegetation different to my usual haunts. A respectable 6.2km, climbing 460m, in 1hr 20mins. Very near the top, the forest changes to open heath and the fire tower and communications facility comes into view. A bit of an overcast day, but still huge views NE along the ridge to Currockbilly Mountain, further E to The Castle and Pigeon House, plus the coast and the ocean.

A spot in the lee of the fencing around the infrastructure gave us slight shelter from the strong wind, as we had a brief morning tea #1. Then back down along the Mt Budawang Rd (aka fire trail) for 1.2km.

I'm not usually lavish with my praise, but Linda picked it like a nose setting us going on our next W-ward leg. 100m descent over 200m to place us on the top of a narrow spur was great going. I learned a bit - but will I be able to apply it? A slip-sliding descent over loose scree-like rocks hidden by bush litter. But quite dry, light scrub and an easy time.

We reached the N-ward flowing part of Currowan Creek just after 11am to find it dry (possibly flowing underground). A feeder creek crossed just before reaching the main creek was flowing. A relaxed morning tea #2 whilst some party members went downstream to find water.

The next part of this W leg took us to the 700m contour above the now S flowing Currowan Creek. (Further S at this altitude are substantial cliffs.) 0.75km in 25mins, through beautiful light timber, grass trees and many wildflowers, including orchids. Was able to call home.

Then around 500m along and 100m down, through tighter vegetation which included lawyer vine, to arrive at Currowan Creek.

We turned downstream and followed the brook to a magnificent fern glade, ideal for lunch. Our fearsome leader was well-pleased with the performance of her boys, stroking us with "we're well ahead of time" and "you're moving so quickly". I smiled, as once again it was proved that we are the dominant gender (in spite of Linda's bloodied knees from making the going all the time). A lovely spot, with tree ferns, triple trees growing on each other via dropped seeds (David had the info), and various mosses and little stag-horns and things. An even more idyllic area just across the creek that we all had a wander around.

The creek got a bit more serious just after lunch, presenting us with a series of cascades. Some chose to wade the waters, the more dainty of us kept our footwear dry(ish).

We arrived at the top of Currowan Falls just after 1.30pm, crossing from the right to left side for the best possible view. The falls are not marked on the map and you can't see the extent of the water dropping over the lip. David has previously abseiled into the abyss, around 60-70m down. A spectacular drop and highly scenic area.

After visually drinking our fill, we crossed back to the W side of the creek via the top of the falls. Our exit was up a very steep and stony, but lightly scrubby spur, which eventually got us onto an old snigging track and out of the timber into the open (and out of the Budawang National Park). A careful kilometre through private property past a weekender, then back into the National Park and out onto the Budawang Rd.

Wandered N along it, then E along the Mt Budawang Rd back to the car.

Thanks Linda, that was a terrific walk. And thanks to Peter C, David P and Ian W.

Distance: 17.8km Climb: 650m. Time: 8.20am - 3.20pm (7hrs), with 1hr of stops.
Grading: L/R

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This page last updated 1Sep22