CORANG PEAK CIRCUIT – BUDAWANG RANGES, MORTON NATIONAL PARK, NSW
About 25Km and 350m climb, along a foot track (rough in parts)
This was another multi club Wednesday Walk led by good friend, Mike S. It commenced and ended at the Wog Wog entrance (near Nerriga) in Morton N.P.. As it is a long drive from Canberra ( the road winds a great deal) we met up and left from the nearby town of Queanbeyan at 7.30 am. There were 9 of us and we managed to fit into only 2 cars.
At the track head there is a most attractive, and free, camping area with pit toilet. We started walking at 9.20 am. All day, Mike kept up the same fast pace, needed given the distance of the walk and the distance from Canberra, but leaving no time for flower photography.
From the track head we dropped down 30 metres to Wog Wog Creek which was at the lowest leveI I have ever seen. From there it was a long, slow steady climb with a few easy descents, through open forest. Eventually we reached the sandstone heathlands , with scattered eucalypts, but mostly heaths and tea tree and banksia scrub. This is the southern limit of the geological area known as the Sydney Basin. The Budawang Ranges are a series of mesas – flat-topped hills, usually ringed by cliffs, and separated by river valleys. The mesa tops are mainly the heathlands, lying in shallow soils on underlying sandstone. The further we walked across these heath lands the better wildflowers. And the better the views. Eventually we reached Corang Peak. A short sharp climb and we were on the summit, with magnificent right across the Budawangs.
From Corang Peak we dropped down to Corang Arch, lying just off the side of a sandstone plateau, where we had lunch.
After lunch we descended what is known as the Conglomerate Slope to the valley floor and followed the foot pad downstream alongside Canowie Brook to the Corang River (this foot track is not shown on the 1:25000 Corang topo map). It is fairly rough, and in places is hard to follow) . We came to what is called the Rock Rib and then Corang Lagoon. From Corang Lagoon we left the Corang River, following the foot track south and then south west, crossing a number of creek, including Goodsell Creek, each of which necessitated a descent into the semi rainforest of the creek bed and then a climb back up again. Eventually we rejoined the outward path and the long section back to the track head.
During the afternoon we had 2-3 light showers and some thunder. It was a pleasure to use my lightweight, but strong, hiking umbrella from Helinox. I would have broiled in my rain jacket on this very warm and humid day. Even though the path wound through scrub it was possible, with care, to use it. From my reading of the blogs of long distance hikers in the USA , umbrellas are popular but in Australia they seem to be looked down on as being inappropriate for “real” bushwalkers. But as in the USA, I have also found my umbrella a godsend in hot weather, giving me permanent shade during a walk and a much cooler hike with less need for water. I noticed that Phil B also had a similar Helinox umbrella and also like me, was using the extremely light and strong Helinox trekking poles.
We must have got back to the cars somewhere between 5.30 and 6.00 pm. It was just on 7.45 pm when I arrived home, 30 minutes from the meeting place of the morning.
This is a great walk – thanks Mike. It was also a great party to walk with, everyone getting on so well together and all evenly matched in stamina and speed, keeping easily together as a group. Thanks for your company Mike S, Judy G, Shirley G, Phil B, Chris R, Cynthia B, Eric D, Leigh H.