Tiger Snakes but no Honey Badgers


The Mad One, The Saint, The Cool/Cute One, The Blond One, The Kiwi, The Climber Dude, The Mistery and Meeeeeeeee….. The Grumpy One

Our plan was to do 3 dry canyons up on the Plateau but with me and the Mad One both being a little indecisive, or as we like to say “spontaneous”, things are apt to change at the last minute and as the day was so good we decided to swap out the 3rd one with something more moist.

It was glorious April day and we find ourselves veering off track and working our way down to Crooked Crevice. Another one the Jamieson guide confused the name of and thus most people know it as Penrose Gully (Another slot nearby but not nearly as interesting).

Weirdly I’d never visited Crooked Crevice before. No idea why not but I’m excited to be doing something new to me and we follow Madie into the abyss. Which is generally where you end up if you follow Madie.


Stu bridging the fabulously narrow canyon

Madie squeezing pass the crew ©Stu

Kylie where the abseil opens out a little

Russ stemming high above the narrow depths of the canyon ©Madie

Aleasha optiing to stay high rather than attempt the squeeze down low

And then, sporting some freshly exfoliated skin we head back up the hill..

Hey did anyone mark where we dropped the bags on their GPS?


Cool, do you want to check if we getting close?

Um I left my GPS with the bags…

We find the bags and head off towards the second canyon of the day

Tiger Snake is a great little Canyon in two parts separated by a short creek walk

Russ about to head down and join the gang

There are a couple of ways into the bottom section, despite this one bypassing nearly half the canyon it’s my fav and you can always scramble back up stream to check out the rest
It’s a bit of a bland canyon really…..

And then it was back up the hill where the decision was made to skip the 3rd drish canyon and go drop into something wet.

Did you pack a wetsuit. We wont need wetsuits…. Seriously, Warm Autumn at the end of a hot summer. Canyon water is as warm as it ever gets. ©Madie
Matt on rope Madie on belay
How many people do you think we could fit up here?
4 was a squeeze but…
6. The answer was 6

And thus ended our great day on the plateau.

Hey do you want to do another little short one that may or may not be a canyon?

We sure do.

And thus we set off down the maze of fire trails where I take a wrong turn and it gets dark and Madie says I’m a shit navigator… To be fair I usually only get lost while still in the car….

And thus ended our great day on the Plateau…

Time: Time is meaningless when you are having this much fun.

We are not nouns, we are verbs. I am not a thing, I am a person who does things… And I never know what I am going to do next. Stephen Fry


Shhhh, Don’t mention the names


With a bunch of bike and family commitments throughout March it’s had been nearly 4 weeks since I managed to get a canyon in. Or is that get in a canyon?

Anyhoo, I was tonguing to get out and I had missed some good trips with some good people so when the mad one said she wanted to do a canyon out in the Northern Wollemi on a weekend I finally had free I begged a leave pass and we started to plan.

Invitations were sent and a few people were keen but in the end most were unable to make it.

Briefly we discussed doing it as a day trip but decided that if we camped at the increasingly popular Dunns Swamp we’d have time to squeeze in another little canyon while we were out there.

Let’s go down one and up the other.

Doesn’t the guide say the other has some abseils?

Pffft, It says 1 abseil or a down climb, how hard could it be.

I first visited Dunns Swamp back around 1992 for wild party, now it’s all families and quiet time, lights out at 10pm and stuff. Camp sites were filling up fast and continued to do so well into the night,

I can see why Shrek liked his swamp. What’s that? You want a trip report based on Shrek quotes? Challenge accepted

We set up camp. This is gonna be fun. We can stay up late, swappin’ manly stories and in the morning, I’m making WAFFLES!

In the morning no waffles were made but we make our way out to the forestry gate. For which I have the combination as it’s part of the bicentennial trail, ‘cept they have changed the locks. This would mean a 10km fire trail slog.

Who are you trying to keep out? Just tell me that, Shrek. Who? ©Madie

Luckily we bought bikes to eat up the first bit of fire trail. Now we are getting somewhere!

Before people get their knickers in a knot about mountain biking in a Wilderness area the trail is part of the Bicentennial National trail on which cycling is approved
https://www.bicentennialnationaltrail.com.au/discover-the-bnt/ section 10

Sometime later we ditch the bikes and do the last bit on foot. I’d driven across this fire trail in dads jeep in about 86, it’s a stunning bit of the world.

We had next to zero info on the first canyon but it looked like we needed to get through some complicated clifflines to reach it. In the end with some less than attentive navigation it was fairly simplez, we just walked around until we found it

I just know, before this is over, I’m gonna need a whole lot of serious therapy. Look at my eye twitchin
You can’t tell me you’re afraid of heights!

I wasn’t expecting much of a canyon but it had some really nice bits.
Go over there and see if you can find some stairs.

I wish I had a step right here, I could step here and here and here and step all over it. ©Madie

Layers. Onions have layers! ©Madie

What’s that? It’s hideous?
Well, that’s not very nice! It’s just a d̶o̶n̶k̶e̶y̶ …. I mean broad tailed gecko. I called him Clingey McClingcling

Oh man. I can’t feel my toes.

Parfait’s gotta be the tastiest thing on the whole damn planet
Squeezey squeezes was a theme for the day. Just through here the first canyon opened up ©Madie

Then it was down to the main creek for lunch in the dappled sunlight. Now to reverse the next one. Some of you may die, but its a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

We follow the creek up. It may have been easier to head up the nose for a bit. @Madie

Don’t die… And if you see any long tunnels, stay away from the light.

Man, you gotta warn somebody before you crack one like that. ©Madie
Got my stoke on. That’ll do, Donkey. That’ll do ©Madie
This one reminded me of Starlight a bit

Look at that. Who’d wanna live in a place like that?

this isn’t right. You’re meant to charge in, sword drawn, banner flying

Wait a minute, I know what’s going on. You’re afraid of the dark.

And then we are at the top looking back down and it’s time to head home

Please. I don’t wanna go back there. You don’t know what it’s like to be considered a freak… Well, maybe you do, but that’s why we gotta stick together. You gotta let me stay!
Female and male golden Orb weavers with plenty of tucker to keep them going, I never realised they spun yellow silk until Madie pointed it out

Party Size: 2

Time: 7hr (and 2 minutes) car to car being fairly quick on the fire trail with few stops but lots of faffing in the canyons themselves

I’m not allowed the mention the canyons by name for fear of the canyon illuminati kid-napping me and beating me senseless. 1 source of info said we wouldn’t need wetsuits but I’m glad we took them as the second canyon was fairly cold and sustained. Good thing we didn’t wait until mid(dle of) winter to do it.

All in all it was another good day in the bush in a beautiful part of the world. After some late summer rain it sure was green up there on the hills

Collect experiences not things