Mt Tomah is situated along the Bells Line of Road, and is famous for its beautiful botanical gardens. Yet some of the most difficult terrain lies just to its south and is renowned for its spectacular canyons. This area is really for the experienced walkers only and venturing into the canyons requires abseiling equipment combined with the right skills and weather conditions.
Lightly timbered walking track.
I would recommend going with guides who have done the canyons before and have an understanding of them.
David and I chose to explore the terrain, and learn the tracks and trails surrounding these beautiful yet potentially dangerous places.
The walk commences at the end of Charley's Road. Here there is a stile over the fence and a well defined walking track which becomes a fire trail. Spectacular views back towards Sydney or west towards Mt Banks can be enjoyed. This is private property and it is important to remain on the track.
Another superb view of Mt Banks.
After 800 metres the track forks- take the track to the right which descends into a thicker section of forest. A small National Park sign on the left is the only indication that you should leave the fire trail.
Heavily timbered walking trail
Follow the walking track which is less defined, being careful to remain on the single track. Unlike other walking tracks, (which English tourists get lost on), this track is not as well defined so careful observation of key points is required.
After about 800 metres you come to Camels saddle and, after crossing a rocky "causeway" you then come to a fork. The main track on the right will take you to the start of Claustral creek which soon becomes the start of the canyon
The Camels Hump
For walkers it is better to take the left fork onto Camels Hump. If you continue on the eastern side of the hump you will soon enter Rainbow Ravine through a ferny chasm. Carmarthan Brook has a 6 metre drop and caution is advised. It was at this point we chose to return. If you chose to climb down there are fascinating glow worm caves, fall s and numerous other interesting features. How far into the canyons you go is up to you.
To return simply retrace your steps. We enjoyed our walk , exploring new country, but we also know our limitations. With my arthritis sore I did not want to risk failing to climb back to the top. David felt this was a "good walk" but not the best as a result. To enjoy this area fully, maps, compass, wet weather gear and abseiling equipment should be taken. I would strongly advise going with an experienced group and guide.
Total distance 5km.
Birds seen:- Rosellas, King Parrots, Wedge Tailed Eagles, Grey Butcher Bird, Yellow Rumped Thornbill, Common Bronzewing, Wattlebird, Superb Fairy Wren, Brown Tree Creeper, Bell Minor, Willy Wag Tail, Pee Wee, Australian Magpie.