Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Claustral Canyon

Sound advise!

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.


  1. Bells Line of Road? I've been there! Intersting post mate, some good birds seen.

  2. Very nice! Sorry I've been lax on blogging lately, but I think I caught up below.

    Sorry too to hear of your sore arthritis! But wonderful you can trek just fine it sounds, with David.

    Good photos as always.

  3. Maalie- ye you have.

    Ted- Nice to see you again!

  4. Well I have hear of 'Bells Line of Road'. Does that count? The filtered light in the 1st pic is lovely. Feels like you could just walk straight into the pic! Glad you liked the pretty post too!! hahaha
    Have Fun. Julie

  5. It's the list of birds at the end that gets me. When or if you get around to reading my post, you'll see why I'm thinking of them a lot right now....

  6. G'day Julie- thanks. YOu have not been on Bells lne of road? have you eaten Bilpin apples? that were they are grown!

    Braja! I will get over an have a look

  7. All this nattering about Bell's line of Road is making me feel nostalgic, I must get back. Is it called Bells line of road because there are Bell Miners there?

    Hey, could you settle a dispute? Are there, or are there not, cottages in Australia?

  8. You sure are agile for an old geezer with arthritis! Hope it's eased up some for you. I'm seizing up here and there too, such a pain, isn't it?

    Some of the photography here is nothing short of stunning, you sure do live in a wonderful corner of the world, my friend.

  9. Maalie- come on over! Yes there ARE cottages IN Australia.

    Shrinky- thanks. yes its a real pain for sure. did a 20km walk yesterday and at 3am had to take pain killers because I could not sleep..

  10. You do have some wonderful adventures. Maybe one day I will make it to Australia, mate!

  11. Any trips planned for this week mate? Where I am now it is as hot as Kinchega, but bucketing down in England, spoiling our excellent start to the cricket!

  12. Hi mate- yes.. did a walk last week into the Cedar Valley where the english backpacker got lost.. if you open the photo of the valley you can see just why he did get lost, I have not posted it yet.

    We are just about to head out to do some birding in the Burralow Swamp. I had treatment this week so I am a bit "light on" to do any heavy walks.

    As for the cricket- full credit to Onions for some superb bowling and attack.

    Full criticism to our bowlers for poor line and length....