Many Australian canyons are narrow dark slots, Bungonia is not one of those. More a deep creek than a canyon, it is a popular day out with a series of abseils, a jump or two, and some creek scrambling before the inevitable hot dusty walk out.
We met Tony and Anthony, definitely not Tony and Tony, at the Bungonia Visitor Centre where we registered out and then headed down to the campground and the tourist tracks. For some reason, which may have involved Tony being sold the wrong rope, we had many, many ropes. Four people, four ropes, all big, fat, heavy static lines. Had it been Doug and I, we would have taken one, but, I have always maintained that we are old, weak, and not given to carrying more stuff about than we need.
Yellow Track heads west then north to Jerrara Canyon lookout dropping into Bungonia Creek along the way. At this time of year, the creek started out dry, but as we walked down slabs and boulders following the creek, some muddy pools began to appear. Shortly, we were at the first abseil where we met another party of two just finishing up the first long abseil. This long abseil ends in a pool which we swum across buoyed by our packs.
Some more scrambling, and then a jump into a pool, followed by another swim and some more scrambling down rock slabs and shelves. At Bungonia Falls, we caught up to the two guys ahead of us again, not because they were unduly slow but because they had lost a rope in the pool below the jump. Arrantly, rope and pack separated when tossed into the pool following a jumper. Pack floated, rope did not. No amount of diving led to recovery of the rope, so they waited to join up with our group.
We did the next abseil on two ropes but a single rope abseil would work equally as well if you were confident scrambling down easy ledges to a last short drop into the pool below. Another swim, which now the day was heating up felt wonderfully cooling. I did not really want to get out.
More scrambling, this time down a big drop below the Jerrara Creek junction, and then over and around many big boulders in the creek bed. We stopped for lunch on a lovely big shady slab and hung the ropes out to dry.
The river makes a big northward bend and the further down stream you go, the easier the scrambling until, just before Red Track (what imaginative names!) leads out of the canyon, we were strolling along grassy river banks under the towering cliffs of Frome Hill.
Red Track is probably named for the colour of one's face after you have huffed up 300 metres in under a kilometre. Once again up on the plateau, the rest of the trip involves walking up and down gullies as Green Track contours back to the campground. Lucky there are a few nice lookouts along the way.
View a short video here, and, some of these photos are courtesy DB.