Bob and Doug were keen for a canyoning trip and had suggested the North Branch of Bowens Creek. I joined them. It had been a while since I have been down this branch from the top.
This trip starts at the bend at the base of Mt Wilson (near the large wooden Mt Wilson sign). Bob dropped us off there and then drove to near Wynnes Rock Lookout, where would finish, and then rode back to join us by bike. He didn’t take long. We were off by 9:15 am.
It was easy pleasant walking down to the creek and then along the open creekbed. We arrived at the first section of canyon around 10 am. The North Branch of Bowens Creek has abut 5 constrictions. Many parties only visit the lower section of the canyon – the fifth constriction. This is the longest and deepest part of the canyon, but there are a lot of delights upstream and it is a shame to miss them.
The first constriction is not that deep, but quite narrow. It has a few short drops and we used the rope about 3 times. Once for a short abseil. It ends with a short swim. It took us about 30 minutes to go through this section.
Then there is a pleasant walk down an open creek. Very soon a tributary joins from the south. This makes an interesting way out for parties just visiting the upper constriction.
After 20 minutes, we reached the very pretty second constriction. A nice section of canyon with quite a few wades. At this point of the day, the canyon light was nice and soft – with an etherial mist. Perhaps a type of inversion?
This constriction was followed by some slower walking through boulders. This brought us to a drop, that we abseiled down (about 8 m). We had now entered the third constriction which is a series of swims through good quality canyon. The sun had now burnt off any mist in the canyon and the lighting was a lot harsher for photography. We finished this section off around 11:30 am.
Thats the last decent section of canyon for a fair while. The creek from here on is quite reasonable for a long section – a nice open rainforest gorge. All the way down we could not help noticing lots of large red yabbies. Doug wondered how the ecosystem could support so many.
We passed through a very short (50 m ) fourth constriction and kept on going down the creek. It then became a bit bouldery with quite a few water gums to make our way past. Slower going. We then passed where the track enters on the left. It is used by people just visiting the lower constriction. It was around 1 pm when we reached this constriction.
We completed the two abseils (14 m and 12 m) and went through this constriction. Again – very harsh lighting for photos.
We had our lunch break around 2 pm at the junction with the South Branch. Then we climbed out up the track to the fire road and back to Mt Wilson.
More photos from the day are online here on my website.