Walking on the Long Weekend – The Capertee – Wolgan Divide 9 – 11 June 2018

The June Long Weekend is always a great time for bushwalking. Nice cool weather and often warm sun and nice high camps. This year a group of us wanted to head off, but where? We discussed a few possibilities and also considered the weather forecast and the weather that occurred just before the weekend. Some rain would mean that it would fit rock pools on the tops – so a walk along the Capertee – Wolgan Divide was decided on.

We set off from the fire road that goes to Cape Horn and walked in light rain for McLeans Gap. It was misty with some drizzle – but not really too bad. On the way we diverted to small cave for lunch. 

On the way, we visited a few nearby lookouts. The views in this country and always impressive.

We crossed McLeans Gap, and then climbed up on the east side for another set of quite different views. Now it was the mesa known as Pantoneys Crown that dominated the landscape. But the ridge ahead of us was also very impressive. It is rent by several chasms and the tops are decorated by weird shaped rocks – twisted by the forces of nature into amazing shapes. There are many pagodas – some smooth domes and others covered in thin ironstone plates. Very delicate!

At one section, one pagoda seems to have been split asunder  – a large rock slab is littered with what appears to be pieces of what was once a pagoda. We camped in a nearby forest and would visit this “exploded pagoda” for dusk and dawn. This is a very special place. While we were photographing, another small party of bushwalkers past us on their way to Point Cameron.

We all got up in time for the sunrise the next morning. Only a little valley mist, it was perhaps too breezy for a lot to accumulate.

After breakfast, we continued on our way along the divide. Our next planned camp was not too far away – so we had plenty of time to explore. And that was a good thing – there is a lot to see.

Our first obstacle is Blue Rock Gap. The country here is very rugged and complex, but an easy passage across the gap exists. Before the gap – Wendy and Steph managed to reach a cave high in the cliffs. Spectacular!

After crossing the gap, we stopped for lunch.  It was not far to our next obstacle – Hughes Defile. Again easily crossed.

On the far side, we left our packs on a high point and went out to explore an interesting peninsula of rock that protruded a long way into the Wolgan Valley.

Not far along, we planned to camp. I remembered a large rocky area above Woolpack Rock that should provide good views for sunset and sunrise photography and also rock pools for water. I was hoping for a campsite nearby.

We found both – plenty of water in rock pools and a nice large open area in the forest where we set up camp. Then it was out to the rocky area for some photography.

The late afternoon was nice, but the actual sunset was a non-event – as clouds had appeared.

Dawn was better. No substantial valley mist, but a nice clear day. Beautiful!

After breakfast, we met another party of walkers that included an old friend Rob Jung. They were also doing a trip along the divide and had started at Newnes.

We packed up and retraced our path of the previous two days, but this time without amy side trips. We made fast progress and arrived just above McLeans Gap for an early lunch in a nice sunny spot on the cliffs.

It was not far from their to the cars.

More photos of this very special place are online here on my website.

 

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