Trip Report – Red Rocks – June Long Weekend

Party – “Digital” Dave Forbes, Kim Corrans, Dave Noble

Photos are on the web at –

The weather during the week prior to the trip had been somewhat inclement – and after a stormy Friday in town – we decided to leave on Saturday morning instead of driving to Newnes on the Friday evening. It rained overnight and was still raining heavily on Saturday morning – so more phoning around and we left later (9:30am) rather than earlier. A phone call to Rik at Blackheath in the Blue Mts was not encouraging (“its bucketing down outside, grrrrr……) – he was not keen to join us on the walk. We had an early lunch in the Mt Vic servo as we watched the rain teem down outside. This was not encouraging either. Nevertheless, we decided to press on regardless.

The drive down the Wolgan Valley was “interesting”. At Wolgan gap was a barrier – and a lot of stopped vehicles. Only 4WD’s were able to proceed. We continued down the valley thanks to Digi Dave’s Subaru. The road was very treacherous and was hard even in a 4WD to stay on it. The surface was very greasy. One vehicle had already slipped into a bank and had been pulled out by a passing Land Crusher. Several times Digi Dave’s car slid and drifted off course – and it was only due to his great driving skills that we didn’t suffer a mishap. Further down the valley, there was a creek that needed to be forded. It is normally completely dry. This time – it was about 10m wide – but thankfully less than knee deep.

Arriving at Newnes – we could not help noticing that the Wolgan River was higher than normal. Several metres higher than normal in fact – and would have been a good canoeing venue.

Our path lay up Little Capertee Ck – and other than high creek levels was not too difficult. The rain had almost stopped and we set off at rapid speed up the valley in search of some nice dry camp caves in a cleft near Mt Dawson. In normal times, the creekbed is dry and the walking easy. This time, the walking was a bit slower along the banks. With our late start, we walked as fast as we could and in the late afternoon arrived at the canyon section. I told the others – “it should only be about 15 mins to the camp cave now” – but darkness was falling fast and the creek levels confused my memory of the route a bit so the eventual route was not the optimum one and we arrived at the campsite a little after dark (or in other words – we got lost for a while, stumbling around and under clifflines in the dark and cold and 15 minutes turned into more than an hour! – but we did discover a few new canyons).

Once in the nice dry cave – we soon got a roaring fire going. Due to the rain, we had not had to carry water on the trip, so instead we were able to all carry adequate quantities of more “restorative” liquids. Sitting by the fire with a nice jaffle in one hand and a cup of wine in the other – things didn’t seem too bad at all.

Next morning we awoke (as forecast) to a sunny morning, and after a lazy breakfast we set off along the usual traverse to the “room” campsite near Pt Nicholson. On the way, we passed the usual chasms, canyons, pinnacles and pagodas – fantastic scenery and views permeated the day. We arrived at the room by lunchtime and set up our gear outside on the western balcony. The rest of the day/evening passed very pleasantly – jaffles, wine….. that sort of thing…..

Monday was also a fine day – and we continued on our way towards Bottle Saddle. After a short section of heath, we found ourselves amidst more pagodas and chasms. The scrambling was as enjoyable as the views. After lunch – we scrambled to the top of a nice (and hopefully dry) canyon. This would be our route through the cliff. The canyon had some scrambling and more pools than usual and was very deep and spectacular.

On the last few hundred metres back to the car – some light rain started to fall. We didn’t mind at all. The drive back out of the valley was easy compared to the one in.

A very pleasant long weekend walk, good company, and a good escape from Sydney.

Dave Noble