TRIP: Yerranderie Plateaus, 12-14 Jun 2010
PARTY: Cat Barnes, Jo Boyd, Ashley Burke, Pete Harvey, Lorrienne Lyte, Mariacristina Merlo, Tony Ruzek, Jiri Svec
Yerranderie is about as close as possible in the Blue Mountains to the middle of nowhere that you can drive a car to. It’s about 5 hours drive from Sydney and more than 100km and over 2 hours drive from the nearest town, Oberon.
We drove most of the way out there on the Friday night, spending a chilly night at Batsh Camp before driving the remaining 40 minutes into Yerranderie on a glorious winter’s Saturday morning.
So it was disheartening when just 2km out of Yerranderie we were forced to pull off the road with flat tyres. Out of our two cars we had 3 flat tyres simultaneously, all on the same stretch of road. We were later to learn that this has become a common problem in the area, and it is suspected that someone is laying spikes in the road. Users of the Yerranderie-Oberon stock route beware!
Anyway, this was a problem because my car had 2 flat tyres and only one spare tyre. A NPWS ranger passed by and drove me into Yerranderie from where I called the NRMA – a long 2 and a half hour journey for the NRMA man to bring a second spare tyre! But then we were saved by a friendly local man named Arthur who passed by in a huge 4WD with everything that an NRMA van would have had anyway. As well as air pumps and tools he had a car tyre repair kit. For the next hour or so there was great industry around the two cars as we removed and repaired all three tyres. Eventually both cars were back in service with fully patched and inflated tyres – as good as new. A big THANK YOU to Arthur of Yerranderie without whom we’d all still probably be stuck out in Yerranderie waiting for the NRMA man to turn up!
Anyway, all this cost us a mere 2 hours of walking time, and after driving into Yerranderie we set off on our planned walk. We had to crack a decent pace to make up for lost time, but nevertheless by sunset we had reached our destination of Yubura Gap, reached just as the sun was setting over Yerranderie Peak. This was a truly superb spot to camp. To get to here we had to abseil into Yubura Gap and then climb up the other side to where we found a magnificent open plateau complete with panoramic views, extensive open rock slabs for camping, and nearby rock pools full of recent rain water. Nothing could be better than camping in a place like this, in the perfect weather, sunset and starry night.
Next day was another one of perfect weather and we abseiled once more, to get off Mt Yubura on the other side. We then crossed a saddle and climbed over Mt Marrup and abseiled one last time to get off the other end of Mt Marrup. A splendid lunch was had at the very tip of Mootik Plateau, another area of open rock slabs and panoramic views.
We had collected enough water from the rock pools on Mt Yubura for the traverse of Mootik plateau and at about 4pm we found a perfect camp spot in amongst trees and within a stones throw of the gap between Mootik Plateau and Yerranderie Peak. A nearby rock platform offered stunning views of our entire route, and beyond northwards to the Axeheads and Blue Breaks.
After another great evening by the camp fire we woke to another perfect sunny holiday Monday. Today was a short walking day because we were concerned about our car tyres holding up for the 3 days they were parked at Yerranderie. Our route took us onto Yerranderie Peak from which more panoramic views were beheld, although these were marred by the airstrip and mining ruins of the Yerranderie township.
We followed the track down to our waiting cars where we were pleased to find our car tyres plump and turgid with no evidence of deflation over the previous couple of days. It was still quite early so we drove some of the way towards Oberon and stopped for a jaffle inspired lunch off the road somewhere near the Limeburners Track. From there it was an easy journey back to Sydney.
Despite the car tyre trouble – which proved in the end to be an entertaining and educational experience – this was certainly a first rate long weekend trip, thoroughly enjoyed by all participants.
My photos are here:
Pete Harvey’s photos are here:
Email: aburke at ozemail.com.au
Web page: http://members.ozemail.com.au/~aburke