Date: 7/11/2020
Trip leader: Andrew Walker
Party: Ashkan, Andrew (Trip Leader), Nam, Lisa
Photos: by Andrew

Originally I had planned to do Hat Hill Canyon but the forecast looked to be foreboding with storms predicted and the temperature wasn’t meant to get above 20 degrees so I changed it to Deep Pass Canyon on the Newnes Plateau.

Richmond being the closest train station, we met there at the usual spot to get Maccas coffee. Nam walked around the corner to where he knew where the decent coffee was. Then we drove up the bells line of road to the Zig Zag Clarence.

It’s good to see how quickly the regrowth has been from the fires that devastated the region earlier this year. There were many other canyoners out that day as well at the usual car parks for Claustral, Ranon and Upper Bowens South.

When we got to Zig Zag Clarence to use the toilets, well there weren’t any. I’m thinking that removing them is part of the process to restore the place to its former self. I think the tourist railway is set to reopen in 2021 sometime.

The Glow Worm Tunnel Road is a really bad state at the moment and in need of desperate repair from the damage caused earlier this year.The actual road going to Deep Pass is in much better condition. There were several other cars at the Deep Pass car park and it turned out to be a mostly sunny day.

The canyon consists of several fixed rope setups that need to be negotiated throughout the canyon. The first one was rerigged differently than I last remember but you can still stay dry. I was the first one down so I opted for a sort of butt slide. Making it look alot more difficult than it actually was. Nam and Lisa made short work of , This was Ashkans first time canyoning so it was a good introduction to build his confidence up with small drops and he did well doing so.

The water flow was pretty decent with some lovely waterfalls coming in from the sides and a well flowing one above the pool towards the end. Once we descended the last rope section we ran into the other party that was proceeding up the canyon.

When we got to the campground we noticed a makeshift survival shelter, not sure who made it but I know there are some companies who run Overnight Survival Courses at Deep Pass. It was time to drop the packs and I took everyone to the small Glow Worm Cave which is a few hundred metres upstream into Nayook Creek. The cave is about 30m in length and involves crawling for all of it with some tight squeezes thrown in to get to the main chamber. There were only a handful of glow worms so we didn’t stay too long.

On the way back to the campground we explored some dry slots in Nayook Creek. One of the slots has a Gap where you can sort of overlook part of the campground and we descended down the other one.

Once back at camp we gathered our packs and headed back to the car and off home.