Yerranderie and Kanangra Walls - Blue Mountains NP January 20 - 22 2023
 
  We really didn't want Christmas to stop. Christmas Day and New Year with family. Ali a week in Perth at a mandolin festival. Me tinkering with a long list of house maintenance tasks.

We set off on our return to Brisbane late January.

Mt Werong again, its just the right distance for a first day. Then a day trip to Yerranderie. An old silver mining town.

The biggest mine was Silver Peak (or The Bore Block). The town population 2,000. But closed in 1928 - econmics and industrial unrest.

As we approached it we could see the heap of discarded rock and begin to appreciate the size.

     
  Big enough for a concentrator. Settling pond beyond.

And only 80km from Sydney in a straight line.

     
  The main shaft is still open. We braved the walkway across it to look down.

It seems the safety brake on the winch used to raise and lower people and ore was developed at this mine.

A 4m thick seam, in 40m yielded 20 tons of silver, 1700 tons of lead, and 563 oz of gold. A rich mine.

     
  Deep in the mountains.
     
  We had lunch. The 50km from Mt Werong took more than 2 1/2 hours. We will drive back same day.

The building beyond the truck is the museum, and ablutions for campsite.

     
  From above the surface extent of the mine. There were several other mines in the area.

Underground it reached 450m.

     
  An infra red aerial view. The peak is volcanic An intrusion. The magma the source of the minerals.
     
  A passing goanna, as we talked to the campsite caretaker.

A bit of advice about "Dingo Dell Firetrail" - probably not a good idea. We'll take the long way round to Kanangra Walls tomorrow.

     
  Why did it take 2 1/2 hours for 50km you ask?

Over the years we have become used to such roads. This wasn't particularly challenging, and we are well supplied.

Our slowness was due to the surface, stony with potholes and lots of small washouts, plus bends. The steep grades simply steep. A little bit of water, the road damp, but not slippery today. The drop offs protected by forest.

Acutely aware of what may be soft edges. Particularly if oncoming traffic misjudges the conditions.

But all good, a handful of 4wd and a couple of groups of motorcyclists.

     
  The road was mostly on ridges and hill tops. Through the trees forever views.
     
  After another night at Mt Werong we took the long way round, through Black Springs then Mozart Road headed east towards the Oberon - Jenolan Caves Road.

Then south to Boyd River Campsite and Kanangra Walls.

     
  Trees and undergrowth changing frequently.
     
  We had our usual trouble distinguishing betweeen granite outcrops and sandstone. There is a vast difference geologically, but from the road sometimes difficult (for us).

The Blue Mountains are sedimentary. Pushed up by volcanic activity.

The potholes were frequent, and to be avoided as some were deep.

     
  The beginning of the walking track to Kanangra Walls, and Kalang Falls.

The plateau vegetation short and dense. The trees dead from fire a few years ago.

     
  Fascinating.
     
  And more fascinating.

It took us some time to realise the plant was alive, the dark colour not that of burned vegetation.

     
  From the lookout. Kanangra Walls on the right.

Kanangra Creek 500m below us. Flowing through Kanangra Gorge.

     
  We initially thought we would look at the view from the lookout and visit the falls. Then venture further tomorrow.

This is the way down to the falls, 438 steps. An interesting ridge. Evidence of the wave motion that occurred as the sandstone was deposited, and its steep angle evidence of the volcanic upheaval that has occurred.

     
  A glimpse of steep valley through the trees.
     
  The softer layers of sandstones and clays are eroded, leaving overhangs which crack and collapse.

Presumably "0" means the crack hasn't opened further since the indicator was glued to the rock.

     
  Kalang Falls.
     
  With sandstone cliffs above.
     
  Not being wannabe instagram influencers, indeed not even a users, surprised that we even know about it, neither of us felt any desire to stand on the overhang for a "we wuz here" pic.

But it is a rather spectacular valley.

We decided to make hay while the sun shines. Or at least walk while its not raining. The original plan was to arrive at the campsite and spend the afternoon vegging out. Instead we are being active. Probably head north tomorrow.

We are on the Plateau Walk. Which at least initially is a track above the walls

     
  The plateau is a bit narrow, so I walked about 100m south to look into a tributary of the Kowmung River. This flows south, then curls round to flow north, and enters Lake Burragorang, the reservoir behind Warragamba Dam.

Kanangra Creek flows north, then east to join the Kowmung River just before the lake.

This is a very contorted landscape.

     
  The plateau is sandstone, with a thin cover of soil. Easy walking, but I imagine at times windswept. Today its just damp.

A wonderful mix of plants suited to the climate, and like the rest of our bit of Australia this year, lots of flowers.

     
  As we follow the top of the walls our view of the gorge changes.
     
  We can also look across at Kalang Falls.

The bit we saw is well hidden. But now we can see the top part.

     
  I cheated a bit with the zoom lens in the last pic. Here the waterfall is just visible.

A land of great scale.

     
  The gorge just keeps changing. As do the clouds.

If we walked towards the gorge the ground becomes ever steeper, until we meet the edge.

     
  I suspect walking along the floor of the gorge, if at all possible, would be a tad difficult.

Though I'm sure someone will have tried.

     
  As far as we walked. The gorge is turning a corner, slowly, from north-east to north.

We weren't really prepared. Its taken an hour or so at a reasonaby fast pace. The tracker says almost 4km. The park map says the track ends at about 2km.

Both are probably wrong.

Somewhere near is Smiths Pass. I'll have to do some research on where the old stock route led. I can guess from our 1:250,000 map, but probably wrongly.

We think we can see a fragment of track below us, which would definitely be a bridge too far with no pack or electronics other than mobile phone and tracker. To say nothing of no waterproof for me.

     
  On the way back, a different view of the walls.
     
  Complete with an intrepid bush walker.
     
  In miniature. Water erodes the softer layers to form valleys, leaving the hard layers for plateau and mountains.
     
  Another look at "instagram folly".

We are in good shape, the track, such as it is, is across the sandstone with occasional parts through the vegetation across thin soil. Easy going.

Though we feel the 438 steps to Kalang Falls has probably taken its toll. Ali has had physio for her knee, I just have twinges in both knees.

     
  But we decide a short detour to "dance floor cave" is still ok.
     
  Blocks of sandstone fallen from the cliff after softer rock underneath has eroded.

Too coarse for rock art. Perhaps a bit of rock carving somewhere, but we haven't read anything.

     
  Dance floor cave because in 1891 a wooden dance floor was built. Its near the stock route, a shelter and meeting place.
     
  A fleeting glimpse of a lyrebird.

One day we will see one not hidden in undergrowth.

     
  And nearly back at the road end.

A 7km drive back to the Boyd River Campsite.

     
  Its still only 2pm. Regretting we didn't walk further (as always).

There are two camps, either side of the road. We are on the east side.

Looking further east there is a line of rounded granite outcrops. I had a close look as the majority of the landscape is sandstones.

This is pink, crystalline, and eroded to these rounded humps. Ergo, its granite.

Likely that the outcrops we've been seeing along the roadside are also granite.

The caves, the well known are Jenolan, Wombeyan and Abercrombie, but there are others, that dot the wilderness are limestone. We haven't seen any limestone, but will keep our eyes out.

     
     
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