Coxs River, Breakfast Creek, Narrow Neck

Trip reports, stories, track notes. Multiple/large photos are OK in this forum.
Forum rules
Posting large/multiple images in this forum is OK. Please start topic titles with the name of the location or track.

For topics focussed on photos rather than the trip, please consider posting in the 'Gallery' forum instead.

This forum is for posting information about trips you have done, not for requesting information about a track or area.

Coxs River, Breakfast Creek, Narrow Neck

Postby Lindsay » Tue 15 Oct, 2013 8:34 am

Set out on Saturday morning with my son for a two night walk along the Coxs river starting and finishing at Katoomba. A crowded train trip saw us at Katoomba by 1030. A quick bite to eat then a taxi to the 6' track to start walking by 11. A nice walk down Nellies Glen but very hot along the fire trail, so it was good to get under the trees on the last leg down the valley to the river. Here, instead of crossing Bowtells bridge and heading to the 6' track camping area, we stopped for a rest and something to eat on the east bank and then headed south along the east bank of the river, thinking ourselves lucky we were not staying at the camping area which was host to several 4WD groups and quite crowded.

It was easy walking along the river bank. The track, although faint, was not hard to follow and the scenery was very pleasant and peaceful. Saw several goannas, including one big bloke that must have been almost 2 metres in length. The only jarring note was the 'no camping' signs that seemed to be placed on every decent camping spot we passed. Come 1800 we were still a couple of Ks short of the BMNP boundary, so rather than push on and end up trying to set up and cook in the dark we decided to stop where we were. Having seen no-one since leaving the camping area we doubted that any landowner would be patrolling the river bank tonight, and even if he were we would simply claim to have been caught out by darkness. In any case, I believe that the actual river bank is public not private land. We set up, treated some water and had tea, bedded down about 2030 and slept well all night.

Woke to another warm and sunny day, had breakfast and on our way by 0800, leaving not a trace behind for anyone to complain about. The faint track was hard to spot at times but by simply following the river, and thanks to Matts Wildwalks notes, we soon picked it up again. At the river crossing by the junction of the Coxs and Jenolan rivers I managed to fall on by backside and get thoroughly soaked, however I soon dried out in the warm sun. Chris's only comment was that he had just put his camera way and missed the action shot! The only place we really missed the track was at the crossing back to the east side of the river. Eventually we waded across and down along the river until we spotted it again. The water was clear with plenty of quite large fish darting about. We also saw an echidna ambling across the track.

Reached the Breakfast Creek junction about 1200, had a rest, topped up our water and set off up the creek. No water at all in the creek, but plenty of snakes. After the third black snake sighting is as many minutes and almost stepping on one Chris decided it would be a good idea to put his gaiters on. Pushed on up the creek passing a few stagnant pools, very slow going, and headed up the insanely steep Black Horse Ridge. Luckily it was a little cooler by now and clouds were coming over to make the climb a little easier. We got to the K to K track junction at around 1800 and as we needed to top up our water we headed to Mobbs Swamp for the night. Problem. No water that we could see. Set up camp in the rather grubby clearing and implemented a water rationing system to see us through the next day. Up at 6 and underway by 7 to beat the heat of the day. Fortunately on the way back out we spotted a few small pools of water we had missed the evening before. Rather brown and scummy, but beggars can't be choosers so we spent half an hour filtering trough a chux to remove the more solid contaminants and slowly filled our bladders and bottles. A few microupur tablets and we were good to go.

We headed back the way we had come, passing the Black Horse Ridge junction and heading along to Medlow Gap, over Mount Debert and reached the top of Tarros Ladder by 1030. Then the long slog along Narrow Neck began, fortunately a cool breeze kept the heat at bay. By the time we reached the Golden stairs we were sick of fire trails so we headed down the stairs and along the Federal Pass track to the scenic railway and rode up in comfort. It's a strange sensation, having seen no other people for nearly three days to suddenly be surrounded by hordes of squawking foreign tourists. We had time for a cold drink and a rest before my wife arrived to pick us up at 1600.

The attachment 035.JPG is no longer available
Attachments
035.JPG
First night camp
044.JPG
Coxs River
052.JPG
Almost stepped on this one
050.JPG
Breakfast creek
User avatar
Lindsay
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 656
Joined: Thu 01 Oct, 2009 3:00 pm
Location: Sydney
Region: New South Wales
Gender: Male

Re: Coxs River, Breakfast Creek, Narrow Neck

Postby FatCanyoner » Tue 15 Oct, 2013 10:28 am

Sounds like a great trip, despite the water rationing! I was down on the Kowmung last weekend, and the snakes were plentiful. Mainly red bellies, but also a tiger, and we also saw several big goannas. It seems a couple wet summers have really boosted the animal numbers, which adds to the walking experience.

I'm a little surprised Mobbs was dry, are you sure you looked in the right spot? I was there about a month ago and there was definitely water. I can't conceive of it drying out since then. The pool next to the cave almost always holds water. In fact, during the last big drought I remember filling up there a number of times.

Likewise, with Breakfast Creek and many other creeks in the area. While they stop flowing over the surface, there is almost always water at the points where the creek bed is forced to run over solid rock, rather than the river stones. I'd have been very surprised if some of the pools around the Frying Pan weren't holding water.

Finally, on the issue of camping on private property, I would be careful. You're unlikely to get in trouble, but the river bank for much of the distance is definitely private property. Much like what happened with the Claustral Canyon access a couple years ago, it only takes one landowner to shut down access completely. Unless it's an absolute emergency I'd avoid camping on private land at all costs. One incident with one bushwalker has the potential to cost all of us access going forward.
The Fat Canyoners: trip reports, technical tips, gear reviews and more: http://fatcanyoners.org
User avatar
FatCanyoner
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 774
Joined: Fri 12 Aug, 2011 7:45 pm
Location: Blue Mountains
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: www.canyongear.com.au
Region: New South Wales
Gender: Male

Re: Coxs River, Breakfast Creek, Narrow Neck

Postby kanangra » Tue 15 Oct, 2013 10:59 am

I was in that same vicinity as you on the weekend. We camped at Frying Pan Flat on Saturday night. We arrived at the Coxs at about 7:00 on Sunday morning. We left one pack there above the true right bank of B'fast Ck. (You may have noticed it?) We then set out on a day walk to the plane wreck just beyond Mt Queahgong and back. We arrived back at the B'fast Ck junction just before 5:00PM and were back at the cars just before dark. The country is starting to look a little dry out there.

K.
kanangra
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1314
Joined: Sun 25 May, 2008 3:52 pm

Re: Coxs River, Breakfast Creek, Narrow Neck

Postby Lindsay » Tue 15 Oct, 2013 4:44 pm

@FatCanyoner, I looked down by the cave at Mobbs but the pool was rather dirty looking, almost a mud puddle, and further downstream was littered with toilet paper and other debris, so I didn't fancy filling up there. I saw nothing else that night. On the way out the next morning we noticed a couple of small pools at the top end of the soak a few metres off the track just before the camping place. We had missed them the night before. One pool was just deep enough to allow us to dip in a cup to fill up our containers. This saved us an extremely thirsty walk. There was a little water in pools in Breakfast Creek but it looked a bit mucky and we weren't as desperate then! :)

I did consider pushing on to the NP rather than stopping on private property, but as we had seen no one all day and were planning to be gone early I thought it unlikely that we would be seen. We had no campfire or anything to attract attention and had someone come along and asked us to move on we would have done so without argument.

@ Kanangra, We arrived at the Brekky Ck junction at around 1200 and stayed for about an hour. Didn't see your pack there although we sat down at true right side of the creek junction.
User avatar
Lindsay
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 656
Joined: Thu 01 Oct, 2009 3:00 pm
Location: Sydney
Region: New South Wales
Gender: Male

Re: Coxs River, Breakfast Creek, Narrow Neck

Postby FatCanyoner » Tue 15 Oct, 2013 5:36 pm

Lindsay wrote:further downstream was littered with toilet paper and other debris


This seems to be a growing problem at a lot of these popular camp sites. I was up on Mt Solitary a couple months back and the creek in Chinamans Gully was absolutely littered with toilet paper. I saw one little 'leaving' sitting not more than a metre from the creek. There are some truly disgusting people going bushwalking these days that seem to lack the most basic understanding of hygiene. Even dogs are smart enough not to crap near their water source. If only all humans had the same level of intellect...
The Fat Canyoners: trip reports, technical tips, gear reviews and more: http://fatcanyoners.org
User avatar
FatCanyoner
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 774
Joined: Fri 12 Aug, 2011 7:45 pm
Location: Blue Mountains
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: www.canyongear.com.au
Region: New South Wales
Gender: Male

Re: Coxs River, Breakfast Creek, Narrow Neck

Postby tom_brennan » Wed 16 Oct, 2013 9:45 am

I don't think it's a growing problem. I was at Chinamans Gully on New Year's Eve 2000 and it was pretty disgusting then.

Similar for Mobbs, I've seen it in pretty unpleasant condition. Though I've only ever camped there once. I always try and collect water above the campsite (may not be possible at the moment!).

It only takes a few thoughtless individuals to stuff things up for everyone. Thoughtless people aren't a new thing though!
Bushwalking NSW - http://bushwalkingnsw.com
User avatar
tom_brennan
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1143
Joined: Wed 29 Sep, 2010 9:21 am
Location: Sydney
Region: New South Wales
Gender: Male


Return to NSW & ACT Trip Reports & Track Notes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron