Kowmung

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Kowmung

Postby Stocky54 » Mon 17 Aug, 2020 6:38 pm

Hope your all staying safe and well...

What is the easiest way into/out of the Kowmung River - in terms of navigation and of course physical effort?
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Re: Kowmung

Postby puredingo » Mon 17 Aug, 2020 7:18 pm

Hi mate,

The answer to that question depends on what part of the Kowmung you want to visit?

It’s a pretty long river.
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Re: Kowmung

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Mon 17 Aug, 2020 9:45 pm

I suppose the "easiest" way is to drive to it? That would be the kowmung fire trail either from kanangra road or the Oberon stock route.

Walking wise the easiest would be from Scott's main range down the cedar ford trail or Dennis Ridge, or from mt armour fire trail down through the church ck flats. But I don't think you can access those atm? In fact I think much of the kowmung is still off limits?

The "best" ways to access it are the various routes from kanangra road or carpark... all the way from uni rover around to approaches over cloudmaker/ti willa.

As mentioned above, it's a long river and there's a whole range of ways of getting to it (when it's open!)

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Re: Kowmung

Postby Stocky54 » Tue 18 Aug, 2020 8:54 pm

I have been down to the Kowmung via Roots Ridge but was wondering whether there is an easier way. The whole river is stunningly beautiful - the upper or lower reaches.

Could either of those routes via Scotts Main Range or the Mount Armour Fire Trail be done as a long day walk?

Thanks in advance...
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Re: Kowmung

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Tue 18 Aug, 2020 9:22 pm

Stocky54 wrote:Could either of those routes via Scotts Main Range or the Mount Armour Fire Trail be done as a long day?.

Mt Armour maybe if you'd parked near colong? Re the two smr routes.... doubtful you could do them return in a day, but maybe the route down to the christys Junction via bulga cone, ex yerranderie (park at the tonali gate), could be done return in a day. I haven't done that one though, and like I said it's all a bit of a moot point at the moment with park closures and the like. I think yerranderie is still closed?


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Re: Kowmung

Postby ribuck » Wed 19 Aug, 2020 4:00 am

You can visit the top end of Morong Deep as a straightforward day trip, and mess about on some interesting rocks, but if you want the typical Kowmung "feel" you need to be further downstream, e.g. Roots/Hughes Ridges.

I once took a group on a day trip to Morong Deep starting and ending in Sydney, but in retrospect that was ridiculous due to the 4am start, late return, driving fatigue, and time pressure while on the river.
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Re: Kowmung

Postby Xplora » Wed 19 Aug, 2020 10:13 am

Walk_fat boy_walk wrote:The "best" ways to access it are the various routes from kanangra road or carpark... all the way from uni rover around to approaches over cloudmaker/ti willa.


I agree both of these are good. The road down to the Kowmung is steep and I would not be doing it in wet weather without good tyres and low range. There is a section of clay not far from the river which will be difficult to get back up when wet. I haven't done the river crossing for some time but I have done it enough to say it would not be good in high water. The walk in campsite is also very nice. Uni Rover is a great walk but not a day trip. Some navigation is required. Other access can be through the Wild Dogs from Carlon's farm and across the Cox's or through the bushwalker's corridor up to Scotts. Gingra is pretty easy from the plateau.
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Re: Kowmung

Postby Snooze » Wed 19 Aug, 2020 3:58 pm

"The walk in campsite is also very nice."


A couple of years ago we had an enjoyable car-camping stay at the Boyd River camping ground, which was our base for a two pleasant daywalks (Cottage Rock and Molong Falls).

Afterwards, in a 4wd we took the scenic route home to Sydney via Dingo Dell, crossing the Kowmung. On the near side of the crossing was a pleasant clearing on the river. A broken sign there said “Day use only. No camping”. This sign appeared to have been ripped out from its original location, and I guessed chucked in the bush. When we there someone appeared to have somewhat restored the sign by leaning it upright against a tree.

My plan was to park the car at the other side of the crossing and have a little wander to the “walk-in campsite” mentioned on the NP&WS website (which was from memory just a 500 metre distance). The one review I’d ever read of this campsite complained there wasn’t even enough room there to put up a tent so I was curious. However after we crossed we noticed a vehicle parked on the other bank and two guys standing there. I can’t remember what it was, but there was something about the look of those two guys and maybe the look of their vehicle, but based on a gut feeling I decided it might be safest not to even exit our own car, let along walk away from it, so I never did get to see that particular campsite. :cry:
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Re: Kowmung

Postby Xplora » Thu 20 Aug, 2020 10:16 am

It was also a great drive from Kanangra to Wombeyan caves via Dingo Dell but the road has since been closed because of idiots doing the wrong thing. You can still get out to Mt. Werong, Batsh camp and Yerranderie that way with some good views back to the falls as you climb out of Dingo Dell. Uni Rover to Batsh camp is also a great walk but you need someone to pick you up. The Kowmung crossing can also be deep.
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Re: Kowmung

Postby rcaffin » Thu 20 Aug, 2020 7:41 pm

I would like to think that the Kowmung is NOT accessible to a day walk. Sorry about that.

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Re: Kowmung

Postby jsnrss » Sun 14 Feb, 2021 10:10 pm

Hi, has anybody made it down to the Kowmung in the past few weeks or months? I'm interested in the Orange Bluff campsite. I'm hearing mixed reports about some of the trails (e.g. Brumby being overgrown). I've heard mixed reports of overgrowth but no first-hand reports.

A manageable overnight hike with camp on Kowmung is sought.
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Re: Kowmung

Postby kelvinn » Tue 16 Feb, 2021 8:10 pm

Hi @jsnrss - I probably can't help too much, but about 6 weeks ago I crossed the Kowmung where it intersects Coxs River. My route took me through the bushwalker's corridor and then on to Scotts Main Range.

What I'm finding is some tracks have become quite a bit more difficult after the fires/floods/restrictions of the last 18 months. Also, I will openly say that river crossings have been quite a bit more challenging lately than what I see in photos from years past.

Specific to your question, while I haven't done Brumby, there is a recording on AllTrails.

https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recor ... ip-362e80d

They didn't leave any notes, but you can see from their pace that for the Brumby section they were having to work pretty hard on the hike up from the river.
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Re: Kowmung

Postby irrgent » Fri 19 Feb, 2021 9:44 pm

jsnrss wrote:Hi, has anybody made it down to the Kowmung in the past few weeks or months? I'm interested in the Orange Bluff campsite. I'm hearing mixed reports about some of the trails (e.g. Brumby being overgrown). I've heard mixed reports of overgrowth but no first-hand reports.

A manageable overnight hike with camp on Kowmung is sought.


I went on an overnighter down to Orange Bluff and back from Kanangra walls back in early January (the Kowmung area had only been reopened for a week or 2 so we were probably some of the first people to venture into the area for a while).

Our route was Kanangra walls -> Brumby Ridge -> Orange Bluff/Kowmung and returning the same way. The Gingra trail was faint in places but mostly easy going. Brumby ridge was VERY heavily overgrown in places. There were areas completely taken over by what I have now learnt to be native incense plants. In places they were above our heads and we had to cooee to each other if we were more than about 10m apart as the growth was that thick. They are fairly easy to walk through and not really scrubby but it is still quite demoralizing and energy sapping to have to walk through them not being able to see where you are going. The plants also seemed to be crawling with spiders! In some parts of the ridge where the growth wasn't so thick you could see remnants of the old track.

We found on the way back up it wasn't quite so bad as we managed to keep a more direct line right on top of the spur where the undergrowth is less thick. I think what happened on the way down is we hit the first dense patch of undergrowth which made it difficult to see where we were going, and we ended up slightly off to the side of the line directly down the spur which has thicker vegetation growing. Plus we had made paths when walking through some of the worst bits on the way down the day before which we managed to follow up.

Down by the Kowmung the grassy flats at the Orange Bluff campsite have been completely taken over by weeds. We found a small sandy patch towards the river with no weeds to pitch our tent. I have a few photos of the Orange Bluff campsite below (no photos of the incense plants on Brumby ridge unfortunately).

Does anyone know how areas such as these usually go in the years after a fire? It would be a shame if these weeds and dense undergrowth becomes the new normal in areas that were previously open bush/grassy flats that were well suited for walking and camping. I have noticed similar regrowth along the Coxs river and in the Wolgan Valley although the stuff at Kanangra was definitely the densest. I'm hoping as the forest canopy regrows the bush will become a bit more 'normal'.

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Re: Kowmung

Postby DaveNoble » Sat 20 Feb, 2021 3:16 pm

The ridge top weeds will only be present for a short time - and taking advantage of the fire. Its common for the river flat campsites to become overgrown with weed type vegetation during or after a wet summer - and then the weeds vanish completely during winter.
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Re: Kowmung

Postby tom_brennan » Sun 21 Feb, 2021 7:44 pm

Would be interesting to know how many of the new plants are weeds. In other fire-affected areas (eg Newnes) I've been pleasantly surprised that the majority of intruders were native.
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Re: Kowmung

Postby FatCanyoner » Mon 22 Feb, 2021 10:21 am

Further to Tom's point, below are a couple images Gavin Phillips shared today in the excellent NSW Native Plant Identification Facebook group.

Obviously not in the Kowmung, but they make the point that "weeds" are often native plants, doing what they are meant to do and rapidly colonising following fires or other disturbances.

Most people would look at the below plant, growing beside a fire trail, and think it was a weed. It's actually an endangered native species, Olearia flocktoniae (Dorrigo Daisy Bush).

Fires followed by a wet summer will lead to profusive growth of colonising plants. They are performing a vital ecological service, binding the soil together and reducing erosion. Other, slower-growing species will then be able to take hold. Without these quick growing colonisers, the bush would be unable to properly recover. So it may make walking a bit harder, but in a surprising number of cases they are friendly plants doing important work.

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Re: Kowmung

Postby Timothy Lim » Thu 25 Feb, 2021 8:10 am

I did Kangra-Boyd Walls to Kowmung River in January 2021. All I can say is, do not do it. It is heavily overgrown. I am tall and the overgrowth was taller than my head, we literally had to push down plants to get through. It took us over 9 hours to get down and 11 hours to get up, although it was hot and there were 3 of us. We did not find a campsite at the end of the track at the river. We sadly laid our bivvy bags over some rocks and went to sleep. Probably my worst experience hiking.
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Re: Kowmung

Postby wildwanderer » Thu 25 Feb, 2021 3:33 pm

Hi Tim,

Sounds like a tough time.

Which route to the kowmung did you take?
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Re: Kowmung

Postby jsnrss » Mon 01 Mar, 2021 2:47 pm

Wow, thank you all for you answers! Good news, I made it down with a group of 8, via Roots Ridge. Yes heavily overgrown in parts (literally in over our heads in weeds lol) and challenging but also immensely beautiful (pink flannies on the plateau, the river). It took us 8 hours each way. My account and many photos over here: https://thebigbushbasher.com/2021/02/22 ... ness-area/
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The weeds on Roots Ridge
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Re: Kowmung

Postby tom_brennan » Mon 10 May, 2021 8:45 am

Went down to the Kowmung via Brumby Ridge to Orange Bluff on the weekend. Having read various reports from here, and from other people, we were prepared for the worst.

There are several slow sections on Brumby Ridge with vegetation over head height - the first 100m off First Top, about 300m across the saddle leading to the lower peak of Brumby Mountain, and about 500m below the higher peak of Brumby Mountain. Good route finding will make the difference between these being a bit slow and very slow. For the 500m section, there is a trampled route through the regrowth, and picking up this will make your life easier.

The remainder of the ridge is in fairly similar condition to what it used to be. Don't try and short cut the first peak of Brumby Mountain - stay high on the ridge - for now.

It took us 2 hours of walking to descend and 2:50 to ascend (ignoring lunch/morning tea stops), which is not that different to what it would have been previously.

The intention was to go downstream, camp near Rainbow Bluff, and exit up Roots or Hughes Ridge the next day, but the Kowmung was up considerably after heavy rain on Thursday, so we exited back up Brumby Ridge. The recent floods have completely cleared the vegetation from the river flats - we camped on sand near the river.

Route finding on the ascent was easier than the descent, as it's easier to keep to the ridge on the way up, and we'd probably cleared the route a bit on the way down.

The Gingra Range track is mostly easy enough to follow to First Top, other than the 200m around where it branches off to Bullhead Ridge.

20210509071822_rx100m3_011842.jpg
Orange Bluff campsite - May 2021


20210509091016_rx100m3_011845.jpg
Regrowth on Brumby Ridge - May 2021
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Re: Kowmung

Postby puredingo » Mon 10 May, 2021 1:44 pm

Thanks mate. I’ll be on the Kow in a couple of weeks and I’m still deliberating on which ridge to take to the heights. I was thinking Bullhead due to it being a stonier type of walk, maybe less veg. I wanted to take the UR but I’m assuming that track would be all but extinct? for awhile at least.
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Re: Kowmung

Postby tom_brennan » Mon 10 May, 2021 7:23 pm

puredingo wrote:I’ll be on the Kow in a couple of weeks and I’m still deliberating on which ridge to take to the heights. I was thinking Bullhead due to it being a stonier type of walk, maybe less veg. I wanted to take the UR but I’m assuming that track would be all but extinct? for awhile at least.


One of the reporters had done the Uni Rover and Bullhead Ridge around Easter. Not much detail given on Bullhead, other than mentioning "plenty of regrowth". Uni Rover sounded fairly bad though - mainly Mt Savage to Mt Lannigan.

That said, they had bumped two groups at Coal Seam Cave, attempting Orange Bluff. A CMW group who had turned back, and two young strong looking guys who had made it but said the "scrub was horrendous" and "the campsite is basically non existent". Neither of which really meshed with our experience. And neither did Timothy Lim's report above, though that one was before the March floods, so the campsite's condition has obviously changed (for the better!). Also, there is now a bit of a track through the thick sections.
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