|Gerkin Press > Bushwalking > Byangee Mountain the Budawangs April 2004|
25th April 2004
Byangee Mtn from the Castle.
Byangee has been on my to do list for a long time, so when ANZAC weekend camping plans didn't eventuate, I decided to head down to the Budawangs and do a solo day walk up onto Byangee Mountain from Long Gully.
Embarrassingly I had a bit of trouble finding the start of the track up to Castle Gap and Byangee from the camping ground at Long Gully. Embarrassing because when I did find it, it's blindingly obvious and more resembles a road than a walking track....
The first part of the walk, up an old road to the base of the Castle, is much like the main Castle Walking Track up Kalianna Ridge. As is the second part, following the base of the Castle around to Castle Gap like the second part of the Castle Walking Track.
The walk along the base of the Castle under towering cliffs is really beautiful. At one point there's a massive slab that's come away from the side of the cliff forming a large triangular cave at one end, Cathedral Cave. From the description in Ron Doughton's book Bushwalking in the Budawangs, I think I entered the eastern end of the cave. But a little earlier I passed what I thought was maybe a wombat hole in the bottom of a small cave, but reading Ron's description later, I think that was the western entrance to a large dark cave? I'm keen to go back and check it out again, but if anyone reading this knows more, please drop me an email, thanks.
There's some big overhangs and impressive complex cave formations as you get closer to the saddle between the Castle and Byangee Mtn, Castle Gap. And somewhere there, is a natural arch although I didn't find it and didn't check the book on where exactly to look. Next time!
I did check Ron's book again however for his description of the scramble up to the summit (plateau) of Byangee Mountain, and found the book is accurate to a tee!
The scramble up through a couple of chutes is interesting and fun and a bit of a challenge but not exceedingly difficult, although getting large overnight packs up would be a much bigger challenge.
Arriving at the top you couldn't have wiped the big stupid grin off my face with anything! It was so good to arrive on top of this amazing big cliff skirted plateau, after looking down on it in awe several times before from the Castle and Telaterang Mountain.
I found the guest book then walked to Pickering Point at the far (south eastern) end of the plateau. It's a deceptively long walk but well worth the effort, all the while surrounded by the most spectacular views!
The top of Byangee is mostly low scrub and rocky patches, and while there was a track from one end to the other, it gets very indistinct as you head towards Pickering Point, getting harder and harder to follow. When you lose the track the scrub isn't too punishing, but the going gets slow until you can find it again.
Returning back to the Castle end of the plateau from Pickering Point, I grabbed a few more photos of the awesome scenery (have I mentioned the scenery already :) before scrambling back down to Castle Gap and back to Long Gully and the end of a seriously good walk!
Byangee Mountain and the Castle are located in Morton National Park, in the Budawangs, south of Sydney.
For maps, check out the Corang 1:25000 topo map, and the Northern Budawang Range sketch map published by the Budawang Committee. And I've found Ron Doughton's book, Bushwalking in the Budawangs, is excellent for descriptions of walks in the area.
All photos were taken with a Canon IXUS 400. For the photos in Cathedral Cave among the giant tree ferns, and the few photos including me (it was a solo trip), I used both my trusty Manfrotto 190 tripod and sometimes my little bendy leg tripod with ball joint head.
Text and photos by Chris Collier.
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