Time:3 days
Distance:29km
Fitness:M
Skill:MH
Ascent:550m
Maps: LPI Nerriga 8927-4N 1:25000
LPI Touga 8928-3S 1:25000
Notes:Print-friendly notes (opens in new window)
Please note that while the maps on this web site are useful and generally contain more, and more accurate, information on trails, the relevant topographic maps should be carried on most walks. These are available from the Lands Information Centre, map shops, and most outdoor stores.

Introduction

The last cascade ... an alternative route!

The Ettrema region is a Wilderness area. There are very few formed tracks, and significant amounts of scrambling and route finding can be expected. As a result, specific track notes will not be given on this web site. Some general information on routes will be presented and one three day route suggested. This should be sufficient for experienced walkers to plan trips of various lengths. Ettrema is not a place for inexperienced walkers to learn skills.

Access

To get to the Ettrema area you have a couple of options. Via Goulburn is probably easier unless you are coming from southern Sydney or Wollongong.

From Goulburn, take the turnoff to Bungonia State Conservation Area, just past the big petrol stations at Marulan. Continue through Bungonia, and follow signs first to Oallen, across the bridge there, then on to Nerriga. Continue through Nerriga to cross the Endrick River. The Tolwong Rd turnoff is on the left at the top of the next major hill.

The rock formations in the Ettrema Gorge walls are spectacular

Alternatively, take the HMAS Albatross turn-off from Nowra, veer left at the roundabout, and follow this for about 5km. Turn on to the Nowra-Braidwood Rd on the right just before the Nowra airport. If you are driving in the night before, there is a very good car campsite (Nerriga 466144) on the left about 3km before Greta's Rd.

Either way, take the Tolwong Rd turnoff (Nerriga 400143) to the north (not signposted). The Jumps is reached about 7km down the road. To get to Quiera Clearing, continue on 3km to a junction and take the right fork Quiera Clearing is 4km past the junction. This is private property, and you should park off the track before the clearing.

Track notes

One of the first scrambling sections in Myall Creek

From 01 Jan 2000, last checked 14 Nov 2010

Map references are to the Nerriga and Touga sheets.

Most access to the Ettrema area is via the Tolwong Rd. There are a number of more commonly used routes on this, the western side of the wilderness.

Bullfrog Creek is a reasonably straightforward, although scrubby way to Ettrema Creek. The usual starting point is near The Jumps. It is very slow at the top, but opens out nicely near the bottom. The spur and side creek at AMG403197 can avoid some of the scrub at the top, although some good route finding and scrambling may be necessary.

Myall Creek is probably the most commonly used entry. Skirt the southern edge of Quiera Clearing and get into the side creek that joins at AMG421253. Like Bullfrog, the top is scrubby, but there is a track for much of this. The creek then becomes bouldery, before the main cascades are reached at around AMG422246. Scrambling is required, and a rope for pack lowering may be needed. There is one final drop of 10m at about AMG433242, which requires exposed sidling on a narrow ledge to the left to bypass.

Ettrema Creek is quite open near its junction with Jones Creek

Transportation Spur is a common exit. It is quite straightforward, although steep at the bottom. The pass at the top starts on the right side of Pardon Point, and passes through a gap to the left side where it is easy to scramble out. Follow the ridge back to the road. The green areas involve heavy scrub, and can be very slow going. An alternative is to contour back to Quiera Clearing, which stays below the thick scrub.

Walkers take a break on Barrons Crown

Howards Pass is another reasonably straightforward route, although the pass is incorrectly marked on the second edition map. Climb Barrons Crown, and continue up the ridge. At the top keep to the right of the ridge line (north) and you will be in a steep creek bed. The pass is just on the south side of the creek bed (not north, as indicated on the map), with a small scramble through the top line of cliffs. The tops are very scrubby, and a compass bearing of 280 degrees will get you to Tullyangela Creek. Follow the creek to the clearing (private property).

In Ettrema Creek itself, there are good campsites on the two sets of bends in Ettrema Creek downstream of the Bullfrog junction. There was a good campsite at the Myall Creek junction, though it has been somewhat taken over by nettles in recent times. There is a campsite at the Jones Creek junction, at a sandy bend at around AMG454264, and at the Tullyangela Creek junction.

Heading up Tullyangelo Creek

Ettrema Creek is excellent walking between Bullfrog Creek and Myall Creek. It is mainly rocky open slabs with rock-hopping on boulders. Just before Myall Creek you start running into weeds in Ettrema Creek, mostly from the grazing on the tops at Quiera Clearing. Downstream from Myall Creek it is similar, although the weeds ease off a little. Past Jones Creek, Ettrema Creek widens, the rocks for rock hopping get further apart, and some wading is almost inevitable. The last few kilometres to Tullyangela Creek are relatively easy going.

Jones Creek is well worth a visit. The walking is excellent, there are some beautiful waterfalls, and the mines are worth a look if you remember a torch. The waterfalls need a bit of scrambling to bypass. Tinga Falls are the biggest set of falls in the creek, at around 40m high. This is about as far as most parties would come.

A sea of ferns at the top of Tullyangelo Creek

Water quality cannot be guaranteed, particularly in and below Myall Creek due to grazing on the tops. Best is to take it from the smaller side creeks. Ettrema Creek above Myall Creek is probably OK. Jones Creek has a question mark over it due to the silver mines near creek level.

A good three day walk starts by descending Myall Creek from Quiera Clearing and camping at the junction with Ettrema Creek. On the following day, make your way downstream to the Tullyangela Creek junction and camp. Side trips to Sentry Box Canyon or Jones Creek can be done. On the final day, exit via Howards Pass and make your way to Tullyangela Clearing from where you can can walk back to Quiera Clearing if you have not arranged a car shuffle.

For further information on the area, see the references below.

Related walks

Pigeon House Mountain

Time: 3 hrs Distance: 6km Fitness: E Skill: E Ascent: 490m

A steep but rewarding climb to this signature peak

The Castle

Time: 10 hrs Distance: 11km Fitness: M Skill: M Ascent: 810m

A long and challenging climb to the summit of this cliff-ringed peak, with spectacular views

Mt Talaterang

Time: 8 hrs Distance: 20km Fitness: M Skill: M Ascent: 440m

A challenging walk to one of the iconic peaks of the Budawangs

Personal reports

13-14/11/2010 - Ettrema Creek: Quiera Clearing - Myall Creek - Ettrema Creek - Jones Creek (C) - Transportation Spur - Quiera Clearing [SBW] (photos)

11/02/2005 - Ettrema Creek: The Jumps - Bullfrog Creek (C) - Ettrema Creek - Myall Creek (C) - Churinga Head - Myall Creek (C) - Jones Creek - Gallows Gully (C) - Transportation Spur - Quiera Clearing - The Jumps (report | photos)

01-03/01/2000 - Ettrema Creek: Quiera Clearing - Myall Creek - (C) Ettrema Creek junction - Sentry Box Canyon - Barrons Crown - Howards Pass - Tullyangela Creek - Tullyangela Clearing (report | photos)

Links