Camping

24 Hours in Kanangra Boyd National Park

Do yourself a favour and pack your swags. Boyd River Campground is waiting.

Driving through the mountains and along the winding roads of Hampton, we had Kanangra Boyd National Park in our sights – and on the GPS.

Ignoring the google maps suggestion to take the Edith/Oberon route, we went down Jenolan Caves road. The twists and turns were making my stomach churn at the thought of someone flying around the corner as we were carefully taking each corner. But – we made it without any collisions, and continued on our way to the Boyd River campground.

Somewhere in Hampton

We turned onto the un-grated Kanangra Road, and bumped along for 10km. When we pulled up at Boyd River Campground there were already plenty of people setting up their site for the Anzac Long Weekend. A heap of roof top tents, tee-pee set ups, fires burning and swags rolled out for the night.

We chose a spot beside a cluster of tents and crossed our fingers in hoping that it was a family – not a group of pesky teenagers.

Luckily 3 cars turned up, and out of them came a heap of children with their push bikes and scooters.

HELLO NEIGHBOURS

For a little while we had the sun shining through the trees, and as the sun went down the clouds rolled over covering the stars.

Boyd River Campground

The fire pits at Boyd River campground are fit out with cast iron plates. We used these to heat up our plates once the food was cooked, and keep the tea warm over the fire. If you have a camp oven, you can dangle it over the fire like you can see here:

Nifty little fire pits

As the sun went down, I got my hands dirty – in damper that is. We used the following ingredients:

  • Flour
  • Garlic salt
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter
  • Mixed herb flakes
  • Cheese to sprinkle over the top

We wrapped the damper in foil and put it inside the camp oven. We shovelled some coals over the top of the lid, and placed it gently inside the fire pit – leaving it to cook for approximately 22 minutes.

WE MADE DAMPER

In the morning we woke to a mystical sheet of fog hovering low in the gum trees. When I poked my head out of the swag, I could hardly see anything beyond the ute, parked just beside us.

Kanangra Walls Lookout

We put on jumpers and hiking boots, hopped in the car and drove 8km from the campsite to the start of the Kanangra Walls walking track.

First stop – the lookout:

Unfortunately, we were unable to see anything beyond the cliff-face where we were standing – and could only imagine the unreal views we’d seen after a quick Google image search.

Kalang Falls

We were going to head back to the car, but were instead were lured to the sound of a waterfall in the valley below. The Kalang Falls walking track sign suggested it was a ‘Hard’ walk, 1 hour return.

It took us about 20 minutes, including huffing, puffing and meandering down by the waterfall.

When we got down to the waterfall, the rocks were covered with very slippery moss. I very wisely decided to climb down the side of the wooden standing area, to get a photo of the waterfall in all its glory.

Instead I slipped, but luckily I grabbed hold of a firm branch and snapped this up:

IMG_4623
Risked my life for this glorious shot.

The only bruising was on my soul.

The Plateau Walk & Dance Floor Caves

We turned back up the treacherous hill, pulling ourselves up the slope using the metal rail. Again instead of returning to the car, we decided to do the 3rd and final walking track – The Plateau Walk.

I was intrigued by the ‘Dance Floor Caves’. In my mind I pictured an 80’s style disco dance floor covering the floor of a dark cave, and bats flying out from holes in the walls. Not quite living up to my imagination, the caves had a camp fire pit set up, and provided shelter for hikers in the rain.

IMG_4661
Care for a dance?

Back in the day, Kanangra provided a central location for a meeting place where settlers would celebrate.

IMG_4658
HELLO THERE YOUNG SETTLER

In 1891 a dance platform was set up in the cave. The old timber dance floor has since rotted away (potentially because of hardcore dancing).

We were yet to have breakfast, so decided that we skipped the Plateau walk (another 30 minute walk from the Dance Floor Caves). With our energy levels depleting, we climbed back up the slopes to the car, with Mark telling me how excited he was for a cup of hot milo,

“Milly, I cant wait to have a milo.”

On our way back to the campsite we stopped off to get firewood – using the chainsaw of course. When we returned to the campsite we re-heated the damper from the night before and whipped up some scrumptious scrambled eggs and crispy bacon.

IMG_4681
No shame.

In a drastic turn of events, someone forgot to put the Milo back into our camping gear. So instead we had tea.


Where We Stayed:

  • Kanangra National Park, Boyd River Campground.
  • We were there in Autumn, and it was pretty cold, with a very foggy morning when we woke up.
  • Expect it to be busy over the long weekends and school holidays.
  • We packed: Swag, pillows, doona, chainsaw, cold weather clothes, hiking boots, cooking essentials, fire lighters/matches, food, bag of ice.

Things to Do:

Kalang Falls, Plateau Walk, Dance Floor Caves, Kanangra Walls Lookout, Jenolan Caves.

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