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Sydney, Australia
A natural curiosity for what's over the next hill has taken me on a vast array of trips over the years, most of which involve human powered travel. There's so much more to do. All images © Darren Mckenzie.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

WATERDRAGON CANYON


The canyons in the Blue Mountains offer a place of refuge during the sweltering heat of an Australian summer. Cool waters and deep, dark constrictions soothe the soul with a feast of absolute beauty which draw us back time and time again.

I arrived at Craig's at 5.00am, threw some gear in the car and headed west for Waterdragon canyon. I prefer the earliest start possible no matter how easy the grade or short the distance to be traveled, as it gives us more time to soak up the experience and take plenty of photos along the way.

My little Canon G9 camera stood up to the usual punishing as I repeatedly pulled it in and out of a dry bag in a cold and extremely wet environment. Canyons have proven to be quite tough to get reasonable photos as the light can be exceptionally contrasty with beams of bright light and caverns of darkness which require good equipment, time and an understanding of how to get the most from your camera settings.



The walk down to the Wollangambe river was an opportunity to take a few macro shots before the short scramble to the valley floor.






After a short walk up a ridge then down into the beginning of the creek, the first anchor appeared for a warmup abseil. There were many tree's down from a recent storm which cluttered the top section of the creek with debris.



After a short creek section the first pitch into the canyon appeared, and as we descended into the darkness, the temperature dropped and the beauty of this ancient sandstone cleft was revealed. Although this particular canyon is relatively short, it never ceases to impress.








There are sections of the canyon that are simply breathtaking with cold, dark constricted walls that sparkle with glowworms as you swim and scramble your way through.





Finally Waterdragon Canyon ends, flowing into the lukewarm waters of the Wollangambe river which we floated back downstream to our exit point. A stunning trip on it's own.



So, another great outing in good company and beautiful terrain............

4 comments:

  1. Thanks Philip.
    I do like the look of the Lumix though! :)

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  2. Darren, you keep on producing great, extraordinary content, peppered with stunning photos! Wonderful stuff!

    [On a side-note, please consider installing Disqus as a commenting system - it is free, very easy to install and has a host of benefits =]

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks again Hendrik, you're too kind.
    I'll look into Disqus :)

    ReplyDelete