Gerkin Press > Bushwalking > Airly Plateau - North of Gardens of Stone National Park July 2003

Airly Plateau
North of Gardens of Stone National Park

5 - 6 July 2003

Trip Notes

This was an exploratory trip of the large plateau between Airly Turret and Genowlan Mountain above the northern boundary of Gardens of Stone National Park near Capertee.

The terrain is a rugged mix of huge sandstone pagodas, sheer cliffs and fairly open bush. We found the bush fairly easy going for most of the trip.

We spend an extremely cold night camped in a small clearing off the side of the road to Glen Davis, about 8km in from Capertee. Waking to tents covered in ice...

Our walk stated about a kilometre down the road from our Friday night camp, following a steep spur up to a bluff on the southern end of the plateau. A bit of climbing was required to get up through the cliff line, and our packs were hauled up with a rope.

The views from the top are spectacular, looking out over the Capertee Valley towards Pantoneys Crown and further south to Mount Dawson, the Red Rocks and Mt Canobla.

Rugged rock scrambling and spectacular views were the staple of the weekend. The going was slow as a result, but there were no complaints, everyone having a great time. Water was fairly scarce though and would probably be non existent during summer.

Our Saturday night camp site (thanks to the excellent navigation of our trip leader, Ashley) was as perfect as they come, above the cliffs on a fairly clear (recently burnt) and level piece of ground. And thankfully the night was a little less cold than the previous...

We were surprised to see a fairly substantial road cut through the lower centre of the plateau. It's freshness and vicinity to the recently burnt areas of bush suggested it had been cut as part of a fire fighting operation.

Finally, the descent back down from the plateau was steep and long and got us into farmland and private property. From there we made our way back southwest to the road, keeping to the high edge of the farm land close to the cover of bush to avoid any possible confrontation with armed farmers...

After a long Sunday's walk we returned to the cars just before sunset and made our way to the Capertee pub for a well earned beer.

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img_0002 The weekend starts with breakfast after a freezing (literally...) cold night.
img_0005 Climbing up to the plateau.
img_0010 Looking for a pass up through the cliff line.
img_0011 A pass is found requiring a bit of climbing.
img_0013 The packs are hauled up on a rope.
img_0014 Not good if you're too uncomfortable with heights...
long3 Pantoneys Crown right of centre, Mt Canobla far left.
img_0022 After about an hour or so, we're on the plateau.

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Text and photos by Chris Collier.

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