Nangar National Park
29th – 31st March 2019
Phillip and Linda Favaloro: Nissan Patrol
Laura and Dianne Liney: Rodeo twin cab ute
Steve, Julie and Will Taylor: Troop Carrier
Rob Drummond: Nissan Patrol
Alex Ralston: Prado
Rob Owen: Pajero
John Godden: Land Rover Discovery
Considering the distance from ‘home’ this trip was well supported and made easier for the Taylors, living about an hour away and John Godden being within 15kms! The Lineys were a little further away, travelling 2.5 hours from Mudgee and the rest of us from various parts of Sydney. Alex, not being one to be late arrived on the Wednesday prior and grabbed the best spot he could find in the camping area at Terarra Creek. He didn’t have much competition, read ‘none’. Rob arrived about 18:30 Friday evening and quickly set up camp before any forecast rain set in. Shortly after the Taylors arrived and so did the rain. The rain was the nice steady kind that farmers like and was on and off for a while until around midnight when the heavens opened and dumped what seemed like a deluge on us which continued for most of the night. We awoke next morning to an overcast and windy day and waited patiently for the others to arrive for the official start of the trip at 10:00 Saturday. John, the Favaloros and Lineys arrived about 10:20 and we stood around and discussed what we were to do for the day. John also mentioned that he had almost no rain the previous night and explained that Eugowra meant ‘land of no rain’ (I’ll let you validate that!).
The decision was to get to the top of Mount Nangar and John led the way. Although not a demanding 4WD adventure, the short track, 15kms or so, meanders through some nice countryside and provided a chance to engage the little lever to ensure we didn’t cut up the tracks. The track eventually saw us atop Mount Nangar and the views, though the day was cloudy, were pretty spectacular over the surrounding ranges and farmland to the east.
We spent about an hour or more at the top and had our morning tea there too. Afterwards, we headed our way back to the campground via the Loop Track whose two ends are either side of Dripping Rock. AT the western end of the Loop Track we doubled back a short distance to marvel at Dripping Rock – yes it was dripping, but not flowing which was unexpected after so much rain the previous night.
Alex at Dripping Rock
Dripping Rock provided about a half hour’s entertainment as we surmised weather the rock was actually dripping and watched Laura and Phillip take a closer look just to make sure.
Phillip obtaining photographic evidence of the Drip!
Tummies were grumbling so it was time to satisfy the hunger pangs back at camp. Having consumed a hearty lunch, we decided to explore towards the old homestead area and check out the history around Escort Rocks about 4 kms west towards Eugowra on the Escort Way. Turns out that on 15th June 1862, Frank Gardiner’s Gang, which included Ben Hall, blocked the passage of a gold shipment with 2 bullock teams and ambushed the armed escort and robbed the coach of 2,719ozs, approximately 77kgs, of gold and £3,700 in cash.
Heading back to camp we stopped off and explored the old shearing shed and other relics around the old Dripping Rock Homestead which was built in the 1930’s together with a school and other outbuildings to accommodate the families working on the sheep property. Today there is nothing left of the homestead but the shearing shed remains in reasonable condition though a sign warns to take care as some floor boards are unsafe and that the are plans to restore the shed.
As it was getting late in the day, Steve, Julie and Will decided to return home. Which started the chat about where the Favaloros and Lineys were to spend the night. Phillip had organised to stay at the Eugowra Showground but as there was a wedding reception happening there, he decided it a quieter option to camp at Terarra Creek and the Lineys followed his lead as did Ron who decided to camp in the back of his car. In keeping with the ‘support a town’ theme of the 4WD Association, the Favaloros, Lineys and Ron drove into town for a Chinese meal at the local club in Eugowra.
After some discussions of whether to camp at the showground or Nangar NP the Lineys and Favaloros decided to camp at Nangar NP and pitched their tents up in the cold and wind late Saturday afternoon. As it was bitterly cold and windy, I couldn’t be bothered to cook snags and minute noodles for tea and opted for a hot meal at Eugowra Bowling Club. When Ron, Phillip, Linda, Laura and I got there couldn’t find the dining room. Alongside a wall was a row of table and chairs and no one there. We were informed this is the dining room. (As I was starving and nowhere else to eat in Eugowra I couldn’t walk out). A guy came to our table with one menu which we passed around and he took our orders. I didn’t realise until later but he was also the chef. We all enjoyed a beautiful Chinese meal of large proportion and reasonably priced. Compliments to the chef! We went back to the campsite for a good nights’ (or supposedly) sleep. The wind had eased but it was still bitterly cold.
Phillip and Linda left Terarra Creek Campground soon after we completed our Bush Service, needing to get home as early as possible. This left the rest of us to pack up camp and head off towards home in due course but there was the chance to do a bit of sight seeing enroute. Rob
mentioned he was going to have a look at Borenore Karst Conservation Reserve just west of Orange along The Escort Way, and it wasn’t long before Ron, Dianne and Laura said they would like to tag along! Alex resumed his sojourn in the peace and quiet and was staying for an extra couple of days at Nangar.
Borenore township is about 15kms west of Orange and the Karst Reserve is about 1km further west and north of The Escort Way. A one km short, rutted and potholed dirt track leads to an open, flat grassed area with picnic tables and toilet block. A useful sign board discusses the various birdlife of the area and gives directions to the caves that are readily accessible to visitors. It’s worth noting that there are more than forty caves at Borenore with Tunnel Cave, Arch Cave and Verandah Cave being readily accessible to the public. Tunnel Cave is closed May to October each year to ensure the Eastern Bent-winged bat are left undisturbed during their hibernation. After morning tea, we visited Arch Cave which is only 200m from the carpark as Verandah Cave being a 7km round trip was determined to be a bit too far for the time available. Arch Cave is largely the result of river action and it has a rather spectacular river passage which wanders from one side of the hill to the other with plenty of water visible. You can return from your starting point by a scramble up and over rocks, through the hill and finish at a higher level. In the upper level of the cave you can see many remnants of large formations that have long since dried out and remain a dull, brown reminder of what must have been once a spectacularly decorated passage.
If time permits when passing, take a torch and explore Tunnel and Verandah Caves too – I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
It might have been a long way to travel for a weekend, but given the variety of things to do at and around Nangar and along the way, there and back, it was a great weekend.
p.s. Alex has since advised that he caught up with the Ranger at Nangar and was told that he could have a fire and didn’t have to wait until the 14th! Bad luck Diane L