Wollangambe Crater

An overnight hike to Wollangambe Crater, via Submarine rock and various Pagodas.

Wollangambe Crater

This is an area of the Blue Mountains that I've wanted to hike for a while. The walk is scattered with rock pagodas of various sizes that look amazing.

Watching the weather app closely for rain I decided to do this overnight walk. I'm walking this is summer and because of La Niña, the weather has been cooler and wet. The start of the walk is near Bell train station. There is a small car park at the start of the trail. After parking, I set out just before lunchtime. The trail is not a marked trail and is a good use trail that has been formed by walkers over decades of use.

The start of the trail is quite easy, slowly going down. After about 15 minutes of walking, I get a light shower. This would be the only rain I encounter for a walk.

I see some footprints on the ground which I photograph and later identify as an Eastern Grey Kangaroo. The field guide I use is Tracks, Scats and Other Traces By Barbara Triggs ISBN 978-0-19-555099-3. I pass a few meadows of flannel flowers.

I get my first glimpse of a Pagoda on a small mountain as I near the bottom of the gully.

At the bottom, you will be greeted with a beautiful creek flowing with crisp, clear water under a rocky overhang. After this, I ascend out of the valley. The path up becomes a small stream. I pass a few nice rock formations. Once at the top, you are greeted with 5 or so pagodas on the side of a hill. There's a small ridge that you can follow to get a better look.

After soaking up the view I head further up the mountain. At the top, you will be greeted by a rock formation named Submarine Rock (it's also known as Center of the Universe). There are 360-degree views from up here. I stop here for a small rest and soak up the stunning view.

The bush fires caused a lot of damage in this region. However, the bush is we and truly recovering well.

The trail heads down and turns East from here. The trail follows the ridgeline from here. It is pretty standard bush in this section of the walk.

I see a Yellow-tailed black cockatoo just as I arrive at another rocky outcrop. This one has many rocky features which I explore. There are great views from here as well.

Up to this point in the trail, the trail has been pretty easy. The next section requires you to traverse down a small rocky ledge. I slide down on my bum, as it was a bit wet. The trail also becomes quite hard to find and requires me to get the correct bearing to head from an app at times. On the other side of the gully, I climb up a rock ledge with a painted arrow. This one is quite steep. Using a bearing I head in a general direction over the rock formation. On the other side, I find the path and continue. From here I descend down a steep rocky trail to the Wollangambe River. There is a small campsite with a few tents set up.

There is a conveniently fallen log that you can use to cross the river. From here there is a path to the Wollangambe crater campsite.

I set up camp and sit and relax, only to be greeted by a curious and not shy Eastern Brown Snake. I think I now know why the other walker's set up camp in the other campsite. Well aware that this snake could potentially kill me, I watch it do its thing and lose track of it as it returns to the thick scrub.

The campsite is nice, it's surrounded by a wet marsh, has a fireplace and the ground is dry. I get a fire going and settle in for the night. There's not too much information on how the crater was created. It's believed that it's a naturally occurring shape and not an actual crater. Either way, it's a nice campsite. There are a few small walks from here that I didn't explore.

The next day, after filtering some water from the river I head back out of the crater. It's a pleasant 24 degrees, however, the sun is belting down with a UV index of 14 (anything above 11 is extreme), so I generously apply sunscreen.

Finding the trail out is pretty easy. After the steep hill out of the crater, I don't stop much for the remainder of the walk. The total length of the walk is 16km. It takes me about 3.5 hours in each direction of the walk.