A gruelling 14km walk graded ‘hard’ in the Wungong Regional Park off South West Hwy. There are many options to shorten or lengthen the walk with many goat trails running off here, there & everywhere. Most popular is the Wungong short gorge walk alongside the Wungong creek. Popular with families & dog walkers. This first kilometre starts nice, easy on wide 4WD, leads you into a false sense of ease thinking this aren’t bad, rather pleasant in fact (!) before you venture off to the right crossing the creek on logs & rocks onto the first of two loops – straight up! I would recommend going this way getting the hard part of this loop out the way first rather then at the end part of your walk.
It is important to note this walk is not sign marked at all except for some sporadic pink ribbon tied to trees I only saw on the first loop for the first 5kms then they disappeared. The only way to do this walk is to have something like the All Trails app, enables you to record your walk or just to keep track where you are on the map, it would alert me to when I had ventured off course which happened easily due to the many intersecting tracks.
The right side of loop one takes you up a long steep climb. Just when you think you are at the top on flat ground, the wide gravelly rocky path turns the corner – and oh! More climbing! Sweat running down my face I finally get to the top & begin the walk eastwards looking to the gorge, valley’s & cityscape views. The wildflowers are poking their heads out & already there is lots of yellows, whites, pinks & reds. Then comes the steep long descent back down to the creek. Already it has taken me over an hour & a half to go 3 odd kms. The terrain is tricky & one benefits from taking walking poles to help with the ascents & descents. I decide to take a break down the bottom sitting on a rock watching the small creek with its running water. Not big at all, narrow but very tranquil & lovely.
As I continued onwards towards the second loop, I am distracted by two ducks drifting by on a makeshift trickle of a stream running across a 4WD track. A stream not existent during most of the year I’m sure. Those ducks made me chuckle as I hopped over the stream & found green hills with tracks running up them in all directions. Which one to take? Looking back at All Trails I noticed the trail continues back to my left so off I go retracing my steps to the walk & continue along.
Up a short uphill I turn right & start on the second loop, a nice meander along with the creek below to my right now. I emerge at a beautiful look out spot overlooking the valleys & hills it is so beautiful out here. Then I turn following the app taking me up my second bastard of a steep hill, on a narrow goat track winding through grass trees. Another option is to take the wide path around & up, may be a better option, but I was following the map this time. Once at the top, red faced & sweaty Betty, relieved also, I continue along the goat trail now flat walking & pleasant through the bush.
The map is incorrect at the top of this loop saying it goes straight across. Yes you can bush bash through the parrot bush trees & such with no marked trail to follow. I couldn’t care for that so followed the now wide track down around and back to meet the trail. Here you reach the border with Bungendore Park with more trails in here.
Then what goes up must go down! The second loop finishes with a long steep downhill walk, a jumbled stack of rocks more than a path in places. Once down the bottom it joins the pleasant short gorge walk & the majority of hikers you will bump into. Not many people were seen up in the hills. Trail bikes could be heard, seen sometimes tearing up the dirt roads as they fly along with their noisy machines, breaking up the peace & tranquility. Sometimes a bike rider, I only saw one. What was a disappointment was the amount of rubbish discarded into the bush by people. Being pleased with the tough parts over with, I took my second break for a small lunch now above the creek looking up at the hills I had traversed through earlier.
The second half of the first loop meanders along a wide easy dirt road above the creek before descending gently down to cross the creek twice, passing the small dam wall & some old structure just off a short side trail. Couldn’t figure out what this was used for once upon a time. A perfect combo of hill climbs, views, varied terrain & the creek always a highlight. Certainly a winter / spring walk but not summer. I would be happy to return & explore different trails that run off the main track. There is so much to see & explore. In another few odd weeks, the wildflowers will be most abundant. You will see vibrant orange butterfly’s, birds, ducks, ants & fungi. Lots of everything! If you are up for a challenging walk, this one is it!