The Big Hole & Marble Arch // Deua National Park (NSW)

When we say Big Hole, we mean BIG hole. Check out this mini microadventure in Deua National Park in New South Wales, only 2 hours outside of Canberra. During the day you can smash out some hikes and for those wanting to stick around and soak up the serenity, cheap as chips campsites are available…


Highlights

  • Wildlife (you will see some furry bulldozers aka wombats)
  • Change in the natural bush from eucalypts and nana heath to coastal ferns
  • Canyoning and Caving

Welcome to Deua National Park. The walk begins at Berlang Campground, where you will quickly come to the Shoalhaven River. This crossing can get up to knee deep after heavy rain so prepare to get wet.

The walk is easy going but undulating with two steep sections. After about 1.5 km you will come to The Big Hole. Be careful here as there is little regards for safety around the 100m deep and 50m wide hole.

Continue on for another 5km where you will be taken down to Reedy Creek. The entrance to marble arch can be tricky. The track ends in a flat area then immediately to your right will be a hole in the overgrown bush. This will lead you down to the mostly dry river bed.

If you feel like you have entered a time when dinosaurs roamed, then you’re in the right place.

From here follow the river around to the right where you will see marble arch. Past the arch is the caving area where you can walk through the other side and back into the gorge.

I don’t recommend going more than 100m after this point as there isn’t much else to see and the water gets deeper. If there has been recent heavy rain, the gorge can become dangerous and I recommend returning after the big hole.

If you wish to stay the night the campsite is $6 per person via the honesty box and it has areas for campfires and toilets.

Essential Gear

  • PLB – no reception
  • Head torch – needed for the cave
  • Food and water
  • Snake bandage – if walking in the summertime

How To Get There (from Canberra)

Option 1 – Via Braidwood: 135km 1hr 54min
  • From Braidwood, drive south along Cooma Road for 30min.
  • Turn left at the sign to Berlang/The Big Hole – From here it is dirt, manageable by 2WD if no recent rain.
  • Drive 700m to Berlang campground carpark.
Option 2 – Via Captains Flat: 105km 1hr 51min
    • This way is predominantly dirt and although in good condition best for 4WD only.
    • After leaving Queanbeyan turn onto Captain Flats Rd.
    • Continue on here till you reach the town of Captains Flat. Right onto Foxlow St. Right onto Braidwood Rd, this will then turn into Captains Flat Rd again.
    • Turn Right onto Cooma Rd.
    • Follow as above.

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Gorge trekking

Skill Level

Intermediate

Distance Covered / Elevation Gain / Duration

13km return / 220m / Approx. 4 hrs


Check out these other crackers in and around the ACT…

VIEWS OF CANBERRA FROM GIBRALTAR PEAK (ACT)

HIGH COUNTRY WILDERNESS (NSW)

CORIN DAM TO MT. GINGERA // NAMADGI NATIONAL PARK (ACT)

HIKE TO CAMEL’S HUMP (ACT)

CAMPING THE DEUA (NSW)