When we say Big Hole, we mean BIG hole. Smash out some hikes and soak up the serenity at Deua National Park in New South Wales, only 2 hours outside of Canberra.

Highlights

  • Wildlife (you’ll 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’ll 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 1.5km you’ll come to The Big Hole. Be careful here as there are little regards for safety around the 100m deep and 50m wide hole.

 

Shea-Cara Hammond Deua National Park NSW ACT Canberra Shoalhaven cave Big Hole marble arch

 

Continue on for another 5km where you’ll 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’ve entered a time when dinosaurs roamed, then you’re in the right place.

From here, follow the river around to the right where you’ll 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’s been recent heavy rain, the gorge can become dangerous and I recommend returning after visiting the big hole.

If you wish to stay the night in Deua National Park, 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’s a dirt road, manageable by 2WD if no recent rain.
  • Drive 700m to Berlang campground car park.

 

Option 2 – Via Captains Flat: 105km 1hr 51min

  • This way’s predominantly dirt and although in good condition, best left 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