Always liked the look of those canyon adventures but thought it seemed like a lot of work? At only two hours from Sydney and with no abseiling or specialist gear required, Bungonia Slot Canyon in the Bungonia National Park should probably be your next stop.

Highlights

  • Bungonia Slot Canyon
  • Dramatic scenery
  • Quiet camping surrounded by kangaroos
  • Local giant goannas

Bungonia Slot Canyon

A recipe for the perfect weekend: Take one group of mates, pack up a car with camping stuff, fill an esky with some cold ones and throw in an epic slot canyon for good measure.

 

An Easy-Access Canyon Adventure // Bungonia Slot Canyon (NSW), Natalie Hardbattle, boulders, person, scale, trees, valley

Down We Go

You know it’s going to be a good hike when National Parks estimate it to take five hours to cover 3.8km. Do not underestimate this hike, it’s seriously amazing but seriously tough. There are huge ascents and descents and once in the canyon there are no track markers. There is also a danger of rockfall associated with the quarry blasting above. This is usually at 3.10pm on weekdays and there are warning sirens which precede the blasting, so stay aware.

 

An Easy-Access Canyon Adventure // Bungonia Slot Canyon (NSW), Natalie Hardbattle, boulders, women, view

 

Start at the William Mitchell car park and head anti-clockwise around the track. This is the reverse of what is recommended by the National Parks map but if, like me, you have dodgy knees you will thank me later as the “correct” way round has an incredibly steep descent. This is not to say the other way isn’t steep – there will still be jelly legs by the bottom.

Choose Your Adventure

Follow the shale trail down to the canyon creek and follow the creek bed until you reach giant limestone boulders. Make your own adventure at this point – there is no right or wrong way and a lot of trial and error required to navigate through – but essentially continue straight and you’ll eventually make your way out. It’s a great place to spot giant goannas too.

Once through the boulders, you’ll continue along the gorge. This section is prime rockfall area, both from the quarry and also from climbers above as it’s a popular climbing route. The gorge continues winding up the valley, gradually getting wider. Watch out for the exit as it’s not very well marked. If you get to the big knocked over tree trunk and mini cave you’ve gone too far. At this point all that’s left is the vertical schlep up and out of the canyon. Enjoy. Just keep thinking about those cold beers waiting for you at the top.

 

An Easy-Access Canyon Adventure // Bungonia Slot Canyon (NSW), Natalie Hardbattle, cave, cliff, giant log, hiker

Essential Gear

  • Tent
  • Warm clothes
  • Good boots
  • GoPro/Camera Gear
  • Navigation skills

 

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Bouldering
  • Camping
  • Photography

 

How To Get There

Turn off the M31 and follow signs towards Bungonia National Park. There is a visitor information centre as you enter the park. Drive through the campground and park at William Mitchell car park and day-use area.

 

Skill Level

Expert. The canyon track requires a good level of fitness and navigation.

 

Distance Covered/Elevation

3.8km. Elevation change of 400m