Twister Canyon - Wollemi National Park
This is an AWESOME little canyon! If you like slides and jumps then this is for you. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
How to get there:
This canyon is right near Rocky Creek and is actually an alternative entry to it. Most people do Rocky Creek and Twister in the one day, and unless you were really pushed for time, I don't know why you would do Rocky Creek on it's own, Twister is Just sooo much fun!
Start from the Rocky Creek carpark on Galah Mountain. Walk down the closed off road about 100m or so and onto a track on the right. If you get to a fire trail going off on the right you have gone too far. Follow this track for 15min and you will hit the very obvious start of the canyon at GR474130 (Rock Hill map). There is a sizeable area to change at the start.
What you get:
You immeadiately jump into pool after pool after pool. There are many slides and places to jump. All but one of the jumps can be scrambled around, but some of them are quite big drops and a 15m handline will come in very handy. Arguably the best part of the canyon is near the end with what must be a 15-20ft slide down a natural water chute into a large deep pool. Above this same pool is an easy to get to ledge that allows you to do a 6m jump, and there is an overhanging tree even higher that allows a bigger drop if you are game.
As always, never jump or slide unless you have checked for depth and obstacles first.
Just around the corner there is a big drop at the end of the canyon, but it's a small pool, so sliding off on your butt is safer. There is then a fixed handline tied around a tree root to climb down a slab (take your own rope in case it's not there)
The track going out heads straight back to the Rocky Creek track and is very obvious. Turn left to go back to the cars and right to continue to Rocky Creek.
One thing you will find is that the canyon is VERY COLD esp on the upper parts. Wetsuits are mandatory.
It will take about 1.5hrs max to do the canyon, depending on how many times you do the slides and jumps!
GLOW WORM CAVE:
There is a tiny little glow worm cave just after a climb down at the exit. You'll notice it being a small hole in the rocks that you walk over. There is an entry just below this. From memory you go in, head left and then right again. The tunnels and glow worm cave itself are very small, only one person can fit at a time. You can do it without a torch but it's tricky.
Wetsuits and thermals. Waterproof gear. 15m handline advisable.
Other photo and info:
Matt doing the "big jump", notice the water chute (Courtesy of Matt & Sonia)
Twister (Dave, Nicole) 14th April 2001
It was late in the canyoning season, and Nicole & I decided we'd have one last bash at a wet canyon before the cold weather set in. We knew it would be cold so we decided on an easy & short canyon - Twister. If we wanted to we could do Rocky Creek as well. We even bought along our new Li-Lo's just in case the water was tad colder than expected.
We left around 8am and headed off to do Twister. No drama's on the way and we arrived at the Rocky Creek carpark to find another van that had just pulled up. About 8 people got out all looking very keen yet nervous, I could tell they were beginners. After a little chat we found out they were the Blue Mountains Adventure Company, and yep, it was everyone's first time. The grey bearded BMAC guide said they were here to do Sheep Dip & Rocky Creek, I confirmed that he was in fact referring to Twister, which is the real name, but many people use Sheep Dip.
We packed our gear quickly in order to head off before them, we didn't want to get stuck behind a group of 8 or so beginners.
We had no trouble finding the track which branches off the main Rocky Creek disused fire trail, just a few hundred meters from the car park. We were at the very obvious canyon start in next to no time, about 20minutes which we were surprised at. Walks usually take longer than you expected, but not this time.
We suited up and I draw the short
straw to be the first to get wet. Twister certainly doesn't muck around, there
is a pool right at the start with either a jump, slide, or climb in. No getting
your feet wet first and easing yourself in, it's all or nothing. In I went,
and OUT I came! This water was unbelievably cold! I had done quite a few canyons
already so I knew what to expect, and this was definitely COLD. We didn't get
used to the cold after a few minutes like we normally do, so we decided to pump
up the Li-Lo's, we had no way of knowing how much water was to come so we took
the easy and safer option.
The Li-Lo's kept our body out of the water most of the time, but our hands were completely numb after a few minutes. The canyon did seem to get a tad warmer as we went through though, so we felt the worst was behind us.
Twister has many pools to jump into
or scramble down, and being our first time here we were very cautious and didn't
take any risks. If we did jump then I climbed down first to check the pools
About half way through the canyon we heard the BMAC hoard closing in fast, and there was no way we were going to outrun them at our current pace, so we decided to let them pass.
The BMAC guide was fearless, he was slaping them on the back one by one and pointing "jump there". We were more than happy for them to test the jumps for us!
It wasn't long before we got to the
famous "big jump", which is also a "big slide", maybe a
15ft water chute. The jump entailed climbing up on the left hand side to a big
overhanging tree with a narrow ledge. We watched as a few of the BMAC group
did the jump, with the rest opting out.
We climbed up to have a look, and it looked scary, the wall on the far side was too close for my liking. Not being big nor experienced jumpers, we opted out of the jump this time.
The slide was fun though, we did this a few times.
It was then just around the corner
to the end of the canyon. One final jump, which is the only compulsory jump
in the canyon. It was a few meters into a very small pool, no more than 2m across,
but the edge of the canyon dropped away another 10 or so meters directly on
the back edge of that pool, there was no margin for error. It turned out to
be fairly easy if you slide off on your bum instead of jump. We waited at the
top of the jump until the BMAC group had got down the fixed rope, 10m hand-over-hand
climb beside the pool. The BMAC guide was belaying them from the top just in
case. One girl though was totally petrified and was crying hear eyes out as
she inched her way down. Thank goodness there were no abseils!
We had no problems with the climb down, the knots in the rope made it fairly easy.
As the canyon end neared we had ditched the Li-Lo's and threw them still inflated down every drop, they surprisingly survived.
That was the end of Twister canyon,
it was short, but it was the most fun we had ever had in a canyon. The canyon
seemed to get shorter every time did it from then on, but I guess that's the
same with any canyon.
We deflated the Li-Lo's and headed on to Rocky Creek which was soon reached. We had lunch at the entrance along with the BMAC group. The sun had gone and we were getting very cold, so we opted out of Rocky Creek for today, it would still be there next season. The BMAC group said they were continuing on and would turn back if they felt it was getting too cold, we bid them good luck and headed on back to the cars.
It only took us a few minutes to pick up the tricky trail were Mark, Amara and I had come to grief last time. That was a our last "wet" canyon for the 2000/2001 season.
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