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The Budawangs

The Budawangs is the colloquial name given to the section of Morton National Park south and east of the Braidwood - Nowra road in southern New South Wales (Australia). In the late 1950s, the NSW Coast and Mountain Walkers started bushwalking there, and the area has since become a popular destination.


View Budawangs - road acces points in a larger map

Entrances

The best places to start a walk from are probably...
  • Wog-Wog. Probably my favourite. It's about half an hour by car from Braidwood on a mixture of sealed and usually good gravel roads. At the end of a walk this means you're also half an hour away from pizza or cake and coffee if you time it right. From Wog Wog it's an easy one day walk to the Canowrie or Burrumbeet Brook campsites, with plenty to see along the way, including Corang Arch and a spectacular panorama just beyond that as you're descending to the campsites.
  • Nerriga. A bit further from Braidwood, probably less well used, and may involve crossing private property to get over the river into the national park. In 2009 there were no impediments at all, but fresh roadworks and fencing at that time makes me think that the situation may change.
  • Sassafras. Even further from Braidwood, but closer to Nowra, so better access from the east. The carpark was moved about 7km back towards Sassafras in the '90s, so these days there's quite a bit of flat fire-trail walking before you get to see anything much. Probably still provides the best access to Folly Point though.
  • Long Gully (Yadboro). If you're coming in from the west along the Kings Highway, bear in mind that there's quite a bit of driving on hilly dirt roads to get to this one. This is more of a factor at the end of a walk when you're tired and it's likely to be dark. From the Kings Highway, turn onto the Western Distributor, then start navigating - there are a few turnoffs along the way. From the Princes Highway to the east, you'll probably want to turn off somewhere around Termeil, but make sure you've got a decent road map handy. As the crow flies, the Long Gully entrance is pretty close to the base of The Castle, which makes an imposing site as you drive in, but there's almost 800m of elevation to gain if you want to walk to the top from here.
  • Little Forest Plateau. Easy access from the coast near Milton, and very easy walking around the western clifftop of the plateau.
  • Pigeon House. Mainly for the day walk up Mt. Pigeon House

Maps

Most of the Budawangs is covered by four 1:25000 topographic maps, published by the New South Wales Department of Lands.
  • Corang 89273N
  • Endrick 89274S
  • Milton 89272N
  • Tianjara 89271S

There's also the legendary "Budawangs sketch map" (The Northern Budawang Range and the Upper Clyde River Valley), first published by the Budawang Committee in 1960. I have the 8th edition, published in 1990, and I think that may well have been the last. It's not as useful now as it once was, as some of the tracks marked on it are overgrown and access points have moved. It also indicates a number of camping caves (often just rock overhangs rather than real caves), the use of which is now discouraged on environmental and cultural grounds. They usually don't make very good campsites anyway, so that's no great loss in my opinion.

Still, the sketch map is a charming document, with hand-drawn text and features giving it a bit of a J.R.R. Tolkien feel.

Budawangs sketch map

Budawangs sketch map

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