Early in 2014 I joined a bushwalking club to walk in some new areas and learn some new tricks. Actually I joined two clubs, The Bush Club and Sydney Bushwalkers (SBW), as I couldn’t decide between them! An overnight trip to Mt Cloudmaker sleeping in Hundred Man Cave, Kanangra Boyd National Park, in April was the last of my qualifying walks to become a member of SBW.
We car-camped at Boyd River campsite the night before, and were up early for a 7:30am start. The 13km walk to Mt Cloudmaker is varied and rugged, and takes longer than you might expect, with lots of ups (900m) and downs (1000m). The Gangerang Range mountains in this area have delightful names, Mt High and Mighty and Mt Stormbreaker among them. Mt Cloudmaker is the highest in the Gangerang Range.
Gabes Gap is the low point on the walk, the path through the gap is steep in both directions. Nifty footwork is required over the rocky knolls quaintly named Rip, Rack, Roar and Rumble. Poles are a good idea if you have questionable knees or ankles.
The views along the way, particularly from the Kanangra Walls plateau and Mt Stormbreaker are wonderful, and at night we went up onto the Ti Willa Plateau under a full moon and were rewarded with a wide horizon view of sparking lights from Sydney to Wollongong.
Hundred Man Cave had a good water supply when we were there, with given recent good rains, dripping from the cave into a gully. However, on an April weekend trip a year later, the creek was bone dry as far as we were able to follow it. We were forced to place billies under drips from the cave roof to collect water. We spent a restless night regularly decanting the billies into water bottles, and were relieved to have collect six litres over night which was just sufficient to get our party home.
The cave has a good flat, sandy base for rolling out our sleeping bags. The 1.3km path to the Cave from the Mt Cloudmaker summit is vague in places, navigation skills are needed.
A lovely overnight walk in a beautiful national park, and great company from the welcoming group of SBW walkers.