Day 4: Lake Murphy to Robinson Gorge

Our convoy at the turnoff to Robinson Gorge.

Our convoy at the turnoff to Robinson Gorge.

Robinson Gorge is a bit further west of Lake Murphy along the Glenhaughton Road – a good dirt road. The last 16K on Currajong Rd into the park however were 4WD only. There were some rough patches but on the whole pretty good until just immediately before the campground where the road goes down a rocky and washed out hill to a dry creek crossing packed with rocks. A little thought to our track and Priscilla was through it without a bother.
Another excellent National Parks campground similar to that at Lake Murphy.

Distance travelled: 66K

Another excellent National Parks campsite.

Another excellent National Parks campsite. Note: This is the road into the campsite – down this hill and across the stony gully at the bottom.

Another well-maintained and pretty campsite.

Another well-maintained and pretty campsite.

“Winding for 14K between sheer sandstone cliffs up to 100m high, Robinson Gorge is one of the main features of the large and remote Expedition National park. Robinson Gorge is unusual – it begins as a broad, shallow basin before narrowing to a deep pool in a narrow gorge only six metres wide near its southern end.”
There are 3 walks to do here, so we decided to get started on them today. First one is the 6.5K return walk to the Cattle Dip, which is actually the very narrow end of the gorge with the deep pool. It does resemble a cattle dip! Most of this walk was along a road, which we could have driven, but we all felt like a bit of exercise. Being sandstone the cliff edges of the gorge are sheer and crumbly. The Cattle Dip was viewed from the top of the cliff and looks very inviting. We’re pretty sure we saw either a turtle or playpus in it – bit hard to tell as it’s a long way down and no way to get there.
Back to camp for campfire and dinner.

The very narrow end of Robinson Gorge, known as the 'Cattle Dip' for obvious reasons.

The very narrow end of Robinson Gorge, known as the ‘Cattle Dip’ for obvious reasons.

Bulahdelah to Jenolan Caves

Early start this morning. Headed south on the highway looking for a nice spot to stop for breakfast. Port Stephens seemed promising and a place we wanted to see anyway, so the little township of Karuah in the bay provided us with the perfect location. Karuah is noted to be a quiet place to get away from it all, with fishing and oyster farming being the major industries. We cooked our bacon and eggs on the barbeque at the foreshore watching the pelicans following the oyster farmers in to their sheds with great anticipation, and a retired couple catching bream from the jetty.

The harbour.

The harbour.

I felt we should support the local industry so a dozen of the most delicious, plump oysters found their way into our fridge – pity Steve doesn’t eat oysters (wink!). Karuah is a delightful little place.
Click here to see some more photos of Karuah.

You may recall that our tickets to the Opera in the Caves were a gift from Nick and Kim who read in an earlier ‘chronicle’ how much we had previously enjoyed the opera in the caves. Well … Nick and Kim take note of what I’m going to write about now just in case you’re looking for your next gift for us – we’d be happy to combine Mothers Day and Fathers Day gifts for this one (maybe even birthdays and Christmas too)!

Seeing as how we had to skirt around Sydney to get to the Blue Mountains we decided to pop into Trakka to take a look at their motorhomes. We’re keen to purchase a motorhome to continue our cruisin’ in and have narrowed it down to either the Trakka or the Horizon. Martin Poate the General Manager at Trakka showed us the Jabiru 4×4 – I’m definitely in love! Anyway no decisions yet until we see the Horizon. (Stay tuned Nick and Kim!)

So, onward and upward, and upward, and upward as we climbed the Blue Mountains. Our plan is to return to Katoomba to camp this weekend and do some of the Blue Mountains walks – but the weather isn’t looking promising. I was surprised how brown everywhere was – they sure need rain up here. When you reach Katoomba you feel like you should be at the Caves, but it’s still another hour’s drive, and the road is very windy, tight hairpin bends and narrow in places. They close the road for a couple of hours from around 11am for the coaches exclusive use. Good idea – I wouldn’t like to meet one of those big buses on that road.

Caves House, our accommodation for the next two nights is delightful. Oldy worldy – but more about that tomorrow. It was a long day today and we were both grateful to arrive and get settled into our room before adjourning to the lounge bar for a gin and tonic.