Bummaroo Ford / Taralga - Oberon Rd. Bridge To The Beach Camp Ground

Greg Turner's picture
HELLO WORLD
Alternate Name: 
Bummaroo Ford To 'The Beach Campground'
Route: 
Waterway: 
Abercrombie River
Main Entry Point: 
Description: 

The Abercrombie River rises in the western part of the Blue Mountains near Mt. Werong, south of Oberon, and flows in a very twisting fashion north-west to Wyangala Dam. The top section has a small catchment area and is usually too low for canoeing, unless heavy rain has fallen in the catchment >50mm within 24hrs. The start point is from Bummaroo Ford and there is a good national parks campground that is free on the Northern side of the river, with pit toilets.  There is also a large open camping area to the Southern side of the river with vehicle access to the river, but no facilities. Access to the river from here is very easy. The next access point to the river is at 'The Beach' Campground, which is located a further 27km down the river in Abercrombie River National Park. There is a large sandy camping area here and also a pit toilet. Access to the Beach campground is 4WD ONLY via Abercrombie River National Park. 4WD with Low Range is essential as there is a VERY Steep hill leading down to the campground and is slippery after rain  (NOT SUITABLE FOR All wheel drive type vehicles). The shuttle from Bummaroo Ford is also a long one (time), allow at least 1:30 - 1:45hrs each way for the shuttle. The Beach Campground allows for the upper section to be paddled as a LONG day trip, with a very early start. However keep in mind that due to the recent 2012 Floods there is a lot of log jams throughout the river which may add significant time to the day (Approx. 15 log jams - generally easy portages, but slow things down significantly).  Good eddy catching skills are essential in the areas which are blocked by logs - NOT SUITABLE FOR BEGINNERS. The country through which the river flows is fairly steep and the lack of public access points along the length of the river prevents easy day trips being undertaken.
The gradient of this section of river is relatively low, only dropping roughly 3m/km, but is generally flowing the whole distance. The river is very well indicated by the map, which shows large pools or waterholes joined by long narrow tree-shrouded sections, which are the rapids. The rapids are relatively straight forward, however low branches and fallen trees in places make catching the eddies essential.  A swim into a logjam could be very dangerous / deadly.
After approx. 20km Silent Creek enters on the right and the volume of the river picks up and a lot of the shallow rocks become covered making the paddling more clean. There are plently of relatively flat campsites above the river with easy access most of the way. The country remains fairly steep and quite rough and scrubby, while the muddiness of the banks provides for a good supply of platypus. There are lots of feral goats and pigs along the way and noticeable pig damage to the banks. This section requires a lot of rain to not be scraping over rocks the whole distance, however with more water and a high level, catching eddies above the logjams becomes more difficult and more risky. The section below from the Beach campground down is the easier of the sections and has a more reliable / higher flow due to the Burra Ck, Retreat River and Bolong Creeks joining below. 

Trip Duration: 
one long day in summer, or overnight is safer
Trip Length: 
28
Portage?: 
Yes
Average Grade: 
Highest Grade: 
Gradient: 
3m/km
Shuttle Length: 
The Beach Shuttle takes approx. 3 to 3.5 hrs return and is high clearance 4WD Only
Character: 
A remote river amongst deep open woodland gorges
Hot Tip: 
There is currently a lot of log strainers throughout the river due to the 2012 Floods, a fair bit of portaging over log jams will be required
Level Information: 
Refer to the BOM Site which is updated daily and see below guide for suitable river heights
Extra Gauge Info: 
There is a gauge just before the last rapid and also one at the northern side of the bridge at Abercrombie. A good level is 1.2-1.3m. (Minimum level is 1.1m.) However, if the river is flowing well under Bummaroo Bridge, this section is canoeable. It does need very good rain in the area beforehand to be canoeable (at least 50mm plus within 24hrs in the upper catchment area or snowmelt)
Section location: 
POINT (149.66791966938 -34.17427894916)