Sassafras Ridge + Wollangambe Crater via the Centre of the Universe: Blue Mountains NP, NSW

It was another great week for hiking in the Blue Mountains. I also managed a flying visit to the city to catch up with friends before this week’s departure for the summer to work on a peach farm on the south coast of NSW.

Sydney University Quadrangle

Glebe Point Road and surrounds

On Tuesday, Peter L and I hiked out to Sassafras Ridge in hopes of better weather than our earlier attempt from last summer.

Remains of once grand sandstone building by the railway line in Faulconbridge

Stormclouds gathering

The weather turned out to be remarkably similar, but the wildflowers were in bloom and the trees looked pretty spectacular in the growing gloom. We also saw this little guy, who hid his head under a log as we drew near in the hope that his denial of our presence would deter our approach.

Echidna – one of Australia’s two monotremes

On Sunday, Kevin, Lee and I did a full day hike out to Wollangambe Crater and return, via the aptly named Centre of the Universe, a pogoda affording 360• views of the surrounding countryside.

Kevin climbs straight up the Centre of the Universe, while Lee and I circle the rock seeking out a gentler ascent

 It’s wild country north of Bell’s Line of Road, with a poorly marked, unmapped trail from the pogoda to the crater, but the payoff is pretty spectacular.After navigating our way along the rocky ridgeline, with its fantastic rock formations, the ‘path’ (cough) took a sharp turn with steep descent to the Wollangambe River and beyond to the crater. We swam in this beautiful waterhole before making tea at the campsite. My shots of the crater don’t really do it justice. All of a sudden, the rocky scree gives way to a massive open meadow, with wombat and kangaroo poo everywhere. Marsupial paradise! Apparently the night sky is pretty spectacular too, due in part to the remoteness from Sydney’s light pollution and the absence of overhanging trees which obscure your view in most other Blue Mountains campsites.The wildflowers continue to amaze, flourishing in this harsh environment.

One of these flowers has been featured here twice because I couldn’t decide whether it belonged in the yellow palette or the white…

Kevin says that we are to hiking what glampers are to camping. He coined a new term to describe us: glikers 👍. We figure we balance out our fancy fare with hardcore hiking routes, and thereby earn every mouthful of delicious blueberry and white chocolate scone we consume on these hikes! 

Nature’s many seats (including a sun lounge)! In the top right image, the lads have just realised that the tree has been completely hollowed out underneath by fire.

We scrambled up some more rocky ledges and stopped for afternoon tea and scones on the return to the car.

Such cool patterns

One last warratah for the road:

3 thoughts on “Sassafras Ridge + Wollangambe Crater via the Centre of the Universe: Blue Mountains NP, NSW

    • And thank you for lunch! Yum yum Cambodian Rolls. I’m about to pick some up for my hike today with Peter. See you tonight for the (slightly less super than last night’s) moon viewing – fingers crossed for clearer weather tonight!

      Like

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