I'm on, screw gate nipped up: it's still an uneasy walk backwards. Dropping into the vertical world the walls of rock are black and slick. Trust is a rope. I'm being peppered by water droplets and lower my head so I can see and breath. I hit rock bottom and bellow...CLEAR.
Compressed into a 1km section of Bangalore Creek in Bindarri National Park is a local canyoning favourite - a warehouse of waterfalls where the creek drops steeply off the Eastern Dorrigo Plateau in a series of cascades and waterfalls which range from just a few metres high to one 40m drop. The top of Bangalore Creek is just an hours drive west of Coffs Harbour. There is a National Park picnic area and a short walking track that takes you to a viewing platform for the first waterfall of the creek, Bangalore Falls.
|Bangalore Creek - subdued winter state|
The water hardly drains from our squelching shoes before we are amongst it again - swimming a short pool and then abseiling through another cascade. It is only a short distance between each waterfall. Ironmongery clanging, pulsating cicadas make us shout to communicate, then we are yahooing as we jump off one small drop into a dark, cold pool below.
|Sally aka Mrs Claus|
We do seven abseils and by the last one all of us are in that happy adventure mode. Sally is lying back in the cool water waiting her turn. I'm peering over the edge of the horizon pool looking down the sheer wall of the waterfall. Brad and Caz rig up - tube webbing is threaded to a tree anchor and threaded again by 60m of static before Caz throws the rope into the abyss. One by one we disappear down. When it is my turn to go, Sally is still lying in the pool as relaxed as she has been all year and cheering me on. I take my final walk backwards. The rope takes my weight. Friction is my friend as I ease my way down and at the bottom swing through the waterfall into a sheltered cave lined with ferns. Standing there, a curtain of white water is streaming down from above and I can see through it to the rich green rainforest and a grove of bangalow palms. I unclip. I'm off, screw gate undone, biner unclipped, rope off, head and soul...CLEAR, I bellow.
Canyoners - Sally Goode & Brad Poidevin, Chrissy & Caz.