Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Day 4: Monday: 29 September 2014

Hollanders River to Dingo Dell

And now to what lies ahead, the unknown, after a very cold night. We called it ... Perishing Point camp.

From Myles comprehensive journal as researched by Wyn Jones and packaged into a trip notebook.

For the walkers on this trip it was quite a comfortable night. Slightly up the hill from Hollanders River. Modern sleeping bags certainly are an improvement over the basic blankets that Myles and Bert had.

The yellow Paddy Pallin tent at the campsite.

Paddy tent.

This is Myles photo from his camp at this point. The Australian flag was always present on the tent. 

Myles Perishing Point camp

The modern group were up at 5:30, with the sun fully risen and it starting to become warm. 

Off at 7:30 in search of places matching the historic photographs. Thanks again Wyn for the research. This is the junction of Hollanders River and Budthingeroo creek. Is this the same tree that Myles photographed at the Perishing Point campsite?

Perishing Point campsite tree

And again.

Perishing Point tree

The original photograph.

Perishing Point Tree

The creek walking begins. Luckily it was a warm dry day. October in 1914 had record rainfall. 

Upper Hollanders River

Alex, Sierra and John, creek crossing 3 of 200.

Upper Hollanders River

Upper Hollanders River

Crossing 13 of 300.

Upper Hollandes River

Another attempt at trying to discover the original places that Myles and Bert visited. Is this limestone bluff the same as in Myles photo?

The modern photo.

Limestone bluff on the Hollanders River.

Myles Photos.

Myles Dunphy Hollanders River limestone bluff.

A creek crossing. Alex Menyhart in the foreground. 

Hollanders river creek crossing

This limestone cave was found. It has a cave register number.

Limestone cave on the Hollanders River

Warwick surveying the cave.

Warwick surveying the cave

The banks of the river were open, making for easy going. Another creek crossing.

Creek crossing

Or perhaps this is the bend in Myles photo above? The undercut and foreground boulders match a bit better.

Hollanders Creek

The party crossing the Hollanders River. 

Down the river the going got tougher as these words from Myles' journal reveal.

As we moved down the Hollanders the river twisted and turned many times and we found it was necessary to make many crossings. The going got steadily rougher, limestone bluffs became a feature at first on one side of the river with boulders and terraces on the other till it closed altogether into a canyon. Our feet were permanently wet.

The party crossing the Hollanders River

Alex and Sierra crossing Hollanders River.

Alex and Sierra crossing Hollanders River

The river banks are still mostly open.

Sierra is carrying a Paddy H-frame pack and Alex is carrying the original Dungal Swag. Myles notes state

Crossing the river was made more easily by our swag arrangement - the Dungal Swag. With the swag on the back and the bags on counterbalancing at the front, one became more stable. I would have been swept away on several occasions had it not been for the swag literally rooting me to the river bottom. And this in places where it was merely knee to waist deep.

The group was quite glad to have a more moderate river flow.

Hollanders River

Crossing the Hollanders River.

Hollanders River

Chuin Nee, Sierra and Alex.

Hollandes River

The banks are mostly open, except when they are not. In this case Alex avoids some scrub and black thorn by walking in the river.

Myles states

The river got deeper and great cliffs appeared high overhead making progress slower and more difficult. At one stage we had to push through thickets of some spiky bushes and just as we were almost overcome by these we entered an immense amphitheater filled with bare red earth and studded with lumps of limestone, it was bare owing to the huge number of rabbits.

Hollanders River with Alex in it.

Small boy with Hollanders River rocks. Myles was about 23 at this stage, so a bit before his Kanangra Express days.

Small boy with rocks.

Myles and Bert were unable to actually pass through Chardon Canyon. The modern group followed in their footsteps to the top of Tuglow Falls. Maybe this was the 'rabbit eaten amphitheater' referred to in Myles notes. Maybe the group took a slightly different route, or maybe it looks totally different with the reduced number of rabbits since the introduction fo Myxomatosis.


Amazing views down from the very start of the Kowmung River. Tuglow falls are located in the foreground on the right.

Chardon Canyon

Alex wanted the full adventure and to traverse Chardon Canyon. Maybe it could have been done with lower water and 100 years more experience of the area than Myles had the advantage of. Either way Alex will have to return as the prudent approach around the canyon was followed to preserve knees and gear. The group didn't get this close to the canyon.

Chardon Canyon

Chardon Canyon

Chardon canyon was called Red Canyon in Myles time. Much of the area "UNSURVEYED TERRITORY" at the time. Myles and Bert on this trip noted the start of the Kowmung river at Chardon canyon.

Taking from Wyn Jones' fantastic trip notes

Just around the corner from Chardon (Red) Canyon is the Tuglow Falls and to get there Myles and Bert had a fairly hair raising sidling on the western granite scree. There may be a sort of trail there now worn by generations of bushwalkers (remember they were called trailers) which make it easier for you young-uns. 

Yes there was a track, and a couple of signs "Tuglow Falls Track" and a sign to "Blue Pool".

Myles says, "Oh! The grind of it! Half way up I pondered as to which was the more dangerous the canyon or the range! It is a cold fact that where we were climbing would turn the average person gidd. Up! Up! Up! Six inches at a time. Careful! Careful! Slip - and good-bye amateur explorer."

Tuglow Falls

Wyn Jones writes

Note also on the the old map that the area around these falls had already been reserved for Public Recreation in 1912, 1913 adn the Tuglow Caves adjoining to the south had been reserved for Preservation of Caves in 1898. So perhaps the previous surveyors had an appreciation of this country as an aesthetic, in the same way that Dunphy did and expressed in his diary.

Tuglow Falls, from the top as Myles and Bert would have seen it. 

Tuglow Falls

The falls looked quite powerful and had a big impact on the party. Lunch was had and Alex Menyhart had a quick and quite cold looking swim in a deep pool above the falls.

Tuglow Falls

Wyn Jones writes

After crossing Tuglow River above the falls you are required to find the spot from which Myles photographed the falls. (GR: 403-755). Myles said the total drop of the Tuglow Falls is 350ft. Is he correct?

Second guessing Myles is probably a fraught exercise. There are 3 or 4 individual falls maybe up to 40m? 100m+ is a long way.

Tuglow Falls

Tuglow falls, even with weather far drier than 1914 seemed to have a good flow.

Tuglow Falls

Alex and Sierra on Tuglow Falls.

Tuglow Falls

Climbing out of Tuglow Falls.

Climb out of Tuglow Falls

The party did see Box Creek falls which had a big impact as you can see the full extent of the falls on the opposite slope. A silvery, bubbling streak with good flow. 

Wyn's notes:

The rhythm of the walk changes as Bert and Myles stop for views of Tuglow Falls, and then, turning to look across the Kowmung River they saw "a most magnificent waterfall of four great leaps plunging from the plateau level down into the gorge!" This is Box Creek Falls although Dunphy gave it that name and DungaLla Falls as well. He was a prolific giver of names.

Box Creek Falls


Wyn writes

It is just a matter of heading down the Tuglow (AKA Kowmung) River now around the "Gridiron"  a name which is a contraction of Griddle Iron a metal rack of parallel bars to cook meat or fish over an open fire. Myles drawing of this is legendary.

The modern party did head down into it, clamber over parts of it and head back up towards Tuglow Caves through a steep slope and some blackthorn bushes.




The trip headed down a fire trail to Dingo Dell campsite in good spirits. Knees that were aching at the thought of more steep descents and toes covered in elastaplast healed at the thought of the camp.

The trip map made by Wyn Jones at the end of day 4. More signatures.

The trip map


Section Walkers: Sierra Classen, Alex Allchin, David Noble, John Menyhart, Alex Menyhart, Warwick Mosman, John Robens, Chuin Nee Ooi, Jasper Robens

Walk day: