Over the past few weeks of school holiday time, I’ve spent a couple of days with two of my kids hiking and camping in Bungonia National Park, which is situated in southern New South Wales, Australia, about 25km from the inland town of Goulburn.
Officially, Bungonia Gorge is Australia’s deepest gorge and the hike down and back up the Red Track takes you right to the bottom of the gorge and back up again after traversing the gorge’s creek bed for a while.
The track in and out is very steep and the sign at the top telling you that the walk needs a high level of fitness is probably justified.
The track bottom includes a section of huge limestone boulders as big as houses and tumbled over one another, which are interesting, challenging and fun to scramble over, under and through.
My 11yr old son simply used his budding “Parkour” skills to hop from one rock to another, but my daughter and I played it safe and found slower, more certain paths through the maze.
The Red Track is only 3.8km long but the estimated time to walk it is 5hrs return. We took about that time and that included two stops to go swimming in the cool creek water for refreshment on what turned ut to be a fairly warm day.
We saw lots of lizards and thankfully no snakes. We were also greeted by some wild goats on the way back up to the car park, and a protective ram with big horns who gave a loud snort of disgust before running off when I pointed him out to the kids as he poked his head around a bush about 20 metres from us.
All in all, we had a great time. Our legs ached the next day from the climb out, but it was well worth it!