The Budawangs are a rugged mountain range largely located within the Budawang National Park and Morton National Park in New South Wales, Australia. The Budawangs have been declared a Wilderness Area. The Budawangs are very popular with bush walkers due to their impressive terrain and unique features. The Clyde River has its source in the Budawangs.
Areas of interest
- The Castle
- Pigeon House Mountain
- Monolith Valley
- The Seven Gods Monoliths
- Mt Budawang
- Clyde River Valley
- Hidden Valley
- Mt Tarn
- Mt Cole
- Ettrema Gorge
If walking in the Budawangs a recommended resource is the Northern Budawang Range and the Upper Clyde River Valley sketch map, published by The Budawang Committee and available in most Sydney/Nowra/Canberra bushwalking stores. The sketch map was hand drawn and details many of the possible walks in the most popular part of the national park. The area is also covered by the 1:25,000 CMA maps CORANG (8927-3-N), ENDRICK (8927-4-S), TIANJARA (8927-1-S) and MILTON (8927-2-N).
Land use history
The earliest human occupants of the Budawangs were two Aboriginal tribes; the Wandandians who inhabited land to the north of Pigeon House Mountain, and the Walbanjas who lived south of Pigeon House.
There are archaeological records of Aboriginal presence in the area dating back to around 11,000 years ago. Nearby coastal deposits have been dated at around 20,000 years old, so occupation in the Budawangs may well be older than current evidence suggests. Archaeological evidence found in the area includes occupational deposits in rock shelters, open campsites, and axe grinding grooves often found on rocks by the sides of creeks in the area. Art sites and rock arrangements also exist in the Budawangs though they are quite rare - the best of these is on Quilty's Mountain.
Grazing and farming
There are several grazing farmlands surrounding the National Parks region both in the East and the West.
Logging began in the Budawang area in the early 1900s, it continues to this day in areas that remain outside of the National Parks such as Yadboro State Forest.
The army operated an artillery range on the Tianjara plateau between 1943 and 1974, also using the area for practice bombing and exercises often involving offroad vehicles. This area is highly damaged and littered with target debris and unexploded ordnance. Extreme care should be undertaken if walking in or near this area.
Navy jet aircraft and helicopters use the area as a designated low-fly training area, allowing high speed flight through the area at 50 feet above the ground.
Since the Budawangs are only accessible from gravel roads, care should be taken after rain as the roads can become slippery.
The northern parts of the area including the Clyde River valley are best accessed from the Braidwood Nowra road. There are two entrances in the northern part of the park. One is near Nerriga and requires walking through farmland to the area around Quilty's Mountain. The other (main) northern entrance is a not very clearly marked gate on the side of the road near Sassafras.
Access to The Castle and Monolith Valley is best achieved from Long Gully just off the Western Distributor.
Access to the western 'Wog Wog' side of the park is via a park entrance off the Mongarlowe/Nerriga road, either coming from Braidwood to the south or Nowra to the north.
All three main entrances now have marked campsites and pit toilets. The Sassafrass campsite is approx. 600m down the fire trail from the carpark and has tank water and a sheltered picnic table. The Wog Wog campsite has no water, so don't forget to bring your own. The Long Gully campsite has the Yadboro creek for water.
- Doughton,Ron."Bushwalking in the Budawangs", Envirobook,1989
- Watson,Colin."Pigeon House and Beyond",The Budawang Committee,1982