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Walk: Tahmoor Canyon


Tahmoor Canyon is a hidden gem of southern Sydney bushland. Its two key features are the striking canyon of the Bargo River with pools such as Mermaid Pool, and the scarp of the Bargo Fault. This escarpment is part of the Lapstone structural complex, normally characterised by monoclines, but this is as beautiful an example of a true fault scarp as you’ll see anywhere. The flora is Hawkesbury Sandstone bushland par excellence, with a veneer of Mittagong Formation shale/sandstone and its varied woodland flora. It has an abundance of species and last year we saw spectacular flowering of Pseudanthus pimelioides, a shrub that you rarely see in North Shore bushland. We also saw lots of tiger orchids and several species of Prostanthera. Purple dampiera Dampiera purpurea are bigger and more spectacular here than anywhere else I’ve seen them.

Date: Sunday 17 September
Time: 9.45 for 10 am start
Length 6 km so with the start timing and the driving distances, treat this as a day walk
Grade: moderate, good tracks along the canyon rim but with short, steep, rocky climbs and descents and one creek crossing – we’ll turn off to several lookout points
MeetMermaids Pool and Tahmoor Gorge parking on the south-west side of Rockford Bridge
Distance: 115 km, almost entirely by motorway – North Connex-M2-M7-M31; time around 1 h 30 min door to door if no delays
Approach route: don’t take the Picton Rd interchange exit from the M31, go on for 11 km past the Pheasants Nest service area and exit at the Avon Dam Rd interchange; turn right over the overpass and after 200 m turn right again onto Arina Rd at the roundabout
Destination: after 7 km heading north on Arina Rd the road goes down a gentle hill into bush country. There are two bridges; drive over the first, short, Dog Trap Ck bridge and turn left onto Charlies Point Rd then immediately right into the Potholes Reserve car park, where you’ll hopefully see a blue Subaru. If you miss the turn off from Arina Rd you’ll be onto the much longer Rockford Bridge over the Bargo River: turn back as soon as you can.
Weather issues: mostly open woodland so sun exposure a factor though September sun is usually moderate on the skin (September is one of our drier months statistically)
Bring: lunch and drink, sun protection, strong shoes, camera/smartphone, i.d. guides – you will likely see many plants unfamiliar to you (we’ll have lunch at a splendid lookout over the deepest part of the canyon)
Refreshments: provided after the walk
Leader: John Martyn (0425 830 260)
Limit: 15 walkers
Mermaid Pool Tahmoor Canyon
Mermaid Pool, Tahmoor Canyon
Bargo Fault Scarp in Tahmoor Canyon
Bargo Fault Scarp in Tahmoor Canyon
Purple dampiera
Purple dampiera
Pseudanthus pimelioides
Pseudanthus pimelioides

Event Properties

Event Date 17-09-2023 9:45 am
Location Mermaids Pool and Tahmoor Gorge Parking

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