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What?

The Big Hole

Where?

Deua National Park, NSW

How do I get there?

From Braidwood drive down the Cooma/Krawaree Road (across the Ballalaba Bridge over the Shoalhaven River); past the Captains Flat turn off until you see the Berlang Camping Area sign on the left – this is your entry point. A short walk from this well equipped site (there's toilets, BBQs and camping spots) and you arrive at The Big Hole.

The Big Hole
The 96-metre pit that is better known as the Big Hole located near Braidwood, NSW.

Background

The Big Hole is a steep, 96-metre pit, thought to have been formed when sedimentary rocks caused underlying limestone caves to collapse. Along with Big Badja, Marble Arch and Wyanbene Caves, this is one of the main attractions along the western boundary of the Deua National Park which adjoins the Wadbilliga Park to the south. Together this expanse covers 156 000 hectares, one of the largest areas of natural land left in the eastern part of the state.

This is what author John Blay said about Big Hole in his 1987 book Trek Through The Back Country: "I walked round the hole, marvelling and trying to work out how to photograph it; it was about 50 metres across. The sides fell in a sheer drop of some hundred metres. Ferns clung to the sides in places and tree-ferns grew in a sloping band of earth at the bottom. Swallows flittered in clear arcs."

Others visitors have reported lyrebirds scuffling about at the bottom of the Big Hole. Who knows what you'll see when you visit?

The Big Hole
A birds eye view into the Big Hole, located on the outskirts of Braidwood NSW


 



What?

Marble Arch


Where?

Deua National Park, NSW.

How do I get there?

This natural gem can be reached by extending your walk beyond the Big Hole. In total it is a 13km, return walk that starts from the Berlang Camping Area. If you require  further information: both the Big Hole and Marble Arch are located on the western side of the Deua National Park, for a detailed map of this area try topographic map - Kain 8026-4S.

Marble Arch
The impressive Marble Arch can be reached via the Berlang Camping Area. The 13km return walk is well worth the effort.

 

Background

The Marble Arch is a striking, narrow-roofed canyon, approx. four metres wide, 25 metres deep and over a kilometre in length. Wide bands of 'marble' (variegated limestone) can be seen in the walls of the canyon and the roof of the cave. Make sure you pack plenty of food and water for this trip!
 

Marble Arch

A glimpse of the walls in the canyon of the ancient Marble Arch - a true natural wonder located on the outskirts of Braidwood, NSW.

 


 

What?

Bendethera Caves

Where?

Deua National Park, NSW

How do I get there?

This near-pristine area is only accessible via 4 wheel drive from Moruya (around a three to four hour drive in good conditions) or from Braidwood, along the Cooma/Krawaree Rd. From here access the park from Middle Mountain Rd (around two hours). Once at the Bendethera camping area the caves are around a 2.5 hour walk by foot. A huge effort, by anyone's standards, but well worth it!

Please note: Remember, this is a wilderness area and one of the largest - and most rugged - National Parks in Australia. For detailed maps trytopographic maps -Snowball 8826-3S and Bendethera 8826-2S for access off Cooma/Krawaree Rd (western side) and for visitors coming in from Moruya, try the following:Moruya 8926-3S combined with the Bendethera map.

Google Maps for this area aren't recommended.

 

Bendethra Caves

The main cave at Bendethera is instantly recognisable. This natural limestone wonder is much larger than the other caves in the area.

 

Background

The Main Cave at Bendethera is a short and steep climb up the range from the walking track. You'll know which one it is due to its size: its the large limestone cave that contrasts with the many smaller caves and sinkholes that dot the landscape.

The surrounding vegetation varies and is equally as interesting. It includes swamp-bogs and Shoalhaven River ferns combined with areas of Ironbark rainforest, open forest (with lots of Snow Gums) and Ash along the ridge tops. Fauna, too, is abundant with swamp and red-necked wallabies, grey kangaroos, echidnas, possums, bandicoots, a rare tiger quoll and around 90 bird species.

Bendethera Cave
A detailed image of the formations inside the Bendethera Cave that is only accessible via 4WD. Location: Deua National Park, NSW.

But, please be aware that the Bendethera Caves are really for the more 'dedicated' camper or nature lover. It takes a huge effort to travel here and shouldn't be something you do on a whim! If you do decide to go, ensure you are fully prepared for any changhes in weather, with ample supplies of food and water.

If you want to experience nature in the raw, there’s arguably nowhere better to pitch your tent for a weekend – or longer. This is a place where you can really get away from it all. Camp on the grassy area of the old farm by the fast-flowing Deua River – and explore!