Summary: Nightmare Canyon is located between Pipeline and Devils Pinch Canyons, on the north side of the Wolgan River. It is an enjoyable abseiling trip that is suitable for cooler weather and can be easily combined with Pipeline Canyon.
Difficulty — Moderate
Time — 7 hours
Distance — 10kms
Elevation — 360m
Number of abseils — 7+
Longest abseil — 32m
Swimming — No
Quality — 5/10
Location: Mt Morgan 456 271 (Also see Tom Brennan's Wolgan canyons map)
Drive to the Newnes Campground, at the very end of the Wolgan Road.
From the main campground at Newnes, on the northern side of the Wolgan River, follow the well-worn Pipeline Track downstream for about 2km. The track begins to climb up steadily, before turning left up a gully. Once up the steepest part a signpost points to a lookout which provides a stunning view.
Continue along the track to the watershed where it begins the downhill journey towards Glen Davis. Turn right here, passing a NPWS sign about Starlight Canyon. This track heads north, then north east, then east. Leave the track and head south over the highpoint at 455 278. Continue south along this ridge for about 600m. From the next highpoint, head south east down a spur until the ridge flattens out. From here you turn south west (right) and drip into the gully.
Tom Brennan's map of the area provides
Nightmare does not contain particularly impressive canyon constrictions, but it is very vertical with lots of diverse abseils. In total you will likely descend at least seven drops before reaching the most impressive and longest (32m) abseil at the end.
Moving carefully, it is possible to stay dry until the final drop where you finish in a pool that is generally about waist deep.
From the final abseil, follow the base of the cliffs west (right). After about 500m you will come to the end of Pipeline Canyon. Continue along the track at the base of the cliffs which eventually rejoins the Pipeline Track. Return along the track back to the campground.
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