Manning River Gorge is an excellent trip in the Barrington Tops area. There are 4 abseils, the most impressive is the 60 metre Manning Falls, also a nice little canyon section at the Black Hole and a number of slides.
Map - Pigna Barney 9234-3-N
Difficulty - M
Abseils - 4
Longest abseil - 62 metres
Distance - 6km
Quality - 8/10 ( a group of very experienced canyons I took through decided this )
Ascent - 300m
Park or camp at the end of Sassafras Trail MGA 658782 (easy 4wd) in the Barrington Tops State Forest
From where you park walk 200 metres back up the track to the turn on the ridge at MGA 656783
Leading steeply down the ridge is an old logging trail, follow this until it levels out, on the right is another old logging trail at MGA659788 dropping steeply off the ridge towards the river. Follow this trail down until near the bottom where you can drop off to your left and scramble steeply down to the river.
From the entry point scramble , swim and climb downstream a short distance and you will come to a set of cascades dropping into the Black Hole.
Above the cascades on the left (looking downstream) is a anchor high on a small tree, use this to descend the cascades till you reach a small cove on the right immediately before the waterfall dropping into the canyon section.There is a sling and quick link ( this could be damaged in high water so be prepared ) around a boulder for a 6 metre abseils to a ledge, from here it is a 40 metre swim through a nice canyon to a slide to exit.
After the Black hole is a very pleasant section with a few slides, after a few hundred metres you come to the big waterfall, the area at the top is quite large and open and a nice spot for lunch/ smoko.
On the left of the falls I have put in 2 Fixe anchors with captive rings secured with 10 x 90 Fixe expansion bolts. The rock is hard Basalt and was inspected and sounded before fixing anchors. There are two slings and quick link attached to hangers.
You will need two 80 metre ropes, ( 60 metre a couple of metres short ) you will get very wet from the falls, you land in a deep pool with a 30 metre swim to get out, pretty easy rope pull down from opposite side pool.
There is another 18 metre drop out of the pool with an anchor on the left around a tree, from here it is about 900 metres of swimming, scrambling and rock hopping downstream until Kangaroo Creek comes in on your left. This is a very nice area for lunch and the exit point.
Follow the steep spur between Kangaroo Creek and the Manning River up, keeping close to where the spur drops steeply into Kangaroo Creek on your right, keep following the spur and you will come back to where you started.
Take care with the waterfall abseil, you do get VERY wet , it may be possible to rig an anchor another metre or so away from the falls. Don’t try this trip in high water. It is possible to climb out above the falls and from immediately below the falls. Amazingly you do get phone reception from the campsite/ park area, the tower at Nowendoc transmits the signals.
You can also follow Kangaroo Creek down to its junction with the Manning. Start at the rock cairns the ridge. 4 abseils up to 40 metres.
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