Bendethera Valley

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesBraidwood
FinishMoruya
DifficultyDifficulty 3/5
Suitable for4WD 
Distance236.88 km
Minimum Days1
Average Speed63.84 km/hr
Driving Time3 hrs 42 mins
Article By: ExplorOz Team
Page Updated: 13 Jan 2015

Description

Bendethera Valley is in the Deua National Park, approximately 320km southwest of Sydney and 100km southeast of Canberra. There's a number of popular camp grounds within the region - some with picnic tables, fireplaces, and even long-drop toilets. Popular spots include Bendethera Valley campground, Wyanbene Cave and Berlang campgrounds to the north, and Dry Creek campground to the east.

Hiking, nature spotting, cave exploring, and simply enjoying the spectacular views from the highlands are some of the popular activities within Bendethera and Deua NP - so pack your hiking boots. Highlights include The Big Hole (just north of Gundillion), Marble Arch, Bendethera and Wyanbene Caves, Dampier Trig and Bendethera Mountain. The region is rich in culture and history. The remains of the old Bendethera homestead and the surrounding area provide a variety of artefacts, structures and features relating to gold and silver mining, grazing and tourism.

Due to the nature of most of the park’s roads and tracks, touring in a conventional car is limited to only a few attractions such as The Big Hole and Wyanbene Cave. Therefore, to make the most of the sights, a 4WD with low range and dedicated ‘off road’ tyres are ideal. There are some challenging 4WD sections throughout the park, including river crossings and considerably steep and rocky sections. The tracks into Bendethera are quite established and reasonably well formed, but being clay based - they do get slippery during wet conditions. As rugged as this region is, being well prepared, having competent 4WDriving skills, and going in with at least one other vehicle - will help pave way for an enjoyable and safe trip.

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Environment

Geology - Deua National Park lies over a basement of granite that rises from the coastal plain westwards to the Monaro Tablelands. Metamorphic rocks lie over the granite where the topography dips to the northeast. The fast flowing Deua River has cut deep V-shaped valleys through the park.

Both underground and surface features are associated with the limestone (karst) areas within Deua National Park. Each of the areas includes a number of cave systems and sinkholes Bendethera and Wyanbene caves were discovered late last century and have since had continual use, however Deua cave was only discovered in 1980 and is in relatively pristine condition. All the karst areas contain features of high conservation or scientific importance, which are sensitive to any human activity. The karst environments in the park provide a significant geomorphological resource, in addition to providing habitats for a diversity of fauna, including important roosting sites for bats.

Fauna

There are around 90 species of birds, which have been recorded in the park together with swamp wallabies, red-necked wallabies, grey kangaroos, echidnas, possums and bandicoots as well as the rare tiger quoll.

Flora

Vegetation in the park changes markedly with altitude. A complex system of swamps, bogs and fens is associated with the watersheds of the Deua and Shoalhaven rivers providing clean and reliable water during times of drought. The well drained slopes surrounding areas of rainforest support ironbark (Eucalyptus paniculata), with yellow and white stringybarks (E. muellerana and E. globoidea). On the ridge tops the vegetation changes to stands of silvertop ash (E. sieberi) in open forests, and snow gums (E. pauciflora) at higher altitudes.

History

Bendethera was once a pastoral lease, dating back to about 1861, and remnants of the homestead and farm are visible. A lot of the ‘historical sights’ have well-presented signage explaining the history and operations of the area. In the last part of the 19th Century, the Bendethera Valley was cleared to provide a resting-place for cattle driven from the Monaro Plains near Canberra to Bega, from where they'd be shipped to either Sydney or Melbourne. Settlement of the valley was especially difficult given its remoteness from both the coast and the tablelands. The area however was a favourite destination for early tourists, and in 1896 a portion was reserved for public recreation. The main Bendethera Cave has signatures dating from the 1890s including many old names in the district.

The idea for a national park for the Deua River was probably first discussed in 1920 when Myles Dunphy and Roy Davies walked through the region. But it was not until the 1960s that the National Parks Association's 'Deua–Tuross National Park Proposal' was put together. The momentum for a national park was developed during the 1970s, culminating in its dedication in 1979. In 1994, two sections of Deua National Park were declared wilderness - the Burra–Oulla and Woila–Deua wilderness areas. Take the time to read the NPWS advisory signs at the entry to the park, explaining the Flora, Fauna, Environment and History of the area.

Preparation

As Bendethera is relatively close to Braidwood (or Moruya), no extra fuel or water is required, although ensure you have enough to cover your intended destinations. Consider the food required for the number of days you plan to stay within the park. Bring good hiking boots, adequate clothing for the time of year - especially warm clothes for the colder months. Carrying all the necessary safety equipment is advisable. First Aid kits, recovery gear, navigation and communication gear. It is wise to take a GPS and relevant maps to navigate confidently through the maze of forestry roads and tracks. Communications gear such as a UHF radio, satellite phone, and PLB is also beneficial.

Most standard 4WD’s should be able to cope with the conditions OK, however there are some track sections, which are rocky and steep, and therefore - should be driven with caution. This is where: low range, dedicated ‘off road’ tyres, good ground clearance, and sump guards are highly recommended. Extreme caution and common sense should be exercised during wet conditions, as rain can make rocks very slippery and rivers too deep and strong for crossing. Going into the park with two or more 4WDs is advisable. During the dry conditions, it has been said that the tracks in and around Bendethera should not pose any problems, and some travellers have even taken camper trailers into the park.

Before embarking, please check the weather conditions and track conditions with a local National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) office such as the one in Narooma. They should also be able to advice you on: Park Closures and Fire Bans.

Permits

There are no entry or camping fees for Bendethera Valley, however fees apply at some camping grounds. For more information, click: Camping in Deua National Park.

Please note that no bookings are taken for any campgrounds in Deua National Park. as it works on a first come basis. For more information on camping, track conditions, and bushfire alerts contact please contact the NPWS Narooma Office.

NPWS Narooma Office

Address: Cnr Graham & Burrawang Sts, Narooma NSW
PO Box 282, Narooma NSW 2546
Phone: (02) 4476 0800 or (02) 4476 2888
Fax: (02) 4476 2757

The centre has information on southern NSW National Parks, and walking and driving tour opportunities. The office is open 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. For more information on the DECC website click: Deua National Park.

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel Symbol
DieselULPLPG
4cyl 33 litres4cyl 38 litres4cyl 47 litres
6cyl 36 litres6cyl 43 litres6cyl 42 litres
8cyl 36 litres8cyl 39 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Generally, all year round. Good between October and April as it can get cold in winter. Rain can make river crossings difficult and tracks slippery. Also be aware of bushfires during summer.

Closest Climatic Station

Batemans Bay (Catalina Country Club)
Distance from Trek Mid Point 22.88km E
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C25.825.424.322.219.717.516.918.320.321.822.924.4
Mean Min. °C15.615.913.910.57.25.13.74.67.39.612.213.9
Mean Rain mm82.3107.773.566.663.972.643.655.959.497.692.376.8
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

Map

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What to See

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This list may not be complete for the entire region. Places listed here are directly located along the plot file associated with this Trek Note. You can locate other nearby Places by browsing the map or searching Places.

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Where to Stay

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This list may not be complete for the entire region. Places listed here are directly located along the plot file associated with this Trek Note. You can locate other nearby Places by browsing the map or searching Places.

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Directions

LocationsDistanceDirection Time
Braidwood to Bendoura12.15 kmSW232° 7 min
Bendoura to Ballalaba9.66 kmSW222° 20 min
Ballalaba to Togganoggera8.71 kmS195° 7 min
Togganoggera to Gundillion Cemetery10.65 kmS162° 8 min
Gundillion Cemetery to Gundillion3.38 kmS182° 2 min
Gundillion to Fairfield5.83 kmS186° 4 min
Fairfield to Jinden Creek, Krawarree Rd10.47 kmSW203° 7 min
Jinden Creek, Krawarree Rd to Currambene Creek, Krawarree Rd0.84 kmS158°
Currambene Creek, Krawarree Rd to Krawarree Rd & Curranbene Creek Rd5.34 kmS192° 3 min
Krawarree Rd & Curranbene Creek Rd to Curranbene Creek Rd & Middle Mountain Access1.85 kmE109° 1 min
Curranbene Creek Rd & Middle Mountain Access to Dampier Trig Point10.54 kmSE131° 5 min
Dampier Trig Point to Minuma Range Fire Trail & Dampier Mountain Fire Trail1.61 kmNE32°
Minuma Range Fire Trail & Dampier Mountain Fire Trail to Dampier Mountain Fire Trail & Bendethera Access8.92 kmE83° 10 min
Dampier Mountain Fire Trail & Bendethera Access to Bendethera Camp Site3.28 kmN359° 3 min
Bendethera Camp Site to Bendethera0.13 kmW279°
Bendethera to Dampier Mountain Fire Trail & Bendethera Access9.02 kmS176° 10 min
Dampier Mountain Fire Trail & Bendethera Access to Bendethera Fire Trail & Merricumbene Fire Trail7.24 kmNE62° 8 min
Bendethera Fire Trail & Merricumbene Fire Trail to Bendethera Trig Point0.31 kmNW294°
Bendethera Trig Point to Mongamula Fire Trail & Merricumbene Fire Trail11.29 kmN18° 5 min
Mongamula Fire Trail & Merricumbene Fire Trail to Mongamula Mountain5.62 kmNW333° 6 min
Mongamula Mountain to Deua River, Mongamula Fire Trail6.2 kmSW242° 7 min
Deua River, Mongamula Fire Trail to Alpine Homestead0.89 kmW292° 1 min
Alpine Homestead to Mongamula Fire Trail & Minuma Range Fire Trail8.4 kmNW312° 9 min
Mongamula Fire Trail & Minuma Range Fire Trail to Minuma Range Fire Trail & Dampier Mountain Fire Trail21.92 kmS180° 15 min
Minuma Range Fire Trail & Dampier Mountain Fire Trail to Dampier Mountain Fire Trail & Bendethera Access8.92 kmE83° 10 min
Dampier Mountain Fire Trail & Bendethera Access to Bendethera Camp Site3.28 kmN359° 3 min
Bendethera Camp Site to Bendethera0.13 kmW279°
Bendethera to Dampier Mountain Fire Trail & Bendethera Access9.02 kmS176° 10 min
Dampier Mountain Fire Trail & Bendethera Access to Bendethera Fire Trail & Merricumbene Fire Trail7.24 kmNE62° 8 min
Bendethera Fire Trail & Merricumbene Fire Trail to Little Sugarloaf Rd & Bendethera Fire Trail5.38 kmSE131° 8 min
Little Sugarloaf Rd & Bendethera Fire Trail to Little Sugarloaf Rd & Coondella Fire Trail5.51 kmE108° 4 min
Little Sugarloaf Rd & Coondella Fire Trail to Little Sugarloaf Rd & German Creek Rd3.28 kmS175° 10 min
Little Sugarloaf Rd & German Creek Rd to Little Sugarloaf Rd & Western Boundary Rd14.93 kmE82° 15 min
Little Sugarloaf Rd & Western Boundary Rd to Kiora11.23 kmNE24° 17 min
Kiora to Moruya3.72 kmNE67° 3 min
Braidwood to Moruya236.88 km  3 hr 42 min
Distance is GPS recorded driving distance (not straight line), Direction is straight line from start to end, Time is calculated from actual GPS driving data.

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