Comment: Bendethera Valley

Did Bendethera last Friday (9 January) after a big storm on the Thursday night. Went in in a convoy of 4 vehicles from the Araluen Rd side along the Merricumbene fire trail. A very good but demanding drive. The water crossing at Dry Creek Camp was up a bit but only in total to about 60 cms so all vehicles had no problem crossing. Note that the NPWS has banned camper trailers form going in via this route as too much damage has been done to the trails. There was evidence of some trees being hit by lightning the night before and we proceeded with caution. After a lunch at the start of the Oulla trail and another 2 hours of driving into the turn off to the Bendethera Valley camp site and as the weather was again starting to threaten we decided to abandon our efforts and take the direct route out. Started to rain again and quite heavy at times. All vehicles handled the conditions (tyres at 25 psi). Got out to Western Boundary Road and aired up at Bodalla. Due to continuing rain the whole of the Deua NP has been closed.
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Reply By: Member - Will 76 Series - Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015 at 20:34

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015 at 20:34
Terry,

Thanks for the trip notes. I havn't had the chance to do this trip yet but very keen to do so soon. Interesting about the camper trailers, I was not aware of the restrictions. What is the campsite at Bendethera like? Is there drop toilets etc?
How long did it take you to get from Canberra to Bendethera via the Merricumbene fire trail?

Regards Will
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015 at 22:39

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015 at 22:39
The campsites at Bendethera are fantastic. There's acres and acres of room with a long drop up near the homestead ruins. Can't remember if there are others. Camper trailers can only come in and out via the main track from Moruya and that's steep enough for a lot of people. Merricumbeen is very steep with switch backs but it had been graded a few months ago so no risk of damage. The Araluen road is narrow and winding on the dirt section between Araluen and the Dry Creek turn off so not a fast run there. Quite scenic though.
Deua gets closed due to flooded creek crossings so check before you go.
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Follow Up By: Member - Terry W4 - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 08:13

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 08:13
Michael has it all correct. We drove from Dalemeny as we were staying there in our camper at the time. But Canberra to Braidwood is normally about 75 mins - compulsory stop for a pie at the bakery. Braidwood to Dry Creek turn off I would say would be another 90 minutes. Our drive in from this turn off to where we stopped for lunch took about 90 minutes and then from there to almost the Valley camp took another 3 hours. Driving out along the main track to Moruya took us about another 2 hours. We took some sections quite slowly because of conditions and waited until all vehicles had successfully complete the section before proceeding. Very helpful having the lead vehicle report conditions and approaching terrain etc.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 08:49

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 08:49
The climb up the mountains from Dry Creek on Mericumbine Fire Trail is quite steep in a few places. Last time there it took ages to get the the valley. We (and another group) got held up by a few cars in front who didn't have a clue and worst of all wouldn't listen to anyone about how to drive up steep inclines. So we just sat and waited while they winched the inexperienced (being nice here) drivers up.

I drove down that area once in a hail storm. Or should I say we slipped down it. As usual the storm came in without warning. Dry Creek can flood so we, not having any camping gear and not wanting to stay the night, pressed on.

Watch the clouds when there. Storm have a habit of arriving without any fanfare.

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Reply By: Member - Odog - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 17:57

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 17:57
G'day Terry
Great spot down at Bendethera, I've been there a few times, came in from snowball side, twice on XR 650 dirt bike and once with Sue in the old cruiser.. Have always come out through dry creek. When on the bikes, we would stay at the pub at Araluen? Then do it in reverse, with a detour through private property, always a great weekend in a fourby, or on bikes. Cheers Owen
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