Trip into bendethera

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 19:15
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Hi there fellow formites,
I have been hearing alot about how good a weekend some 4wd'ers have been having down in Bendethera (NSW). I guess its one place i have overlooked and am thinking of a fun weekend down there some time in the next few weeks. I have read up on what is available to me and from what i have found it seems like there may be a few river crossings in there. Can anyone confirm the river crossings story and maybe comments on what you think of the place. Is it an over rated spot or well worth a weekend and some challenges?
Also considering taking the trailer (7x4) offraoder. would like to do some trail bike riding while there. (bike will be registered)

Any feedback would be apreciated guys.
Regards Angelo
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Reply By: AT4WD ADVENTURES - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 19:40

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 19:40
Hey Coke Addict,

Great place, spent many weekends down there. You can come into Bendethra via inland or coast. Both great tracks. Want some extra fun.....go the Merricumbene Fire Trail from the Araluen end.

Magnificent valley floor for camping, plenty to do, plenty of campsites, plenty of animals.....river crossings never been a problem unless a huge amount of rain has fallen....which isn't to often these days.

Can provide more info if required.

Regards,

Stuart
AnswerID: 69942

Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 20:57

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 20:57
Thank you Stuart,
Have taken notes and will start to map out a trip. You confirm exactly what I have heard about the place.
Cheers Angelo
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Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 20:58

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 20:58
Hmmm..forgot to say...
YES any info you have would be a great help. So if you get time mate, I'll add it to my plans.
Thanks again
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Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 22:10

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 22:10
G'day Angelo

I can confirm the Merricumbene track is a ripper (or was about 3 years ago when I "accidently" ended up on it).

It was when I lived in Cooma. I decided to take my 2 boys who were about 5 & 3 at the time down there and camp on a saturday night. I took the camper trailer too. Coming down into Bendethra from the inland direction (can't remember the name of the trigg road), there is a hairpin where you need to do a 3 point turn......very interesting with a trailer!!
On the Sunday morning, I decided to pack up and head out to Moruya and then down the blacktop. I'd been that way several years earlier when i lived at Batemans Bay (home of Ultimate Campers).
Trouble is, I didn't take a map with me and coming back out I missed a turn in the track (turns out that the green sign had been knocked over and was laying in the long grass). So I ended up of the Merricumbene Track, which I'd never been on before.
Bear in mind I'm on my own with 2 small boys......
The track was getting progressively worse and there was nowhere to turn around.
After about 4 hours of Low Range 1st and 2nd gear, I came across a bloke headed towards me in a 75 series trayback. He was out for a Sunday drive with his lady friend and asked me what the track was like. i said...."okay, but pretty rough, you should get through alright". I asked him the same question; he said...."it's about 2 klm to the Araluen Road, but it'll be too rough for you to get through with that camper" (or words to that effect). I said I'd push on and take my chances as I was now so close.
Well, just after I left him the track became quite good compared to what I'd been on until then and as I turned onto the Araluen Road after a shallow water crossing, I remember thinking....."struth if that bloke thought that stretch was rough, wait till he sees what i had been over before we met up!!!!!!"
I was telling Michael Hackett (principal of Ultimate campers) about my little sojourn and he was surprised I got through. He said that he'd been all through those tracks, but as far as he knew nobody had ever been stupid enough to take a camper along that one.

Go and try it mate, you'll have a ball.

Cya later.
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Follow Up By: AT4WD ADVENTURES - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 22:26

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 22:26
Follow up on Follow Up.....

Its quite possibly that you zigged instead of zagged towards the end of the Merricumbene at the Araleun end. There is another track off memory that when heading north along the Merri to the Duea river its on your right. You may have taken this track as it is the easier of the two off memory. Although if you said to me the track you took was damn steep and had many woop de doos that was basically straight down to the river with zero relief then I would say that is the track the bloke you past had actually came up and I am suprised to hear you say it was a walk in the park particularly as you were towing a camper.

I have been on this section of the track in the wet (Sh#t loads of winching) and in the dry (fine powder dust) I would say that apart from Turtle Creek fire trail this would be one of the harder tracks in the area.

Anyway its a great area for touring and sight seeing.

Stuart.

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Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 22:54

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 22:54
G'day Stuart,
I remember thinking at the time, that there is gunna be no way I could get back up the way I'd come out without winching. I went past at least one gate (I could see a house/building in the distance) and then through 2 other gates towards the araluen end. It wasn't until I got out to close the 2nd gate that i met up with the other bloke. I don't recall seeing any other tracks off to either side after our meeting; I just stuck to the "main" track; but there could have been others. By that time i was just glad to know i was getting out of there. I had no map, no GPS and it was cloudy so I couldn't get any idea of what direction i was headed in.
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Reply By: AT4WD ADVENTURES - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 21:38

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 21:38
Cokeaddict,

Please some pics giving you an idea of some of the trails in...these were taken just after bushfires. Also some pics of campsites in the valley and as you can see there is absolutley masses of space to pitch a tent. The valley floor goes on forever and there is heaps to explore.

pic 1 [ View Image]
pic 2 [ View Image]
pic 3 [ View Image]
pic 4 [ View Image]
pic 5 [ View Image]
pic 6 [ View Image]
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Reply By: Baz (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 07:49

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 07:49
Mmmmmm got me thinkin too, been wanting to go there myself. It's funny that some great places are right on your door step but ya still don't go, must be that grass is always greener thinking. Coke there are trek notes on Deau in trip planning might help.

Baz.
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Reply By: brian - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 08:29

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 08:29
Anyone interested in organising a weekend trip???
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Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 09:31

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 09:31
Hey Brian,
If you get any feed back on a trip down from other members, put me down too.
I will be planning a trip down some time within the next 6 or so weeks, just want the weather to warm up a bit more before i head down alone.

So Baz if your thinking of doing a weekend in our own backyard mate...if you want some company...look me up. Its always hard when travelling alone in unexplored areas, especially after reading of other members expierences with winches. That alone worries me, but in fairness I have been in places where i was warned not to go alone, but had no major problems really. I guess it comes down to common sense really. I would rather loose time and check out whats ahead rather than play catch up and get stuck.

Thanks Baz, I read the notes after posting. I might go and get me some typo maps on the area.

Thanks everyone for some great feedback, this trip is looking like a definate one for me after reading what was posted. Might leave the bike behind for this trip and if i like what i see, i will head back down later mid week with the bike on the trailer.

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Follow Up By: Baz (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 09:33

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 09:33
Could be possible, have the 4, 5, 6 at Newnes with campertrailers group.
If it happens and that weekend is chosen, ah well my arm could be twisted.

Baz.
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Follow Up By: Baz (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 09:45

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 09:45
Hey Angelo i'll be in the bike trip mate no worries haven't been out for a while !!!!!!!!

Baz.

Whatcha got, i got KTM 400.
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Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 09:59

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 09:59
Ahhh now u tell me u got a bike..sheesh...
i just sold my brand new WR450F 2004 model. What a great bike, and before you scratch your head asking me why i sold it after only owning it for 1 month....it was too high for me. Kept getting cramps streching my leg every time i had to hold the bike up at traffic lights. So she had to go. But what a great bike.
So now i am back to my ever trusty IT175H 1981 model which i have owned from new...still has its original tyres on it.
Well maybe if thats the case baz....we might organise a bike wekend ay?

I am easy, as long as the 4b gets some action im happy. Am wondering if there really are a few river crossings down there. Love riding through rivers.

I'll let you know mate....
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Follow Up By: Baz (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 10:45

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 10:45
I had a 81 IT125, we could just ride around till we find some, the missus has a XT225 and the Daughter is in between bikes.

OUR CHARIOTS

Baz.
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Follow Up By: Shawn - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 12:30

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 12:30
Brian,
I'll be in that, dependy on availability.
I used to live at Moruya when I was a kid (1965-79), one of my mates had been there a few times (in the 70s) when there was only one track into the caves. I tried to get there with a group of mates when I was a teenager on bikes, but my KE125 wouldn't make it up one of the rises to bloody steep.
Been thinking about going back there for a look see, but was waiting for the weather to warm up.
Cheers
Shawn
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Follow Up By: Shawn - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 12:31

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 12:31
OOPS- spelling,

depending
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Reply By: flappan - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 09:11

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 09:11
Adding to the other comments.

Coming from inland , from memory , It could be Mountain Creek Road , to Dampier Trig. Its only the last section down into Bendethra where towing a trailer would be interesting.

Very steep with a hairpin turn.

Not a place for the inexperienced , but certainly could be done.

I haven't been thru Merricumbene FT , I came out via Moruya.

Bringing a trailer in that way wouldn't be a huge issue.
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Reply By: brian - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 12:36

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 12:36
Re possible trip any takers for weekend of 14/8 15/8 ??? or other suggestions???
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Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 12:45

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 12:45
Brian,
At this stage mate put me down for the wekend ok. But i must warn you, I might have to pull out last minute. Not that i would unless its the last resort but it might happen.
Come on guys, get behind it, lets go check it out and what a great way to meet you all.

Just a weekend of fun i say, check out the joint and have some laughts with some of the different ideas along the way.

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Follow Up By: Baz (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 13:03

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 13:03
I'm moving on the weekend of the 21st so bit hard for me packing's a bugger, i'm free anytime after the 6/9.
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Follow Up By: Baz (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 13:44

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 13:44
OK, 14,15/8 is good just spoke to the boss could be a sanity break or if any other date is possible as this might be short notice for others.
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul J (ACT) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 14:06

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 14:06
Never been there myself, im keen... Paul
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Reply By: Member Colin - NSW Bungendore - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 13:08

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 13:08
Angelo
Yep - a great spot for a weekend - even better during the week so you miss the crowds !
I gather you would have looked at my Trek note on this site ? It covers the trip in via 'Cooma/Braidwood Rd and the loop track around Bendethera Valley - a nice drive with some good views etc.
Take a walk to the caves.
As far as the rivers are concerned, they are normally easy to cross but if it rains heavilly, most would advise leaving ASAP.
If you take motor bikes - try and stick to the tracks (same for 4WD's) - NPWS are 'keeping an eye' on the area. Any repeat 'bad behaviour' could see this area closed.
Colin
AnswerID: 70042

Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 15:56

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 15:56
Hi Colin,
yes mate i checked the notes out after my posting. I just got back from the map shop and got the typo map on the joint. So from what i have read here today, seems there may be few going if all works out well.

Sounds great for a weekend away with some formites. Just chillin out as they say. ...Who's bringing the Marshmellows?
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Reply By: Member - Kevin (NSW/ACT) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 13:10

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 13:10
Angelo,

Bendethra is a top spot and I'm sure you won't be disappointed. There are some river crossings in the valley but unless we get lots of rain you will have no problems.

As others have mentioned access for trailers is best from Moruya. Coming in from the west involves negotiating a very tight hairpin which would be interesting with a trailer in tow. If you come in from Moruya you will have some pretty steep descents to the valley. The biggest issue I see with taking a trailer is that the tracks are very narrow with limited opportunity to pull over for oncoming traffic, especially on Mericumbene Fire Trail.

The area has had some problems in recent times - it was badly chopped up by a group of 4WD'ers about a year ago. It is a magnet for bike riders and sadly a lot don't like to keep to formed tracks - prefering to ride and rip up the grass on the valley floor.

Last time I was there - May this year - I was fortunate to have the "law of the bush" explained to me by an irate bike rider. Apparently this well known law states that 4WD's must immediately pull over when a bike comes from behind - no matter what the terrain is. This person didn't bother to slow down when he came behind me and was airborne when he passed me on a narrow drainage hump.

However, I have to say that the majority of people going there are good, considerate citizens and I'm sure you will have a great time. It is a magic place.

Cheers

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Reply By: Member - Penguin (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 14:23

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 14:23
Hi guys,

We went there several years ago without a trailer but others we camped with were towing. It certainly is possible via the Moruya entrance.

Hmmm...14th & 15th....put me down as a definite maybe. Need to check with SWMBO.
AnswerID: 70058

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