Morong Deep and Kowmung River

27-31 Dec 2012


All content copyright © Ashley Burke 2013. Not to be copied, duplicated or used for any purpose without permission.


Morong Deep is the name given to the Kowmung River valley between Morong Falls and Hanrahans Creek. It is a granite gorge featuring smooth granite slabs, long pools, and some impressive cascades and waterfalls. On a hot summer long weekend, it is a great destination. The best way to travel down this gorge is by walking and swimming. Swimming through long pools is frequently required, so all gear needs to be carefully packed in waterproof drybags. It is best to swim through these gorge with your pack floating alongside or ahead of you. A handline is also highly recommended as there are some drops in bedrock which need to be carefully negotiated, and which can be dangerous in high water.

Beyond Hanrahans Creek the Kowmung River is gentler, except for Rudders Rift further downstream which is a quartzite gorge containing the final drops in Kowmung bedrock.

These photos are of a trip I did in December 2012 with Jo Boyd and Helen Smith. We took cheap inflatable rafts which we used after Hanrahans Creek. Whilst the rafts are a relaxing way to paddle down the long placid pools of the Kowmung River, they are cumbersome and need to be carried over shallow rocky rapids most of the time, unless water levels are well above average.

The gorge starts with a short narrow section not far downstream from the Kowmung River fire trail.

You need to swim or wade through this short obstacle.

Once past that first obstacle, the river becomes gentle and can be walked down easily.
Time for a drink on this warm dry summer's day.
Granite cascades.
The gorge gradually deepens with longer pooks, the start of Morong Deep.
Helen swims through.
One of the long pools in Morong Deep.
Morong Falls, where Morong Creek enters the Kowmung River.
We pick a path across the granite slabs of Morong Deep.
Morong Deep proper, with some large drops where rope is needed.
Our campsite on the first night, in Morong Deep.
Jo swims through on her pack.
One of the main waterfalls in Morong Deep.
After Morong Deep, on the afternoon of Day 2, we blow up our rafts.
The rafts are good for long deep pools like this, but they are all too few in low water.
In Rudders Rift is found the last drop in Kowmung bedrock. The rafts are great here.
In Rudders Rift



This web page created on 2 Jan 2013, last updated 2 Jan 2013.

All content copyright © Ashley Burke 2013. Not to be copied, duplicated or used for any purpose without permission.