Bell Minor Canyon (or Minotaur Lair)(Wollemi NP)

Party: Mum, Dad, Sis, Larissa and I
Photos: Larissa

Originally named in 2002 by Andrew Valja due to the Bell Minor birds in the area, this horizontal canyon was dubbed as Minotaur Lair by Steve Murray (or Michael Keats?) on a Bush Club trip (21st July 2010)…

Offering an easy half day out Mum decided to organise this as a family trip. The walk doesn’t really have an established track, but one isn’t really required as you simply head up a side valley entering the Wolgan, eventually exploring a nice walk-through constriction of around 250m.

After being delayed by some car issues, Nam and Larissa arrived a little late and we soon piled into Mum’s land cruiser and dropped down into the Wolgan Valley passing hundreds of kangaroos lazing around on the plains.
Parking next to the many cars already in front of the gate featuring a “for-sale” sign (-33.20339, 150.24239), we climbed over the gate and proceeded a short way up the rd before beginning the steep ascent up to the cliffline.

It didn’t take long to reach the base of the fractured cliffs. Deciding to explore we scrambled up through one, the exposure challenging Larissa’s nerves.

The crack we climbed through
A flat area before dropping down the next crack

After dropping back down through the next crack, we contoured around to the entrance of the valley… “Its not polite unless you look” exclaimed Dad when mum hung back to toilet.

There were many fallen trees across the ck and it was often easier to walk on either side amongst the bracken.

We paused at the snack spot Mum apparently always uses. I napped on the sandy bank, still playing sleep catch up.

The canyon started at around (-33.20131, 150.23095) and the narrow constriction continued to around (-33.19941, 150.23058).
I’d visited Bell Minor once or twice in the past, but I couldn’t remember much. It was both longer and narrower than I remembered. In some place we were forced to remove our packs to squeeze through.
Canyon fever hit Larissa and she took the lead setting a swift pace. Eventually we turned back, retracing our steps through the canyon and back to reuse our lunch spot.

The tree growing in the side of the canyon.

We passed many more roos on the way home and also ran into a group who’d just returned from Honeycomb including Roy, Marilyn, Tim, etc. We chatted for a time before continuing home where we had a few hours before the bonfire kicked off.

I invited Owen and his mate. But it was mainly Lukas’s friends. Here is a video of it being lit.

Filmed in slow motion by Owen.

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