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Waking up at first light is great, but it poses problems when the whole camp ground is still asleep.  I was doing great urging the whole family to whisper while we packed our gear for today’s adventure, until Luke was putting gear into the car and accidentally leaned on the horn.  We didn’t need to whisper after that.

We got to Tahmoor gorge carpark in record time, thanks to Luke’s driving.  The gorge looked promising as we followed the lower track along the creek.  There were a few cars in the carpark when we set off along the creek. On the way to Mermaids swimming hole we passed quite a few cascades and smaller water holes in which some people were swimming.


Continuing on we expected to see more people at Mermaids swimming hole.  What we didn’t expect is how stunning the swimming hole is.  A nice waterfall tumbles down into a large pristine pool surrounded by cliffs.





 The only option of getting into the pool, so that you can use the rope swing below, is either a 15, 25 or 30-meter jump.  We declined on all occasions and just watched some crazy teenagers up for the challenge.  Even if we would have managed to get down and enjoy the pool the next challenge would be to get back out again, via a dodgy rope going up the waterfall.




With longing for a cool swim, we left Mermaids swimming hole and started our gorge walk proper.  Funny, no people down here.  Just the way we like it.  After a bit of a hike on top of the ridge we dropped down into the gorge on a well marked track.


The gorge is spectacular and reminded me of Carnarvon Gorge, but no people (did I ever mention that I am anti-social). We soon found a swimming hole where we had our lunch in the cool shade.




Kerrie even jumped into the pool overcoming her fears.


Once on the move again we came around the bend and the kids saw a few goats that scurried away in a hurry (the goats that is, not the kids). Continuing on we saw more awesome scenery along the way, this walk just kept getting better!

 

Just as we were getting hot again we got to one of the most spectacular swimming holes with another waterfall tumbling down into it..  While Kerrie and the kids cooled down I was busy taking photos of them and a little lizard sunning itself.





Around the next bend we came upon the only people in the gorge.  A friendly family of four that enjoyed the gorge as much as we did.  After a short chat we were off and slowly gained height along the rock wall, before a bit of a steep ascent to the top of the ridge.


From there it was an easy 5km hike back to the car listening to the deafening sounds of cicadas.


Tahmoor Gorge was a spectacular outing for a hot summer’s day.  It was Luke that found it and he is very proud of that fact.  And so, he should be.

Tash got us to McDonalds in record time for some iced cokes and thick shakes before heading back to camp.

Now it was time for relaxing and writing this blog.  We are all looking forward to what tomorrow brings.

Tahmoor gorge details:
Walk difficulty: Medium
Distance: 2km to Mermaids swimming hole and 6 km circuit from the swimming hole down the gorge and up along the ridge.  Then another 2km back from the swimming hole to the carpark.  All up 10km.
Walking time: Around 5 hours including lunch and swims.



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