Bungonia is one of NUCC’s favoured haunts, and contains many dry, vertical caves… It’s a good place for advanced rope-work, but also has beginner-friendly caves. There’s also fantastic bushwalking, canyoning, canoeing and climbing here, but the caves are the important bit. We often visit:
It is only a 1.5 hour drive from Canberra to Bungonia, making it a very popular location for day trips. Plus, no permits are required, you just have to log your intentions at the NPWS Office. Usually we take the highway to Goulburn, turning off at the Big Merino exit. However, the fastest way to Bungonia doesn’t go through Goulburn itself! Exit left off the highway, and at the exit-ramp roundabout, go right and cross over the highway. This takes you down to a T-intersection. Go left onto Garroorigang Road, and stay on Garroorigang Road as it jinks around to the right and under a very low bridge to a T-intersction with Braidwood Road. Go right, cross the Mulwaree River, and then take the next left onto Brisbane Grove Road. Follow this, at the T-intersection with Windellama Road, go left. The next significant road on the right is Mountain Ash Road. Take this turn, and follow Mountain Ash Road to get to Bungonia township, from where Bungonia National Park (and thus the caves) is signposted. However, there is a back route for those who feel that a caving trip is not complete without a dirt road somewhere in it, and this involves going through Tarago and taking back roads (Lumley Rd-Cullulla Rd-Sandy Point Rd-Oallen Ford Rd) to get to Bungonia township.
To get from Sydney to Bungonia township, drive south along the Hume Highway until you pass the turnoff onto the Highland Way on your left. This goes to Bundanoon. Shortly after this, there’ll be an exit to Marulan on your left. Do not take this, unless you need fuel, cake, or a coffee, for which the Meridian Cafe in Marulan is heartily recommended. Keep going south for a few kilometres, and soon you should seen an exit on your left to Marulan South. Take this, but you do not want to go to Marulan South, instead at the exit-ramp roundabout you want to go straight ahead on Jerrara Road. Follow this for just under 15km, and you’ll get to a T-intersection. Turn left, and you’ll cross a bridge over Bungonia Creek into Bungonia township. The turnoff to Bungonia National Park (and the caves) is the second street on your left, and signposted.
Bungonia has a very glamorous camping area that comes complete with hot showers, flush toilets and gas cooking facilities. The downside is that there are no fireplaces, so it can get a touch chilly in winter. Thermals to sleep in and a good quality sleeping bag are definitely handy! The caves themselves mostly have tracks to them, and the bush in the area is generally easy walking anyway. A cigarette lighter is a handy thing to have here, as many of the caves contain potentially dangerous levels of foul air (CO2), including Grill Cave, the most popular cave in the park.