Ingar waterhole

 

ingar picnic area When Anderson's seems just that little bit too long, or when you fancy a fast downhill trip, Ingar firetrail could be the answer. Join it with Anderson's, the Oaks or Murphy's Glen for a longer ride and can be done in the reverse direction for a more difficult ride. I recently rode it in reverse, and I was able to ride most of the hills to Wentworth Falls - once I was past the big climb from the creek, which was a walk.

Starting from Tablelands Road, Wentworth Falls, the road to Ingar is clearly signposted to the left. Follow the short stretch of tar and take the left fork when the tar ends. Stay on this track until the turn off to Ingar waterhole.

Interest: There's a good aboriginal site with grinding grooves and good views if you take the right fork, and this time I was able to ride straight to the site entrance, which is wholly within the park. Last time was a bit trickier - I think the track's been moved slightly to accommodate private property. To preserve the site, no bike riding is allowed.

 

Aboriginal grinding grooves

remains of the Wirraway

There are a few old tracks disappearing into the bush that could be interesting. One, Aeroplane Hills firetrail (sign-posted) is a ridgetop run that takes you nearly to Woodford, but gives no way to get there, so it's out and back.

Interest: The firetrail's name comes from a plane crash many years ago, which killed the pilot and passenger. If you know where to look, you might find the remains of the plane, a Wirraway. Not much was left when we last saw it in 2005.

 

Ingar waterhole is 10 kms from Tablelands Road, along a track that can be quite corrugated, as cars are allowed to drive all the way to the waterhole turnoff. In December 2014 the road was badly corrugated, all the way to the waterhole turnoff.

About nine kms from Tablelands Rd the track forks - left to Ingar waterhole, a pleasant waterhole/picnic/camping area with some nice walks, gnarled trees, waterfalls after rain, and long drop toilets.

Ingar is the aboriginal word for yabbie (a crustacean similar to a small lobster), and there are sure to be a few in the dam. A visit to the waterhole is well worth the climb back to main track.

gnarly

 

 

Ingar waterhole

 

Of course, you don't have to visit the waterhole. Straight on takes you to Woodford, over a few large jumps ...err ...waterbars. Just after the Ingar turnoff, there's a gate that should be locked, but may not be (if not, watch out for cars). This track gets steeper and steeper until the final mad rush down to Bedford Creek, which is blocked by another locked gate. At present this section is in good condition, with lots of waterbars that I didn't have the guts to jump - just too steep. I found I was as hard on the brakes as I could be without locking, yet still hurtled down at an adrenaline inducing pace.

According to my GPS, if you don't go down to the waterhole, this track is about 12 km continuous downhill from where you enter the park to the creek - a couple of small climbs and that's it! Of course, you do pay some of that back on the climb out the creek to Woodford. And there are those corrugations.

At night, this last downhill is i-n-s-a-n- e!! Took me at least ten minutes to come down from the buzz...

Although you can drive a car down if the gate is unlocked, don't... It's almost impossible to drive a 2WD vehicle back up without damage to the track and vehicle. Late one night many years ago, we watched someone in a state of panic eventually get the Commodore back up, but their clutch would have been shot (we could smell it on the other side of the valley...), their tyres ruined, and judging by the clunks we heard, the underbody all dinged, and to top it off, the person they hoped to be groping in bush privacy would have been very angry... Not to mention the damage they did to the track, sliding and spinning huge ruts.

If you've ever ridden Anderson's, the rest of the ride will be quite familiar - the only way out is up... - turn left and cross Bedford Creek for the walk up the hill, or ride if you are fit enough and have low enough gears - not me! Spend a moment near the creek to listen to the many bell birds - very cool. At the top of the big hill, head left back to Woodford, or right down into Murphy's Glen - but be warned - you come out the same way you went in - only this time it's the big hill goes up. Follow the firetrail to Woodford until you hit the tar, and follow that road through to the station.

If you don't cross Bedford Creek, you'll soon be crossing Victoria Creek and climbing the famous Anderson's fire trail downhill run, headed back to Wentworth Falls.

If you do it at night, a full moon is best - the huge trees down by the creek are beautiful when lit by the moon. At night, we took 1 hr 30 mins riding time from Wentworth Falls station to Woodford station - my daytime sighting run was a very similar time. These times include walking the big hill from Bedford Creek, but not the ride down to the waterhole and back.

Ingar profile
the small dip and climb are the trip to the waterhole

December 2014: I've downgraded this track to three fat hippies due to the corrugations. If it gets graded, you can add at least another half hippy.

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This ride scores three fat hippies  

one fat hippyone fat hippyone fat hippy 

All rides are rated in fat hippies - one means grab a slice of pizza and stay on the beanbag, two means not bad, three means well worth a ride, four is a great ride and five means stop looking at your computer, go ride it!
 

Distance approx 24 km
Difficulty Medium/Hard - final uphill is a doozy! Surface may be loose and corrugated in sections 
Time Varies - 1.5 to 2 hrs actual riding time 
Trains Wentworth Falls, Woodford - Timetable
See also... Woodford to Glenbrook Fire Trail, Murphy's Glen, Anderson's Fire Trail, McMahon's Point, some sidetracks 
Interest Ingar Waterhole, good views to the city from a couple of lookouts, Kings Tableland aboriginal site.
Issues National Park - no domestic pets, take your rubbish out with you, don't skid, care for the track so we can continue to use it! Don't drink the water... 
Ridden December 2014

fAt  hIpPy productions
another fAt hIpPy production