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Nowra NSW 2541


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Up the Corang with Stuart Leslie (1988)

The water race running parallel to the Corang River south of Nerriga is one of the many constructed during the 19th century. This one was built by the Corang Sluicing Company between 1886 and 1890 to carry water for some 40 kilometres from the Corang Cascades to Sailors Gully on the Shoalhaven River. This race is over one metre wide and 60 centimetres deep and cuts through solid rock in some places. Unfortunately, it was hardly used, being damaged by the great flood of 1890, but it does make an interesting walking track.

After locating the water race where the Braidwood Road crosses the Corang River, we followed it through some desolate pine plantations for two to three kilometres. It then meandered across open paddocks before entering dry forest. The next four to five kilometres were quite a struggle as the undergrowth became thicker and pricklier and the valley sides steeper. In some places the race could be used as a track but mostly it was overgrown with shrubs.

The country then became much steeper and dissected by side gullies. We saw where viaducts built of timber and iron had carried water across gullies. Two fellow travellers were seen - a huge black snake which slithered under Ursula's feet, and a very sleepy wombat who looked us carefully up and down before ambling into its burrow.

After more bush-bashing, we finally reached the end of the race at the Cascades - a series of waterfalls about five hundred metres long. Upstream we found an idyllic lagoon with a beautiful campsite - noted for future reference. By this time it was getting late, so it was a very brisk ten kilometre walk along a marked track to the Wog Wog park entrance where cars had been left.

This was not an easy walk, but it was fascinating to follow the old water-race and imagine the sweat and determination it must have taken to build it through such wild and forbidding country.

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