Southern NSW Canyons
Macquarie Rivulet Canyon – Macquarie Pass
- The public is NOT permitted to access the canyon from above the escarpment cliff line – i.e. at the top of Macquarie Pass.
- You are required to obtain a permit from The National Parks and Wildlife Service to access Macquarie Rivulet Canyon.
- Access should be made from Clover Hill Road parking area or the bottom car parks.
Introduction and Disclaimers:
Due to repeated information requests and variable responses, and not allowing the slow process of negotiation to come to a conclusion, here is the latest (Feb 2020) information about access to Macquarie Rivulet Canyon at Macquarie Pass National Park.
Neither the author(s), nor the Australian Canyoning Association guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. The commentary is general and is subject to correction and/or change as well as review with relevant authorities, land owners, and subject experts.
Any access to any part of the canyon is entirely at your own risk.
The land above/on the cliff line is either owned by private interests (DP627558 and DP808992 + others) or falls within the boundaries of Macquarie Pass National Park.
The public must comply with the rights of private owners, the rules and regulations of The National Parks and Wildlife Service, and any other laws that may apply.
The current advice is that the private owners DO NOT give permission for members of the public to access their properties. Accessing their properties without permission may lead to trespass violations and may result in police involvement.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service have issued an alert dated 18th June 2019 prohibiting access to Macquarie Rivulet via the top of Macquarie Pass. Penalties (30 points???) may apply under the National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2009 (Division 3, Clause 22).
There have been a number of actions undertaken by individuals and organisations to resolve access and safety issues at Macquarie Rivulet Canyon.
Historically, there have been meetings and communications between a number of individuals and organisations. Some of these include: The National Parks and Wildlife Service, Police Rescue, SES, VRA, Council, Tom Brennan, Tom Begic, The Australian Canyoning Association, and Eagle Rock Adventures. There have been others. Six different access routes into the canyon have been researched and undertaken in order to collect data to present to relevant authorities and individuals and for future planning.
The Australian Canyoning Association (represented by Tom Begic and Matt Sage) will be progressing communications with relevant authorities and individuals in order to improve access and environmental issues related to Macquarie Rivulet Canyon. This is a slow process with resource deficient public organisations and time poor volunteers. We will endeavour to achieve the best outcome for all involved whilst committing to protecting this pristine resource. We ask that the Canyoning public respect the advice above and be patient with intended outcomes. If anyone would like to assist, please contact us at the Australian Canyoning Association.
Canyon Access – Lower:
The easiest method is to park a car at the Clover Hill Rd car park (34°33’56.5″S 150°39’44.3″E or 34.565700, 150.662292), follow the road and trail until you enter Macquarie Rivulet just above Rainbow Falls (34°34’19.1″S 150°38’45.3″E or -34.571970, 150.645906), canyon down to jump rock, then hike down to the car parking at the bottom of Macquarie Pass. The route from jump rock back up to the Clover Hill car park is to be used for emergency services access only.
Canyon Access – Upper:
There are several options to access the upper section. As mentioned above, access from above the cliff-line is not permitted.
The current most used option is to follow the road from Clover Hill parking to the creek where the lower section starts above Rainbow Falls. And then hike upstream using the path of least resistance until you reach the upper falls area (Reverse Route in map below). You can also access the upper section from directly below the cliff-line, but transport and parking options are poor (under cliff route in map below). And the other options is again from Clover Hill Rd, but turning right up the hill towards the cliff-line rather than following the rivulet upstream (Ridge Route in map below). All routes require effort. The reward is particularly high when water flows are stronger.
Photo’s and article: Tom Begic. Maps from six maps service.