Wave Cave

Friday 8 January: Bainbrig Creek and a search for the Wave Cave – M/R,X. From the Nerriga-Nowra road we will descend into upper Bainbrig Creek through a steep and ferny gully at ~ 423E 145 N (AGD66), then follow the southern cliff-line downstream. I have some vague information that within 1.5 km we should find, at the foot of this cliff-line, the massive overhang called the ‘Wave Cave’. From there we will retrace our steps to the ferny gully, and if time explore further upstream and find another exit. The route is designed to maximise tree and cliff shade from late morning till around 3 pm. Seven to 10 km, of which 2 km is on fire trail and the rest is a very rough mixture of scrub, slab walking, cliff-base terrain and creek. Main descent/ascent 150 metres. Map: Nerriga. Leader: Linda G. Transport: $80 per car. Limit: 8.

7 of us drove in 2 vehicles to park at an appropriate point on the Nerriga-Braidwood Road.


Distance: 9.9km | Climb: 365m | Time: 9.25am-3.45pm (6hrs 20mins), including 55 mins of breaks | Grading: M/R,X; M(10)


Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slide show.


Waypoint and Track Files

Download the .gpx file. (Right click, Save Link As…, Save – if you want to use it.)
To use in Google Earth, do File, Open… and select Gps or All files as the File Type.

Track Notes

We parked off the side of the Nerriga-Nowra Road near a service track for the power line. Away at 9.25am down the track, across the power line clearance and continued through the scrub typical of a lot of the tops in this area.

Our leader had promised a descent to Bainbrig Creek through a ‘steep and ferny gully’, but was also carrying a rope and the trip was exploratory. There was a bit of tight scrub at the top, but also some nice runs of rocks. We were soon down into the top of the cliff line. However a major cliff was impassable and we had to retreat up the gully then traverse in the upstream direction, looking for a pass.

We were aided by a route provided by Peter D (ex Shoalhaven Bushwalkers) and, right on queue as we traversed across to his route, we found cairns and a few tapes guiding us down to Bainbrig Creek via a relatively easy route. Morning tea was taken on the true right side of the creek.

A log provided a dry foot crossing. Looking back we could see that it was taped. Then a gentle ascent to the base of the cliff line on this side of the creek. Making an educated decision, our good leader took us left/north-ish along the base. We were immediately rewarded by a small overhang with a stack of firewood and, soon after, reached the start of Wave Cave.

What an absolutely incredible and monstrous space! I’ve never seen anything like it and the long time walkers in the party agreed that it was the biggest camping cave they had seen in the Budawangs. The overhang extended for nearly 100 metres, had beautiful markings on the wall and a waterfall drenching down from high overhead to make a shower. The video and photos hardly do Wave Cave justice. A magic place!

At last it was time to leave, continuing to the north. Impressive cliffs towered above the exit end.

We pushed through patches of tight going and eventually left the base of the cliffs through a jumble of smaller cliff lines. The rope came out to assist us up a little scramble that no one’s legs could climb unaided.

The next leg took us generally north-east across the tops. Some great sandstone formations. The going was alternating scrub and rock  ways, the latter running with water in places. Only sparse trees, so the end of the leg saw us looking for a shady lunch spot. Eventually found at 1.25pm.

More of the same going after lunch, until we descended a creek line to meet the main Bainbrig Creek. Some more scrambling and we were across, some picked up water and a great little crawl hole allowed us to reach the top of the smaller cliffs.

Nearly all over bar the shouting, with a north-ish leg through scrub to the power line clearway, on to a service track and out to the main road. A 2.5km tromp back along the side of the busy road.

Huge thanks to Linda for a fabulous trip and destination. Thanks to Peter D for the suggested route.

From To Distance Time
Start Impassable cliff line  1.6km 48mins
Impassable cliff line Top of marked descent  0.7km 30mins
Top of marked descent Bainbrig Creek  0.3km 20mins
Bainbrig Creek Top of rope climb 0.9km 55mins
Top of rope climb Lunch  2.0km 1hr 10mins
Lunch Top of crawl hole 0.7km 42mins
Top of crawl hole Main road 1.5km 35mins
Main road Finish 2.5km 26mins
Track Map



Google Earth


7 walkers – Riddhi B, Peter C, Eric G, Linda G (leader), Jenny H. Ian W, me.

Next Tuesday Walk

None at the moment