Dunn Swamp or Ganguddy as known by it’s local Wiradjuri Aboriginal people is a small dammed section on the upper Cudgegong River built to supply water to the Kandos Cement Works. The town of Kandos came into being as a means to support the cement works and its associated limestone quarry and remained the mainstay of industry at Kandos until their closures in 2011. The building of Kandos cement works in 1914 gave Australia the means for self-sufficient cement production using nearby coal and limestone reserves thus ending a reliance on imported European concrete. The plant provided cement used in the building of Sydney homes, Office blocks, Harbor Bridge, Underground Railway and the Opera House.
The land around the waterway is managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service as it is part of Wollemi National Park and provides an ideal location for camping, picnicking, canoeing, fishing and bush-walking. Its pagoda rock formations are Triassic age Narrabeen Sandstone formed by the deposition of water borne sediments, approximately 200 million years ago. These offer great views over the Wollemi National Park. A network of walking tracks surrounds the waterway have been established to take in the area’s beauty.
Dunns Swamp and Wollemi National Park are well sign posted if coming from Sydney. It’s 30km east of Rylstone and the road is unsealed but suitable for 2WD vehicles. It’s about a 4 hour drive from Sydney.
Despite its name, Dunns Swamp isn’t at all swampy and just a beautiful area that more accurately should be described as a Lake considering most of the wetland is open surface water. I kayaked the whole area covering of approximately 8 kms and just swept away by the scenery. Fortunately I had my own kayak but seasonal kayak hire is available at about 30 dollars an hour.
There are several walks beginning at the campsite and i found the tracks are well maintained and some great observation points along the way to view the waterway.
The river also provides an excellent location for a swim to cool off on a hot summer days. I’m guessing its popular with locals and families during summer months and if your sensitive to a bit of noise at night then bring some ear plugs. I experienced a group playing rather tasteful music but it went on to the early hours of the morning.
There are several drop toilets scatted around the camp sites and suggest you bring your own toilet paper in-case what is supplied runs out. The sites are on a compacted sandy base and there was an abundance of ants nests about. The ants themselves proved rather harmless as nobody seemed to get bitten. There are some picnic tables and wood BBQs but bring your own wood and water. Also all your rubbish needs to be taken away so ensure you have some sturdy rubbish bags. During the night there were a few overweight possums going in-search of food so I also recommend that you store rubbish and food in plastic containers.