Another in a series of caches showcasing some of the lesser known waterfalls on the Central Coast.
Although the waterfall here isn't very big, the beauty of the Emerald Pool at its base sure makes up for it. This multi will take you on a tour of the main walking track through Popran National Park, with the cache itself located outside the park boundary. Allow a couple of hours for the return hike and take plenty of water and some nibblies with you, especially in warm or humid weather.
If you're driving a 2WD or any vehicle with low clearance, I recommend leaving it at the 2WD parking waypoint (P0) and walking the remaining kilometre to the park entrance. 4WDs can continue on to the car park just inside the national park (P1), with the first few humps in the road being the worst of it.
Once in the park, pass around the gate and proceed south along the wide maintenance trail to the listed coordinates. Here you'll need to turn right onto the 248 Trail, but first you have a question to answer.
Stage 1 (listed coordinates): What does the sign say is to the left?
- Glenworth Valley (A=0)
- Hominy Creek (A=1)
- Mount Olive (A=2)
- Ironbark Creek (A=3)
Continue along the 248 Trail to the second waypoint.
Stage 2: What is it you're entering?
- Hominy Creek wetlands (B=6)
- Darkinjung Aboriginal land (B=7)
- Ironbark forest (B=8)
- Donovan's Forest (B=9)
A short distance along you'll come to the third waypoint.
Stage 3: What is here?
- Honeycombed caves (C=4)
- Boardwalk (C=5)
- Aboriginal engravings (C=6)
- Creek crossing (C=7)
Continuing west, you'll reach a track junction (T0) with the Hominy Creek Trail to the left and a much narrower continuation of the 248 Trail straight ahead alongside the sign. Take this narrow path to the end of the 248 Trail (R0) and then make your way across the rock shelves to the fourth waypoint.
Stage 4: What do you see from here?
- A winding valley surrounding cleared farmland and a few buildings (D=0)
- A small township with a horse-racing track (D=1)
- A steep-sided valley with a tidal estuary and mangroves at the bottom (D=2)
- Not much, whatever view was here has been overgrown by the forest (D=3)
Return to the Hominy Creek Trail (T0) and proceed along it towards the fifth waypoint.
Stage 5: What is not allowed past this point?
- Camping (E=0)
- Horses (E=1)
- Bicycles (E=2)
- Muggles (E=3)
Having offloaded your tent/horse/bike/muggle at the sign, continue along the track to the sixth waypoint.
Stage 6: What is here?
- Honeycombed caves (F=2)
- Boardwalk (F=3)
- Aboriginal engravings (F=4)
- Creek crossing (F=5)
From here, the track begins its steep descent towards the Emerald Pool so take care not to tumble. At the bottom is a track junction at the seventh waypoint, with the Hominy Creek trail crossing the creek to the left and continuing south-east, and on the right a short side trail leading to the pool itself.
Stage 7: How far does the sign say it is from here to the pool?
- 50 metres (G=6)
- 60 metres (G=7)
- 70 metres (G=8)
- 80 metres (G=9)
Continue down to the pool and the final waypoint at a rock shelf on the western edge of the pool.
Stage 8: Looking directly across from here to the opposite side of the water, what do you see?
- A large honeycombed cave laced with ferns (H=2)
- A low rock shelf with red gums and wattle trees overhanging the water (H=3)
- Several large potholes draining water from the pool and into a lower watercourse (H=4)
- A cliff face like a rock sandwich with dark brown rock above and below a splotchy yellow filling (H=5)
You've now answered all the questions and earned yourself a break. Go for a swim in the pool, explore the waterfalls, nibble those nibblies or just sit and relax in the beautiful surroundings. Once you're ready, the cache can be found at:
S 33° 2A.BCD E 151° 1E.FGH
Checksum: A+B+C+D+E+F+G+H = 32
To reach GZ, you can either return the way you came or continue along the Hominy Creek trail and rejoin the service trail you left at the listed coordinates. The cache is outside the national park and within easy reach; you do not have to cross any fences or enter farmland to get to it. Please make sure to cover it completely with bark to shield it from inquisitive muggles.