Kangaroo Valley Geography
The Kangaroo Valley is approximately 33 kilometres long, east to west and 4-10 kilometres wide. The total area is 256 square kilometres. The Valley has been carved out of the old sediments and volcanics by river erosion from Upper River, Barrengarry and Brogers Creeks. The deposits of this material into the river flats has produced the wonderful fertile soil of the dairy farms in the eastern half of the Valley.
Kangaroo Valley enjoys a warm temperate climate. There are quite distinct ‘seasons’ but rainfall is spread throughout the year with no distinct dry or wet season.
Spring and autumn are the most temperate seasons and are a great time for bush walking, canoeing etc. The day time temperatures are usually in the early to mid twenties.
Winter days can be clear and bright and are a great time to get out and about. Winter nights are all about getting cosy, hot baths, snuggling up in front of a fire together, wining and dining. Day time temperatures are usually in the mid to high teens.
Winter nights can be quite cool and sometimes frosty. Winter mornings often produce a magical fog which is due to temperature inversion as cold air is trapped in the valley by a layer of warmer air above. Night time temperatures are usually in the single figures sometimes dropping to zero.
Summer is a great time to enjoy the river based activities or just relaxing on a shady verandah. There are picnic spots by the river and shady forest rambles to go on. The warmer nights are perfect for outside dining and BBQs. Day time temperatures can vary a lot and generally range between the mid-twenties to the high thirties. Nights are always mild at this time of year.
Kangaroo Valley is a deep river valley carved into the very southern end of the Sydney basin. The geology of the area is too complex to describe in detail here but the main features are the towering Hawkesbury and Nowra sandstone cliffs that enclose the valley that was carved by the Kangaroo River and its other tributaries.
The ancient Gerringong volcanos also played a part in the diversity of this area and have resulted in areas of rich fertile soils on some of the upper escarpments in contrast to the shallow infertile soils of the sandstone plateaus.
The valley floor has a deep alluvial soil which supports the dairy and beef farming activities and the riverside vegetation.
Much of Kangaroo Valley is dominated by trees, from the tall wet sclerophyll forest on the upper slopes of the coastal escarpment and the Upper River area to the sparse woodland and dry sclerophyll forest of the drier sandstone areas of the western valley.
Where soils are too shallow and infertile to support trees heath land dominates. These diverse plant communities are mainly comprised of low to medium sized shrubs with small or narrow leaves designed to deal with the dry conditions. A slow bush walk through these heath land areas in spring will reward you with a magnificent display of flowers.
Rainforest or closed forest is also present in the gullies and creeks of the valley. You will recognise it by the dark green lush foliage, cabbage tree palms, birds nest and tree ferns. The decent into Kangaroo Valley down Barrengarry Mountain cuts through this type of vegetation.
- Kangaroo Valley Geography