" /> Bens Walk - What and where is it? | Shoalhaven River Cruise
Nowra Public Wharf, Wharf Road, Nowra NSW 2541 0429 981 007

Bens Walk – What and where is it?

January 6, 2019

In the 1930’s, during the Great Depression, there were a number of homeless men living in caves along the Nowra Creek below the escarpment. Mr Ernest Walsh, AKA Ben, came up with the idea to provide these homeless men with employment by having them assist him to build a walk to link the Showgrounds above the escarpment to West Nowra. This walk was affectionately named ‘Ben’s Walk’.

Bens Walk provides a leisurely 5.5km walking track starting at the Showgrounds and ending at West Nowra. There is also a shorter return walk which takes approximately 20 minutes that begins at the Showgrounds near ‘Hanging Rock’ and returns at the footbridge that spans the Nowra Creek.

Walkers enter the walk near Hanging Rock through two very large rocks that have split leaving a walkway between. As you reach the other side of these large rocks you are presented with a breathtaking view overlooking the Shoalhaven River.  You then descend down the walkway to the base of the rockwall and follow the path around and along the Nowra Creek.

Nowra Creek Suspension Bridge

 

Crossing Nowra Creek is a suspension bridge that was first erected towards the end of 1886.  It was the first bridge of its type every built in NSW and was the result of a petition by residents after a 13 year old girl named Sarah Moore drowned when a small boat that she was in capsized while crossing to the adjacent property, Mrs Spain’s farm, also referred to as The Depot.

The cost of the new bridge was predicted to be more than anticipated so the Department of Public Works supplied the timber decking and galvanised wire rope to enable to bridge to be built.  A civil engineer and surveyor named Samuel Wells drew up the plans and specification for the bridge.

Over the years the bridge suffered damage and in 1982 fell into disrepair.  The bridge was then renovated and a new bridge was built.  In 2015, the suspension bridge was damaged by flooding in the Shoalhaven River and had to be closed and did not reopen until December 2016.

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1 Comment

  1. Gerard Sims

    This wonderful walk and the incredible scenery along the way is an absolute marvel. It is an oasis in the midst of civilisation and you can lose yourself and feel as though you could be so far removed from everyday cares, woes and troubles. What I love about it is the amazing diversity of the landscape in such a brief vista.