It is so-named because of the water that constantly seeps from the sandstone cliff which acts like a sponge. When rain falls on the plateau behind The Drip, it sinks slowly into the ground and the rock beneath. But between the thick layers of sandstone are thin bands made of clay, which are less porous and act a little like plastic sheets. So when the groundwater sinks down and hits a sheet of claystone it goes sideways until it reaches The Drip and seeps out. All a bit science-y but also pretty cool.
Getting to The Drip is relatively easy. From Mudgee, it's about an hour's drive to the northwest corner of the Goulburn River National Park. The walk is signposted from the small carpark.
The first thing you notice about this walk is the many shades of green that make up the lush vegetation, such a contrast to the bushland outside of the gorge. This is because the cliffs shade the ground, and the soil along the river here is deep and fertile, which allows species from wetter areas to survive in a relatively dry climate, creating this lush, green oasis.
The walk to The Drip is a leisurely 1.4km one way and 2.8km return. Right from the start the trail hugs the spectacular cliff walls on one side and runs adjacent to the river on the other side. The trail is in good condition and is mostly flat and easy to walk, however, there are a few rougher sections, some involving steep steps.
The trail runs adjacent to the picturesque Goulburn River
You will notice that the rock faces along the track reveal layering, weathering patterns and staining by minerals, algae and lichens.
The walk also features many different habitats from shallow water to river flats, boulder piles and cliff faces. At The Drip itself, there are huge fallen blocks of sandstone, pools and small rapids. These diverse habitats are said to support at least 80 species of native plants, and a variety of birds and mammals. While most of the mammals (wallabies, possums and wombats) in this area are nocturnal, you're likely to see or hear some of the birds that live in the gorge on this walk.
There is a fork in the track around 30 metres before you get to The Drip. The left-hand path takes you to an elevated lookout, while the right-hand path takes you down underneath The Drip itself.
Careful footwork may be required to get down underneath The Drip
The Drip really is remarkable in both its size and appearance. The amount of vegetation hanging from The Drip wall is reminiscent of a vertical garden. Part of the track was roped off on the day we visited however it is still possible to get down underneath The Drip with some careful footwork and a little bit of rock hopping.
It's difficult not to be impressed by the size and appearance of The Drip
So I guess you may be wondering if The Drip lives up to its name? I don't think it's a spoiler to confirm that yes it actually does.
The walk is listed on the National Parks website as a Grade 3 which is suitable for most ages and fitness levels. It will take between 1 - 1.5 hours to complete the return walk. There are numerous interpretive signs along the walk which describe the natural features, plants and wildlife of the area. There is a picnic area & two long drop toilets at the start of the track.
There is no camping permitted near The Drip, nor are pets permitted as it is within a national park. Unfortunately, this walking track is not wheelchair accessible.
For more information about visiting The Drip walking track please click here.