Pagoda Lookout Track, Dunns Swamp, Wollemi National Park NSW

An excellent short walk on the Pagoda Lookout Track in Wollemi National Park, where there are views of rock pagodas & over the picturesque Cudgegong River.

The Dunns Swamp area is very picturesque, and a shortish drive from the also picturesque village of Rylstone, in NSW’s Mid-Western region. The short walk on the Pagoda Lookout Track passes along the foreshore of the dammed but still very attractive Cudgegong River, and takes you to the base of impressive rock pagodas. From there it’s a short but steep climb to the top of the rocks themselves. There are great views of the rocks and over the surrounding area. Definitely worth spending half an hour or so exploring the area around the lookout, and obsessively taking pictures (obviously). Continue reading “Pagoda Lookout Track, Dunns Swamp, Wollemi National Park NSW”

Cathedral Rock & Woolpack Rocks, Cathedral Rock National Park NSW

Lots of impressive boulders on this walk through Cathedral Rock National Park, and expansive views over the New England High Country.

This route climbs Cathedral Rock, the (almost) high point of the New England Tablelands at about 1580m, and goes on to visit the attractive Woolpack Rocks. There are various interesting boulder formations throughout the walk, and expansive views from on top of the two main rock formations. You start above 1300m, so only moderate effort required on an undulating track to visit these destination points. Continue reading “Cathedral Rock & Woolpack Rocks, Cathedral Rock National Park NSW”

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania

Spectacular scenery all the way as you climb Tasmania’s iconic Cradle Mountain (1545m), and return via the Face Track and Twisted Lakes.

Climbing Cradle Mountain (1545m) is one of the best day walks in Australia, and making a circuit of it by returning along the Face Track and by the Twisted Lakes maximises your scenery. There are excellent views pretty much the whole way, including views of the mountain from various angles, of numerous lakes, and there are extensive views from the rocky summit over the northern end of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Continue reading “Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania”

Queens Drive – Wye Creek Circuit, The Remarkables, Queenstown NZ

The Queens Drive Wye Creek Circuit is a dramatic & sometimes hair raising circuit walk high up in the Remarkables Range near Queenstown.

This lesser known walk in the prominent and dramatic Remarkables Range near Queenstown is a real humdinger, and will feel quite adventurous for all but the more experienced hikers. After a shortish climb to Shadow Basin Lookout from the ski field car park, there are extensive views over Lake Wakatipu and surrounds, then stark cliffs and hair raising drop offs on Queens Drive, which runs across the western face of the Remarkables at 2000m of elevation.  The walk then enters an extensive boulder field with the Remarkables summit cliffs towering overhead, followed by the picturesque Wye Creek Basin, and then back to the skifields via Lake Alta. Continue reading “Queens Drive – Wye Creek Circuit, The Remarkables, Queenstown NZ”

Bomaderry Creek Circuit, Bomaderry Creek Regional Park NSW

A very pleasant walk through a small but atmospheric gorge formed by Bomaderry Creek. There are rocky overhangs, small cliffs, and a variety of vegetation.

This circuit walk in Bomaderry Creek Regional Park was very nice, and the third walk in a single long weekend that exceeded expectations. There are lots of rocky overhangs, small cliffs, a variety of vegetation, including re-growth after fire when we did it, and of course the creek itself, which was picturesque in places. Continue reading “Bomaderry Creek Circuit, Bomaderry Creek Regional Park NSW”

Monolith Valley to Nibelung Pass, Budawangs NSW

The long but interesting walk into Monolith Valley will reward the enthusiastic hiker with 360 degree views of large rocky outcrops and shear cliffs.

One of the classic NSW day walks, the trek into Monolith Valley is often overshadowed by an ascent of the Castle. For sure the Castle is a must-do walk, but Monolith Valley is an excellent alternative for a different kind of spectacular. The walk into the area along the Castle walls is already awesome, and the views of Monolith Valley are first seen by continuing just past a chained section of Nibelung Pass. There you can climb one of the smaller monoliths for 360 degree views of huge textured rock landforms and distant cliff faces.

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Chalwell Galleries Track, Mt Buffalo NP Victoria

The short Chalwell Galleries Track winds around and between massive boulders high up in Mt Buffalo National Park.

This was our third short walk on the Mt Buffalo plateau, this one a short side trip off the main road, and a bit different than the other two (The Horn and The Hump). It wound around and between massive boulders, and required just a bit of scrambling. More info on the Parks Victoria website. Continue reading “Chalwell Galleries Track, Mt Buffalo NP Victoria”

Nichols Gorge Track, Kosciuszko NP NSW

A very atmospheric walk through Nichols Gorge in Kosciuszko National Park. The gorge is lined by large rocky crags, and then the track emerges from the gorge onto wide treeless plains.

The attractive Nichols Gorge Track branches off from the common start with the Clarke Gorge Track, near the camping area at Blue Waterholes. Not quite as spectacular as the narrow and shear sided Clarke Gorge, Nichols Gorge is nevertheless very atmospheric, and has the added advantage of being a circuit walk, (and you won’t get wet feet). It feels a bit more remote than it is (which I like), and opens out onto a wide treeless plain in the latter half.

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Lake Alta – Shadow Basin Lookout Circuit, The Remarkables, Queenstown NZ

A circuit walk high up in the Remarkables taking in Lake Alta and Shadow Basin Lookout. Alpine scenes and spectacular views abound!

It’s a straightforward walk up to beautiful Lake Alta from the Remarkables ski field car park. And another short option is to climb to wide open views of Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown from Shadow Basin Lookout. If you are willing to do some boulder hopping and navigate one steep section, then you can combine the two into a circuit. You’d be hard pressed to get so much alpine scenery and epic views from any comparably sized walk in NZ.

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Leaning Rock via Lilico Spur, Central Otago NZ

This long walk climbs through farmland to the Waikerikeri Conservation Area, and then through rugged tussock grass country to the barren summit of Leaning Rock (1647m), where there are many large tors.

A fairly long walk to the summit of Leaning Rock (1647m), the latter half of which is off track in the Waikerikeri Conservation Area. Starting in farmland, the walk ascends up Lilico Spur to the edge of the conservation area. From there the scenery is predominantly tussock grass, rocky areas, and finally the barren summit moonscape replete with multiple tors of various shapes and sizes. The overall feeling is one of remoteness, (although there are major  communications installations on the summit). Continue reading “Leaning Rock via Lilico Spur, Central Otago NZ”