- Epic Wollongong views from an iconic peak
- Beautiful changing bushland, featuring spectacular wildflowers in spring
- A low grade walk that offers a little bit of everything
Summary of adventure:
A good walk for beginners, or for people with lesser fitness. Starting at the truck stop (please note there is very limited parking), you enter the Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area through a service, with various tracks leading basically north following the cliff line, taking in wet and dry sclerophyll forests with plenty of pretty vistas and changing flora. There are some minor rock hopping sections that you can take at your own pace, and mostly just serve as stairs to higher ground. Depending on the recent rainfall there are also creeks that are very pretty.
You will pass open clearings under the power lines, allowing great opportunities to capture the views, not only to the east, but west back into the rolling hills of bush. Continuing along, you eventually come to a service road near the transmission tower: follow the tower to reach the trig point, summit and epic views from the Royal National Park to Saddleback Mountain. Here you’ll find graffiti dating back more than 100 years, and an excellent spot for photos and a bite to eat. Extreme caution must be taken as the lookout points are not fenced. In addition, gusts of wind could easily knock you over the edge, so keep your distance (see more bushwalking safety advice below).
The track was showing off some impressive yellow prickly bush peas (Pultenaea juniperina), gorgeous red and white native fuchsias (Epacris longiflora) and pink finger native orchids (Caladenia carnea). Kangaroos can also be spotted from time to time.
For this walk, simply return back the direction you came back to your destination.
Grade 2 – Mostly low gradient. Opportunity to walk easily in natural environments on easy tracks. Suitable for beginners.
About 3.5km return with mild gradient changes, taking about 1.5hrs to take in all of the sites.
All pets (other than assistance dogs) and smoking.
- Warm clothes and sun protection; it can be quite breezy and open in places
- Insect and leech protection
- Basic first aid kit
- Long pants - some bushes can be spiky
- A snack for the summit
- A general sense of direction; the trails are not marked and you can easily stray from the main trail
For more details, visit the Bushwalk the Gong Facebook page.
Bushwalking safety advice from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
- Plan your walk
- Research your walk and make sure everyone is comfortable with the planned route
- Go at the pace of the slowest person and don’t overestimate your abilities
- Walk in groups of 3 or more people – in an emergency one of you might need to wait with the injured person while the other gets help.
- Check the difficulty – some walks require rock scrambling and abseiling skills. If you’re note sure of the difficulty, contact the local NPWS park office.
- Check weather forecasts and park conditions and be aware that weather conditions can change.
- Tell somebody
- Give route details to your friends and family or the NSW Police. Tell them about any medical conditions and when to expect you back.
- Check in when you return
- Stay on track
- Walking tracks in NSW national parks parks are not always signposted or maintained, so be sure take care.
- To protect our landscapes for generations to come, please ensure that native plant and animal communities are disturbed as little as possible.
What to bring
- You may not have mobile phone service; if you’re really heading bush, consider taking a locator beacon which can be used as a last resort.
- For longer walks take plenty of water, snacks and a first aid kit
- Wear or take appropriate clothing and closed-toe footwear and always take a windproof and waterproof jacket
- Take a topographic map and compass and be confident with how to use them
- If you're camping take a good tent, sleeping bag, insect repellent and a torch.
- In a natural environment there is sometimes no escape from pests including mosquitoes, ticks and insects. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing to prevent bites, spray clothing and exposed skin with an insect repellent and reapply as directed, particularly if camping – and be sure to close that tent flap at night. More information is available at NSW Health
Staying safe near water
- Beware of fast-flowing water, submerged objects and deep water.
- Check the conditions – ask someone who is familiar with the area.
- Beware of slippery banks or paths near waterfalls
- Never swim alone – ensure that someone else is there to provide or get help.
- If you are caught in a rip or current, float on your back and travel downstream.
- If you get into trouble in the water, stay calm. Signal for help, then float and wait for help. Float with a current or undertow if in a river.
- Always check the water depth before entering
- If you feel cold in the water, get out as quickly as you can.
- If someone needs help in the water, stay dry and reach out to them with a stick or throw a rope.
- In some parks, high levels of blue-green algae can occur in lake systems under certain conditions. Please avoid direct contact with blue-green algae in the water and as surface scum. Warning signs will be displayed when algae levels in the lakes are high. Algae can exist in the shallow muddy bays and sediment disturbance in these areas should be avoided at all times.
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