While the big ticket item in Bald Rock National Park is the scramble up Bald Rock itself, the trail to Little Bald Rock is just as panoramic, with views of the unique granite formations both in Bald Rock and Girraween National Parks.
- Views across the granite formations on both the NSW and QLD sides of the border
- Chances to explore and play along the granite ridgeline
- Spot local wildlife
A Solo Trip to Bald Rock
Keen for a mid-week solo adventure, I headed to Bald Rock National Park in northern NSW.
It was on the cusp of summer, the air was warm and humid, hotter still on the reflective granite.
After checking out Australia’s largest exposed granite monolith, Bald Rock, I wandered down the Bungoona trail, a more shaded trail than the rockface scramble, taking my time to explore among the giant balancing boulders.
Little Bald Rock Trail
Next, I headed over to Little Bald Rock, which sits to the right of Bald Rock when facing from the car park. The track follows a fire trail, skirting the base of Bald Rock, where you’ll catch glimpses of the towering monolith through the trees.
The trail is barely undulating, passing small collections of granite boulders and fleeting views to the landscape beyond. You may even spot the occasional wallaby skipping through the bush or goannas stepping across the trail.
After 45 minutes I reached the start of the slab of Little Bald Rock, following pink tape along a rough footpad to the summit, squeezing past boulders and bashing past scrub.
Above the treeline, South Bald Rock could be seen straight ahead, and the granite landscapes of Girraween National Park extended from my rocky perch.
I took a little time to take in this expansive and unique landscape, exploring along the ridgeline, the granite grippy underfoot.
It was a very hot day and while I would’ve loved to explore more, the heat got the better of me and I hightailed out of there. On a cooler day, I would’ve spent a couple of hours exploring among the granite boulders and crevices and enjoying the views.
Make it an Overnighter!
I stayed overnight at the Bald Rock campground so I could take in sunrise from Bald Rock the next morning.
The campground and picnic area offer excellent facilities, including barbecues, toilets and picnic tables. Keep in mind that the ground is very hard at the campground so freestanding tents are best as you’ll struggle to get any pegs into the ground.
But the view from Bald Rock the next morning makes it worth it!
- At least 3L of water (it can get hot out there especially on the exposed granite)
- Snacks and lunch
- Insect repellent
- First aid kit (including snake bite kit)
- PLB (the area is remote and reception is limited)
- If camping, a freestanding tent and additional drinking water is recommended. Water is available on site but must be treated before use
While the hike to Little Bald Rock is not difficult and follows a fire trail all the way, at the time of writing there wasn’t clear signage (due to bushfires destroying some signs) and you need to follow tape and rough footpad in sections.
How To Get There
If you’re coming from Queensland, Bald Rock National Park is about a 3.5 hour drive from Brisbane via Stanthorpe. The park can also be accessed via Tenterfield if coming from the NSW side.
While the park borders on Girraween National Park, if coming by car you have to enter the park from its eastern side located in New South Wales. There are some trails that connect both parks on foot but would require a multi-day trip.
Coming from Queensland via Stanthorpe, there’s a 12km stretch of dirt road to access the park but it’s 2WD accessible in dry weather.
The Bald Rock Summit Trail via the rock face or Bungoona Trail starts to the left of the car park. The Little Bald Rock trail starts to the right of the car park. There’s clear signage marking the start of both these trails.
If you need to stock up on snacks or get petrol, make sure you do it at Stanthorpe as there’s no services once you cross the border in the vicinity of the park.
Day passes ($8 a day) are required in Bald Rock National Park, which you can buy online or through a self registration system at the park. If you’re visiting NSW national parks often, an annual pass may be better value and can be bought online.
Distance / Duration
About 7km to Little Bald Rock return. The return hike took me two hours return on a very hot day including photo stops although signage recommends to allow 3-4 hours.
If you’re incorporating the Bald Rock scramble and Bungoona Trail into your day, allow another 1-2 hours and an additional 3km.