The biggest rock in the world is Uluru, right? Depending on geological terminology, the far less known Mt Augustus or Burringurrah in Western Australia’s Gascoyne region is, well, much bigger. Here’s how to hike the Mt Augustus Summit Trail.


We acknowledge that this adventure is located in the traditional Country of the Wadjari peoples who have occupied and cared for these lands and waters for thousands of years. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

About Mt Augustus

Mt Augustus is a super impressive rock in the middle of a flat desert landscape. In fact, it’s the biggest rock in the world, two and a half times larger than Uluru. The rock is almost half way between Meekatharra and Carnarvon in the Gascoyne Region of Western Australia.

Mt Augustus History

The Wadjari people tell a dreaming story of a young boy named Burringurrah, running away from his initiation ceremony. For punishment, he was speared in the leg and eventually died. The rock forms the shape of his body.

Francis Gregory was the first European to lay eyes on Mt Augustus in 1858 while exploring the Gascoyne Region. He named it after his brother Augustus Gregory. Mount Augustus Station was settled in 1887.


Mt Augustus: A Guide to The Summit Trail of the Biggest Rock in The World, jane pelusey, red rocks, person, map

How to Get to Mt Augustus

There are two main routes to Mount Augustus, with some of the drive on gravel roads.

Drive 980km from Perth to Carnarvon, then head east on the Carnarvon Mullewa Road. From there it’s turn left on Cobra Diary Creek Road, 430km to Mt Augustus.

The other route is on the Great Northern Highway, 756km from Perth to Meekatharra. Then it’s 360km to Mt Augustus along the Kingsford Smith Mail Run. Both routes are largely unsealed, but the mail run is generally rougher and more suited to AWD or 4WD.

Summit Trail Route

This is a challenging, steep-climbing, rocky trail with a 654 metre elevation gain. It’s a marked 12km return hike that usually takes about six hours to complete.

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

Places to Stay at Mt Augustus

Mount Augustus Tourist Park is part of an active cattle station. As well as caravan and camping sites, there are twin rooms, queen and family units. Facilities include hot showers, toilets, a laundry as well as a small shop and BBQ facilities. In winter and spring, the Mt View Cookhouse serves cold beverages and Shorthorn beef from the station. Travel wise, the station has petrol and diesel fuel, gas refills and minor tyre repairs. All that and a view of the rock. Mount Augustus Tourist Park is 16km from the start of the summit walk.

Things to do at Mt Augustus

The Summit Trail is the main activity for experienced hikers, but there are other activities available;

Drive 49km around Mount Augustus

The Loop Drive joins the Mount Augustus Road. There are information bays on the two corners.

Edney’s Trail

Edneys Trail is another way to get a good view. It’s only 6km return so easier than the Summit Trail. The trail starts with a 500m easy walk to Ooramboo Aboriginal artwork. The trail becomes rockier (Grade 4) as you climb 2.5km up to a bump on the western side of the rock.

Kotka Gorge Trail

Kotka Gorge Trail is a 2.7km rock hop up to a seasonal waterfall. It starts with an easy 500m walk to a beautiful grove of River red gums named Warrarla. Then start climbing and rock hopping to a cool shaded area. The rocks are smoothed from the seasonal rain.

Goordgeela Trail

If you want views without doing the Summit Trail or Mt Edneys, this 3km hike has views to the north. The rough trail passes through open acacia shrubland for 550m, then scrambles up a very steep rocky watercourse with minimal directional signage. A steep ascent takes you to a lookout with views to the north.

Relax by Cattle Pool

Cattle Pool is a permanent billabong on the Lyons River and walk along the Corella Trail. Sit and watch the birdlife such as corellas and eagles. Swimming is at your own risk.

Short Walks

There are a series of shorter walks under one kilometre such as the Petroglyph Trail, The Saddle at the Pound and Flintstone Rock, Beedoboondu.

Visit Mount View Cookhouse

Have a post-hike, cold beer and a meal at the Mount View Cookhouse.

Watch Sunset From Emu Hill Lookout

Emu Hill Lookout is in the best position for sunset. In wildflower season, the foreground is covered in fields of everlastings. From this slightly elevated position, you can fit all of Mt Augustus into a photograph!


Mt Augustus Summit Trail

Heeding the clear warnings, we leave early to minimise our heat exposure. We notify staff at nearby Mt Augustus Tourist Park of our intention to hike the Summit Trail before driving around the 49km loop circumnavigating Mount Augustus.

From the Flintstone-Beedoboondu car park, we start walking to Flintstone Rock. It’s a short and easy stroll to a large flat rock over a stony creek bed. Crawling under it, we see Indigenous engravings. It’s cool and shady under here but we can’t linger long. Although it’s only around 8am, it’s already nudging 30°C and the climb hasn’t even begun.



From here, there’s a choice between the Summit Trail or the Gully Trail. Both lead to the summit, but the Gully Trail is more challenging and takes the creek route with plenty of rock hopping. The Gully Track has been closed since mid-2022 and until further notice because extreme rain events have made the ascent from this direction dangerous. So we chose the Summit Trail route, a 650m climb to the top.

We follow the blue circle trail markers up the uneven rocky path that isn’t always obvious. We’re mindful of losing concentration and are careful around the steep cliffs as we look for the next marker.



As we climb higher, the odd spindly tree gives way to unrelenting sun, and our broad-brimmed hats provide the only shade.

The heat radiating off the bare red rock is much hotter than the 35°C shade temperature indicated. I can only imagine how it’d feel up here a couple months later into summer when 50°C plus is not uncommon.

We’re not alone up here as plenty of lizards move quickly out of our way and we spot two majestic Wedge tail eagles soaring effortlessly on rising thermals off baking rock.


Mt Augustus: A Guide to The Summit Trail of the Biggest Rock in The World, jane pelusey, walk, person, rock


Now into the third hour, our rest stops become more frequent as fatigue and sweat increase with elevation, but they’re a great opportunity to admire views across a starkly beautiful landscape.

At last we reached the summit. We get a sense of how this mighty rock dominates the vast plains around us. We can see tiny lines that are dirt roads leading off into the distance and a green strip of trees lining the Lyons River far below. Now it’s time to turn around and head back down again, our knees feeling it, although walking poles certainly help.

After a long day on the trail, we relax with drinks in hand, watching the colours change over Mt Augustus at sunset.


Skill Level


The Summit Trail is for experienced and well-prepared hikers. At the junction, The Summit Trail route is a grade 4 and the Gully route is grade 5. The Gully route is currently closed due to flood damage.

Distance Covered / Duration / Elevation Gained

12.5km return / 5-8 hours / 650m

Essential Gear

  • Water, at least 4 litres
  • Hat
  • Good hiking boots
  • Loose fitting clothing
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • First aid kit
  • Something to eat
  • Camera, optional
  • A hiking buddy

Tips For Visiting Mt Augustus

Beware the Heat

Several people have died of heat-related issues doing this hike, so hikers must come prepared with sufficient water, sun protection, and knowledge of the hike’s difficulty! Start early to avoid most of the heat.

Read more: Hiking in Hot Weather


Mt Augustus: A Guide to The Summit Trail of the Biggest Rock in The World, jane pelusey, view, plains

Mt Augustus FAQs

Is Mt Augustus the biggest rock in the world?

Yes it is, depending on what geological terminology is being used.

What is the difference between Uluru and Mt Augustus?

Both rocks are known as inselbergs or lone mountains. However Uluru is a single rock or monolythe. It has no vegetation or scree slopes, just bare rock. Mt Augustus is a monocline, a rock formed from uplifted layers, some 1000 million years ago. It has vegetation on its slopes and is made up of different rock types.

What is the closest town to Mt Augustus?

Meekatharra is the closest town.

Can you climb Mt Augustus?

Yes you can climb Mt Augustus by following the Summit Trail.

Where is Mt Augustus located?

In the Gascoyne region of Western Australia.

How do you get to Mt Augustus?

To reach Mt Augustus, drive from Meekatharra (360km) or Carnarvon (430km).

When is Mt Augustus Summit Trail open?

The Summit Trail is open all year round, but should be avoided on very hot days.

Is Mt Augustus Summit Trail good for beginners?

Mt Augustus Summit trail is for experienced hikers only.

Can you drive up Mt Augustus?

No, there are only hiking paths on the rock, no roads. How long does it take to climb Mt Augustus?

Depending on fitness, the average time is about 6 hours return.

How big is Mt Augustus?

The summit is 717 metres above the surrounding plain. From end to end, the rock is about 8km long.