On the NSW South Coast, Mt Gulaga near Narooma, is a sacred site for the Yuin people and the significance is palpable. It’s also one hell of a climb, so make sure you pack extra water.

 

We acknowledge that this adventure is located on Yuin Nation, the traditional Country of the Yuin people who have occupied and cared for this land and water for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Highlights

  • Iconic views of the NSW South Coast
  • Sites of spiritual significance to the Yuin people
  • A heart-pumping rainforest walk

Mother Mountain

The spiritual and cultural significance of Mt Gulaga can be best experienced on a three-day retreat run by Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness which includes a guided tour of the track. Mt Gulaga’s Traditional Owners also permit visitors to hike the mountain independently, however, as it’s a sacred site, take extra care to stay on the track and not to wander.

Read more: Sacred Aboriginal Sites to Avoid Climbing

Two tiny historic towns nestle in the foothills of Mt Gulaga, referred to by Tilba locals as Mother Mountain.

What begins as a scenic stroll from the Tilba Tilba patisserie along a country lane flanked by vivid paddocks, quickly becomes a steep climb through mountainous bushland.  

The Tilba Tilba Walking Trail ascends to the summit of Mt Gulaga in Gulaga National Park. The return distance is only 6km, so the estimated duration of the walk — five hours according to the NPWS signs — tells you everything you need to know about the steep incline. It burns the glutes on the way up and thumps the knees on descent. 

 

 

The early stages of the climb offer panoramic views of rolling pastoral land, sea, and rocky crags. As the climb intensifies, the foliage becomes denser and lusher.  

A drop toilet and a picnic table signal your arrival at the saddle. There’s an information display detailing the significance of the mountain to the Yuin people who call this area home. Mt Gulaga is considered the birthplace of the Yuin Nation, with Dreaming stories explaining its maternal role in relation to people and other nearby landforms such as Didthul (Pigeon House Mountain).  

There are also a number of ‘tors’, enormous granite boulders, in the bush beyond the track. These tors and their surroundings are very special places for Yuin women, and visitors are advised to treat the area with the utmost respect. To be honest, the whole area around Mt Gulaga has a spiritual gravity about it that left me speechless.  

Read more: Explore Eurobodalla

 

 

From the saddle, the rainforest walk to the summit continues for another 45 mins or so, marked by signposts bearing red arrows. Enjoy breathing in the heavy fragrance of moss and old trees as you go. The walk itself is more scenic than the summit, which boasts only a sign and a small geodetic station atop a pile of rocks. 

 

Essential Gear

  • Sturdy shoes  
  • Plenty of water (at least 2L per person – more in the height of summer)
  • Sunscreen 
  • Snacks
  • Walking poles (optional but recommended to ease the load on your knees) 

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

How To Get There

A scenic detour off Princes Highway leads you through the tiny historic villages of Central Tilba and Tilba  Tilba. Park anywhere in Tilba Tilba and follow the signpost for ‘Tilba Tilba Walking Trail’, just next to the French patisserie. 

Skill Level

Intermediate – Advanced

This is a steep walk across uneven and often slippery ground, and should only be attempted by those of reasonable fitness. 

Distance / Duration / Elevation Gained

6km / 4-5 hours / 870m