Just over 2 hours from Sydney, the trails near Wombat Hill are a great introduction to multi day hiking. You’ll find more than wombats on this trail — Gabby saw snakes, birds, honeyeaters and even Jabba’s Palace.
- Spectacular scenery
- Plenty of wildlife
- Easy to follow trail
- Old farm ruins to explore
- Short in-and-out walk can be extended into a longer undertaking
In need of a short overnight hike to break in some new gear, Griffin’s Fire Trail in Morton National Park beckoned. At only 6km from Jack’s Corner trailhead to Griffin’s Farm campground, it would be a good distance to get a feel for our new packs without killing us if they weren’t comfortable (the same qualities would also make it a great first overnight hike).
Out Of This World
Griffin’s Fire Trail is gently undulating at first, becoming steeper as you walk beneath rocky towers reminiscent of Jabba’s palace, and again on the approach to Yurrunga Creek. It’s pretty much downhill all the way (yup, that means that the walk out is going to be uphill).
After crossing the creek it’s not far to Griffin’s Farm ruins, perched on a small hill overlooking a bend in the creek — and the flat beyond that is the campground. It’s quite understandable why the Griffin family settled here and before them the Yuin people.
Inhabited by a pair of wombats and frequented by the usual currawong camp inspectors, the flat is a peaceful place to chill out, watching wildlife amongst the gentle susurrations of she-oak. We saw king parrots, superb fairy wrens, satin bowerbirds performing their courtship dance, yellow robins, Lewin’s honeyeaters, lyrebirds and a tawny frogmouth, as well as possums and a couple of large lace monitors (and one red bellied black snake on the trail).
Taking It Further
Up for another 10km? After setting up camp and leaving the heavy gear behind, continue along Griffin’s Fire Trail until it crosses Crankey’s Creek and starts heading uphill. 5.2km of uphill later, through wet and dry sclerophyll forest, Meryla Pass appears. Head left onto Wombat Hill Lookout Trail from the carpark and stop to take in the view — you’ll really appreciate how far you’ve climbed.
Wombat Hill Lookout
If you continue further along Wombat Hill Lookout Trail it veers away from the ridgetop for 3-4km before coming back to the cliff edge at Wombat Hill Lookout. Here you’ll see spectacular panoramic views of Wombat Hill, Mount Moolatoo, Mount Carialoo, Barrengarry Mountain, Lake Yurrunga and the Kangaroo River — then it’s pretty much downhill all the way back to camp and a well-deserved feed.
And yes, the new packs were awesome! Bring on the multi-day walks…
- Clothing (including sunhat & sunscreen)
- Water purification system (Yarrunga Creek usually has water flowing — it flows in part from Fitzroy Falls Reservoir — so you don’t generally need to hump all your water in)
- Map (Bundanoon 8928-1S) and compass — the fire trail is distinct and easy to follow but it’s always best to have back up, even if you do have a GPS
- Camera, binoculars
How To Get There
Sydney to Jack’s Corner Trail Head (roughly 2¼ hours)
- Wildlife watching
Beginner to Intermediate
Distance Covered / Elevation
Jack’s Corner to Griffin’s Farm and back — 12km; elevation loss/gain 210m
Jack’s Corner to Meryla Pass and back — 23km; elevation loss/gain 210m (part 1) + 530m (part 2)
Jack’s Corner to Wombat Hill Lookout and back — 32km; elevation loss/gain 210m (part 1) + 530m (part 2)
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