Monday, October 14, 2013

Mt Wondabyne, NSW, Australia

2013 October: Climb Mt Wondabyne - NSW, Australia

Mt Wondabyne
Mt Wondabyne is the highest peak in Brisbane Water National Park in the Central Coast of NSW. It is a pyramid shaped mountain and sticks out prominently from the surrounding countryside.

I must be getting old. The mountains I'm climbing are getting lower and lower. This one is merely 251 meters high ... oops, 251 meters low, breaking my all time low record ... too easy.

Anyway, here it is, Mt Wondabyne:

On the other hand, I am the lone male in the company of all these beautiful ladies. That makes this non-effort a pretty worthwhile effort   :-)

The excursion is organized by Sydney Bush Walkers club. There are 8 of us ... clockwise around the table:
  Jessica,  left side of the photo
  Rosetta,  leader
(Photo is taken at Mt Penang Gardens Cafe at Kariong, after the walk is over.)

Rosetta is the leader. She is well organized ... including instructions on who is to sit in whose car; and who is to walk last (me) to babysit the stragglers from getting lost.

Route & KML file
Our recorded KML file can be downloaded from:

It is a circuit of about 11 km. The details are in the Wildwalks website: ... click on the tab "Track Notes".

We follow what is described there religiously. For such a short walk, it turns out to be quite interesting with many varied sceneries along the way ...
  - There is a side trip to Kariong Brook Falls.
  - The climb to the summit of Mt Wondabyne.
  - And pass the disused Bulls Hill Quarry with its turquoise coloured sediment dams.

You can get them from the internet. Here are 2 sites: ... click on the tab "Map of Walk".

In the following interactive map:
  - Mt Wondabyne is marked by the green pin.
  - Kariong Brook Falls is marked by the white-blue wavy lines.
You can zoom in to see more details (click on the small "+" icon a few times).

View Mt Wondabyne in a larger map

09:08  0.0 km - start at Staples Lookout
10:00  2.8 km - Kariong Brook Falls

----- Morning tea - 13 min

10:13  2.8 km - leave waterfall
11:57  7.3 km - Mt Windabyne summit

----- Lunch - 32 min

12:29  7.3 km - leave summit
13:39 11.2 km - junction of Tunnel Track and Woy Woy Road

----- Total 4 hr 31 min; 11.2 km

Starting point
The starting point of the walk is at Staples Lookout, approximately 5 km south of the Gosford suburb of Kariong. The lookout is right on the side of Woy Woy Road and has parking space for several cars. If you are looking for a scenic place to gaze across the expanse of Brisbane Water and Woy Woy Bay, Staples Lookout is the spot.

And we can see Mount Wondabyne, towards the south-west.

Walk Description
We are on our way ... walk on Woy Woy road for a short distance, then turn into Thommo's Loop Fire Trail.

It is a hot day, at least 33 degrees if not more.

Weather forecast is for showers. But there is only navy blue sky, And there is me carrying a Gortex raincoat in the backpack in case of rain ... how silly !

But Barbara (on the left of the following pic) carries an umbrella over her head for most of the way. Don't laugh at her, it turns out to be a smart thing to do ... keeps away the hot sun and keeps herself cool.

Morning tea break is at Kariong Brook Falls - a short detour from the trail to Mt Wondabyne. Due to the current dry spell, there is only a trikle of water dripping down the rock face. But the trees there provide a cool shady place for a rest from the hot sun.

Morning tea over, we are on our way to Mt Wondabyne.

From this flat rock area, we have a magnificent of view of Mt Wondabyne. (I have marked this spot in my KML file.)

Mt Wondabyne (from the spot mentioned above):

11:28 On the trail we encounter this "Walker Register". But we can't open the lid. Does the National Parks authorities know about this?

By order of Rosetta, I'm on rear-guard duty, hence most of time I only see the bums of these ladies ... haha   :-)

Reach the summit - we have lunch here.

The 360 degree view is spectacular - you can see the central coast suburbs around Woy Woy and of course much of the Brisbane Water National Park.

Only Jessica, Georgina and I take the trouble of climbing up the trig to have our photos taken. Up here, the wind is very strong. But Jessica is relishing in the wind; by contrast I am clinging tightly to the post, afraid of being blown off.
Sorry Georgina, I don't have a photo you up here.

Leave summit.

Nice turquoise coloured sediment dams of the disused Bulls Hill Quarry.

From Tunnel Track we emerged back to civilization ... ie Woy Woy Road.

There should be another kilometer of walk on Woy Woy Road back to Staples Lookout. But Rosetta had the foresight of doing a car shuffle earlier on and had 2 cars parked here, thus avoiding the 1 km walk in the hot sun.

Then it is off to Mt Penang Gardens Cafe at Kariong for a cold drink and some icecream. All up, it is a pleasant day in the country side.

PS: Mt Penang Gardens is supposed to be a beautiful garden. Today, we didn't go in to take a look. I must visit this place sometime later.


  1. Hi Paul,
    The Walker's register opens from the bottom, I suspect to stop any water damage.


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