Dandahra Crags Walk in Gibraltar National Park

Dandahra Crags Walk in Gibraltar National Park

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Posted 2024-04-12 by Cris follow
Exploring the Majestic Dandahra Crags Walking Track: A Nature Lover's Paradise.

I stumbled across Gibraltar National Park just searching on Google for beautiful places where to camp and hike. Then I organised a few days away with my hiking group camping in Mulligan's campground and hiking in the morning and the afternoon. Gibraltar National Park offers an incredible number of amazing trails and great places where to stay.

To enter by car in Gibraltar National Park you have to pay a fee, of $8 per car. You can also pay an annual fee if it's more convenient for you.

Nestled within the pristine wilderness of Gibraltar Range National Park lies a hidden gem waiting to be discovered: the Dandahra Crags walking track. This picturesque hiking route is renowned for its scenic views, captivating granite outcrop, and the enchanting allure of Surveyors Creek Swamp. Nature enthusiasts and avid hikers alike are drawn to this trail, seeking an unforgettable adventure amidst the wonders of nature. Certainly, the highlight of the hike is climbing the rocky outcrop where there are breathtaking views of the surroundings.

There are many big boulders along the trail and it is fun to climb on them.


Dandahra Crags Walking Track

The Dandahra Crags walking track begins its journey off Mulligan’s Drive, meandering through a vibrant tapestry of towering eucalyptus forests and near the swamp. Stretching over approximately 7 kilometres loop, this moderate-level track offers a delightful balance of challenge and tranquillity. Allow about 2.5 hours, including the time to enjoy the climb of the crag and the time to enjoy the great views from the top of the boulders. The hike is classified as grade 4 by the New South Wales National Park and Service. The hike is relatively easy, you need some fitness to climb the amazing crag, which is the fun part of the journey. If you are camping at Mulligan's campground, the start of the walk is 10 minutes drive, 6 km away. Also, another very interesting trail starts in the same area, the Anvil Rock track.

Walking Dandahra Crags trail in the shade of the trees early afternoon, the beginning of autumn.


Granite Outcrop

A true highlight of the Dandahra Crags walking track awaits adventurers midway through their journey—a majestic granite outcrop that may resemble a castle made up of boulders. Towering above the surrounding landscape, this geological wonder captivates with its weathered formations and dramatic cliffs.

On top of the crag with superb views all around.


Take a moment to catch your breath and behold the panoramic view that stretches as far as the eye can see, rewarding your efforts with a breathtaking perspective of Gibraltar Range National Park.

Once you are at the top of the rocky outcrop pay attention to the rock crevasses. Keep children all the time near you.

The famous window on top of the crag, where is so awesome to take photos.


Surveyors Creek Swamp

Continuing along the trail, hikers are transported to the ethereal realm of Surveyors Creek Swamp. A delicate balance of beauty and mystique, this enchanting wetland ecosystem is a haven for flora and fauna.

Surveyors Creek Swamp, located within Gibraltar Range National Park, is a captivating wetland ecosystem that showcases the park's rich biodiversity. Here's some information about the swamps in Gibraltar Range National Park:

Ecosystem Diversity: The swamps in Gibraltar Range National Park, including Surveyors Creek Swamp, are vital habitats that support a wide range of plant and animal species. Swamps are characterized by their waterlogged soils and unique hydrological conditions, creating a distinct ecological niche. These wetlands serve as breeding grounds, feeding areas, and nesting sites for various organisms.

Flora: Surveyors Creek Swamp is known for its lush vegetation, including a diverse array of plant species. You'll find an abundance of water-loving plants, such as sedges, rushes, and ferns, that thrive in moist conditions. Sundews, carnivorous plants that capture insects with their sticky leaves, are also commonly found in the swamp.

Fauna: The swamps in Gibraltar Range National Park provide a haven for a variety of animal species. The wetland ecosystem supports a range of aquatic life, including frogs, turtles, and various species of fish. Birdwatchers will delight in the opportunity to spot waterbirds such as herons, egrets, and ducks, as they forage for food or glide gracefully over the swamp's surface. The swamps also attract insect species, creating a bustling microcosm of activity.

Crossing the swamp.


Ecological Importance: Swamps play a crucial role in the overall health of an ecosystem. They act as natural filters, purifying water by trapping sediments and absorbing excess nutrients. Additionally, swamps help regulate water flow by absorbing and slowly releasing water, reducing the risk of flooding downstream. They also provide valuable habitat for numerous species, contributing to the park's biodiversity and supporting the broader ecosystem.

Sensory Experience: Exploring the swamps in Gibraltar Range National Park offers a unique sensory experience. As you venture into the swamp, you'll be enveloped by the sounds of nature, including the rhythmic chorus of frogs and the melodious calls of birds. The air is filled with the earthy scent of damp soil and the refreshing aroma of aquatic plants. Take a moment to immerse yourself in the tranquil ambience of the swamp, observing the delicate interplay between flora and fauna.

Conservation and Protection: Swamps are delicate ecosystems that require protection and conservation efforts. Gibraltar Range National Park places a strong emphasis on preserving these wetlands and their associated biodiversity. Visitors are encouraged to respect the fragile nature of the swamps, adhere to designated trails, and refrain from disturbing the plants and animals that call them home. These conservation measures ensure the long-term sustainability of these unique habitats.

Walking near the swamp. When the swamp is flooded, you will have to ford in the water.


Hiking Experience

Embarking on the Dandahra Crags walking track is a sensory journey in itself. The earthy scent of eucalyptus fills the air, birdsong serenades your every step, and the gentle breeze whispers secrets of the forest. While the trail presents a moderate challenge, with some undulating sections, the rewards are plentiful. Ample rest areas and picnic spots provide opportunities to recharge and immerse yourself in the serene ambience of this natural wonderland.


The majestic outcrop of rocks offers a breathtaking vantage point, allowing visitors to gaze upon the stunning beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Safety and Conservation.

As you venture into the Dandahra Crags walking track, it's essential to respect the environment and adhere to park regulations. Carry sufficient water, wear sturdy footwear, and be mindful of any potential hazards along the way. Remember to leave no trace, ensuring the preservation of this pristine wilderness for generations to come.

View of the crag.


Flora and Fauna

The Dandahra Crags walking track is a haven for diverse flora and fauna. As you traverse the trail, keep an eye out for native wildlife, especially bird species. The eucalyptus forests that line the trail are home to an array of unique plant species, including the iconic New England blackbutt and the delicate maiden's wattle, adding to the trail's natural splendour.

Golden Banksia with its beautiful flowers.


Photography Opportunities

For photography enthusiasts, the Dandahra Crags walking track offers countless opportunities to capture the beauty of nature. The changing light throughout the day casts a magical glow on the landscape, creating an ideal setting for stunning photographs. Whether you're capturing the vibrant wildflowers, the rugged granite outcrop, or the tranquil scenes of Surveyors Creek Swamp, each frame is bound to be a masterpiece.

Views from the crags.


Seasonal Variations

The Dandahra Crags walking track undergoes subtle transformations with each season, providing a unique experience throughout the year. In spring, the trail bursts to life with a riot of colours as wildflowers blanket the hillsides. Summer brings the chorus of cicadas and the cool shade of the forest canopy, providing a refreshing escape from the heat. Autumn decorates the trail with golden hues as leaves gently fall, while winter unveils a different kind of beauty, with mist shrouding the hills and creating an ethereal atmosphere.


Petrophile canescens, commonly known as conesticks, is a species of flowering plant in the family Proteaceae and is endemic to eastern Australia. The Proteaceae form a family of flowering plants predominantly distributed in the Southern Hemisphere. Australia and South Africa have the greatest concentrations of diversity. Well-known Proteaceae genera include Protea, Banksia, Embothrium, Grevillea, Hakea, and Macadamia. Species such as the New South Wales waratah are also well known.

Camping and Accommodation

For those seeking an immersive experience in Gibraltar Range National Park, there are camping facilities available near the Dandahra Crags walking track. Book your spot in Boundary Falls Campground, Mulligan's Campground or Gibraltar House. Set up camp under the starry night sky and awaken to the symphony of nature surrounding you. Alternatively, there are nearby accommodations, including cabins and lodges, that offer a comfortable retreat after a day of exploration.

To the west, the closest town is Glenn Innes and to the east is Grafton. These towns can provide different types of accommodations, services and shops where you can get provisions.

Boulders along the trail.


Nearby Attractions

While the Dandahra Crags walking track is a destination in itself, Gibraltar Range National Park offers a range of other attractions worth exploring. Nearby, you'll find picturesque waterfalls, such as Mulligans Falls and Duffer Falls, where you can cool off and enjoy the cascading beauty of nature. The park is also known for its extensive network of trails, including the World Heritage-listed Washpool-Gibraltar Range Rainforest, providing ample opportunities for further exploration.

The closest town is Glen Innes to the west, 73 km and 52 minutes drive away. To the east is Grafton, 1 hour and 20 minutes drive, 96 km away.

Views from the crag.


The Dandahra Crags walking track in Gibraltar Range National Park is a paradise for nature enthusiasts, offering a captivating journey through awe-inspiring landscapes. From the panoramic views atop the granite outcrop to the enchantment of Surveyors Creek Swamp, this trail showcases the raw beauty of Australia's natural wonders. Lace up your hiking boots, embrace the serenity of the wilderness, and embark on an unforgettable adventure along the Dandahra Crags walking track. Nature's embrace awaits you.

More attractions nearby.

The surrounding area of Gibraltar Range National Park offers a variety of attractions for visitors to explore. Here are a few notable ones:

Washpool National Park: Adjacent to Gibraltar Range National Park, Washpool National Park is a World Heritage-listed area renowned for its pristine rainforests and crystal-clear streams. It features an extensive network of walking tracks, including the Coombadjha Nature Track, which takes you through the ancient Gondwana rainforest.

Duffer Falls: Located within Gibraltar Range National Park, Duffer Falls is a picturesque waterfall that cascades over a series of rock ledges. The falls are easily accessible, and a short walk leads you to a viewing platform where you can admire the beauty of the cascading water.

Mulligans Hut: Situated in the heart of Gibraltar Range National Park, Mulligans Hut is a historic relic that provides a glimpse into the region's past. The hut was built for William Mulligan to prepare his plans for the hydroelectric scheme. Today, it stands as a reminder of the area's heritage and offers visitors a chance to step back in time.

Mann River Nature Reserve: Located to the east of Gibraltar Range National Park, Mann River Nature Reserve is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. It offers opportunities for fishing, canoeing, and swimming in the pristine waters of the Mann River. The reserve is also home to diverse wildlife, including platypus, kangaroos, and a variety of bird species.

Mature fruits of a bottlebrush.


Boyd River Camping Area: For those looking to extend their stay, Boyd River Camping Area provides a peaceful and picturesque camping spot. Nestled amidst the towering eucalyptus forest, the campground offers basic facilities and a tranquil setting, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in nature.

Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage Walk: For the more adventurous, the Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage Walk is a multi-day trek that traverses both Gibraltar Range National Park and Washpool National Park. This challenging but rewarding hike takes you through diverse landscapes, including ancient rainforests, granite outcrops, and highland streams.

These attractions in the surrounding area of Gibraltar Range National Park offer a range of experiences, from exploring waterfalls and historic sites to immersing oneself in the tranquillity of nature. Whether you prefer short walks, camping experiences, or longer hikes, there is something to captivate every visitor in this scenic region.

Hiking Tree Fern Forest Walk in Gibraltar National Park.


Reference
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrophile_canescens
https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/gibraltar-range-national-park

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283135 - 2024-04-12 05:24:05

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