A French traveler and artist currently exploring Australia. I enjoy bushwalking, discovering the local culture and arts.
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Published July 23rd 2014
Tough climb, great views near Braidwood/Batemans Bay
Standing 1129 metres tall and towering above the road between Braidwood and Batemans Bay, Mount Budawang is one of the main attractions of the Budawang Range, which spans Budawang and Morton National Parks. A pretty, under-the-radar trail leads from the nearby locale of Mongarlow to the very top of Mount Budawang, and offers a gorgeous 360° view on the surrounding wilderness.
View across the Budawang range, from the top of Mount Budawang - photo by author
Although it is pretty short, at 4km one-way, this walk is not for the faint-hearted, as you will have to climb 430 metres on a fire trail to the summit. The trail is clear and there is no chance of getting lost, as there is only one way to the top. The trail can be a bit treacherous at times, with rocks giving way under foot at times: a good pair of shoes, plenty of water and a strong pair of calves are a must-have.
The track is bathed in a nice, fragrant shade, courtesy of the vegetation and trees that line it closely. The first half of the ascent offers a nice stroll through wet gullies covered in big ferns, then changes slightly towards a montane forest, and then again to a grassland at the summit. As the environment changes, cracks appear in the surrounding greenery, offering a teaser of the views that will reward a full ascent.
Don't forget to add your contribution to the Mount Budawang cairn! Photo by author
And the view from the top is well worth the effort: to the North, you can see across the Budawang range all the way to the Castle and Pigeon House Mountain on a clear day. Durras Mountain and the NSW coast are to the East and Braidwood's Mount Gillamatong to the West. To the South, the forests of the Clyde River valley roil in green, fluffy waves. Don't forget to bring a hat if you plan on spending some time at the summit, as the area surrounding the small radio array is completely bare.
Birdwatchers will enjoy the company of crescent honeyeaters and honey whistlers in the higher areas (unless they forgot to bring their binoculars) and the summit is one of the only two places where the Budawang wallaby grass can be found. If you are confident about walking back in the dark (and brought a good flashlight), the sunsets can be breathtaking.
Where : Budawang National Park Length : 4km one way – 3h30 Rate : Hard – Steep and rocky in some places
How to get there: From Braidwood, drive on Little River Road to Mongarlowe. In Mongarlowe, turn right onto Northangera Road, then turn left onto Budawang Road near the fire station. Travel a further 1.8km, then veer right at the intersection (follow the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service sign) through a gate. Follow the signs for another 5km to the carpark. You will need to go through several farm gates: make sure you leave them as you find them.