Upper Hunter

42 Explore WALKS AND HIKES NATURE WALKS & HIKES Burning Mountain (Wingen) Start at Burning Mountain Rest Area carpark and follow a well-constructed track to the active vent. Panels along the route offer information about the area, and there are conveniently placed seats to rest or take in the views. See the geological effects of the naturally burning coal seam and its effect on the local plant communities. The seam is currently burning 30 metres below the surface and moving south at just over one metre each year. Class 3. Distance: 4.6k return Paradise Park – Eye of the Needle (Murrurundi) The walk starts at a signboard at the far end of Paradise Park (on Paradise Rd, approximately 1k past Murrurundi Golf Club). It is a constant uphill climb, through a jumble of massive granite boulders and on into the ‘Eye of the Needle’, a deep narrow crack in the cliff, almost so tight you can barely turn around. Continue upwards where you can choose to head either left or right to a rocky outcrop, overlooking the town below. Class 3-4. Distance: 2.5k; 1.5 hours Washpools (Towarri National Park) From the Washpools Picnic Area take the steps down to Middle Brook, then follow the edge of the creek upstream for about 250m, until you come to a natural square-shaped cutting in the rocks. Sheep graziers once washed their sheep here prior to shearing, hence the name. The water is usually crystal clear, making small fish and tadpoles visible. But take care: The rocks can be slippery when wet. There are a number of pools big enough to have a dip in hot weather and kids love splashing about in the shallow sections. As you walk, listen for the chorus of birdsong. Class 3. Distance: 250m one; return the same way; 10 minutes Denman Nature Trail The Denman Nature Trail is situated approximately three km from Denman, on Rosemount Rd. There is a parking bay on the right at the intersection of Rosemount Rd and Reg Thornton Drive. The Nature Trail is 1.5km each way (about 30 minutes) to the lookout and has steps in steeper sections. The walk is entirely through bushland and has a wide range of bird life. The lookout gives a commanding view over Denman township, surrounding farmland and distant mountains. There are toilet facilities at the start of the walk. Class 3. Distance: 1 hour return Giants Leap (Sandy Hollow) The imposing sandstone cliffs that form Giant’s Leap offer an exhilarating and rewarding climb. A return trip to the top takes 90 minutes. But, if you’re not feeling quite so energetic, a 10-minute walk will still reward you with fine views over the valley. The walk is not signposted but there are a number of well-trodden trails to follow. Keep the village of Sandy Hollow in your sights to keep your bearings. The summit has views to Mt Dangar, Goulburn River National Park, Bylong Valley Way, vineyards, farmland, and native woodland. The area is of significant interest because of its biodiversity and is popular with nature lovers and adventurers Class 6. Distance: 2k

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