EXPLORE // Gibbergunyah Reserve

Close to town with a selection of tracks to choose from (or do them all!)

 

We love it when the wonderful Dimity of @dimsim_outdoors goes exploring and shared her fab adventures with us! Here’s Dim’s latest adventure– exploring Gibbergunyah Reserve to the north west of Bowral.


Family Friendly :: Suitable for all ages but you need to have a reasonable level of fitness and be used to longer walks.
Easily Accessible :: Drive along the Old Hume Hwy from Mittagong and turn off at Howards Lane. Follow the road all the way to the end where you will find several car spaces at the entrance to the Cecs Fire Trail.
Dog Friendly :: YESSS furry friends allowed!
Stairs :: Not many stairs but some very steep inclines on some sections of track.
Length :: Between 1-8km depending on the tracks you take.
Time :: 1-4 hours depending on your chosen path. My trek took me just under three hours which included a few stops along the way. 

 

1 Gibbergunyah Reserve

 

I find trying out new places to explore can sometimes be a challenge! I often don’t really know where to go that I haven’t been to before, and finding a place where I can avoid the crowds as much as possible can be really difficult. 

So, I have been searching high and low for a walk that is a little off the beaten track but close to home. Somewhere I can get the heart rate up while enjoying the gorgeous views the Highlands offers up.

And guess what guys? I have found a beauty! Gibbergunyah Reserve is tucked away between Bowral and Welby, with views up to Mt Gibraltar and across to Mt Jellore. So far ticking the boxes!

 

2 Gibbergunyah Reserve

 

There’s a multitude of tracks to take you through the reserve and most are suitable for all kinds of mobility and fitness levels. But, of course me being me,  I explored some of the less worn paths and more challenging tracks. (Also, a super exciting FYI –this reserve is doggo friendly!)

 

3 Gibbergunyah Reserve

 

I started off by parking my car in Howards Lane (just down the road from Howards Lane Winery) where there is space for about 3-4 cars. Instead of climbing the steep fire trail I took the small path off to the right, labelled Geebung Track and hit quite a steep climb.

 

4 Gibbergunyah Reserve

 

After a rather breathless trek up this small winding trail, I came back out onto the main track at a crossroads and decided to stick to Geebung which led me to Fern Gully and The Glen Track. If you have issues with mobility or you’re bush walking with small children, I recommend sticking to the main Gang Gang Track.

 

5 Gibbergunyah Reserve

 

So off I trot through the tall banksia trees and eventually find my first lookout. The Gib Lookout has a little bench for a quick rest and great views through the trees back out towards Mt Gibraltar. Surrounded by rosellas, cockatoos and even catching sight of an elusive Lyrebird this was a great spot for a water break and to recharge before tackling the harder parts of the track!

 

6 Gibbergunyah Reserve

 

Heading back to the main trail I followed the Galah Circuit, which was an even fire trail although it became very steep as I headed further down into the gully.

 

7 Gibbergunyah Reserve

 

Now, here is where we start ticking a few more boxes because I was looking for a walk that would work up a sweat, and boy this next trail did just that! I veered off to the left from Galah Circuit onto The Glen Track which is a 1.2km walk that links up with the Goanna Circuit across the other side of the reserve.

 

8 Gibbergunyah Reserve

 

However, to get there I had to follow a narrow and often hard to see trail through the gully, across the creek (not really flowing the day I went) and then back up the other side past “The Grotto”, then up some stairs between large sandstone boulders. There were some trail markers that had recently been updated to help guide me and I had an absolute ball trudging through the undergrowth, but I would definitely say this section of trail is not for everyone.

 

9 Gibbergunyah Reserve

 

The trail often involved climbing over some seriously big fallen blackbutts and once or twice I was questioning my sanity while climbing the stairs back up the other side. Although I’m pretty happy with the unintended glute workout I ended up with!

 

10 Gibbergunyah Reserve

 

The Glen Track spits you back out onto the Goanna Circuit at Banksia Place where I took full advantage of the bench to stop and have a rest. After The Glen Track, the rest of my walk was easy! I followed the Goanna Circuit around until it met back up with the Gang Gang Track which I then followed back towards my car.

 

11 Gibbergunyah Reserve

 

About halfway along Gang Gang (which for the most part is a beautiful, flat fire trail and very easy walking) there is a lookout only a short walk off to the left. I stopped for a moment at “The Place Between The Rocks” which is a great spot to pause for a moment and pay your respects to the Gundungurra people, the traditional custodians of this land.

 

12 Gibbergunyah Reserve

 

From The Place Between The Rocks I continued straight up (because yes that’s just what I do - haha!) but it is much easier to continue on the main path that will take you only a few minutes to reach the lookout.

 

13 Gibbergunyah Reserve

 

After enjoying a stop at the lookout and spending some time taking a few photos, I made my way back to the Gang Gang Track that I followed downhill until I had made it all the way back to the main gate and my car. (Trust me you should definitely take the alternate path on the way up, the Gang Gang track gets VERY VERY STEEP!!!)

 

14 Gibbergunyah Reserve

 

All up my little sojourn through Gibbergunyah Reserve took me 2 hours and 50 minutes, travelling over 8km (according to my GPS). With so many tracks and trails crisscrossing the Reserve, you can easily escape the crowds of other popular walks (final box ticked!) and spend as long or as little time here as you please. If you think all of this sounds just wayyyyy too hard then you can approach Goanna Circuit via Boronia St Bowral and avoid all the super-duper steep parts!

 

Dimity Hamilton Author Bio on The Fold Southern Highlands

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