Start: Tilba Tilba (track starts from the road on the right of Pam’s Store)
Distance: 11km return
Time: 5 hours (although it took me about 3.5-4 hours with some stops)
Closest Town: Tilba Tilba
Mount Gulaga (previously called Mount Dromedary by Captain Cook because of it’s camel-like humps) is an extinct volcano that sits 797m above sea level in Gulaga National Park. Located near the town of Tilba Tilba on the south coast of New South Wales, this mountain and the surrounding area have specific significance to the local Yuin people, particularly the women. The walk has some views of coastal lakes as well great granite outcrops to explore. Interestingly the Dalai Lama has spent some time meditating on the rocks on this mountain.
The track starts just next to Pam’s Store, the General Store in Tilba Tilba. Signs to the right of the building indicate the start of the walking track. The path leads up a private road where you pass farms and grazing cattle along the way. After about 15 minutes you will reach a sign indicating a 5hour return walk to the summit. On the day I walked, there were a line of sticks to use as trekking poles. I didn’t use one, but on a particularly wet day these could be very useful on the descent as it could get quite slippery.
The track will continue at a moderate incline up the mountain for about 1.5-2 hours, passing through rainforest and with views of coastal lakes until you reach some toilets, a picnic bench and an information sign about the mountain. You will see a track indicating “Rainforest Summit Walk” to your left which is the way to the summit (obviously).
This is the point where you can head to the rocks where the Dalai Lama has meditated (*see bottom for the map that the guy at Pam’s Store gave me to find them)
The track will start to get a little steeper from here and after about 15-20 minutes you will reach some rock formations on the left of the track with views of the coast from them. Continue back on the track and you will notice it will start to decline and then level out for a little bit (you have reached the saddle). After reaching the saddle, you will have the steepest part of the walk to the summit (but don’t worry, it isn’t very long) where you will be greeted with a ‘Welcome to Summit’ sign and glimpses of the coast from the top.
Return the same way as you came.
To find out more visit: http://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/south-coast/batemans-bay-and-eurobodalla/tilba-tilba/attractions/mount-gulaga-mount-dromedary-walk or http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/Gulaga-National-Park
*How to find the ‘meditation’ rocks. Just behind the toilets there is a slightly overgrown track that you can see, follow these through some grass and trees and you will be able to see the rock formations in the distance.
Here is the map (not very detailed but it does the trick): The circle indicates the clearing with the information board that you will reach at the 1.5-2hours mark. The ‘X indicates Pam’s Store, the square indicates the toilet block, the three parallel lines indicate the picnic table.