The Rock lookout

The Rock Nature Reserve - Kengal Aboriginal Place

Overview

The Rock lookout is the terminus point of Yerong walking track, offering stellar scenic views over the surrounding area with great birdwatching opportunities.

Type
Lookouts
Where
The Rock Nature Reserve - Kengal Aboriginal Place
Price
Free
What to
bring
Hat, drinking water, sunscreen
Please note
  • The weather in the area can be extreme and unpredictable, so please ensure you’re well-prepared for your visit.
  • Remember to take your  binoculars if you want to go birdwatching

The Rock lookout offers spectacular views, comprises the remains of an old trig point and is a rewarding way to end your hike along Yerong walking track. On a clear day you can see to Galore Hills in the west, and the snow-capped peak of Mount Kosciuszko far in the distance, as well as the Bogong Range and Victorian Alps.

The Rock lookout is a great place for birdwatching, as native peregrine falcons nest at and around The Towers. Artistically inclined travellers might like to bring a sketchbook, or perhaps a camera to capture scenery.

Keep your eyes peeled for wildflowers like bluebells and yellow wattle bloom. Near the bare cliff tops, Dwyer’s mallee gum and drooping sheoak have taken root. After admiring the view, head for The Rock picnic area down below and enjoy a leisurely, well earned lunch. 

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/lookouts/the-rock-lookout/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about The Rock lookout.

Getting there and parking

On entering The Rock Nature Reserve – Kengal Aboriginal Place:

  • From the road leading to the reserve, follow the gravel road for approximately 500m to the carpark.
  • The Yerong walking track begins at the carpark near the information shelter

Road quality

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Car and bus parking is available.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in The Rock Nature Reserve Kengal Aboriginal Place. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

Cooler days after the high heat of summer make this the perfect season to take advantage of the picnic area, stretching out beneath the red gums.

Spring

Spring sees the park bloom with wildflowers, including woolly ragwort, a threatened species native to the area.

Winter

The crisp clear air of winter provides views from the top of The Rock that sometimes stretch all the way to Mount Kosciuszko; this is the best season for walking.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

13.9°C and 28.5°C

Highest recorded

43.7°C

Winter temperature

Average

4°C and 13.5°C

Lowest recorded

-4.2°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

October

Driest month

February

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

87.2mm

Facilities

Drinking water is limited or not available after the picnic area, so make sure you carry some with you.

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

Outback safety

Safety is of high priority in outback areas. In summer, temperatures can reach up to 50°C in some places. Food, water and fuel supplies can be scarce. Before you head off, check for road closures and use our contacts to stay safe in the outback.

Prohibited

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Nearby towns

Coolamon (46 km)

Easy walking tracks around Coolamon shire help you discover the abundance of native animals, birds and flora. Don't miss Kindra State Forest and Ganmain's Murumbang Interpretive Walk, where bird-watchers can enjoy spotting up to 200 species of birds.

www.visitnsw.com

Henty (26 km)

Henty is known for its connections with notorious bushranger Dan 'Mad Dog' Morgan. It's also where Headlie Taylor, a citizen of Henty, invented the grain harvester in 1914. Take the Henty Historical Village Walk to learn more about the town's history.

www.visitnsw.com

Wagga Wagga (32 km)

Wagga Wagga is renowned for its stunning parks and award-winning gardens. Take a tour through the 20 hectares of themed garden beds in the beautiful Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens complete with mini zoo and free-flight aviary.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

The Rock lookout is in The Rock Nature Reserve - Kengal Aboriginal Place. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Geological significance

View along the range, The Rock Nature Reserve.. Photo: C Killick

The reserve sits on the boundary between two major biophysical regions: the Riverine Plains and the western slopes of the Eastern Highlands. This geographic mix gives the area a terrific diversity of landscapes and animal habitats. The Rock itself, unique in the district, is the result of a pressure uplift of sedimentary materials, and is the highest point of a hogback ridge running north to south (The Rock is at the northern end). The summit stands 364m above the surrounding plains.

  • The Towers The Towers is a 100m stretch of the north-east face of The Rock, open to rock sports and also popular with photographers and birdwatchers who want to view peregrine falcons.

Living Aboriginal culture: Kengal

View along the range, The Rock Nature Reserve. Photo: C Killick

The dual name of the nature reserve (since 2005) acknowledges a Wiradjuri cultural presence that stretches back many generations. The Rock is also known as Kengal (meaning ‘sloping hill’), a Dreaming place, lookout, and ceremonial site for the Wiradjuri People and their descendants. It was once used for male initiation rituals. Traditional lore has it that Kengal was created by Baiame, the creator who also taught the Wiradjuri People how to make fire and spears. When settlers arrived in the area, stories go, Baiame left his male and female dingo (Mirrigan) companions, who lay in wait for Baiame’s return, forming The Rock.

'The Hanging Rock’

The Rock lookout, The Rock Nature Reserve. Photo: A Lavender

Charles Sturt first saw The Rock in 1829, though the area wasn’t settled further by Europeans until 1874. They called the remarkable geological feature ‘The Hanging Rock’ because of an overhang on its eastern face. This collapsed in 1874, however, leading to the adoption of its current name – simply, ‘The Rock’. For much of its modern life, the feature has sat on Crown land, and from 1891 its lower slopes were quarried for road base material to provide ballast on a Sydney-Melbourne rail line.

Education resources (1)

The Rock lookout, The Rock Nature Reserve. Photo: C Killick