Bluff Mountain walking track

Warrumbungle National Park

Overview

Bluff Mountain walking track rewards experienced, fit bushwalkers with Warrumbungle National Park’s best views. This very long and challenging steep hike climbs past spectacular rock spires and domes—up to the summit of Bluff Mountain.

Where
Warrumbungle National Park
Accessibility
No wheelchair access
Distance
17km loop
Time suggested
7 - 8hrs
Grade
Grade 4
Trip Intention Form

It's a good idea to let someone know where you're going. Fill in a trip intention form to send important details about your trip to your emergency contact.

Price
Free
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
What to
bring
Drinking water, sturdy shoes, topographic map, hat, sunscreen, snacks, suitable clothing
Please note
  • Bluff Mountain walking track is very long with steep sections and some loose rock. You’ll need a high level of fitness.
  • This challenging hike suits walkers with a sense of adventure who like to tackle steep and technical terrain
  • Bring at least 2L of water and some snacks with you on this strenuous hike. Drinking water is not available and water is scarce in this park.
  • To break up the walk you can camp overnight at Balor Hut or Dows campgrounds which are located along this route.
  • Visit Warrumbungle National Park Visitor Centre before you set out to register your name for the walk, pick up a free trail map and get detailed route information and advice.

A must for adventurous bushwalkers, Bluff Mountain walking track follows the same route as Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk but this hike takes you to the top of Bluff Mountain. It offers unrivalled views of the Warrumbungles’ ancient volcanic landscape as you climb from remnant ancient rainforest to windswept mountain heath.

You’ll start and end at Pincham carpark. From the carpark, walk Pincham trail, which follows Spirey Creek. Once you pass the Spirey View lookout, the steep climbing soon rewards you with views of the spectacular Breadknife and Belougery Spire. Near Balor Hut campground, take Grand High Tops trail to its summit for more outstanding views of the famous Breadknife. Or take Dagda Shortcut if your goal is to reach Bluff Mountain faster.

Pause at Dows Camp to gaze at Bluff Mountain’s imposing cliff face before you head for its summit. Straight at first, the summit trail zig zags and become less distinct as you climb over rocky outcrops, passing stunted trees and groves of big grass trees. Don’t forget to look up to see birds of prey riding air currents above the cliff face.

At the rocky summit of Bluff Mountain, settle down for a well deserved lunch and spectacular views of Mount Exmouth, Tonduron Spire and Mount Naman’s thick lava flows. Enjoy the park’s only views of Bluff Pyramid and the vast western plains.

When you’re ready to leave its lofty heights, climb back down to the main track. Head past Ogma Gap campground then follow West Spirey Creek track back to Pincham carpark.

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/walking-tracks/bluff-mountain-walking-track/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Bluff Mountain walking track.

Track grading

Grade 4

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    7 - 8hrs

  • Quality of markings

    Limited signage

  • Gradient

    Very steep

  • Distance

    17km loop

  • Steps

    Many steps

  • Quality of path

    Rough track, many obstacles

  • Experience required

    Experienced bushwalkers

Getting there and parking

Bluff Mountain walking track starts from Camp Pincham carpark in the central valley of Warrumbungle National Park—about 35km west of Coonabarabran. To get there from Coonabarabran:

  • Follow John Renshaw Parkway into Warrumbungle National Park
  • Turn left into Pincham Road around 100m past the visitor centre turnoff and continue to the end

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at Pincham carpark

Facilities

Toilets

Toilets are located at Pincham carpark and on the route at Balor Hut.

  • Non-flush toilets

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Bushwalking safety

If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

Camping safety

Whether you're pitching your tent on the coast or up on the mountains, there are many things to consider when camping in NSW national parks. Find out how to stay safe when camping.

Fire safety

During periods of fire weather, the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service may declare a total fire ban for particular NSW fire areas, or statewide. Learn more about total fire bans and fire safety.

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).

Accessibility

Disability access level - no wheelchair access

Prohibited

Camp fires and solid fuel burners

Camping

You can’t camp on the walking track. Camping is available at Camp Pincham, Ogma campground or Balor Hut campground.

Cycling

Gathering firewood

Horses

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.

Visitor centre

Learn more

Bluff Mountain walking track is in Warrumbungle National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Aboriginal dreamtime

The view across the mountain range, Warrumbungle National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

Warrumbungle is a Gamilaroi (also written Gamilaraay) word meaning crooked mountain, and for many thousands of years it has been a spiritual place for the custodians of this land, the Gamilaroi, the Wiradjuri and the Weilwan. The landscape, plants and animals of the park are a constant reminder of its sacred significance to Aboriginal people today. Take an Aboriginal Discovery guided tour to find out more about the Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Diversity of wildlife

Kangaroos, Warrumbungle National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

Warrumbungle National Park has a rich diversity of landforms and microclimates, and provides a habitat for hundreds of plant and animal species in the area. Flourishing with vibrant Warrumbungle Range wattle, geebung and broad-leaf hop-bush, there's an abundance of rich birdlife in the area, including species such as emus, wedge-tailed eagles and boobook owls - just a few of over 190 bird species recorded in the park. If you're lucky, you may also spot wildlife such as the ringtail possum, greater glider and brush-tailed rock wallaby. Be sure to also keep an eye out for blue-tongue lizards and lace monitors rustling through the bush.

  • Burbie Canyon walking track Burbie Canyon walking track in Warrumbungle National Park offers a gentle 2km stroll through a sandstone gorge, and is particularly popular for birdwatching.

Landscape and geology

Rocky pinnacle, Warrumbungle National Park. Photo: Steve Alton

The landscape of Warrumbungle National Park has been shaped by thousands of years of volcanic activity; spend some time looking at Crater Bluff and Belougery Spire and imagine the vents of magma that once erupted to create these formations. Old lava flows created at Mount Exmouth and Siding Spring Mountain, just outside the boundary of the park and Belougery Split Rock and Bluff Mountain are great examples of volcanic action. The most iconic feature in the park, The Breadknife, is a volcanic dyke which stands a massive 90m tall.

  • Bluff Mountain walking track Bluff Mountain walking track rewards experienced, fit bushwalkers with Warrumbungle National Park’s best views. This very long and challenging steep hike climbs past spectacular rock spires and domes—up to the summit of Bluff Mountain.
  • Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk in Warrumbungle National Park, regarded as one of the best walks in NSW, offers close up views of the park’s iconic rock formations.
  • Burbie Canyon walking track Burbie Canyon walking track in Warrumbungle National Park offers a gentle 2km stroll through a sandstone gorge, and is particularly popular for birdwatching.
  • Coonabarabran - Warrumbungle - Tooraweenah drive Coonabarabran – Warrumbungle – Tooraweenah drive offers car touring through scenic mountain views with picnicking, walking, and wheelchair accessible facilities in Warrumbungle National Park.

Wish upon a star

Whitegum lookout, Warrumbungle National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

Warrumbungle National Park is Australia’s only Dark Sky Park. Nearby Coonabarabran is known as the 'Astronomy Capital of Australia'. Stargaze from your campsite, or if you want to see right up to the heavens, visit the Siding Springs Observatory. The dramatic mix of volcanic spires and domes, plateaus, forested ridges and tall volcanic dykes are bound to make even the youngest of photographers look good, so whatever you do ‐ don't forget your camera.

  • Canyon picnic area Canyon picnic area is a fully accessible, family friendly picnic area in Warrumbungle National Park. Not far from the visitor centre, it features barbecues and tables.
  • Warrumbungle Visitor Centre Visitor information is available at the Warrumbungle Visitor Centre, which is now back in its original location. Get great suggestions and tips for walking and camping in Warrumbungle National Park.
  • Whitegum lookout Whitegum lookout in Warrumbungle National Park features spectacular views of the landscape and picnic tables. It is wheelchair accessible and an easy walk for children.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Wedge-tailed eagle. Photo: Kelly Nowak

    Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax)

    With a wingspan of up to 2.5m, the wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey. These Australian animals are found in woodlands across NSW, and have the ability to soar to heights of over 2km. If you’re bird watching, look out for the distinctive diamond-shaped tail of the eagle.

  • Superb fairy wren. Photo: Ingo Oeland

    Superb fairy wren (Malurus cyaneus)

    The striking blue and black plumage of the adult male superb fairy wren makes for colourful bird watching across south-eastern Australia. The sociable superb fairy wrens, or blue wrens, are Australian birds living in groups consisting of a dominant male, mouse-brown female ‘jenny wrens’ and several tawny-brown juveniles.

  • Southern boobook. Photo: David Cook

    Southern boobook (Ninox novaeseelandiae)

    The southern boobook, also known as the mopoke, is the smallest and most common native owl in Australia. With a musical 'boo-book' call that echoes through forests and woodlands, the southern boobook is a great one to look out for while bird watching.

  • Tawny frogmouth. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    Tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)

    Found throughout Australia, the tawny frogmouth is often mistaken for an owl due to its wide, powerful beak, large head and nocturnal hunting habits. The ‘oom oom oom’ call of this native bird can be heard echoing throughout a range of habitats including heath, woodlands and urban areas.

  • Closeup of a laughing kookaburra's head and body. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

    Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

    Of the 2 species of kookaburra found in Australia, the laughing kookaburra is the best-known and the largest of the native kingfishers. With its distinctive riotous call, the laughing kookaburra is commonly heard in open woodlands and forests throughout NSW national parks, making these ideal spots for bird watching.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

Wide view of Warrumbungles' rocky crags, spires and domes, with Bluff Moutain at centre. Photo: Simone Cottrell/OEH.