Castle Rocks walk

Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve

Open, check current alerts 

Overview

It’s an easy hike along Castle Rocks walk to the lookout for wonderful scenic views of the sandstone pagoda features found at Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve.

Where
Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve
Distance
8.5km return
Time suggested
3 - 5hrs
Grade
Grade 3
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to birdwatch
  • You'll need to bring your own drinking water
  • Sections of this reserve are isolated, so please ensure you’re well-prepared, bring appropriate clothing and equipment and advise a family or friend of your travel plans.
  • There is limited mobile reception in this park

Hiking Castle Rocks walk has its rewards. Not only will you be breathing in the fresh air of Munghorn Gap and getting fit, but superb scenic views await you when you reach the end. From the lookout, you’ll see some of the amazing sandstone pagoda features found throughout the park.

As you follow this walking route, you’ll notice that the eucalypt and native pine bushland around you is teeming with birdlife. See how many different types you can spot while birdwatching during your hike. Also, remember to look carefully in the trees and on the ground for signs of nests, which are as varied as the birds themselves. Some even live in tree trunks, in the hole left behind when an old branch drops off.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Map


Map legend

Map legend

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/castle-rocks-walk/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Castle Rocks walk.

Track grading

Grade 3

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

    3 - 5hrs

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    8.5km return

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    Some bushwalking experience recommended

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    On entering Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve:

    • Park at Castle Rocks walk trackhead

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Parking is available at Castle Rocks walk trackhead.

    Best times to visit

    There are lots of great things waiting for you in Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve. Here are some of the highlights.

    Spring

    The heathland begins flowering in late winter and it really starts to hit its stride in early spring. This makes it a particularly great time for camping, birdwatching and hiking.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    16°C and 30°C

    Highest recorded

    43°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    3°C and 16°C

    Lowest recorded

    -7.2°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    January

    Driest month

    April

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    134.3mm

    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.

    There are unfenced cliff edges along this walk, take care.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus 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).

    Prohibited

    Pets

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

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Learn more

    Castle Rocks walk is in Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Back and forth

    Views over the valley, Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    After Europeans settled in the region, Munghorn Gap became a route for horse and bullock teams connecting Wollar, Merriwa and Mudgee. Evidence of past blacksmithing, timber-cutting, peat and coal mining, prospecting, and quarrying can still be found in and around the reserve.

    Birds of a feather

    Wattle (Acacia pycnantha), Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    As far as birdwatchers are concerned, Munghorn Gap is a happening place to go twitching. Over 164 different species of birds inhabit the reserve either permanently or seasonally, and many of these are rare and uncommon. They come in all shapes and sizes, from Australia's tallest bird, the emu, to the country's smallest, the 8-9cm weebill. Many are brightly coloured, such as rare scarlet honeyeaters and flame robins, while others like jackie winters and tree martins are more subdued in appearance. Bowerbirds and lyrebirds can be seen in Munghorn Gap along with national favourites like kookaburras, magpies and galahs. Birds of prey include wedge-tailed eagles, whistling kites, collared sparrowhawks, peregrine falcons and brown goshawks. After dark the boobook and owls - powerful, barking, and barn -take over for the nightly hunt.

    • Castle Rocks walk It’s an easy hike along Castle Rocks walk to the lookout for wonderful scenic views of the sandstone pagoda features found at Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve.
    • Moolarben picnic area Moolarben picnic area, at Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve, is a great place to picnic, barbecue and relax. Enjoy light hiking? Castle Rocks walk is close by.

    Let's get physical

    Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    Great Dividing Range stretches the length of Eastern Australia and creates an interface between the western plains and the mountains. Munghorn Gap is one of the lowest points of the range and lies on the extreme western edge of the Sydney-Bowen geological basin. Parts of the reserve drain into Cudgegong River and, in turn, the Macquarie River system.

    • Castle Rocks walk It’s an easy hike along Castle Rocks walk to the lookout for wonderful scenic views of the sandstone pagoda features found at Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve.

    Trading places

    Castle Rocks walk, Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    Munghorn Gap has been inhabited by Aboriginal people for over 12,000 years. Once a major trading route between the Blue Mountains and the plains, Munghorn Gap continues to be a significant place to local Wiradjuri people.

    Education resources (1)