Historic Water Race walking track

Mullion Range State Conservation Area

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Overview

Historic Water Race walking track, near Orange, is a medium-difficulty walk offering birdwatching and gold mining history as well as swimming and fishing along Summer Hill Creek.

Distance
2.6km loop
Time suggested
1hr - 1hr 30min
Grade
Grade 4
Please note
  • It’s a good idea to put sunscreen on before you set out and remember to take a hat and drinking water
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to birdwatch
  • There is limited/no mobile reception in this park
  • The return section of the walking track along Summer Hill Creek back to the Fourth Crossing Picnic Area sometime floods, so you may need to navigate your own path.

Historic Water Race walking track is a living legacy of Australia’s early and intriguing gold mining history. Intrepid gold miners made the track by hand in the 1860s, and today you can still see how water was captured and directed from Summer Hill Creek down to the mining areas. See the precision of construction; the miners painstakingly hand-cut rocks in order to create accurate contour levels.

When you’re not experiencing this gold mining heritage, cool off with a swim, or go fishing in the waterhole at the bottom of nearby The Falls. Summer Hill Creek also offers some spectacular scenic views. Because you’ll be starting this track at Fourth Crossing picnic area, you can enjoy a picnic before or after your journey of discovery.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Map


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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/historic-water-race-walking-track/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Historic Water Race walking track.

Track grading

Features of this track

Distance

2.6km loop

Time

1hr - 1hr 30min

Quality of markings

Limited signage

Experience required

No experience required

Gradient

Short steep hills

Steps

Occasional steps

Quality of path

Rough track, many obstacles

Getting there and parking

Historic Water Race walking track is in the Fourth Crossing precinct of Mullion Range State Conservation Area. To get there, travel north-east from Orange along Ophir Road for 19km to Fourth Crossing picnic area.

Parking

Parking is available nearby at Fourth Crossing picnic area.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you at Mullion Range State Conservation Area. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

The cooler months are a great time for enjoying bushwalks, birdwatching and 4WD touring in the area.

Spring

Relax and dine al fresco surrounded by blooming wildflowers at Fourth Crossing picnic area.

Summer

Cool off with a splash in the creek or go trout fishing when the weather gets steamy.

Winter

The Falls Water Falls is particularly striking when there are high levels of water in Summer Hill Creek following heavy rainfall.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

12°C and 28°C

Highest recorded

38.3°C

Winter temperature

Average

2°C and 13°C

Lowest recorded

-5.6°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

August

Driest month

April

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

98.6mm

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.

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).

River and lake safety

The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

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.

Learn more

Historic Water Race walking track is in Mullion Range State Conservation Area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Striking scenic water landscapes

The Falls Water Falls, Mullion Range State Conservation Area. Photo: Colin Adams

A prominent feature of the landscape of this reserve is the mix of rocky outcrops and the waters of Summer Hill Creek.

Good as gold

Historic Water Race walking track, Mullion Range State Conservation Area. Photo: OEH

Explore the past by discovering fascinating remnants of the Mullion's gold mining boom. From 1860 to 1920, intrepid gold mining pioneers created mining sites and a water race that was built by hand to transport water from the creek to the mining areas. 

  • Historic Water Race walking track Historic Water Race walking track, near Orange, is a medium-difficulty walk offering birdwatching and gold mining history as well as swimming and fishing along Summer Hill Creek.
  • The Falls Water Falls The Falls Water Falls, near Summer Hill Creek in Mullion Range State Conservation Area, provide a scenic vista and popular swimming location.

Unique plant and birdlife

Summer Hill Creek, Mullion Range State Conservation Area. Photo: OEH

You may spot interesting wildlife here, like eastern grey kangaroos, red-necked wallabies and wallaroos bounding through open fields. Gliders scurry among the treetops and platypus paddle their way along the creek. Large swathes of vegetation on the flatter areas of Mullion Range State Conservation Area have remained relatively undisturbed, thanks to the area's mining past. This means you can see a number of plant species and communities here that are rarely found elsewhere in central western NSW, including inland scribby gum, red stringybark and river oak. Mullion Range also provides habitat for many unique and interesting species of woodland birds, such as native parrots, including eastern rosellas and crimson rosellas, superb parrots in the springtime, and owls.

  • Fourth Crossing picnic area Fourth Crossing picnic area next to Summer Hill Creek, near Orange, is a great base for exploring gold mining history via walking tracks, or go swimming or trout fishing.
  • The Falls Water Falls The Falls Water Falls, near Summer Hill Creek in Mullion Range State Conservation Area, provide a scenic vista and popular swimming location.

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