Mount Imlay – Balawan Summit walking track

Mount Imlay National Park

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This challenging walking track climbs over 600m from Burrawang picnic area to the summit of Mount Imlay – Balawan. Enjoy a picnic with a view, spring wildflowers and birdwatching.

6km return
Time suggested
2 - 4hrs
Grade 5
Trip Intention Form

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What to
Hat, sunscreen
Please note
  • Please clean your boots using the hygiene cleaning stations along Mount Imlay Summit walking track.
  • The weather in this area can be extreme and unpredictable, so please ensure you’re well-prepared for your visit.

Starting at Burrawang picnic area, this challenging walk takes you through dry eucalypt forests and grassy woodlands to the summit of Mount Imlay. The track climbs steeply, rising 600m, but there’s plenty to distract you from the effort along the way.

In spring, stop to admire the delicate beauty and bright colours of wildflowers like mountain speedwell. Once you reach the summit, enjoy a rest and take in the views to the coast while you enjoy your picnic lunch. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Mallacoota in Victoria, and Narooma to the north.

It’s also a great spot for birdwatching. Watch for yellow-tailed black cockatoos flying overhead and listen closely for lyrebirds as you’re walking up the mountain.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info


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Park info

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Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Mount Imlay – Balawan Summit walking track.

Track grading

Features of this track


6km return


2 - 4hrs

Quality of markings

Sign posted

Experience required

Experienced bushwalkers


Very steep and difficult


Occasional steps

Quality of path

Rough track, many obstacles

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    On entering Mount Imlay National Park:

    • Continue driving through East Boyd State Forest until you reach Mount Imlay carpark and Burrawang picnic area.

    Road quality

    Check the weather before you set out as the road to Mount Imlay National Park can become slippery when it rains.


    Parking is available at Mount Imlay Summit walking track.

    Best times to visit

    There are lots of great things waiting for you in Mount Imlay National Park. Here are some of the highlights.


    Take advantage of the cooler weather and spend the day walking on Mount Imlay Summit walking track.


    Admire the delicate beauty and bright colours of wildflowers, like mountain speedwell, dotted among boulders and throughout the bush.


    Head to Burrawang picnic area for a relaxing afternoon picnicking under the trees.


    Enjoy the filtered views to the coast from the summit of Mount Imlay on crystal clear winter days.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature


    14°C and 22°C

    Highest recorded


    Winter temperature


    8°C and 15°C

    Lowest recorded



    Wettest month


    Driest month


    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day



    Drinking water is not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.

    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.

    • If you’re bushwalking in this park, it’s a good idea to bring a topographic map and compass, or a GPS.
    • The walking opportunities in this park are suitable for experienced bushwalkers who are comfortable undertaking self-reliant hiking.

    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).



    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.


    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Learn more

    Mount Imlay – Balawan Summit walking track is in Mount Imlay National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Aboriginal cultural heritage

    Mount Imlay Summit walking track, Mount Imlay National Park. Photo: David Costello

    Mount Imlay is known to local Aboriginal people as 'Balawan', and is a place of great spiritual significance. The mountain, surrounding gullies, forest and animals that make their home here are important to local Aboriginal culture and spiritual teachings.

    Band of brothers

     Views from Mount Imlay Summit walking track, Mount Imlay National Park. Photo: David Costello

    Mount Imlay is named after the three Imlay brothers, who played an important part in opening the Eden-Monaro district to European settlement in the 1830s and 40s. Alexander, Peter and George Imlay arrived in Australia from Scotland in 1829, 1830 and 1833 respectively. Within a few years, they had established whaling, pastoral and trading enterprises near Twofold Bay at Eden and on the Monaro plains.

    Exquisite growth and hidden wildlife

    Wildflowers in bloom, Mount Imlay National Park. Photo: David Costello

    Many of the animals that make Mount Imlay their home are nocturnal, like the eastern pygmy-possum. But during the day, you could see red-necked wallabies, swamp wallabies, wombats and bush rats. If you're really lucky, you might even spot threatened species like the long-nosed potoroo, koala or the tiger quoll. Mount Imlay is a fantastic place for birdwatching, and you'll find a variety of birds like honeyeaters, currawongs and tree-creepers. As you wander through the forest, keep your ears and eyes out for lyrebirds fossicking in the understorey. And with a bit of luck, you might spot threatened species like the olive whistler, sooty owl and glossy black cockatoo. Mount Imlay is a botanical treasure of the far south east, where you'll find a number of threatened or biogeographically significant plant species, including the extremely rare Mount Imlay mallee and endangered Mount Imlay boronia. The bushland here also supports many native wildflowers, which come to life in spring and colour the bushland with purple, pink, yellow, white and red flowers.

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