Mount Imlay – Balawan Summit walking track

Mount Imlay National Park

Open, check current alerts 

Overview

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.

Where
Mount Imlay National Park in South Coast
Distance
6km return
Time suggested
2 - 4hrs
Grade
Grade 5
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.

What to
bring
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

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/mount-imlay-balawan-summit-walking-track/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

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

Track grading

Grade 5

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

    2 - 4hrs

  • Quality of markings

    Sign posted

  • Gradient

    Very steep and difficult

  • Distance

    6km return

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Rough track, many obstacles

  • Experience required

    Experienced bushwalkers

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

    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.

    Autumn

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

    Spring

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

    Summer

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

    Winter

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

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    14°C and 22°C

    Highest recorded

    37.2°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    8°C and 15°C

    Lowest recorded

    2°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    January

    Driest month

    August

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    456.5mm

    Facilities

    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 + 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 dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    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.

    Education resources (1)