Mystery Face walking track

Torrington State Conservation Area

Open, check current alerts 

Overview

The magnificent rock formations on the Mystery Face walking track are a must-see for any Torrington visitor and great for birdwatching and springtime wildflower displays.

Where
Torrington State Conservation Area
Distance
2.6km loop
Time suggested
1hr - 1hr 30min
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
What to
bring
Hat, sunscreen, drinking water
Please note
This park is in a remote location and weather can be unpredictable, please ensure you are thoroughly prepared, bring appropriate clothing and equipment and advise a family member or friend of your travel plans.

The Mystery Face walking track takes you through open woodland and past remarkable granite rock formations. Awaken your imagination and see what shapes and figures you can see along the way.

The Mystery Face itself will be revealed towards the end of the loop track. Worn over time by erosion or created by humans, we’re not sure, but it serves as a fascinating reminder of the ancient Aboriginal heritage of this area.

As you admire the rock formations, keep a look out for small geckos and lizards which are often found in and around the rocky areas during the summer. In spring and summer, you’ll be treated to colourful wildflowers of purples and yellows which are scattered throughout the bush.

For those interested in birdwatching there is also plenty of birdlife to see along the way. You might be lucky to spot the brown treecreeper or the bright red-breasted flame robin dotted amongst the trees.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

On the way

  • Picnic area set in open woodland with covered information bay, picnic table and Mystery Face walk sign. Photo: Shari May/DPIE

    Mystery Face picnic area

    Stop at Mystery Face picnic area before discovering the remarkable rock formations along Mystery Face walking track, in Torrington State Conservation Area, near Tenterfield.

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/mystery-face-walking-track/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Mystery Face walking track.

Track grading

Grade 3

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

    1hr - 1hr 30min

  • Quality of markings

    Sign posted

  • Gradient

    Gentle hills

  • Distance

    2.6km loop

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

On entering Torrington State Conservation Area:

  • Follow the Mystery Face signpost and take a right turn at the old pub into Silent Grove Road
  • Drive for approximately 2.5km to the Butlers Road turnoff on the left, where the road becomes unsealed.
  • Follow Butlers Road and the signposts for about 4.5km

Road quality

Check the weather before you set out as the road to Mystery Face walking track can become boggy when it rains.

Parking

Parking is available nearby at the Mystery Face picnic area.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Torrington State Conservation Area. Here are some of the highlights.

Spring

See the spectacular display of spring wildflowers as the boronias, grevilleas, prostantheras and many other native wildflowers turn the bush into a vibrant display of colour.

Summer

Wander through the bush, dotted with colourful wildflowers, as you take in the magnificent granite formations on the Mystery Face walking track.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

13°C and 31°C

Highest recorded

41.2°C

Winter temperature

Average

1°C and 19°C

Lowest recorded

-10.6°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

January

Driest month

June

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

361.2mm

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.

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

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted in this park. Find out more about pets in parks.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Nearby towns

Glen Innes (34 km)

Set in the most prolific sapphire region of Country NSW, Glen Innes hosts the annual Minerama Fossicking and Gem Show and the annual Australian Celtic Festival, and is home to the Australian Standing Stones.

www.visitnsw.com

Inverell (51 km)

Go fossicking for sapphires and other gems at several places around the city. Grab a map of local fossicking sites from the visitor information centre and try your luck.

www.visitnsw.com

Tenterfield (47 km)

Sir Henry Parkes delivered his famous "birth of our nation" speech in the Tenterfield School of Arts in 1889. His rousing speech is credited with being the decisive moment that set the country on its path toward Federation in 1901.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Mystery Face walking track is in Torrington State Conservation Area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Bush experiences

Picnic area, Torrington State Conservation Area. Photo: OEH

Take in the dramatic views, magnificent rock formations and stunning wildflowers on the many walking tracks. Set up camp at Blatherarm campground or just spend an afternoon relaxing and picnicking at the various picnic areas. And if you are an experienced bushwalker looking for adventure, why not go exploring by foot into the remote corners in the north.

  • Mystery Face walking track The magnificent rock formations on the Mystery Face walking track are a must-see for any Torrington visitor and great for birdwatching and springtime wildflower displays.
  • Thunderbolts lookout walking track Follow this walking track to see the spectacular 360° panoramic views of Torrington at Thunderbolts lookout. Experience the stunning wildflowers along the way.

Fabulous flowers and wonderful wildlife

Wattle (Acacia pycnantha), Torrington State Conservation Area. Photo: OEH

This area is home to over 750 plant species, including 45 rare or threatened species like the rare Beadle’s grevillia and Torrington wattle. In fact, some plant communities thrive in the sedge-heath swamps and mole granite outcrops and can’t be found anywhere else in the world. From September to March the bush is ablaze with colour for the spectacular wildflower display. The unique climatic conditions make Torrington a haven for Australian wildlife. It’s home to 20 mammal, 135 bird, 29 reptile and 13 frog species, including threatened species like the powerful owl and the tiger quoll. You’ll probably see grey kangaroos and wallabies in the distance, and kookaburras and currawongs in the trees overhead. But if you’re lucky, you might also spot rare birds like the striking turquoise parrot and rare regent honeyeater.

  • Mystery Face walking track The magnificent rock formations on the Mystery Face walking track are a must-see for any Torrington visitor and great for birdwatching and springtime wildflower displays.
  • Ugly Corner Falls walking track The Ugly Corner Falls walking track is a fantastic way to get back to nature and experience the unique plants and animals of Torrington.

Land of Dreaming

Water hole, Torrington State Conservation Area. Photo: OEH

Torrington State Conservation Area is a significant place for the Ngarrabul, Marbul, Bigambul and Jucumbul people. The land and waterways of Torrington, and the plants and animals that live in them, feature in all facets of Aboriginal culture and are associated with dreaming stories told to this day.

Mining heritage

Trees along the back of a creek, Torrington State Conservation Area. Photo: OEH

Go back in time to the by-gone era of mining on the Mole Tableland when hopefuls came from as far as England and China to explore the deposits of tin and other minerals. At its peak in the 1920s, Torrington and nearby villages swelled to accommodate around 600 miners, but sharply declined in 1946 when mining virtually stopped. Try your luck fossicking for semi-precious gemstones like beryl, emerald, topaz and quartz.

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