Pieries Peak walking track

Mount Royal National Park

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Overview

Pieries Peak walking track allows visitors to hike from Youngville campground to a scenic lookout across the Hunter Valley and Lake Saint Clair.

Where
Mount Royal National Park
Distance
3km return
Time suggested
1hr 30min - 2hrs 30min
Grade
Grade 4
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
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note
The weather in this area can be extreme and unpredictable, so please ensure you’re well-prepared for your visit.

Pieries Peak walking track is a short climb from Youngville campground to the peak. The track follows a narrow and rocky ridge with steep sides. It’s not for the faint hearted. Make sure you take some treats to celebrate when you reach the peak. Pause to enjoy the scenic views across the Hunter Valley.

Keep an eye out for wedge-tailed eagles soaring above. See if you can spot seasonal visitors like dollar birds and channel-billed cuckoos. You could also encounter brush turkeys, superb lyrebirds, honeyeaters and flycatchers around the track.

Rug up in winter. When the westerly winds blow, the peak can be extremely cold.

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/pieries-peak-walking-track/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Pieries Peak walking track.

Track grading

Grade 4

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

    1hr 30min - 2hrs 30min

  • Quality of markings

    Limited signage

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    3km return

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Rough track, many obstacles

  • Experience required

    Some bushwalking experience recommended

Getting there and parking

On entering Mount Royal National Park:

  • Continue along Mount Royal Road until you reach Youngville campground
  • The trackhead can be found at the back of the campground

Parking

Parking is available at Youngville campground.

Best times to visit

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

Spring

This is the best time of year to tackle the hike to Pieries Peak for spectacular scenic views of the area.

Summer

Enjoy a shady barbecue at Youngville picnic area.

Winter

Orchids are in flower at this time of year, so take a walk to Carrow Brook to enjoy them.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

17°C and 30°C

Highest recorded

42.5°C

Winter temperature

Average

7°C and 17°C

Lowest recorded

-1.7°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

January

Driest month

August

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

146mm

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 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

Pieries Peak walking track is in Mount Royal National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

An important cultural place

Views across the valley in Mount Royal National Park. Photo: Susan Davis

The area now covered by Mount Royal National Park, Barrington Tops National Park and Barrington Tops State Conservation Area is the traditional land of the Biripi, Worimi, Geawegal, Wonaruah and Ungooroo People. Although these people were dispossessed of their land after European settlement of New South Wales, they continue to have a deep attachment to the country and an active interest in its management. This place contains important foods, medicinal plants, animal species and sacred sites.

Safe haven

Pieries Peak walking track, Mount Royal National Park. Photo: Susan Davis

The rich diversity of vegetation offers habitat for a wide range of birds and animals, many of which are rare and threatened. These include: the endangered hastings river mouse; the threatened parma wallaby (described by British naturalist John Gould way back in 1840 as 'shy' and 'cryptic'; and the vulnerable spotted-tailed quoll, which is the largest marsupial carnivore on mainland Australia. The old growth forest is also habitat for four large forest owls - masked, barking, powerful and sooty - all of which are threatened species. Mount Royal National Park has a variety of forest types and vegetation communities, ranging from shrubland to tall open forest and wet eucalypt forest. The most dominant form of vegetation is mid-altitude grassy forest with plentiful stands of New England blackbutt, Sydney blue gum and grey gum.

Same as always

Pieries Peak walking track, Mount Royal National Park. Photo: Susan Davis

Mount Royal National Park is listed as part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. Formerly known as the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves, these include the most extensive areas of subtropical rainforest in the world, large areas of warm temperate rainforests and nearly all of the Antarctic beech cool temperate rainforest. Few places on earth contain so many plants and animals that remain relatively unchanged from their ancestors in fossil records.

The changing face

Views from Pieries Peak, Mount Royal National Park. Photo: Susan Davis

After government surveyors explored this area in the very early 1800s, the land soon became mined for gold, logged for its timber and used to graze lifestock. Small settlements established themselves on the plateau, mainly due to these agricultural opportunities. From the early 1900s, however, the area became increasingly popular for recreation and for scientific expeditions.

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