Summit walking track

Mount Hyland Nature Reserve

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A loop through World Heritage rainforest, Summit walking track offers spectacular scenic views, birdwatching and picnic opportunities in Mount Hyland Nature Reserve, near Dorrigo.

3km loop
Time suggested
1 - 2hrs
Grade 4
Trip Intention Form

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What to
Hat, sunscreen, drinking water
Please note
  • The weather in the area can be extreme and unpredictable, so please ensure you’re well-prepared for your visit.
  • There is limited mobile reception in this reserve
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go bird watching

Discover the delights of a cool climate rainforest walk that’s bound to revive your senses. Remote and tranquil, Summit walking track in Mount Hyland Nature Reserve is where the mountains meet the sky. This moderate loop track with short steep climbs is a great leg-stretcher on a 4WD tour of this World Heritage-listed wilderness region near Dorrigo.

Following the loop track through a forest of sassafras and mountain walnut, look for the vibrant coloured fungi. You’ll see huge banksia trees emerge above the rainforest canopy and hear the mimicking cry of the lyrebird echoing through the forest. In summer, the call of the endangered pouched frog can be heard along the walk.

Upon reaching the summit at a height of 1,434m, soak up the views before making your way back. Descending to Vista Point picnic area, enjoy a well-earned lunch.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info


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Local alerts

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Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

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

Track grading

Features of this track


3km loop


1 - 2hrs

Quality of markings

Limited signage

Experience required

No experience required


Short steep hills


No steps

Quality of path

Rough track, many obstacles

Getting there and parking

Summit walking track starts at Mount Hyland picnic area within Mount Hyland Nature Reserve. To get there:

Via Dundurrabin

  • Turn off Armidale/Grafton Road at Dundurrabin
  • Proceed along Sheepstation Road for 6.3km
  • Turn left onto Chaelundi Road and proceed for 11.3km
  • Turn left onto Hardens Road and proceed for 5km
  • Turn left at the sign for Mount Hyland picnic area and proceed for 1km

Via Hernani

  • Turn off Armidale/Grafton Road at Hernani onto Marengo Road
  • Proceed along Marengo Road for 11.4km
  • Turn right onto Hardens Road and proceed for 7km
  • Turn right at the sign for Mount Hyland picnic area and drive for 1km

Road quality

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


Parking is available at Mount Hyland picnic area, which is at the start of Summit walking track.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Mount Hyland Nature Reserve. Here are some of the highlights.


Walk to the top of the summit for spectacular views across world-class wilderness.


Take the binoculars for some excellent birdwatching as spring heralds the nesting season.


Escape the summer heat with a refreshing walk through temperate rainforest.


The crisp mornings are a great time for taking in the majestic views across the mountain ranges from the lookouts.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature


13.8°C and 24°C

Highest recorded


Winter temperature


4.4°C and 16°C

Lowest recorded



Wettest month


Driest month


The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day



You’re encouraged to bring gas or fuel stoves, especially in summer during the fire season.

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.

This reserve is in a remote location, so please ensure you’re well-prepared, bring appropriate clothing and equipment and advise a family member or friend of your travel plans.

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

Summit walking track is in Mount Hyland Nature Reserve. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Famous wildlife residents

Fungi, Mount Hyland Nature Reserve. Photo: G James

One of the more famous animals that are protected within this isolated reserve is the Hastings River mouse. Once thought to be extinct in NSW, it was rediscovered in the early 1980s. Other threated animals found in the area include the long-nosed potoroo and spotted-tailed quoll. Another of the fascinating animals protected within this rainforest remnant is the threatened pouched frog. Only 2cm in length, the male frog has two pouches on either side, which are used to carry the baby tadpoles after they've hatched.

  • Summit walking track A loop through World Heritage rainforest, Summit walking track offers spectacular scenic views, birdwatching and picnic opportunities in Mount Hyland Nature Reserve, near Dorrigo.
  • Vista Point picnic area For scenic views across spectacular wilderness, Vista Point picnic area offers birdwatching and World Heritage rainforest in Mount Hyland Nature Reserve, near Dorrigo.

Gumbaynggirr country

Vista Point picnic area, Mount Hyland Nature Reserve. Photo: Tony Karacsonyi

Mount Hyland Nature Reserve is located within the Traditional Lands of the Gumbaynggirr People. Aboriginal people in the area have a strong connection to their traditional lands and maintain connection through conservation and resource management. Sites of high cultural significance are located along the traditional walking routes between Boyd River and high country around the village of Ebor.

Hyland history

Trees and native vegetation, Mount Hyland Nature Reserve. Photo: H Clark

Mount Hyland was named after an early settler to the area who established a cattle station to the south of the mountain range. Hyland lived a basic existence in a slab shelter built from nearby stringybark trees. Although life was tough and he moved on, his name remains.

World Heritage rainforest

Summit walking track, Mount Hyland Nature Reserve. Photo: Shane Ruming

This unique patch of high altitude rainforest forms part of the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. These cool temperate forests are only found at altitudes over 1,000m. Interestingly, Antarctic beech trees are absent from this patch of rainforest, possibly due to fire or drought.

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