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Summits walking track

Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area

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Learn more about why this park is special

Summits walking track is in Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

An Australian menagerie

A flame robin on a tree branch in Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area. Photo credit: Rosemary Stapleton/DPIE © Rosemary Stapleton

Mount Canobolas has an abundance of native animals which thrive in this special environment. Around 950 species of plants and animals have been recorded in the park, including several species that exist nowhere else in the world. Thornbills, treecreepers, flame robins, wrens and honeyeaters, as well as good old magpies, currawongs, rosellas, kangaroos and wallabies call Mount Canobolas home. Threatened and endangered species like the antechinus marsupial mouse and silver-leaf candlebark can also be found in the area. When the sun goes down, grab your torch to spot the many possums and wombats, all the while being serenaded by the southern boobook owl.

  • Snowgum walking track Snowgum walking track is short and easy, it starts from the summit of Mount Canobolas or from Federal Falls campground. It’s a great way to work up a hunger for a barbecue lunch.
  • Spring Glade walking track Spring Glade walking track provides easy access to the summit of Mount Canobolas via a pleasant easy walk through grassy woodland, offering birdwatching and picnic opportunities.

Ancient connections

Nature walking track, Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area. Photo: Boris Hlavica

Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area incorporates the traditional land of the Wiradjuri People. The name Canobolas comes from the Wiradjuri words Gaahna Bulla meaning two shoulders, referring to the two main peaks, Old Man Canobolas and Young Man Canobolas. The area has a strong Aboriginal connection as an important place for male initiation ceremonies and stone tool making, as well as being a rich source of food and medicines. Find out more about this area's Aboriginal heritage at Federal Falls campground.

Outstanding landscapes

Lichen covered boulders and snowgum forest in Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area. Photo credit: Boris Hlavica © DPIE

Now extinct and with a violent past, Mount Canobolas was an active and aggressive volcano responsible for creating the landscape between 11 and 13 million years ago. The result? Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area boasts vents, dykes, peaks and plugs which all can be seen here and the large rocky outcrops are home to rare lichens, towering basalt cliff lines and impressive waterfalls. The high altitude, cool climate and moist environment make this fertile ground for more than 300 plant species in the region. Large areas of snow gum subalpine woodland, grassy woodland and rocky outcrops covered with a variety of mosses and lichens make this a great place to visit. It’s hard to say what is most beautiful here, but certainly the heaths in spring which burst with purple, white, yellow and red flowers are a sight to behold.

  • Mount Towac walk This short walk will take you to Towac Peak where you can enjoy panoramic views of Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area and the scenic countryside of Orange.

Rising from the ashes

Close up view of a pink spider orchid flower, Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area. Photo credit: Colin Bower © Colin Bower

Mount Canobolas is recovering strongly from devastating fires that burned nearly 70% of the state conservation area in 2018. NPWS staff is working with the Orange Field Naturalist and Conservation Society to monitor, audit, and survey plant vegetation communities, insect and animal species, and Aboriginal sites. The park’s after-fire monitoring and conservation program has increased the number of known plant and animal species in the park, including discovery of 2 new ground orchid species new to science and rediscovery of 2 orchids unseen for over 20 years. As animals return, trees sprout new growth and plants come back there’s hope for the recovery of our native plants and animals.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Superb fairy wren. Photo: Ingo Oeland

    Superb fairy wren (Malurus cyaneus)

    The striking blue and black plumage of the adult male superb fairy wren makes for colourful bird watching across south-eastern Australia. The sociable superb fairy wrens, or blue wrens, are Australian birds living in groups consisting of a dominant male, mouse-brown female ‘jenny wrens’ and several tawny-brown juveniles.

  • Eastern common ringtail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)

    Commonly found in forests, woodlands and leafy gardens across eastern NSW, the Australian ringtail possum is a tree-dwelling marsupial. With a powerful tail perfectly adapted to grasp objects, it forages in trees for eucalypt leaves, flowers and fruit.

Look out for...

Superb fairy wren

Malurus cyaneus

Superb fairy wren. Photo: Ingo Oeland

The striking blue and black plumage of the adult male superb fairy wren makes for colourful bird watching across south-eastern Australia. The sociable superb fairy wrens, or blue wrens, are Australian birds living in groups consisting of a dominant male, mouse-brown female ‘jenny wrens’ and several tawny-brown juveniles.

Environments in this park

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