Yerong walking track

The Rock Nature Reserve - Kengal Aboriginal Place

Overview

Yerong walking track offers a moderately challenging hike up the slopes of The Rock to a spectacular lookout over bush and surrounding farmland.

Where
The Rock Nature Reserve - Kengal Aboriginal Place
Distance
6km return
Time suggested
2hrs 30min - 3hrs 30min
Grade
Grade 3
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.

If you're planning to loan a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) from one of these locations, wait and fill out your trip intention form in person.

Price
Free
Opening times

The Rock Nature Reserve – Kengal Aboriginal Place is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

What to
bring
Hat, sunscreen, drinking water
Please note
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go birdwatching.
  • The weather in the area can be extreme and unpredictable, so please ensure you’re well-prepared for your visit.

Leaving directly from the carpark near the information point, this pleasant and accessible walk takes visitors to the top of the dramatic The Rock formation. It begins gently, crossing small gravelled slopes between graceful red gums.

As you climb higher, the path begins to wind around recessed cliffs hiding cool woolly ragwort plants – a threatened species native to the area that blooms with yellow flowers. Wallabies scatter through the undergrowth, lizards bask in the warm sun, and you may see glossy black cockatoos or wedge-tailed eagles circling overhead. Birdwatching only gets better the further you climb.

This hike becomes steep towards the end, so make sure you bring some sturdy shoes and plenty of water. The payoff is notable, though, with a spectacular scenic vista across bush and rolling farmland from the top of The Rock, providing an excellent opportunity for photography. Just a short trip from Wagga Wagga, this is one of the best lookouts in the region. Galore Hills is often visible to the west, and on clear winter days the snow-capped peak of Mount Kosciuszko rises in the distance. The nearby The Rock picnic area offers a great place to stretch your legs afterwards, too.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

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/yerong-walking-track/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

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

Track grading

Grade 3

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

    2hrs 30min - 3hrs 30min

  • Quality of markings

    Sign posted

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    6km return

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    Some bushwalking experience recommended

Getting there and parking

Yerong walking track starts at The Rock picnic area in The Rock Nature Reserve – Kengal Aboriginal Place. To get there:

  • From Wagga Wagga, follow the Sturt Highway west
  • Turn left onto the Olympic Highway
  • Continue to The Rock and turn right onto Urana Street
  • Heading out of town this becomes Lockhart -The Rock Road
  • Continue for approximately 2.5km
  • Turn left into The Rock Nature Reserve – Kengal Aboriginal Place and continue for approximately 500m to the picnic area
  • Yerong walking track begins near the information shelter.

Parking

Parking is available at The Rock picnic area including bus parking.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in The Rock Nature Reserve Kengal Aboriginal Place. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

Cooler days after the high heat of summer make this the perfect season to take advantage of the picnic area, stretching out beneath the red gums.

Spring

Spring sees the park bloom with wildflowers, including woolly ragwort, a threatened species native to the area.

Winter

The crisp clear air of winter provides views from the top of The Rock that sometimes stretch all the way to Mount Kosciuszko; this is the best season for walking.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

13.9°C and 28.5°C

Highest recorded

43.7°C

Winter temperature

Average

4°C and 13.5°C

Lowest recorded

-4.2°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

October

Driest month

February

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

87.2mm

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.

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).

Outback safety

Safety is of high priority in outback areas. In summer, temperatures can reach up to 50°C in some places. Food, water and fuel supplies can be scarce. Before you head off, check for road closures and use our contacts to stay safe in the outback.

Prohibited

Camping

No camping is permitted.

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.

Nearby towns

Coolamon (42 km)

Easy walking tracks around Coolamon shire help you discover the abundance of native animals, birds and flora. Don't miss Kindra State Forest and Ganmain's Murumbang Interpretive Walk, where bird-watchers can enjoy spotting up to 200 species of birds.

www.visitnsw.com

Henty (36 km)

Henty is known for its connections with notorious bushranger Dan 'Mad Dog' Morgan. It's also where Headlie Taylor, a citizen of Henty, invented the grain harvester in 1914. Take the Henty Historical Village Walk to learn more about the town's history.

www.visitnsw.com

Wagga Wagga (41 km)

Wagga Wagga is renowned for its stunning parks and award-winning gardens. Take a tour through the 20 hectares of themed garden beds in the beautiful Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens complete with mini zoo and free-flight aviary.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Yerong walking track is in The Rock Nature Reserve - Kengal Aboriginal Place. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Geological significance

View along the range, The Rock Nature Reserve.. Photo: C Killick

The reserve sits on the boundary between two major biophysical regions: the Riverine Plains and the western slopes of the Eastern Highlands. This geographic mix gives the area a terrific diversity of landscapes and animal habitats. The Rock itself, unique in the district, is the result of a pressure uplift of sedimentary materials, and is the highest point of a hogback ridge running north to south (The Rock is at the northern end). The summit stands 364m above the surrounding plains.

  • The Towers The Towers is a 100m stretch of the north-east face of The Rock, open to rock sports and also popular with photographers and birdwatchers who want to view peregrine falcons.

Living Aboriginal culture: Kengal

View along the range, The Rock Nature Reserve. Photo: C Killick

The dual name of the nature reserve (since 2005) acknowledges a Wiradjuri cultural presence that stretches back many generations. The Rock is also known as Kengal (meaning ‘sloping hill’), a Dreaming place, lookout, and ceremonial site for the Wiradjuri People and their descendants. It was once used for male initiation rituals. Traditional lore has it that Kengal was created by Baiame, the creator who also taught the Wiradjuri People how to make fire and spears. When settlers arrived in the area, stories go, Baiame left his male and female dingo (Mirrigan) companions, who lay in wait for Baiame’s return, forming The Rock.

'The Hanging Rock’

The Rock lookout, The Rock Nature Reserve. Photo: A Lavender

Charles Sturt first saw The Rock in 1829, though the area wasn’t settled further by Europeans until 1874. They called the remarkable geological feature ‘The Hanging Rock’ because of an overhang on its eastern face. This collapsed in 1874, however, leading to the adoption of its current name – simply, ‘The Rock’. For much of its modern life, the feature has sat on Crown land, and from 1891 its lower slopes were quarried for road base material to provide ballast on a Sydney-Melbourne rail line.

Education resources (1)

Two men hike uphill along Yerong walking track in The Rock Nature Reserve - Kengal Aboriginal Place. Photo: Robert Mulally/DPIE