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A loop walk through wet sclerophyll forest on old fire and logging tracks plus ridge top walking track
Good walking track along North West Bay River to Cathedral Rock fire trail which becomes steep up to saddle. Steep climb up to top of Cathedral Rock. Across Montague Thumbs track rough and undulating, some steep rocky sections. Montague Fire Trail rough and steep. Old snigger track very good walking track across to Grundy Creek then Cathedral trail. Moderately steep up to junction and then gentle slope back up to Cathedral Saddle. Steep back down zig zags to North West bay River.
Hazards and warnings
Razor ridge across Montague Thumbs, care required to avoid falling down several hundred metres.
Starting from the Betts Road carpark, walk west along the North West Bay River then up the Cathedral Rock Fire Trail to the saddle. Turn right up the steep climb to the top of Cathedral Rock, a good place for morning tea/coffee. Continue west across the Montague Thumbs track, an undulating rocky and sometime scary track as it crosses the ridge line between Cathedral Rock and the Montague Fire Trail. At the Montague Trail junction turn left and continue through overhanging low scrub south west and then west down the top part of the Trail to the Norris Thurston hut. This hut is set about 10m in from a SW to NW corner in the track. If wet, shelter in this dry hut, but is dry, climb up on top of the rock at the back of the Hut for lunch with the inchman and jack jumper ants or were they all huge jack jumper ants? After lunch, continue down the Montague Fire Trail taking care with your footing as the track is slippery when damp or wet and deeply eroded in places. Cross the northern arm of Yabbie Creek then quite a way further down, the larger southern arm and about 300m further down on the eastern side of the Trail is the ribboned old logging snigger track. This superb old snigging track is not a logging road, it’s a track just wide enough for an animal dragging a log, and from its condition, we suggest it’s regularly used by locals as a loop track from Mountain River area. It winds up the hill from the Montague Fire Trail and around the plateau at the top before it zig zags down the far side to cross Grundys Creek and join an old forestry road or maybe it’s the Cathedral Rock Fire Trail. Turn left again and walk ENE then SE up this trail to the top where there is a “No Through Road” sign on the ground across it (maybe this sign should be on the track to the right (SE) as that is a no though road according to the Wellington Park Recreation Map). Turn left again and head ENE along an excellent track through tall timber, open mossy areas and tall scrub up to the Cathedral Rock ridge top then down the zig zags and back along the North West Bay River to the Betts Road car park.
Walk time 6h25m plus 30m lunch, pedometer distance about 19k71m.
This is the second time the RAMBOs have done this walk in the last three months. The first time I reported it, we walked the loop clockwise on 12 March 2010 we found the walk up the Montague Fire Trail very arduous. This time on 14 May, despite the shorter daylight hours, we started walking at 09h10 and did the loop counterclockwise, completing it at 16h05. We did have a quick lunch in case we ran out of daylight, but could easily have had a longer one. This walk is a great one for its variety of flora and terrain.
The uploaded track from our Garmin Etrex GPS was recorded as GDA84 and tracks accurately on the Wellington Park Walks Map, However. it lies about 116E and 183N of the satellite maps on this website. I'll try to revise to track correctly on the website.
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