Ferntree Gully Reserve is located between Rylestone and Bylong in the Mudgee Region of New South Wales.  I ‘discovered’ Ferntree Gully on a very humid and hot day while taking a driving tour through the Bylong Valley with the air conditioner on.

I chose the Gully Walk, the longer of two tracks to become acquainted with the area.  That was an excellent choice on such a  hot day, as the gully is shaded by steep cool sandstone walls.  It was quite comfortable, perhaps chilly in spots, even on such a hot and muggy day.

From the car park I followed the Wheelbarrow Track through the forest, down the “100 Steps,” and into the narrow gully canyons.

The steps are a bit steep, covered with forest litter, and could be slippery in wet weather.  There very well could be a hundred of them; I didn’t count.  Although it was necessary to take care and go slowly in spots, it wasn’t extremely demanding and anyone in average physical condition should do well.

Although in the forest above animals were inactive in order to avoid the heat, the cooler gully was alive with bird songs and calls.  Watching carefully through the canopy, colorful Australian birds were abundant.

The dead-end track to the “Rain Forest Rest Stop” crosses a wide flat valley via an elevated boardwalk.  Undoubtedly this area gets soggy during wet periods.

Back on the loop track, the trail continues through jungle-like vegetation and vertical sandstone walls.

After the trail emerges at the top of the gully again, it’s a short walk to return to the car park.  Instead though, I chose a longer loop and returned by of the the Lookout Track and Wheelbarrow Track.  The Lookout Track offers insightful views of the gully area and the maze of sandstone pillars and walls.

I think this guy, or one of his mates, bit me.

I’d love to return to the reserve again, and re-hike the Gully Walk and to explore the Sydney Peppermint Walk.  More information about the reserve, including maps and management details, is available in a PDF brochure.


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