Cathedral Rock

A loop walk with an exciting scramble to the top of granite boulders, a high point in northern NSW

Trail information

Cathedral Rock

This 6km loop walk in Cathedral Rock National Park starts at the Barokee picnic area and campground. The trail follows pretty Snowy Creek with wildflowers, sedge and ferns amongst the banksia shrubs and sub alpine woodland.

This is granite country. The ancient New England batholith is exposed as granite tors, boulders piled and balanced on top of one another. Nearby Round Mountain has a more recent basalt cap from the Ebor volcano, and is the highest point in the New England table lands, just a smidge higher than Cathedral Rock.

While the walk is initially a pleasant ascent with steps, the summit climb involves rock hopping, a squeeze between boulders, and a chain to the throne. Look out for arrows showing the route on the rocks. Not a good idea in the rain, as the rocks quickly become slippery!

After visiting the summit, the circuit returns to Barokee campground, but another signposted track continues on to Woolpack Rocks and beyond that to Native Dog Campground, which is accessed from the Guyra Road. If you are road-tripping Waterfall Way and don’t have time for a longer walk, try the delightful short Warrigal walk from Native Dog campground.

The granite tors have vertical and horizontal fractures, with lichens and moss on the surfaces and opportunistic plants finding space to grow in the cracks. In some places, aplite dykes cut through the granite – Bob and Nancy’s geological tour site explains in more technical detail.

Ebor Falls on the Guy Fawkes River are nearby. The upper falls drop 115m in two stages over basalt flows from the Ebor volcano, while the lower falls plummet over sedimentary rocks. Unfortunately the 2019 fires damaged visitor facilities which are being repaired, but the falls can still be seen from the parking area.

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