There are a number of routes up Mount Gladstone. This one follows Reids Creek Rd, crossing the creek a couple of times before climbing steadily. Near the top, we followed an old trail, now closed to vehicles after a wash-away, to reach the trig beacon at 628m. There is no view due to the tree growth, so this is a walk for those who like a good hill climb and peak bagging.
We descended via an old logging trail called Cedar Tree Road, which is shown on the NSW topographic maps. The descent is hard work, with quite a lot of tree fall to step over, under or through. Low down on Cedar Tree Road the track disappears into a lantana thicket, so our walk leader took us off track for about 500m until we reached Moodys Creek. Watch out for the stinging tree, and pause to admire the cedar tree with it’s community of elk horns and stag horns.
The final stretch included some lovely rainforest creek walking, river-worn pebbles, the remains of a timber bridge. And then we were back at our cars, muddy, dirty and happy from a great day outdoors.
Who was Gladstone?
Perhaps the mountain is named after the Macleay River town of Gladstone?
In 1870 the Earl of Belmore, Governor of NSW, visited the area. He was popular in the state, having dodged a bullet when Prince Alfred was shot at Clontarf and calmed the people afterwards. Darkwater Creek was renamed Belmore River for the Earl, while the town of Darkwater was renamed Gladstone, the maiden name of his wife Anne Elizabeth.
Not much is known about Anne Elizabeth (nee Gladstone). Her chief achievement appears to be giving birth to the Belmore heir plus another spare 12 children over 25 years, not counting the one that was still born. Climbing Double Top, as the mountain is also known, seems easy by comparison.
We are grateful to a local bushwalking group leader who led us on this walk.