Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bald Rock National Park

Bald Rock National Park is located in the Northern Tablelands adjacent to the Queensland Border. The entrance is 29 km north east of Tenterfield along the Mt Lindesay Road. Bald Rock is the main feature of the Park. This magnificent dome is 750m long and 500m wide, rising 200m above the surrounding forest and is the largest exposed granite type rock in Australia.The rock is not a true granite, being classified as Stanthorpe Adamellite, it is of Lower Triassic age showing marked phases in mineralogy and texture. Resultant soils are generally poor and sandy.Together with the adjoining Girraween National Park in Queensland and Boonoo Boonoo National Park to the east, the region preserves land with magnificent recreational and conservation value.


The Bungoona Walk of 2.5km leads you gently through interesting bush and huge boulders to the summit. Follow the signs and white markings back down the sloping rock face for a more direct descent. The climb rewards the visitor with a full 360 degree view of the granite dotted landscape and to the north east, the volcanic plugs of the McPherson Range and the upper Clarence River. The sense of exposure on the saddle of Bald Rock, the view from the 1277m summit and the ever changing colours of the rock wall make it an unforgettable experience.ACCESSA gravel access road of 5km runs from the Mt Lindesay Road to the Rest Area and Camping Area north of the Rock. Tables, cooking galley, rubbish pits, pit toilets, fire places and water are provided.


Run-off from the large area of bare rock produces a high moisture level to the bush immediately around the base. This in turn produces an area of Wet Sclerophyll forest, whereas the remainder is dry Sclerophyll forest. In addition there are heaths on the rock & hanging swamps in lower areas. Residents include the Swamp, Red Neck and Black Striped Wallabies, Eastern Grey Forester Kangaroo and the Wallaroo. Various large possums, including the Greater Grey Glider may be spotted at night. Koalas, Wombats and Dingoes have been seen. The Lyre Bird and Satin Bower Bird are regularly observed.


Bald Rock itself and the many geomorphological features of the Park offer a challenge to nature photographers. Just how do you capture their impact and grandeur? The translucent new growth of the leaves in summer, the gold of autumn and winter, the misty rain, the dew drops on the grass and Casuarinas - it is all here waiting.Exploring Bald Rock and its surrounds can be a unique and enjoyable experience as there are so many interesting features for naturalists. However, as no other walks are marked, a map and compass should be used to ensure safety. The rocks may be slippery after rain or snow and in the mornings - especially in winter. Suitable rubber soled footwear should always be worn when clambering over the rock outcrops.With care, much of Bald Rock can be explored and this is a truly unique experience walking over the steep, exposed rock surface high above the countryside. Clusters of boulders, canyons, wonderful echo points, caves, beautiful and fascinating plant communities are just some of the things to be found by the curious walker.

South Bald Rock, 5km south of Bald Rock, although not so grand, is said by many to be even more interesting. It can be reached by taking the marked track from the Rest Area. Allow a day for an easy walk and plenty of time to explore.MAPSHema Maps produce a 1:33,000 topographical map of the area titled Girraween, Bald Rock National Park including Boonoo Boonoo National Park. This is an excellent and current map and is available at the Tenterfield Visitors Centre. For more information on this area please visit Granite Belt Tourist Association
A highly recommended way to see both Bald Rock and Boonoo Boonoo National Parks in the one day is to relax and let Woollool Woollool Aboriginal Culture Tours look after you. The Aboriginal guides provide comfortable air conditioned transport, commentary on the White and Aboriginal history, bush tucker and natural history of the area. Lunch provided. Bookings through Tenterfield Visitors Centre or your accommodation.

Accommodation is available in Tenterfield, to the south, or in Liston, to the north of Bald Rock. Information is available from the Tenterfield Visitors Centre.
Bald Rock National Park is a national park in northern New South Wales, Australia, just north of Tenterfield on the Queensland border. On the other side of the border the national park continues as the Girraween National Park.

The park is named after its most prominent feature, Bald Rock, which is a large granite outcrop rising about 200 metres above the surrounding landscape. Access to the rock is provided by a sealed road into the park and walking tracks to the summit. Two tracks are marked, a steep one up the exposed face, or an easier gradient through bushland around the back. The summit offers panoramic views of the surrounding bushland, but vegetation on top prevents a full 360° view.

The park is in the New England granite belt, where about 220 million years ago an episode of granite magmatism resulted in the intrusion of the Stanthorpe Adamellite into the surrounding metamorphic and sedimentary rock. Subsequent uplift and erosion of the New England Fold Belt has seen the majority of the surrounding sediments and metamorphic rocks eroded away, with the Stanthorpe Adamellite remaining due to its resistance to weathering.

This regolith has created a landscape with many exposed inselbergs of granite rocks, some balancing on top of each other, or forming natural arches. The walking track going up the back of Bald Rock leads through such an arch.

Just off the road beside the park is Thunderbolt's Hideout, a set of caves and overhanging granite rocks. It was thought to have been used by bushranger Captain Thunderbolt

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