{Jump Rock – Macquarie National Park}

A popular hub in summer, this small walk packs a punch in lush rainforest, epic deep pools, cascades and the famous Jump Rock. A great walk anytime of year, enjoying plenty of wildlife and a challenging walk to some of Wollongong’s most gorgeous cascade sites.

Danger: This walk is called Jump Rock as many people jump from a high cliff into the water in this area. Bushwalk the ‘Gong does not condone or recommend this behaviour. It is dangerous and comes with the risk of serious injury or death. There are signs in the area noting the same. Bushwalk the ‘Gong recommends enjoying the lovely pools, by all means have a swim and enjoy the spectacular scenery.

This walk is not recommended after or during excessive rains. This river can quickly become extremely fast flowing and carry large debris. Taking risks in these times of high water levels is dangerous and comes with the risk of serious injury or death.

This trail has a water element so it’s important to be cautious, especially with children. Be mindful of rainfall, heavy rains may cause unstable embankments and dangerous water crossings. Care should be taken near the waterfall and creek, slippery rocks pose a danger. The path maybe a little rough, muddy and very steep in places so ensure you wear appropriate footwear.

This walk is part of a suite of walks in the Macquarie Pass National Park, found easily at the base of Macquarie Pass. The walk has a small car park but there is no signage.

The trail starts through the gate and continues along a flat road, you then pass over a fallen tree as you lose the road to a rough pathway. This walk is particularly beautiful early morning as the sun shines through the trees and ferns. You will pass beautiful mossy rocks and enjoy vines and rainforest as you follow the rivulet. Keep an eye out for the beautiful pools below, you can follow a little side trail down for quick dip or a stop for a bite. Continue along the trail as it splits and meanders, there is no right or wrong way, but I personally prefer the ‘high road’ (good life lesson!), but it’s important to stay on a well defined trail to avoid damage to the environment.

Click here for full photo album.

The trail starts to get tricky in spots, there are some makeshift ropes in place, but it’s always best to rely on your own hands and sturdy feet, and where you can, a solid tree root is a more reliable option than a rope, just test before you put your full weight on it.

Some people find these sections quiet daunting, it is important you take your time and be conscious of safety, as with all walks there is a danger of injury. Once you get through the steep sections you will find a very muddy section. Where possible, step on a rock or the large cabbage palm leaves which serve as a ‘raft’ to get across the mud, again try to follow the well defined paths to cause as little impact as possible, they may be muddy but you are avoiding widening the path and causing further erosion.

Make sure you have a good look around on this trail, there are beautiful ferns, fungus, water dragons, lots of bird life and don’t forget to look up to the majestic elk-horns and birds-nest ferns.

Eventually you will meet a T-intersection as another creek joins perpendicular to the rivulet, this is the crossing point. Here you have the option to rock hop across or climb across the boulders. Other option is just take your shoes off and walk through the creek. Once you get across you start walking on a rock platform and Jump Rock is just ahead, you will need to climb up some large boulders in the river bed to get there, a helping hand helps here…Your destination is ahead.

At Jump Rock there are two main pools, both ideal for swimming. You can also follow the trail up to have a good birds-eye view over the cascade. Be careful here and don’t go near the edge, there is no fencing. It is safe provided you use caution and are sensible.

Parking and Transport:

There is no public transport, but the carpark is good and very visible from the road.

Directions:

Trail Advice:

This trail has steep sections on the way in and out. So people with knee issues or poor fitness will struggle. It is completely suitable for older children, naturally with a close eye. This trail is ends in a creek bed, which means you have a high water hazard. Ensure safety at all times. There is a high chance of leeches in this area being a typical wet forest, so take adequate protection. The rocks can also be very slippery around the rivulet and there is a risk of spraining ankles or falling, so take your time, check your footing before you put your weight down. In the warmer months, be cautious of snake danger on the open sections of the trail.

Wear your old sneakers on this walk, there is a chance you will get them wet or really muddy – a really high chance!

Signage and Track Condition:

There is no signage at the start or throughout this walk. You need to rely on a general good sense of direction and the rivulet beside you, it is almost always within view which is comforting. The track condition is generally poor. It splits in sections, in some steeper sections it has slid away and there is a particularly troublesome muddy section.

It is very important that individuals do their best to stay on the main trail to avoid further erosion and damage to the delicate environment. This is not too difficult and is critical to the ongoing integrity and future access of the trail.

Data & Cellular Coverage:

There is limited coverage on this walk, however however due to the rivulet it is easy to navigate. Always carry a basic first aid kit in case of an emergency.

Demographic:

This track is great fun for older families and all ages, there is plenty of interest along the way for those that are agile. You may even consider a swim in the cool waters. It is steep in sections, but taking your time even the unfit could take this on, but reasonable fitness is highly recommended to get the most out of the walk.

Fitness:

Want to know where you are going to hurt the next day? This track will use your quads and glutes mostly. In general, an easy walk for people with moderate fitness, so don’t expect to be sore the next day. It’s the scare factor on this walk that is the concern, the steep embankments can be daunting.

Hiking Grade: Grade 5

Although a fairly short walk, this grades at a 5 as there are steep sections with rope, climbing across rocks and slippery creek sections.

Distance and Time:

The track is a round trip being roughly a 1.5hr walk . Distance is approximately 3km return.

Pollution/Rubbish Status: Grade 3

Generally this trail is a disgrace especially in summer, please pick up after yourself, or if you see litter take it out with you. The carpark is particularly bad.

Please ensure you take a garbage bag to collect rubbish, and don’t forget to take a photo of your collection and tag us in #bushwalkthegong #cleanupgongsbushland – let’s spread the word that littering in or around our bushland areas is NOT OK!

Prohibited:

All dogs (except for assistance dogs), bikes and smoking – and especially alcohol.

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