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TRACK NOTES > main menu

The CastleTIME ESTIMATE: 10 hours

GRADE: Hard day walk

TRACK: Well defined but rough. Track
poor on final climb.


ATTRACTIONS: Challenging ascent. Magnificent views.

MAP/S: CORANG 1:25000

Bushwalking in the Budawangs by Ron Doughton.

Driving directions

CAUTION! These track notes are intended for evaluation purposes only and should not be relied upon as a sole guide to this walk/climb. They should be used in conjunction with the suggested topographical map/s and guide book/s listed above. Inexperienced trekkers/climbers are advised to read our getting started section.

Over recent years this has become one of the most popular day walks in the Budawangs due to it's spectacular views and challenging ascent. The Castle should not be attempted in wet or windy conditions as the scrambles become too dangerous.

After following the driving directions park your car at Long Gully (CORANG 445874). Walk along the well defined track for a few hundred metres until you come to the river crossing. Care should be taken if the water is up. A rope is sometimes in place to assist bushwalkers in crossing. If you are inexperienced in river crossing you are advised to read our section on skills & techniques. For a more in-depth coverage of river crossing we recommend reading Being Outside by Tim Macartney-Snape.

Once on the other side, the track winds it's way through an old logging area. The remaining tree stumps are sad indicators of the size of the magnificent trees that once stood here.

The track begins to climb steeply as you make your way up onto the Kalianna Ridge. The track continues to climb steadily as it brings you to the base of the Castle cliffs.

Directly ahead is a steep conglomerate slope which usually has a length of climbing rope installed. This route should be ignored as the ropes cannot be trusted. A safer and possibly more interesting ascent of this section can be found by following around to your left. You will find a gully with ample hand and foot holds. This approach will bring you to a knoll at the top of the gully.

From here several tracks lead off to your left and eventually all join the main route to the Castle. From here the going gets quite tough and slow as you crawl under scrub and over boulders. The route along the Castle's lower cliffline can be daunting to newcomers to the sport.

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You will encounter some beautiful sections along the route consisting of huge boulders, overhangs and pools fed by water dripping from above. There are several ways to navigate your way through the boulderous sections. Commonsense should prevail here as some routes are safer than others.

Further along you will come to a large overhang which is an obvious rest/lunch spot for bushwalking parties. (CORANG 448906). The track winds on upward to eventually emerge at the saddle between The Castle and Mt. Nibelung. Before reaching the saddle you will be confronted by a fork in the track. From here take the right hand route towards The Castle. Continue upwards until you reach The Tunnel. The words "The Tunnel" painted on the rock are an obvious landmark. Climb through the tunnel to emerge on the eastern side of The Castle.

The track rises up along a ramp then steps up onto a steep rocky section marked by arrows. Keep watch for an arrow picked into the rock directing you left across a steep slope. This turn is easily missed. The left turn is done by maneuvering around two boulders. Care should be taken as this section is exposed. From here the track leads up towards the Tadpole Tale so named because of it's resemblance to a tadpole's tale with The Castle being the tadpole.

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Continue upwards around some rock masses to emerge at a narrow flat area. Follow the track south and around the base of several large rocks. You will encounter a steeply rising rock mass in a partial overhang which needs to be negotiated. The two most popular ways to tackle it are; send the most competent member in the group to the top with a rope. When it is secured, the rest of the group can ascend aided by the rope. The second is to make your way around the mass utilising a series of ledges and cracks. This is a difficult part of the ascent and needs to be done with care and commonsense.

The final section of the climb is via a steep sloping boulder situated above a platform. The boulder leads to a ramp-like crack blocked by a tree. Again, the most competent member of the group should climb to the tree and secure a rope for the others to climb by.

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A short chimney climb is your next task followed by a series of ledges which lead to the summit.

Once on top of the summit plateau the breathtaking views open up before you. Make your way along the poorly defined track to the apposite end of The Castle. A visitor's book is usually available to record your accomplishment. Water is usually available on the plateau.

Be aware that the return journey to your car can take as long as the ascent, so leave the summit with ample time to spare.

Please be aware, especially with this particular walk, that this walk should NOT be attempted aided by these track notes alone. They are intended for evaluation purposes only. You are advised to use the guide book and map listed above.


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