Travel writers are always on the lookout for subjects to write about, but very few know that Munibung Hill exists, let alone take the time to visit and write it up Experienced bushwalker and author Gregory Powell, who is a local bloke knows that Munibung Hill makes for a good walking story. More of a tour direction guide than a commentary on what you’ll find in terms of the plant and animal life, we reprint an article written by him some years ago, that we have only recently become aware of.
Munibung Hill in LOCAL WALKS, by Gregory Powell, March 2015.
This very prominent feature dominates the northern shores of Lake Macquarie above the suburbs of Speers Point, Warners Bay, Lakelands, Macquarie Hills and Boolaroo. Access is best from the northern slopes of this isolated knob which commands breathtaking views over the waters and shores of the lake.
The main access routes come together on the steep spur which gives access to the high point near the cluster of communication towers that are visible from many vantage points below. The quickest access is via Lawson Road at Macquarie Hills. At the top of the road the access path can be followed through to Lucilla Ridge or this can be reached by car via Fitzwilliam St, Wentworth Grove. A concrete path winds steeply up the hill beneath tall spotted gums and after a short while the concrete runs out and a rough track emerges on the main spur with the first views over the lake.
This point can also be reached from the end of Blaxland Road at Cardiff South or from the laneway that runs upwards from the top of the rise of Ambleside Circuit, just above its junction with Hawkeshead Way at Lakelands.
The track up the spur is rough and uneven but the views get better as you climb. Soon the fence is reached which separates the old Sulphide land which is currently undergoing rehabilitation. This is also the location of that cluster of communication towers.
The way on now is southward down the gully along the fence line and then back up onto the main ridge. Some caves in the conglomerate strata in the gully can be seen from here. A choice of tracks heads around to the left above the caves or steeply up the main ridge. Both come together on the grassy summit. The route now is southward along the track on the spine of the hill with rural, suburban and lake views appearing in all directions.
A steep descent brings you to another gully with side tracks on both sides. Keep to the main track and climb to the next high point. A right hand track here takes you out to a vantage point with views over Marmong Point and beyond.
Return to the main track and soon a new communications tower is reached. Follow the foot track beyond the tower for a short distance to the top of the knoll. Here a faint track will be seen going off to the right. This is the way down. The track ahead leads through the forest to a lookout and bench seat. On the faint right hand exit track, steps will soon appear as it begins the descent. It has been built by keen locals who have been doing a wonderful job with Landcare projects on this side of the hill. The track zig-zags down through the thick forest to the end of Farm Street at Speers Point via lookouts, gardens, small bridges and bench seating.
This round trip can be made in a half day walk from Warners Bay shops via the Lakelands access to Munibung Hill and then down to Speers Point and back to the Warners Bay cafes via the back roads or the foreshore cycleway.
Another very short walk on the slopes of Munibung heads off on the left at the end of Delaware Drive at Macquarie Hills. This concrete path crosses a bridge over the creek then loops around through a landscaped area to return you to your start.