• Distance 6.7km
  • Altitude max 217m
  • Altitude min 208m
  • Duration 4.0 hours
  • Trail type Return
Three Stars

Three Stars

Worth Doing

The Australian Hiker Experience Rating is a measure of the overall quality of a walk. It is intended to help you decide whether to walk a trail, not to measure anything objective. Consider this our personal take on the walk.

Grade Three

Grade Three

Suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Some bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may have short steep hill sections a rough surface and many steps. Walks up to 20km.

The Australian Hiker Difficulty Grading System is based on the australian standard for measuring trail hikes.

Parking
Toilets
Rubbish Bins
Camping Grounds
Showers

Homestead Gorge Walking Track NSW (6.7 km)

Mutawintji National Park

Nearest Town

Broken Hill, NSW

Best Time of the Year to Travel

April-October

Starting Location

At the northern of the Homestead Creek Campground. If you are just visiting for the day then you can start this walk in the ‘day use’ car park

Finish Location

Homestead Creek Campground, Mutawintji National Park

Homestead Gorge Walking Track Review

Mutawintji National Park, in many respects is unique. The park has three seperate walking ‘zones’ which includes the standalone Western Ridge Walking Track and the Mutawintji Gorge Walking Track. However the main walking area is the large loop located immediately adjacent to the day use area and a short walk from the campground. This loop contains a series of standalone walks that can be done separately or combined in a way that provides a ‘choose your own adventure’ option. What’s unique about Mutawintji is that each of these seperate walks isn’t just a repeat of a nearby one as is the case in many parks we have visited but has its own special character.

The Homestead Gorge Walking Track is often done as a standalone walk by many hikers. This walk starts at the day use cap par or if you are camping, at the Homestead Creek Campground which adds about 1km to the walk in total. We started at the campground which also meant we didn’t have to move the car.

The trailhead is at the northern end of the campground. As you enter the facility turn left and follow the loop road about 120 metres till it starts looping right and the signage is visible just off to the left.

This first section of the walk parallels the adjacent river bed which is often dry. Once you reach the day use car park turn to the right and follow the signage past the picnic area. From here you are walking into the gorge system and the environment changes from a dry arid landscape to something that is far more lush and temperate. At this stage you are on a well-formed dirt track that is suitable for wheelchairs but keep in mind it is still a dirt surface.

Apart from the trailhead signs there are small interpretive signs every so often that highlight the rural past of this area and talks about the local landscape including different tree types. The signage while interesting is getting a bit worn and as you will see in the images below, can be a bit hard to read.

Your first stop is an Aboriginal rock art gallery that has a metal viewing platform and interpretation signage explaining what’s there. This platform is as far as wheelchairs have access. From this platform head down into the creek bed following the trail markers and at this stage you are spending your time walking along the natural gorge, crossing over the creek and back as the environment dictates. As you make your way down the creek you will come across the occasional very small water body but given the condition that they were in when we passed, I would definitely filter so come prepared if that’s your water plan.

As you walk along the gorge you will come to the turnoff point for the Rockholes Loop Walking Track which is on the left hand side of the Gorge and marked by a small rock art gallery behind a waist high metal frame. Have a look at this rock art but instead of following the arrows up the slope continue along the main gorge and follow the hiker signs which have a red stripe along the bottom of the marker. At this point you will also see another sign with a green stripe which will take you further into this loop to the Bynguano Range Walking Track but unless you plan on combining this track into your days hiking ignore these signs.

The gorge will split into a ‘Y’ and you need keep to the left. About 400 metres onward after crossing back and forth over the gorge you will come to your destination, without any fanfare, which is a large pool of water that blocks your way. You can sit and take in the view or if you are feeling so inclined go for a swim in the relatively shallow coolish water. If it’s a hot day, this spot is a welcome respite from the heat.

If doing this walk as a standalone trip, turn around and head back the way you came up the gorge following the signage as you go. In this section of the trail the directional arrows are on small posts, on rocks at ground level, and on rocks at eye level so if you pay attention you shouldn’t have any issue keeping on course. Speaking of the terrain, the elevation change is pretty minimal and while you spend time crossing back and forth along the gorge this is one of the easier options located on this loop. So, providing you take tour time, it’s a walk that is accessible to most hikers. Whether you do this walk as a larger combined loop or as a standalone will depend on the time you have available and your fitness level.

Wildlife is pretty minimal on this trail as are large flowering plants. The real joy in this walk is the cool gorge landscape and the natural waterhole which make a change from the harsh arid landscape dominating the area. The gorge is a lush oasis in what is a very dry parched landscape. You are best starting this walk early in the day after sunrise to take advantage of the cooler weather which will allow you to return back out of the gorge before the middle of the day and what can be some serious heat.

This a very enjoyable walk and one that won’t disappoint.

The trailhead is through the fence at the northern end of the campground

Trailhead signage

Directional marker near the trail start

Flood damage to the day use parking area

Start of the trail from the day use picnic area

Large remnant Eucalyptus just near the trailhead

Interpretation signage along the way talking about vegetation and farming practices

Shade along the gullies is very different to the sparse sunny plains

Approaching the rock art gallery

Rock art gallery

Rock art example at the gallery

A marker as opposed to rock art at the rock art gallery

Heading off the rock art gallery platform

 

Head down from the art gallery and follow along the creek bed

Trail example

Dry river bed

Eucalyputs flowers forming

Signage option with the directional arrows sometimes at ground level

Native solanum

First rock art gallery, look for the metal frame at ground level on the right of the image. Your turn point in the next rock frame is not much further along the creek bed

Follow the red signs

Along the gully

Veer left when presented with a branch in the trail

Paddy melon in flower (weed species)

Paddy melon in fruit

Approaching the waterhole

Our final destination

A lovely cool place to relax

The far end of the waterhole

Heading back along the gorge on the way back

Heading back along the gorge

View of the high point on the Rockholes Loop Walking Track

Native daisy one of the few flowering plants we saw along this gorge

Return arrow at the bottom of the gorge. The return arrows aren’t always colour marked

Heading back

Heading back along the creek bed

Back to the rock art gallery

Back to the day use picnic area

Oh so pretty

Heading back to the trailhead with dry river on the left

Trail finish inside the campground

Trail Videos

This short video contains photos and video from our walk to show you the walk from start to finish

Getting There

Google map from Broken Hill. The trip from Broken Hill is 130km, much of it on dirt road. Please check the condition of the road before heading out. While we did see one non 2WD vehicle its best to have a 4WD or AWD vehicle just in case

Entering Mutawintji National Park

Information Centre. This kiosk is un-personed

Information centre view

Barbecue at the information centre

Things to Know

  • Phone: There is minimal (almost none) phone signal on this track
  • Water: You need to bring your own water although there are some small water holes that you can you if you have a filter
  • Toilets: There are toilets located in the campground near the trailhead
  • Trail: This trail consists of formed track although you will cross over the dry river bed from time to time
  • Dogs: No dogs allowed
  • Other: 
    • This walk is done as an out and back return but can be combined with other destinations on this loop
    • Avoid the summer months – it is very, very hot at that time
    • Bring something to swim in and a towel to dry off

Toilet and shower facilities at Homestead Creek Campground

Homestead Creek Campground information kiosk

Disclaimer

This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker

Australian Hiker Newsletter

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