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Sunset at Chimney Rock

Sunset at Chimney Rock

It’s finally starting to warm up here in the Snowy Valleys region. With a radiant sun and flowering wattle, Henry and I left work early one afternoon in hopes of summiting Chimney Rock by sunset.

Dom walking under the wattle at the start of the track leading up to Chimney Rock
Chimney Rock at the top of the hill, in Kosciusko National Park looking over Blowering Dam

Just before the rugged ascent, Chimney Rock can be seen 640 vertical meters from grassy clearing at the start of the trail, it's about 3km to the top. The total elevation of Chimney Rock is 1082m.

Crossing Ryans Creek, the same creek that comes down Blowering Cliffs turning into a waterfall

The route is intersected by various mountain streams in high flow after recent rain.

Steep walk up to Chimney Rock, trekking poles are ideal

The trail is a steep, rough track that zig-zags up the hill and rarely levels out, so a pair of trekking poles or a walking stick is ideal.  

Walking amongst the melaleuca trees and native bush scrub up to Chimney Rock

We hike through classic Australian scrub, with Melaleuca tea trees and towering gum trees. The native flora is aplenty, as is the fauna with kangaroos, kookaburras and woodland birds to keep us company.

Blowering Dam can be seen in the distance, behind the rocks. Nearing the top of Chimney Rock

As the top nears, we're given a sneak peek of Blowering Dam through the native wattle and shrubbery. We take a shortcut, clambering over ponderous granite boulders and squeezing through an opening in the rock. 

Chimney Rock, overlooking Tumut and the Blowering Dam wall to the right and Batlow in the tops of the hills in the left (not pictured)

And finally, at the top, we're rewarded with picturesque views of Blowering Dam and the Tumut region. The Batlow apple orchards can also be seen off in the distance past the Gilmore Valley.

The top of Chimney Rock, in the distance you can just see the white hail netting of the Batlow apple orchards

We reached the top with time to explore and watch the sun dip below the horizon.   

Dom wearing Rab Microlight Alpine Down Jacket
Watching the sun set at the top of Chimney Rock, overlooking Blowering Dam
Trekking poles and head torch are helpful when walking down in the dark

Our head torches light the trail as we begin the descent at last light. We tread carefully to avoid slipping on loose rocks and ground cover, making it back to the car in one piece and eager to return.

- Written by Dom Erbacher

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