Weddin Mountains National Park
The primary feature of Weddin Mountains National Park, near Grenfell in mid-western New South Wales, is the Weddin Range, a 19-kilometre-long crescent-shaped range looming more than 400 metres above the surrounding plains. In the 1860s the nooks and crannies of this rugged range provided perfect hideouts for bushrangers, including the notorious Ben Hall, who relished the opportunities created by gold discoveries in the surrounding area. Prior to European settlement, this was the traditional land of the Wiradjuri people, and traces of their long occupation of the area exists in the form of carved trees and other archaeological evidence.
The fertile alluvial flats below the Weddin Mountains were perfect for pastoralism, and in the north-west of the park is a remarkable relic of this heritage: Seatons Farm, established in 1936 and constructed using sundry locally available materials. Interpretive signs at the site tell the intriguing story of the resourceful Jim and Bertha Seaton.
A number of walks of varying lengths and difficulties are on offer in the park, from Ben Halls Cave Track (1.5 km, 30 minutes, easy) to the Weddin Gap–Black Spring Loop Track (20 km loop, 10–12 hours, medium difficulty), which can be tackled in a full day (set out early) or overnight walk. Ben Halls campground and picnic area provides a picturesque spot to lunch or pitch a tent; alternatively, head for the quieter but no less aesthetic Holy Camp in the park’s north-east. Bird lovers will be pleased to know this is a region rich in birdlife, with more than 150 species, including the threatened superb parrot. Majestic wedge-tailed eagles and peregrine falcons can often be seen riding the thermals around the escarpments.
Ben Halls and Holy Camp; bush camping permitted
377 km west of Sydney via Mid Western Hwy; 32 km west of Grenfell to Ben Halls camping area, 19 km south-west of Grenfell to Holy Camp; follow the signs from Grenfell
- NSWNPWS 1300 361 967
- NPWS Forbes (02) 6851 4429
Grenfell (02) 6343 1612
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