Aussie bush and orchids
Wambool near O’Connell and Tarana in NSW.
At a Glance
A walk on fire trails through scribbly gums and stringy bark eucalypts. This is a great walk for us all, and especially for families.
I love walking out here at all times of the year. The wildflowers are awesome in spring too.
The significance of Wambool to First Nations people is well described online. The vegetation is driven by the unusual geology on the edge of the Bathurst plains. As the granite gives way to slates, shales, greywackers and quartz, the open grassland with scattered trees changes to a woodland of stunted trees with a rich understory of shrubs and herbs.
Wambool Nature Reserve is managed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and is described online here.
The Reserve's vegetation is dominated by stunted gum trees, including Western Scribbly Gum, which at times are so low and widely spaced that the resulting vegetation is a low open-woodland. There's also a strong representation of flowering shrubs and terrestrial orchids, many of which are rare.
The Reserve also contains a wide range of fauna, including the ring-tailed possum, brush-tailed possum, sugar glider, many birds, several species of bat, the grey kangaroo, swamp wallaby, marsupial mouse, echidna, bush rat and a wide range of reptiles and insects.
- Fish River Valley
Sights on Route
- Spring Flowers
Traps For Young Players
- Limited phone reception
- Wind can make it a pain
- Changing weather conditions
Camping & Accommodation
- No Camping in the Reserve
- Tarana Pub
- Bathurst has options
Best time to go
This route can be walked at any time of the year. I recommend spring and early summer then the wildflowers are abundant. Best to avoid walking here on windy days (falling limbs), or during hot days in summer.
What’s the best gear for this route?
Sturdy walking or trail running shoes.
Do I take anything special with me?
Look, like all of Australia, it’s snake country. Along with taking a small first aid kit, covering my lower legs is always a good option on warmer days. I also take some water, and a small snack.
I rate this walk as a 2 – vigorous. I take it pretty steady as I look at the vegetation and try to sneak a view through the trees. It’s only the short climb on the trail out of the creek that pushes this walk up to level 2 on my scale of difficulty.
This is a pretty walk on fire trails through the reserve. I’ve parked just off Timber Ridge Road, and it’s a cool, breezy Spring afternoon as I wander up the hill to the intersection of Yetholme Trig Trail, Geebung Trail and Wambool Trail.
I turn to the South onto Geebung Trail. It’s a steady downhill for almost 2km and I stop several times to take photos of the seasonal native flowers. The trail levels off at about the 2km mark, and I note it steepens as I turn back to the North on Link trail and as it approaches the creek. I take it steady, aided by my trusty walking poles (yes, I’m getting older).
It’s been a wet winter, and the creek is flowing. I don’t need to fill up on water today, and I’d be using a filter if I did. I take some more photos.
I’m back on the trail and gently climbing for about 800m. The understory is variable here, with a few changes between streamside vegetation to shrubs underneath the eucalypt woodland on the ridges.
Link Trail reconnects with Wambool Trail, and I turn right and walk to the Southeast for about 700m to see if there is a view. It’s not super clear through the trees, so I turn around and walk back to Link Trail and then beyond. At this point, I’m around the halfway mark of my walk.
From here, it’s a steady climb back to the intersection of Yetholme Trig Trail, Geebung Trail and Wambool Trail. There are some lovely views to the north east along this section of trail, and of the scribbly gums and seasonal orchids.
I turn to the right on Yetholme Trig Road, and check out the original survey trig station. Neat bit of history. It’s then a short walk to the boundary of the reserve and I choose to walk back along Timber Ridge Road back to the car.
Good parts: It’s peaceful. Wildflowers. The trails are behind Reserve gates which means no vehicles nor motorbikes
Tough parts: Summer heat.
Crappy parts: When it’s windy.
Would I do it again? Yes, and a good walk to share with friends.
Traps for young players: Snakes on warmer days. No dogs allowed.