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A cooler walk for the hottest time of year

A cooler walk for the hottest time of year


Walks in the Mt. Nardi area

Mt Nardi can be accessed from The Channon or Nimbin. It’s a bit of a drive to get there but definitely worth it as it has some of the most beautiful rainforest walks in the Nightcap area. Tall tree ferns, walking stick palms, elkhorns, stags and vines make this a magical walking area, traversing three different forest types. The area is also elevated (over 500m) which means that it’s a bit cooler in summer than other low lying rainforest areas.

There are 2 walks you can do from Mt Nardi and since you’ve taken the trouble to drive or cycle all the way out there it’s worth combining them and doing both, starting with the Mt Matheson track and ending with the Pholis Gap Track.

Mt Matheson Track

The Mt Matheson Track is to the left of the information shelter. Walk downhill through large groves of bangalow palms, tree ferns and buttressed trees. After 700m (10 mins) you reach the left turn for the Pholis Gap Track. Continue straight, and views of Wollumbin will open up to the north. In another 350m you reach the Mt Matheson Loop junction. Take the track to the right, which ascends and crosses a gully via a small wooden bridge. Further along there is a turn-off to the right for the Historic Nightcap Track; keep left, heading to the northern side of Mt Matheson. Although there is no formal lookout you will see some spectacular views of the Doon Doon Valley floor as you walk along the northwest-facing slope. You will also notice the vegetation change. There are lots of beautiful, tall grass trees on this northern section of the loop track. When you complete the loop turn right and rejoin your original track.

When you reach the turn right for the Pholis Gap Track, take that right.

Pholis Gap Track

The Pholis Gap track descends rather rapidly towards the escarpment edge. This descent makes for easy walking and offers some excellent views. There are many huge trees with hollowed centres providing spots to rest and take in the views. The informal lookout from Pholis Gap is slightly overgrown but offers spectacular views, including Wollumbin, Griers Scrub rainforest and Doon Doon Valley beyond.

To return retrace your steps along the Pholis Gap Track and turn right when you reach the junction with the Mt Matheson Track. This will take you back to the car park.


Allow 4 hours to do both tracks.


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  1. How far and how long are the walks Mairead?

  2. How far and how long do the walks take Mairead?

  3. Hi Nikki,
    Very good question! Best to allow 4 hours to do both and to take in the rainforest treats and views.

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