I spent a night and two days exploring the rugged granite and exposed peaks of The Haystack Mountain in Gibraltar Range NP on one very windy winter hike.
Gibraltar Range NP is located in Northern NSW, Australia some 493 kilometres north of Sydney.
It is home to World Heritage listed Gondwana Rainforests, fragrant forests, rocky creeks, dry peaks and damp valleys.
Starting from Boundary Falls campground, it was a steady hike in along fire trail for 8km to reach the signposted base of the climb.
At this point the ascent of all off trail and self navigated. I also had to carry enough water from the last creek crossing at Duffer Creek to get me through a day and a night.
I had planned to camp on the peak overnight and spend time photographing the ranges and stars through the night but with extreme winds it was not safe to stay on top.
Instead I managed to find a small, sheltered, and relatively flat grassy section a few metres down from the peak which was just enough room to set up the tent.
This spot was very comfortable with almost zero wind breaking past the tor and into camp, and just a few minutes climb up and down to still get some photos last into the evening.
With a sunrise breakfast after a good night’s rest and some extremely vivid mountain top dreams, I spent the morning watching the light before finally packing up and starting the descent and hike back down.
The Gibraltar Range is home to such rough, beautiful, unique landscapes that are iconically Australian and remote.
This is a place that keeps drawing me back and I feel priviledged to have been able to explore this section for the first time.