Please note that while the maps on this web site are useful and generally contain more, and more accurate, information on trails, the relevant topographic maps should be carried on most walks. These are available from the Lands Information Centre, map shops, and most outdoor stores.
The Colo River starts at the junction of the Wolgan and the Capertee Rivers, halfway from east to west across Wollemi National Park. It swings south when it joins Wollemi Creek, the longest waterway in the park. Crawfords Lookout is a spectacular outlook over the junction of these two rivers, and it is not a hard walk to gain these views.
Drive about 17km north of the Ampol service station at Colo Heights, passing the Grassy Hill Fire Trail, until you see another fire trail on the left (the Culoul Range Fire Trail). Both of these fire trails are during the overtaking lane on the road. Turn into this and follow it for 13km (35-40 minutes for normal cars) until you reach a parking area, where you should park your car. Note that this fire trail has a couple of boggy sections that may prove difficult for 2wd cars after rain.
From 13 Apr 2006, last checked 19 Apr 2009
From the information board and sign at the car park, take the track on the north side, which continues north for 300m until you reach Hollow Rock, a large boulder with a huge hole in it. Just past Hollow Rock, head left down the hill and you should pick up an old trail that eventually leads back to the main fire trail. Follow this for 200m until you see a trail to the right, blocked by a large log. Take this track. It leads up a hill for about 800m to a clearing at the top of the hill. The main track continues straight ahead, but you should identify a smaller track off to the right. The track narrows and heads downhill, following the ridge for a couple of kilometres.
As you near the cliff edge, cairns may start appearing. Some of these are more confusing than helpful, as they end up marking multiple routes. Generally speaking if you keep to the main line of the ridge, or just to the left, you should have no problems. Eventually you reach the cliff edge (this should be pretty obvious)!
Crawfords Lookout is on the south east side of the ridge, on the cliff edge, and has excellent views over Wollemi Creek. Looking downstream, you can see the junction of Wollemi Creek with the Colo River, at a large sandbank. The cliffs on both sides of the river are imposing, and routes look quite unlikely.
There are in fact numerous rocky outcrops along the cliff edge, all of which afford superb views. While this is as far as we go today, it is worth wandering around the cliff edge for about 200m to the north to locate the top of Culoul Pass, usually marked by a cairn. This is a steep route that continues down the ridge to Wollemi Creek some 300m below.
After a break return back the way you came. Rather than taking the faint track back up to Hollow Rock, you can stay on the fire trail which also leads back to the car park.
Time: 4 hrs; Distance: 6km; Fitness: EM; Skill: EM; Ascent: 400m
A relatively easy route to the magnificent Colo River, with good swimming and the option of camping.
Time: 2 hrs; Distance: 6km; Fitness: E; Skill: E; Ascent: 280m
One of the easiest routes to the Colo River. A lovely pool and beach make it a delightful spot for swimming, although it is a decent climb in and out.
Time: 2 days; Distance: 29km; Fitness: MH; Skill: M; Ascent: 520m
A challenging river walk along the lower reaches of the Colo River.
Time: 2 days; Distance: 21km; Fitness: M; Skill: MH; Ascent: 460m
A challenging walk through some of the best scenery in the upper Colo River.
Time: 2 days; Distance: 24km; Fitness: EM; Skill: EM; Ascent: 580m
Good views of the Colo River on the way to this excellent camp ground by the river itself
Time: 4 hrs; Distance: 6km; Fitness: M; Skill: EM; Ascent: 500m
A steep but short and spectacular walk to the Colo River at its junction with Tootie Creek
06-07/12/2008 - Colo River - Pass 6 and Crawfords Lookout: Culoul Range Car Park - Hollow Rock - Pass 6 - Colo River - Wollemi Creek Junction (C) - Crawfords Lookout - Car Park [Bush Club] (photos)
13/10/2006 - Crawfords Lookout: (photos)