Discover an ancient wonder at the Burning Mountain Nature Reserve; the only naturally burning coal seam in Australia, the fire on Mount Wingen is around 30 m below the surface and has been burning for at least 5500 years.
The Burning Mountain Walk is a 2 mi out-and-back trail that starts and ends in a car park near 3001 New England Hwy, New South Wales.
A well-maintained track, this trail is graded as Medium difficulty, with short steep sections and many steps, but there are rest stops along the way making it the ideal short walking route for most ages and abilities. There are designated disabled car parking spots although the trail itself has many steps so is not suitable for wheelchairs. For information on how we grade trails, please click here
. Also, check our latest community posts for trail updates.
This trail is usually completed in 1 – 2 hours and takes in the summit of Mount Wingen 520 m, commonly known as Burning Mountain. Caution is advised on trail times as this depends on multiple variables. For more info, click here
In the language of the local Wanaruah people, Wingen means ‘fire’; for them, the land’s traditional Aboriginal owners, the area is sacred, and it is believed that the fire was ignited by a ‘widow’s tears’ or ‘the torch of a warrior’. But in 1828, when the mountain was documented, it was first believed by explorers to be a volcano. However, geologists soon corrected this assumption and confirmed it as a naturally occurring coal seam that runs below the surface of the Earth.
The smouldering fire moves around at approximately a metre per year, and with it comes huge changes to the landscape; eucalypt forests grow ahead of the fire but a new landscape grows wherever the fire has been.
As you walk read the information panels and learn all about Burning Mountain, whilst you spot evidence of the mysterious phenomenon in the form of smoke, white ash and a sulphuric smell, and the ground may also be warm to the touch in places.
Dogs are not allowed in NSW national parks and reserves for the protection and conservation of the park and its wildlife.