Sylvesters Lookout to HOLE-in-the-WALL

Main Range National Park
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Near the top of a rocky ridge there's a hole where there used to be a hole. Spectacular views across the Laidley Creek valley , Mt Castle and the Main Range

Waterfalls
Lookouts
Scrambling or Climbing
Navigation Required
Rainforest
Eucalypt Forest

Getting there

Drive to the Gomburra NP section and then follow gravel road to nearly the top. Walk from Cunninghams Gap taking 3 days. Considerable map and navigational skills area required. 

Maps

Cunninghams Gap, Townson

Route/Trail notes

From Sylvesters Lookout the track starts out ok, but soon turns extremely hard when the track becomes totally overgrown.  There are sections of thick vine forest and disturbed areas with occasional impenetrable thickets of lantana or blackberry so leave time for experimentation with route

Permits/Costs

Remote area Bush camping permits are required when camping at Laidley Creek Falls and other campsites.

Other References

 

Comments

Had a great time bushwhacking through from Sylvesters Lookout. The footpad was fairly easy to follow. We lost it a few times, but it was never too far away. Would definitely recommend having a map/ app with waypoints though, as the turnoff to Laidley Creek Remote Bush Camp was not obvious and we missed it initally and ended up further towards Mount Castle lookout.

When we did the hike the footpad was quite slippery, particularly descending the ridgeline after leaving the Scenic Rim Trail. I slipped over a couple of times on the wet muddy track.

Camped overnight at Laidley Creek Falls which was nice and clean. We had 3 tents setup and that was cosy. It would be a struggle to get any more than that up there.

We didn't actually make it to hole-in-the-wall after attempting both the razorback ridge and the route below Laidley Creek falls. The razorback ridge had a 3-4m high climbing section right next to a much higher cliff. Myself and another were able to get down and back but it felt too sketchy to get the others in our group down the climb. We then went back around underneath the waterfall, but the rocks were as slippery as ice as there was a trickle of water flowing. The base of the falls is maybe 3m wide but on top of another cliff, so edging along the wet rocks hardly seemed worth it. Even so, it was an awesome place to explore.

Took 75 minutes to hike back to Sylvesters from the camp with our packs.

mjichael on 1 Aug, 2020

Anyone who has done this walk in the past or is following old track notes should be aware that the bushfires of last year have had quite an impact on the old trail. It used to be faint but now there is a lot of fallen trees, thick regrowth, nasty weeds (read spikey!) and loose broken ground which will hinder progress.

As others have mentioned some kind person has put some pink tape in key places to help you keep the best way through. There is also an orange triangle at the turn off. If you are going to hole in the wall from Sylvesters Lookout you turn right here. The aim is still the same as past - tend to the highest ground back from the cliff line and try to thread the largest trees (some of which are now burnt out logs) together as you descend. There is a lot of blackberry and thistle which is colonising the disturbed areas and I fear in a few months it may form impenetrable mires of thorns. I've posted some way points to help keep the trail open against the weeds

The Laidley Falls bush camp is still quite burnt out so take something to keep gear out of the charcoal if planning to camp. Those wishing to traverse the razor back to Mt Castle are advised to start early - I passed two groups who turned back due to running out of time trying to navigate through the undergrowth.

If continuing on to Mt Castle the best option unless you have a rope and climbing skils is to continue to descend the ridge under the campground staying EAST of the falls. Then you can cut back along the cliff line to where the old hole in the wall was before descending part way down the slope to contour along up the Mt Castle ascent. Staying too high on the ridge will lead to some precarious slopes.

Overall this is a great walk and one of my absolute favs on the range

Quannah on 19 Jul, 2020

A lot of this walk has been burnt during the bushfires at the end of last year. There is a distinct footpad in parts, but it’s easy to get off track due to fallen trees etc. Some bush bashing is required and you’ll want long sleeves, there are a few spiky raspberries/nettles around.

A kind soul has left some pink markers on trees which are helpful and around for most of the length of the track up until some point near Laidley Creek Falls.

There are two ways you can tackle the end of this track: one is along the exposed razorback ridge and the other is by going across the base of the falls. We did both.

We couldn’t see any after markers after we got near the top of Laidley Creek Falls. We followed the footpad around over the top of the falls, down the slope and under the falls (slippery, take care) and along the base of the cliff to get to the Hole in the Wall. Much safer than the razorback.

The razorback requires following the ridge line toward Mt Castle instead of turning towards the top of the falls. This way is pretty dodgy if you don’t have climbing (not scrambling) experience. Ropes would be a good idea.

I’d recommend following along on a map/on Wikilock, but just keep in mind some of the landscape has changed so the older tracks are slightly out.

We tried to follow the track from hole in the wall to Mt Castle. We couldn’t see a clear one and we turned back. You’d really need to go a lot lower into the valley below the cliff, unsure how long/how far you’d need to go to get through there.

mjorn_ on 18 Jul, 2020

Hiked from Popular Camp Flat car park to Sylvester's Lookout (approx 5kms), then on to Laidley Creek Falls remote bush camp. Stayed the night, bit chily but otherwise good weather. Attenpted to reach the site formerly know as Hole-in-the-wall but couldn't find a safe track down. From what l've read there is a path heading west from the camp site that must eventually make its way down and east. Wandered a few times from the track, but it's mostly visible. Absolutely beautiful scenery and well worth the hike. Recommend map and compass, they came in handy.

Alexandria Volling on 12 Aug, 2019

The hole on the wall is not there anymore. The rocks at the top had fallen.

c on 17 May, 2015

A nice easy walk

DrummerJeff on 30 Dec, 2013

Chilly extremely windy morning - 4 degrees when we arrived at Sylvester's Lookout at 9:15am. Walked on from the Hole-in-the-Wall to Castle Hill (howling gale along the ridge) and then down a quad killing spur to the valley below and the Rosewood-Aratula Road. 4 1/2 hours in all.

Simon Bowler on 10 Sep, 2011

Great walk, spent some time trying to find the hole and decided it was below us some where and looked for a route through the over growth to get there, followed the track down then up along the ridge line out, and there she was blowing like mad on one side and still and hot on our side of the hole...had lunch with a couple of campers who had also made it to the hole, then made the return walk back out, made a wrong turn in the rainforest but back tracked and made our way back to the road and car where we removed many ticks, during this walk particularly in the shrubs going down towards the hole I had to remove many ticks from my back and stomach, don't think I will do this walk during this time of year again, mid winter sounds better then ticks to me

Walkinghawk on 4 Sep, 2011

Yes is a good walk but you need to be confident of your off track skills.

Laurence Hallam on 24 Jun, 2010

The walk from the L/O past hole in the wall arch, over the boars head and along the riazorback to the top of Mt Castle is one of the best day walks in SE Qld.

Ray Wilkinson on 10 May, 2010

This track from Sylvesters Lookout is virtually overgrown. Only for the experienced off track walker. Be prepared some of the rocky areas are extremely slipperly when wet or in the mornings due to dew. I would recommend taking your time.

Boris Zoubakin on 27 Feb, 2010

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