There’s no marked trails along the D’Arcy Range… this off-track walk led by Yuri Boloton is called Dog Rock Loop because, well, you’ll find out very soon! We set off from the D’Arcy Range Trail, descending through tall forest and very light undergrowth.
We soon reach Dog Rock, named by Yuri for the resemblance of the end of the outcrop to the head of a dog.
Even without the dog-like appearance, it’s an impressively sculpted piece of sandstone!
A nearby angophora also a very gnarled appearance, where old branches have been shed.
The route then crosses a hanging swamp, dominated by tall grass and a little wet underfoot.
We soon reach a small creek, which drops over some wide ledges that form picturesque waterfalls. A wet six months means that just about every small and large creek is flowing, and there are many beautiful small waterholes and cascades.
An easy scramble down a small gully next to the creek brings us to a long shelter.
A soaring red gum has attached itself to the lip of the shelter; its trunk is spread both underneath the ceiling and along the front, as if it’s melted around the sandstone.
At the very back of the shelter is a small mesh of bright red roots, which must have penetrated the sandstone from above in search of water.
We climb up the opposite side of the shelter, to reach a series of wide, rock platforms.
From these platforms there are some nice views out over the Wollemi National Park, and a very symmetrical saucer-like rock formation.
As we complete the loop back to the D’Arcy Range Trail, we pass a few stacked stones. Perhaps it’s natural, but it may also be an Aboriginal stone arrangement – the large rocks seem to be placed quite deliberately on top of each other.
We’re soon back at the car – Dog Rock Loop is only a short loop walk, and one of a few we’re doing along the Darcy Range today.
Getting to Dog Rock Loop
This off-track bushwalk starts on a the D’Arcy Range Trail, a firetrail which follows most of the D’Arcy Range Trail. The D’Arcy Range Trail is accessed from Mt Tootie Road (which is off Bells Line of Road near Bilpin).