Smugglers Ridge to Marramarra Ridge walking track

This hilly valley loop walk offers it all, views, water, history and a challenge.

Smugglers Ridge to Marramarra Ridge walking track

This day walk can be a loop or either track can be a return walk. I decided to walk the loop.

First up drive to the end of the Smugglers Ridge Track, Fiddletown. Drive as far as you're willing to drive in your car. It's a loop so you won't be walking any extra distance. I parked in a 4WD play area of sorts. You will see a gate in this area, follow that track.

Once walking you will find yourself on a deceptively easy flat track. More on that later. Follow this track for about 5km along the Marramarra Ridge. Along the way, you will see many wildflowers and deformed trees from bushfires.

While walking along, keep an eye out for the Red Bloodwood Mallees (Corymbia gummifera). They are known for their blood-red sap. You can also spot the scars on these trees from pocket knives. Because there is a low level of eucalyptus oil in the sap, it can be used as an antiseptic. In powder form or with water as a creme.

There will be a few rock formations along this track and a few lookouts along the way on your left (North West). Eventually, the track will tighten to a walking track.

The trail from here is quite nice with many large rock formations and cliff top lookouts. The trail also becomes quite rocky so be sure to take your time when maneuvering over the rocks.

Continue following the ridge down, taking your time as it gradually becomes steeper. You will eventually reach the last ridge top. This has a large rocky outcrop with a nice view of the river below.

Once you're done head down the last steep hill to the right of the outcrop. This part of the trail is steep and slippery so take care. The ridge gradient is about -25%, so yeah, steep.

From the last ridge top (130m) it's about 700m down to Marramarra Creek. You will be greeted by ferns and a sudden change in the environment at sea level. Turn left at the end of the trail and walk to the campsite. There is a pit toilet here and access to the creek. Have a swim if it's hot. This is also a handy spot for lunch.

After lunch, follow the trail along and over the creek. You will see a well-graded road up a hill. This is the Marramarra Ridge trail.

If you have time, continue along the creek trail and visit the historic orange orchards (fruits in late winter) and the Orchard campsite that sits on the creek. Otherwise, follow the Marramarra Ridge trail up.

Exiting the valley is a steep climb. The road is graded and easy to walk on. You will ascend to 226m over 3.5km to the top of the ridge. There will be a flat sandstone area to your right. A perfect spot for a breather. After it flattens out you will reach the gate for the road. Follow the dirt road 5km back to your car to complete the loop.

Where: Marramarra National Park. Loop starts anywhere along Smugglers Ridge Track, Fiddletown
Distance: 20km
Grade: Grade 4
Map: COWAN 9130-4N