Emerald Pool Circuit from Ironbark Rd
Darkinjung & Guringai Country

3 h 45 min to 4 h 15 min

10.6 km
circuit

↑ 310 m
↓ -311 m

Hard track
A great circuit walk in Popran National Park, to the beautiful Emerald Pool. This walk passes through a variety of vegetation and offers some great views along the way. Emerald Pool is a really beautiful spot and it is well worth spending some time exploring around the creek. The optional side trips along the 248 trail and to Mt Olive, add to the great views on the walk. If your car has reasonable ground clearance, you could drive to the Ironbark picnic area and start the walk from there. Let us begin by acknowledging the Darkinjung & Guringai people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
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Gate at the Popran Pipeline Track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Along Ironbark Rd. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Facilities at Ironbark picnic area. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
The Ironbark picnic area. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Horse access to Popran National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Grasstree. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Walking in Popran National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
A curve in the trail. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Through the trees. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Donovans Forest. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Casuarinas in Donovans Forest. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Beware. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Greenery along the track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Beautiful wildflowers. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Burnt but still standing. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Swampy ground along the Hominy creek trail. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Signpost on the Hominy creek trail. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Along the trail. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Stepping up. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Interesting tree trunks. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Hominy creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Emerald Pool from above the cascades. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Cascades leading into the Emerald Pool. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Beautiful colour of Emerald Pool. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Emerald Pool. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Rock texture near Emerald Pool. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Emerald Pool. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Rock outcrop by the track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Trail near Hominy creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Around the trees. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Walking through Popran. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Nice sunset over Popran National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
The turnoff for Mt Olive. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Downloads GPX PDF

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start At the intersection of Ironbark Road & Pipeline Trail (-33.3715915,151.1953003)
Mode Car (There is free parking available.)
DirectionsFrom Pacific Motorway, M1
  • Turn on to Peats Ridge Road Offramp then drive for 8.6 km
  • Keep left onto Wisemans Ferry Road Exit and drive for another 235 m
  • Keep right onto Wisemans Ferry Road Exit and drive for another 35 m
  • Turn right onto Wisemans Ferry Road and drive for another 3 km
  • Turn right onto George Downes Drive, 33 and drive for another 40 m
  • Turn left onto Wisemans Ferry Road and drive for another 8.2 km
  • Turn left onto Ironbark Road and drive for another 6.9 km
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
Starting from the car park at the end of the 'Pipeline Trail', the walk follows the gravel Ironbark Rd south, initially keeping the 'Pipeline Trail' gate to your left (not following the 'Pipeline Trail'). The gravel road passes between some houses with prominent 'private property' signs so stick to the road along here. The walk eventually comes to the car park and picnic area at the end of the road. Vehicles with reasonable ground clearance could be driven along this section, to the car park at the end of the road.....
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Ironbark Road & Pipeline Trail Start heading along Ironbark Road (a vehicle track).
After 970 m pass the car park (7 m on your left).
After another 720 m continue straight, to head along Ironbark Road.
Then pass the toilet (10 m on your left).
After another 7 m pass a seat (5 m on your left).
Then head through/around the gate.
Then find the "Ironbark Rd Picnic area" (6 m on your left).
Ironbark Rd Picnic area
Ironbark Rd Picnic area

This picnic area is located at the end of Ironbark Rd, on the edge of Popran National Park. While this is not a special spot for a picnic, there are good facilities if you are doing a walk in the area. There is a picnic table, pit toilet (with a small rainwater tank for handwashing), information signs and track arrows at this point. Some of the tracks starting from this point are also horse trails. A section of Ironbark Rd may not be suitable for 2WD vehicles so you may have to walk the last section of road.
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This picnic area is located at the end of Ironbark Rd, on the edge of Popran National Park. While this is not a special spot for a picnic, there are good facilities if you are doing a walk in the area. There is a picnic table, pit toilet (with a small rainwater tank for handwashing), information signs and track arrows at this point. Some of the tracks starting from this point are also horse trails. A section of Ironbark Rd may not be suitable for 2WD vehicles so you may have to walk the last section of road.

Then pass the sign (10 m on your left).
After another 3 m continue straight, to head along Mount Olive Trail.
After another 305 m (at the intersection of 248 Trail & Mount Olive Trail) turn right, to head along 248 Trail.
After another 350 m (at the intersection of Mailman Walking Track (western) & 248 Trail) continue straight, to head along 248 Trail.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to End of 248 Trail. To start this optional side trip veer right here. On returning from this side trip error >360 when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 1.2 km (at the intersection of 248 Trail & Hominy Creek Trail) continue straight, to head along Hominy Creek Trail.
After another 1.3 km cross the bridge (about 8 m long)
After another 390 m continue straight, to head along Hominy Creek Track.
After another 15 m cross the ford.
After another 910 m (at the intersection of Mount Olive Trail & Hominy Creek Trail) continue straight, to head along Mount Olive Trail.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Top of Mt Olive. To start this optional side trip turn right here. On returning from this side trip veer right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 2.4 km continue straight, to head along Mount Olive Trail.
After another 25 m (at the intersection of Mount Olive Trail & 248 Trail) turn right, to head along Mount Olive Trail.
After another 305 m continue straight, to head along Mount Olive Trail.
After another 10 m continue straight, to head along Ironbark Road.
After another 1.7 km come to the end.

An optional side trip to End of 248 Trail.
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of 248 Trail & Hominy Creek Trail Start heading along 248 Trail (a walking track).
After another 610 m come to the end.
"End of 248 Trail lookout".
End of 248 Trail lookout
End of 248 Trail lookout

This informal lookout is located at the end of the 248 trail in Popran National Park. The lookout offers some nice views into the surrounding valleys. The rocky outcrops in the area have some nice shapes and textures. Be careful to avoid damaging some faint Aboriginal carvings on these rocks.
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This informal lookout is located at the end of the 248 trail in Popran National Park. The lookout offers some nice views into the surrounding valleys. The rocky outcrops in the area have some nice shapes and textures. Be careful to avoid damaging some faint Aboriginal carvings on these rocks.

Turn around and retrace your steps back the 610 m to the main route.

An optional side trip to Top of Mt Olive.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 120 m turn left.
After another 60 m come to a viewpoint.
Turn around.
Then pass the "Mount Olive" (15 m on your left).
"Mt Olive".
Mt Olive
Mt Olive

Mt Olive is a low rising hill in Popran National Park. The views from the top, across the surrounding national park, in all directions, are very nice. The nice cliffs around the base of Mt Olive also add to the scenery. There are the remnants of a couple of old trig points at the top.
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Mt Olive is a low rising hill in Popran National Park. The views from the top, across the surrounding national park, in all directions, are very nice. The nice cliffs around the base of Mt Olive also add to the scenery. There are the remnants of a couple of old trig points at the top.

The end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 180 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Emerald Pool Circuit from Ironbark Rd


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 10.6 km
Time 3 h 45 min to 4 h 15 min
Quality of track Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)

Some facilities on route
Toilet: There is one 1.7 km from the start.

Seat: There is one 1.7 km from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
1.7 km[toilet]
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