Mountains of Sydney - Island
The Island is a steep triangle of sandstone towering over the junction of the Colo River and the Wollangambe River. This is a very challenging walk requiring a high level of fitness and off track navigational skills. Start as early as possible and be prepared to return in the dark. It took me 12 hours, using a mountain bike for the Drip Rock Trail section.
From the Colo River bridge, drive north along Putty Road for 21km. Drip Rock Trail is on the left side of the road. There is a small clearing where you can park.
Directions to the summit
1. Follow Drip Rock Trail west for 12km. A mountain bike is recommended and will save an hour or two of fire trail walking. It is also possible to 4WD this section if the gate is unlocked. Check with National Parks before departing.
2. There is a high point toward the end of Drip Rock Trail as it turns north. Leave the trail and follow the ridge west for 2km. The ridge is flat but the vegetation can be thick.
3. There is a rocky hill with a good view of the Island from the west end. From here, descend to the North-West.
4. There are two cliff lines to be negotiated. From the lookout at the centre of the spur, head around 100m east along the cliffline to a narrow ramp through the first cliffline. The second pass is another 50m east of the first pass. Neither pass should involve any real danger. If in doubt, keep heading east. From the bottom of the cliffs, follow the creek downstream to the west.
5. At the creek junction, head west, straight uphill toward the saddle. There is a lush green patch of weeds. They look inviting but are actually full of spiky thorns and nettles.
6. At the saddle, turn left and start up the ridge toward the summit.
7. You reach a section of steep rocky cliffs. Head around the right hand (NW) side and follow the base of the cliffs for around 75m. You can then pick a way up by zagging back toward the centre of the ridge. After this there are no more tricky climbs.
8. There are several lookouts with great views on the way up to the summit. The summit itself has great views.