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Russells Needle

  • -34.297393, 150.428877 (map)

Hiking, off-track exploring and scrambling to summit Russells Needle in Nattai National Park.

This adventure will suit very fit people who have been walking with their pack in preparation. You need good equipment and previous experience to undertake a 2 day hike in this remote and challenging terrain. Consider the walk HARD and understand that it involves steep ascents and descents, scrambling and climbing, off-track navigation, wading in creeks and rivers and pressing through thick scrub.

You’ll need a good head for heights to scramble up Russells Needle. It is possible that we’ll encounter lawyer vine, stinging nettle and leeches as we make our way along the Nattai River. Allow for a total distance of about 30 kilometers as we spend 2 days and 1 night, with plans to camp Saturday at Emmetts Flat and hike out Sunday along Starlights Trail. We carry all supplies in our packs.

We’ll get an early start, meeting at the NPWS Wattle Ridge carpark near Hill Top ready to leave on foot at 8:00am sharp. There are no toilets, shops or services at the carpark which is at the end of a well maintained dirt road. See this map for travel directions by car to the meeting location:

To participate, send an email to Rick ( Expect to have a discussion prior to joining the hike, particularly if you have not previously been on trips with Hike Out. Putting your name on a list on social media does NOT confirm attendance! Event numbers limited to 8 people.

See the links below for further information.

• No camping or park use fees

• Follow the instructions to reserve your spot. Email only.
• Be at the NPWS car park at Wattle Ridge ready to depart on foot at 8:00am.
• Let someone know your plans and when you expect to be back.
• Have all supplies and equipment in your backpack, including;
 - Warm and waterproof clothing
 - Tent, sleeping mat and good sleeping bag
 - Food for 2 days/1 night, cooking gear, utensils and fuel
 - Drinking water and water filtration/treatment equipment
 - Supplies for making hot drinks
 - Snacks
 - Hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and a variety of clothing
 - Map, compass, GPS, PLB, first aid, camera, and all the equipment and supplies that you usually take on a remote hike of this nature.

Saturday: Emmetts Flat - Nattai River at the end of Starlights Trail.

It is up to each person to be fully prepared, fit and on time for the adventure. We explore as a group of friends each accepting the personal risks involved with this type of activity. We understand that there is no insurance cover provided.

1. Russells Needle Trip Report:

2. NPWS Nattai National Park:

3. Starlights Trail:

This event is planned for members of Hike Out, the friendly, diverse and inclusive community of outdoor enthusiasts where everyone is always welcome. Find out more at

Event image - Russells Needle by Tim Vollmer

Earlier Event: 2 August
Ku-ring-gai Day Walk
Later Event: 30 August
Royal National Park Cruise