Mount Nebo (New South Wales)
Mount Nebo is a tall hill, part of the Illawarra escarpment foothills on the edge of the suburban fringe of the city of Wollongong, New South Wales. Its summit (252 metres above sea level), is reached by a steep road (O'Brien's Road) from the suburb of Figtree. O'Brien's Road is unusual in that it was built as a private toll road in the early 19th century to connect Sydney and the Illawarra. O'Briens Road began at the locally famous fig tree that gave the name to Figtree. Views from the top look over Wollongong, Lake Illawarra and the local mountains. Nebo was the aboriginal name for the hill, and the name has been kept as in the case of Woonona Mountain and Mount Warrigal hill at Lake Illawarra.
In 1999 the council stopped vehicles from continuing from the summit due to illegal dumping, and the road has become a track to O'Brien's Gap and Mount Brisbane, (469 metres above sea level). However litter remains a problem.
The hill provides excellent views of Mount Kembla and Mount Keira and is popular for photograph taking. It is connected to the Illawarra escarpment by Nebo Ridge. From the end of the trafficable part of O'Briens Road a short trail climbs to the summit area where, near television re-transmission towers and a water tank, one has almost 360 degree views, excluding that which the summit blocks. from here the Illawarra Coastal Plain is obvious, with the hills of Mount Mangerton, Mount Saint Thomas and Cobblers Hill appearing amidst residential areas. To the southeast lies Saddleback Mountain, Noorinan Mountain and Barren Grounds Nature Reserve, Knights Hill, the southern escarpment and, most obviously, Mount Kembla and Kembla West.
The popular walking and bridle track goes from near the summit (a vegetated area east of the towers), down along Nebo Ridge, which rises to its own summit giving breathtaking views of Mount Keira, Mount Brisbane and the colliery below. Many species of birds, snakes and plants are found here, as well as the problematic imported deer and Lantana. The track remains fairly consistent except for one section where it climbs very steeply up a hundred metre hill before going along the side of Pupiana, an extension of Mount Brisbane. The track then makes its way past a waterfall, unused water pipes and a gate to Harry Graham Drive, a popular tourist route along the escarpment. From here it is a short walk to the Motocross Track and the Stafford's Farm Track.
The east and south sides of the hill have been encroached by residential development. The southwest slopes are taken up by agriculture and in the valley to the southwest is the Mount Nebo Colliery in the Kemira valley, the name comes from Mount Kembla and Mount Keira, two prominent local mountains. The track is becoming a popular walking and jogging track as well as a birdwatching site, due to the open feeling and remoteness from settlement. The old road is crumbled in several sections, but this does not stop walkers.
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (September 2007)|