Starting from the Ferndene Gorge car park off Ironcliffe Road, Penguin, this walk takes you past the Brownings and Thorsbys tunnels. Enjoy a short walk through a beautiful rainforest alongside a gentle creek and discover two historic silver mining tunnels within Ferndene Gorge, one of the region's hidden gems. The walk starts by crossing a small bridge over McBride's Creek, then follows a path running parallel to the creek through tall eucalypts and tree ferns, passing Brownings Tunnel before reaching Thorsbys Tunnel. The tunnels aren't very deep and you can enter both of them, but a flashlight is recommended as the interior is dark. Bathrooms and sheltered picnic tables are available at the car park. Sections of the trail can be muddy and slippery, so be sure to wear appropriate footwear. Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
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.
Turn left onto South Road and drive for another 590 m
Turn right onto Sports Complex Avenue and drive for another 860 m
Turn sharp left onto Ironcliffe Road and drive for another 1.3 km
Keep right onto Ironcliffe Road and drive for another 2.8 km
Turn left and drive for another 20 m
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started From Ironcliffe Road (2.15 km north of The Rustic Hut Bush Retreat), head along the dirt/gravel track (Ferndene Track) as you pass by a "Ferndene Gorge State Reserve" sign. Follow the track into the forest and use the bridge to cross McBrides Creek. Stay on the said track as it aligns with the creek (to your right) to continue along Brownings and Thorsbys Tunnels Track.....
Directions & comments
Find the picnic table at the start.
Then pass the toilet (10 m on your right).
Then pass the shelter (on your right).
After another 30 m cross the bridge (about 6 m long)
After another 540 m (at the intersection of Brownings Tunnel & Ferndene Track) veer left, to head along Brownings Tunnel.
Then head through the tunnel (about 20 m long)
At the intersection of Ferndene Track & Brownings Tunnel veer left, to head along Ferndene Track.
After another 155 m (at the intersection of Thorsbys Tunnel Track & Ferndene Track) turn sharp left, to head along Thorsbys Tunnel Track.
After another 25 m head through the tunnel (about 15 m long)
Turn around here and retrace the main route for 830 m to get back to the start.
Know the Hills, grading & facilities
Brownings and Thorsbys Tunnels
45 min to 1 h
Quality of track
Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Gentle hills with occasional steps (2/6)
Clearly signposted (2/6)
Generally useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats) (2/6)
No experience required (2/6)
Weather generally has little impact on safety (2/6)