Despite the name, Frederick's Peak also refers to a number of rocky pinnacles in the area and is commonly referred to as 'Freds Peaks' or just plain 'Freds' to the regular rock climbers. The walk in can be a bit of a mission if you don't have at least a four wheel-drive or a ute with high clearance, but it is worth it. Although there isn't any creeks or waterholes, the environment, and of course the hike, is spectacular.
Fredericks Peak is located just outside of Townsville and offers a superb view of the entire city. Unlike Mt Stuart, the area offers views from Townsville Dam to the coast at Northern Beaches. Four prominent pinnacles are situated on the side of Hervey's Range; which includes the North and South Sentinels, Frederick Peak and, off in the distance, the South Pinnacle. The surrounding arid environment is home to a large variety of wildlife.
Doing an overnighter
Camping is possible, although there are no amenities available obviously. There is a large area situated on the ridgeline between the North and South Sentinels to set up camp; which provides a great view of Townsville and a cool breeze. There is also a very tiny dirt patch on top of Frederick Peak for two people to set up a small tent.
Campsite between the North and South Sentinels:
Campsite at the top of Fredericks Peak:
It's a great place to watch the Townsville Show Day fireworks and to take in the city lights.
How to get there
Drive out towards Rupertswood on Hervey Range Road and turn left down Granite Vale Road; it's the only road on the left just before Rupertswood. Once you reach the large 1000 kva power lines, turn left and follow the dirt track all the way to the locked gate & fence line. If you have a low clearance vehicle, you can leave the car here otherwise continue right up the 4WD track to the base of the first Sentinel.
The walk-in is uphill, loose in sections, overgrown and difficult to follow at night; Over the last years being frequented by rock climbers, there is now a noticeable, rough path trampled up to the first campsite and the two pinnacles.
The rock features in this area are very interesting and is probably a geologist's dream. My highlights would have to be the exceptional views from the peaks, the fishbowl, the archway and climbing up through the chasm.
The weather at Frederick Peak is similar to the rest of Townsville. There isn't any water up there for almost all of the year but if you're very lucky, there may be a little stream; after some long and heavy rain, there will be a trickle down a small creek bed between the South Sentinel and Fredericks Peak. The wet season lies between December to March. Summer can be extremely hot, so carry plenty of water and I would recommend at least 2 litres of water per person per day in Winter.
There are a few hazardous creatures you may encounter on this adventure. These include Rainforest Scorpion, Yellow Paper Wasp, Death Adder, and Queensland Tarantula. Also there's the Gimpie Gimpie (Stinging Tree) plant. But don't let this deter you, it is Australia after all. Remember to take a First Aid Kit (with compression bandages for snake bites). Also consider a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) or an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon).
Don't throw rocks off the cliffs as rock climbers may be below.
The rock climbing here is some of the best in Townsville! The rock is Intrusive Rhyolite and is well featured. The scenery can be breathtaking. Due to its remoteness, and perhaps the relatively small climbing community in Townsville, it took quite some time before Frederick Peak really took off. If you're an inexperienced climber, try the more user-friendly crags such as Mt Stuart or some bouldering at Castle Hill. If you are a avid and experienced climber, read the Frederick's Peak Climbing Guide.
As usual, a code of conduct must be followed to maintain access to the area. You don't want there to be a reason why we are locked out of more places around Townsville (Forestry Road, Ollera Creek, Dalberg). Local delinquents have previously dumped garbage alongside the dirt access road. If you witness any illegal dumping report them to the Townsville Council on 1300 878 001. Taking note of the vehicle's registration number, make, model, time, date and location is required to help eradicate these pests.
I organise adventures every weekend around Townsville. If you are fit and capable, join us on these free expeditions by visiting Townsville Advenutres.
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