Location: Peak Range National Park
Article: Written by Michael Pugh; Imagery by Michael Pugh
Mount Pollux is the southernmost of the spectacular volcanic peaks that make up the Gemini Mountains, located 44 kilometres north east of Clermont along the Peak Downs Highway. Both of the Gemini Mountains are rounded plugs of rhyolite and visible from as far away as the town of Clermont.
At 678 metres above sea level, the summit of Mount Pollux can be attained numerous ways, the less technical however is from the southern end.
There is no marked trail to the summit, however there are numerous ways to summit this volcanic formation.
After driving along the fire break to within a few hundred metres of the mountain, you can scramble up the southern slope and then carefully navigate up some steep cliff formations, before arriving at the southern highest point of the mountain. From there, you can easily navigate to the actual summit on the northern side of the mountain, which is not marked.
Alternatively you can hike to the northern side of the peak, then scramble up to the summit. Again, care must be taken as this route also involves some steep sections.
There are some impressive cave formations that can be explored around the mountain, the most impressive being a massive formation on the eastern side, however take care close to the edge on the eastern side of the mountain. You will notice holes among the rock under your feet and you are actually walking above hollow cave formations below.
I also noticed a geo-cache in a cave that is visible near the southern highest point of the mountain, however the cache can only be accessed safely by an abseil.
While hiking at summit level of Mount Pollux, keep an eye out for the bird life that will appear and keep you company on your adventure. The surrounding bushland and the mountain itself is home to thousands of Golden Orb Spiders (Nephila). While capturing drone imagery from the summit, I noticed a large group of feral pigs (Sus scrofa) on the eastern side of the mountain, heading for the cultivation to the north of the national park.
Mount Pollux is the perfect spot for a sunset or sunrise, with stunning views of the sister Gemini Mountain, Mount Castor, to the north and Mount Commissioner (490m), Mount Saddleback (550m), Fletchers Awl (530m) and Mount Donald (770m) to the south east. Wolfang Peak (572m) is also a visible highlight to the south west.
This hike is best done in winter as temperatures during summer can exceed 40 degrees at the exposed summit and there is little shade available given the nature of the terrain.
How to get there
Access is via vehicle track from the Peak Downs Highway, 44 kilometres north east of Clermont. (-22.509, 147.866)