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Burning Mountain, the common name for Mount Wingen, is a hill near Wingen, New South Wales, Australia, approximately 224 km (139 mi) north of Sydney just off the New England Highway.[2] It takes its name from a smouldering coal seam running underground through the sandstone. Burning Mountain is contained within the Burning Mountain Nature Reserve, which is administered by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).[3][4]

Burning Mountain
Mount Wingen
Burning Mountain Summit.jpg
View of the summit
Highest point
Elevation 520 m (1,710 ft) [1]
Prominence 120 m (390 ft) [1]
Coordinates 31°51′54″S 150°54′04″E / 31.86500°S 150.90111°E / -31.86500; 150.90111Coordinates: 31°51′54″S 150°54′04″E / 31.86500°S 150.90111°E / -31.86500; 150.90111[2]
Burning Mountain is located in New South Wales
Burning Mountain
Burning Mountain
Burning Mountain is located in Australia
Burning Mountain
Burning Mountain
Topo map Murrurundi 9034 (1:100000)
Murrurundi 90324N (1:25000)
Easiest route walking track

A trail with information panels runs from the parking lots to the site where smoke emanates from the ground.

Coal seam fireEdit

The underground fire is estimated to be at a depth of around 30 m (100 ft).[5] It is estimated that the fire has burned for approximately 6,000 years and is the oldest known coal fire.[6]

European explorers and settlers to the area believed the smoke, coming from the ground, was volcanic in origin.[5] It was not until 1829 that geologist Reverend C.P.N. Wilton identified it as a coal seam fire.[5]

The fire is generally moving in a southerly direction at a rate of about 1 m (3 ft) per year. The combustion has caused soil discolouration and an uneven ground surface in the area.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Topographic map Murrurundi 90324N
  2. ^ a b "Burning Mountain". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 30 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Burning Mountain Nature Reserve". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 30 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Burning Mountain Nature Reserve". Department of Environment, Climate Change & Water. Retrieved 30 January 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d Stone, Derrick (2012). Walks, Tracks and Trails of New South Wales. Csiro Publishing. p. 115. ISBN 0643106928. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Krajick, Kevin (May 2005). "Fire in the hole". Smithsonian magazine. Smithsonian Institution: 54ff. Retrieved 24 October 2006.