TIME: 8 hours.
DISTANCE: 13 km.
TERRAIN: Undulating path with steep slopes and some scrambles.
Take the Sugar Loaf Gap. Bear left towards Sugar Loaf, but before the final ascent cross the fence back into Cavern property. Now pick up a game track that contours across the entire frontage below Cold Ridge, and on the east slopes. Follow this track, climbing above the wooded area behind Tiny’s Peak as early as possible (roughly below Sugar Loaf). This path leads right onto The Diamond. >From here carefully ease past the small knoll on the left side, always bearing south: not towards Surprise Ridge. Cross a small marsh and look for the next valley that goes down from the high plateau slightly to the left. A watershed goes down the valley, and a waterfall will be found by walking down to just above the rock face. This might be the last watering spot.
Climb out of the valley towards the south-west, reaching a saddle upon which there is a marsh. Go past the marsh, and you should now be looking across to Cold Hill, Castle Rocks and Plowman’s Kop. A large outcrop of white sloping rocks will be visible. Stand on these and try shouting across to Castle Rocks and Cold Hill; a magnificent series of echoes will answer. This is Echo Corner.
From this point go back to the central part of The Diamond, but still moving south. Now one encounters enormous, white, flat rocks with orange “lines” apparently set or drawn into them. These are parallel and all of 70 m long. Go past these lines, keeping south-west, and look for a cairn or beacon on the lower level. There was also a beacon built on the upper level that was prone to storm damage. Both these beacons indicate the route to take for the gap in the rock face. This is a simple scramble down to the contour path below on the National Park side. Turn left here, following the contour around to Surprise Ridge and the hotel.