Spectacular lookouts, lush rainforests, native and exotic flora and forests, gushing waterfalls, quiet river banks, wildlife and man-made attractions, the Southern Highlands is a nature lover's timeless playground ready to be explored.
Certainly a "best kept secret" of the Robertson area.
Barren Grounds Nature Reserve, in October, is a mass of flowering heath, including Banksias, hakea, epacris, melaleuca, isopogon and baeckea. Easy tableland walks lead through spectacular wildflowers to lookouts with sweeping coastal views.
The reserve is open to visitors every day. Entry is free.
The heathland plateau of Barren Grounds is loved by both walkers and birdwatchers - particularly in spring, when it is a mass of wildflowers. A range of walks offer magnificent views of the Illawarra coastline and surrounding countryside.
The reserve is between Robertson and Kiama, on the Jamberoo Pass Road. It's 16km south-east of Robertson and 8km east of the Carrington Falls turn-off.
There are a number of walking tracks in the reserve, ranging from an easy 1.5km to a more demanding 20km.
The Illawarra Lookout offers spectacular views of the coastline.
1.5 km, 45 minutes, easy walking track
The walk commences at the Hindmarsh Lookout carpark, with a magnificent view of Kangaroo Valley. Follow the signs around the escarpment to several lookouts, the last of which provides views of the waterfall.
Typical sandstone flora is a special feature of this walk, including flowers such as honey flower, banksia, wattle and tea-tree.
Plant communities on this walk: Eucalypt forests, Woodlands, Rainforests, Heathlands.
Other features: Lookouts, Waterfalls and Wildflowers.
Box Vale Walking Track follows the formation of an historic railway line and passes through cuttings, along embankments and through a tunnel 84 metres is length.
There are picnic tables located at the beginning of the track carpark.
The trackhead is located about 250 metres off the Hume Highway. The turn off is located 3.7 km west of Mittagong and 0.8 km east of the Wombeyan Caves Road.
Including Minnamurra Rainforest, Carrington Falls & Gerringong Creek.
The national park covers most of a sandstone plateau isolated by steep cliffs of the Kangaroo Valley and coastal escarpment.
Covering an area of 5 700ha, the park is located 110km south of Sydney, 25km south-east of Mittagong, on the eastern edge of the Southern Highlands Escarpment.
Bundanoon's spectacular scenery! Walk, ride and camp.
PARKING FEE $8.00 PER VEHICLE
Since settlement Bundanoon has had various sources for its economic lifeblood: coal, gold, timber, farms, orchards, the railway and always and importantly, visitors to the national park.
Many of the walking tracks in the park were originally made and maintained by community members and the Trust caring for and preserving the "Bundanoon Gullies"
CAMPING SITES ARE AVAILABLE
CONTACT FITZROY FALLS INFORMATION CENTRE FOR ALL BOOKINGS 02 4887 7270
Easy to moderate rides around this cyclist village on the edge of the stunning National Park and State Forests.
The routes shown here a just a sample of the wealth of cycling opportunities available close to Bundanoon. Link these routes to make your own!
PLEASE NOTE CLOSURES IN PLACE FOR FALLS AREA
This striking waterfall is one of Budderoo's most popular attractions, wheelchair-accessible, and many walking tracks.
Up on the plateau above the rainforest, the park offers excellent walking tracks with views across sandstone heaths and woodlands and towards the Illawarra coast. The lookouts and picnic areas at Carrington Falls, where the Kangaroo River plunges over the escarpment, are well worth a visit.
Carrington Falls where the Kangaroo River tumbles off the sandstone escarpment. This striking waterfall is one of Budderoo's most popular attractions, and you can view it from three lookouts, one of which is wheelchair-accessible.
You'll find picnic facilities and toilets at Thomas' Place and Nellies Glen. Thomas' Place also offers excellent views of Carrington Falls from three nearby lookouts.
Low Cost camping area located close to Nellies Glen can be booked at the National Parks office at Fitzroy Falls.
The Cave Creek walking track is one of a network of tracks being established by the Department of Lands throughout NSW.
The track is 14km north of Mittagong. The entrance to the track (or track head) is off Wilson Drive, Hill Top.
A carpack and picnic area have been provided at the track head. This area contains BBQs, picnic tables and toilets. Water is NOT available at the track head.
The track provides a leisurely walk of 2.6 km and takes about 1.5 hrs to complete the return journey. There are a number of short steep sections, steps and a ladder have been constructed to assist walkers.
2 Electric BBQ's
Cecil Hoskins is a birdwatcher's paradise. You can see over 90 bird species in this tranquil wetland, of which about a third are waterfowl.
There's a walkway that follows the high bank along the north-west boundary of the reserve, from which you'll have excellent views of the wetland. A second loop walkway across the floodplain beside the river will show you another aspect of the reserve's natural environment.
Picnics and barbecues.
You will find a picnic area with tables and barbecues as you enter the reserve. There are also toilets and a shelter containing information.
Stunning waterfalls, bushwalks, picnic areas, cafe and Visitor Centre. Fitzroy Falls has it all.
Parking Fee $4.00 per vehicle.
Located in the northern section of Morton National Park, the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre is a vibrant National Parks and Wildlife Service Centre designed on Eco-Tourism principles, providing information on walks, camping, educational tours, wildlife displays and much more. This award-winning visitor centre is the starting point for parks on the South Coast and in the Southern Highlands.
Timber boardwalks, spectacular lookouts over sandstone escarpment with waterfalls cascading into rainforest valleys below are the special features of this centre. There are 15 lookouts to view the falls, 6km of constructed walking tracks with interpretive signs and environmental and cultural heritage displays.
You'll find a shop with souvenirs, maps, postcards, brochures and local craft. An education room has interactive displays for children and an exhibition on plants and animals of the region.
NPWS Visitor Centre Picnic Area
Located a short walking distance from the NPWS Visitor Information Centre.
2 electric BBQ facilities.
10 Picnic Huts with tables and benches
The Falls Caf has an excellent menu all served inside or outside on the deck in a natural environment. There's disabled access, picnic and barbecue areas and walks ranging from 10 minutes to 3 hours.Disable facilities and disable access.
Please visit the Southern Highlands Welcome Centre for your free copy of the walking trails.
Gibbergunyah Reserve is one of contrasts with secluded, shady walking trails and sunny, rocky outcrops to picnic on - a calm respite from the hurly burly of town. At over 800 metres Ninety Acre Hill Lookout has sweeping views of the distant Blue Mountains from its lichen clad boulders. Wombats and echidnas make their lairs in the crevices of the rocks below. There is a view of Mount Gibraltar from the Gib Lookout.
The bushland ranges from open woodland on the drier edges to tall moist fern-carpeted forest in the deeper gullies and is typical of sandstone ridges in the area. A variety of brightly coloured flowers bloom according to the season and tall banksia await fire to open their spiky, rock-hard seed-pods.
The 200ha Reserve which is roughly 1.5km square links Mittagong and Bowral. It may be entered from either. From Mittagong the northern access is at the end of Howards Lane, Welby. Access from Bowral is via a walking track beside a fairway of the Gibraltar Bowral Country Club. Trail Maps are located at both entrances.
Located in the Bundanoon section of the Morton National Park. A great evening activity for the whole family!
One of the great evening activities for visitors is a trip down to glow worm glen.
With a bit of care you can ensure to see a great light show while minimising impact on these luminescent locals.
A good idea is to start the walk down to the glen at sunset and this way it will be dark by time you reach the glen.
CLICK HERE to view the fact sheet on the Glow Worms at Bundanoon
Head down to Lake Alexandra for a perfect family get together.
Stock up on your picnic hamper and head down to the Lake, well signposted as you take the road towards Berrima.
The park and lake area are perfect for families to enjoy a barbeque, picnic, feed ducks or just throw a ball around.
A cycle/walking track surrounding the beautiful lake is just the place to take off those trainer wheels for the first time!
Toilets including disabled
2 Electric BBQ's
Shelter Sheds - 4 Small, 1 Large
Liberty swing for the disabled - key required Concrete walk/cycleway around lake.
*Insider tip - Bring some bread along to feed the ducks!
Macquarie Pass National Park is part of the Illawarra escarpment south of Sydney. It contains a diverse range of habitats and wildlife including several rare and threatened plant and animal species.
The steep sandstone ridges and gullies are topped by cliffs, and the park supports heathland, woodland, tall open forest and significant rainforest areas. It is an excellent bushwalking and picnicking area, with spectacular scenery and waterfalls.
Walking tracks. The two kilometre return Cascades Walk starts at the carpark on the northern side of the Illawarra Highway at the foot of Macquarie Pass. It follows the creek for about one kilometre to the Cascades where the water falls 20 metres. It is a delightful easy walk on a fine day and features signs along the way providing information about the park.
For a longer walk, about six kilometres return, try the Clover Hill Road, an old logging trail leading to Rainbow Falls and three smaller falls upstream on the Macquarie Rivulet. This track, unlike the Cascades Walk, is overgrown in places and is only recommended for experienced bushwalkers equipped with a compass.
The Glenview Track leads off Glenview Road, a left-hand turn-off in the middle section of Macquarie Pass when descending. This track is open to walkers only and has several branches which give you the chance to explore other parts of the tall open forest. It crosses a creek that plunges over the Cascades, and you return the way you came.
Picnics and barbecues.
A picnic area is provided at the foot of Macquarie Pass on the northern side of the road. There are barbecues at the Cascades and Rivulet picnic areas, which are on opposite sides of the Illawarra highway.
The sheer cliffs and waterfalls of the escarpment provide spectacular scenery. There are panoramic views from a number of locations.
Management tracks in Macquarie Pass are suitable for bicycle riding.
Bushwalking, Picnic Areas, Lookouts and History.
Mount Gibraltar (864m) is a collapsed volcanic core composed of very hard rock called Mount Gibraltar Trachyte or micro-syenite. 150 million years ago it pushed through the Hawkesbury Sandstone to form a high mountain now largely eroded away by wind and water. Please contact the Southern Highlands Welcome Centre in Mittagong on 02 4871 2888 for maps.
The Gib Picnic Grounds at Bowral Lookout:
Bowral Viewing Platform.
Coming from Mittagong, follow the road towards Bowral. At McDonalds, turn left and follow the signs to Mt Gibraltar Lookouts. Oxley Drive will take you up the mountain, around to Mittagong Lookout, Jellore Lookout and Bowral Lookout, before continuing down the other side of the mountain towards Bowral.
Coming from Bowral travelling towards Mittagong on Mittagong Road, turn right at Oxley Drive at the Swimming Pool and follow up into the Reserve Area.
Located in South Street in the rural town of Robertson this Reserve protects 5 hectares of temperate rainforest. The Reserve is an important conservation area as it is one of the few remnants of the Yarrawa Brush which, prior to European settlement, covered 2 500 hectares around what is now Robertson township.
There is a 700 metre loop walk suitable for wheelchairs. Signs along the walk describe the different rainforest plants and wildlife of the Reserve.
There are some places in the wilderness where nature over delivers.
Gliding downstream on the Kangaroo River from Beehive Point to the mouth of Yarrunga Creek with the backdrop of the Morton National Park in Kangaroo Valley is one such place. Take a seat in one of our custom-built double-canoe rigs and immerse your senses in the sheer beauty of this magical waterway. Indulge your taste buds with wild native canapes and a local award-winning cold-climate wine and discover what is unapologetically WILDfest heaven.
Its a must do festival experience that explores the sunken forest and its eerily beautiful backdrop of a convict-built sandstone road, winding uphill and linking the rain forest with our colonial past. This is wilderness in its extreme and is home to the majestic azure kingfisher, wedge-tail eagle, diamond python, rock wallaby, white-breasted sea eagle, water dragon and more.
Travis Frenay our guide from Paddle & Portage Canoes has been a professional paddling instructor for nearly 15 years and has been the lead teacher of canoeing at Lithgow TAFE for the last 9 years on their award-winning Outdoor Recreation courses. He is an extremely talented instructor with unsurpassed local knowledge and to say he is a water enthusiast is an under statement. Travis has crafted an incredible and unique event for WILDfest Southern Highlands and its not one to be missed.
Numbers are strictly limited so book now!
Paddle the water ways in our custom-built canoes and take in the native fauna and flora while you sip on award-winning Highlands wines and savour native food canapés.
A must do festival experience that explores the sunken forest in Yarrunga Creek and its eerily beautiful backdrop of a convict-built sandstone road, winding uphill and linking the rainforest with our colonial past. This is wilderness in its extreme and is home to the majestic azure kingfisher, wedge-tail eagle, diamond python, rock wallaby, white-breasted sea eagle, water dragon and more.
Quantity: 3 sessions per day for 3 days - 27, 28 & 29 October, 20 guests per session
First we take you into the wild to Joadja Old Town for remote dining at its finest amongst the ruins of our mining past. There is of course a WILDfest twist as gentleman will be given top hats and tails whilst the ladies are offered gloves and tiaras as they enter our specially designed native bush wonderland. And under the stars on International Earth Day guests will enjoy a 7 course food adventure carefully curated by Damien Monley of Grand Bistro, Bowral, from the natural bounty of our land.
Damien Monley is Head Chef and owner-operator of Bowral's stylish Grand Bistro, has run the kitchen in Matt Moran's eponymous 2-hatted restaurant, London's internationally renowned Gastropub The White Horse on Parsons Green, the Brooklyn Hotel and has been owner-operator of two successful Sydney eateries, Madame Char Char at Surry Hills and Flat White Cafe, Woollahra.
Damien's a man passionate about nature, the provenance of the ingredients and produce he uses, his relationship with local suppliers, and a belief in the joy of eating honest, rustic food.
When he's not in the kitchen, he and his foodie wife and partner in business, Justine, are running around after their four young children. And his days now start a little differently to that of his boyhood when he followed his Mum, foraging for fresh ingredients to use in the kitchen of the family's restaurant in Wanaka, New Zealand. These days it starts with meditation, a calming way to focus his day and a practise that exemplifies his philosophy that connects nature and the earth to the idea that food is the perfect medium for bringing people together.
No remote formal dinner is complete without an acoustic live performance under the milky way, so get ready for that Leonard Cohen inspired moment woven in between courses.
Ticket price of $295 per person includes
All food & beverages
Top hat & tails or tiara & gloves
Transport from and return to pick locations in Berrima, Moss Vale, Burradoo and Bowral.
Wombeyan Caves is an extensive series of beautiful limestone caves, situated in a 417 hectare reserve. Accommodation ranges from unpowered camping sites to cabins and self-contained cottages.
Prepare yourself for the experience of a lifetime, exploring one or more of the caves located at Wombeyan. Either guided or self guided tours are available between 1 to 1.5 hours duration.