Wollemi National Park is the 2nd largest national park in New South Wales, but is the largest forested wilderness area in New South Wales and includes the Colo-Capertree river system. The name comes from the Wollemi Pine trees which were thought to be extinct until discovered here in 1994. The fossils of the Wollemi Pine date back to the Jurassic Period approximately 200 million years ago. Now the only known living Wollemi Pines live in the temperate rainforests of this park, which is located about 130 km northwest of Sydney. When visiting the park, you can picnic, camp, hike, bushwalk, rock climb, or go canoeing or liloing. Some of the places to visit inside the park include the Wolgan Valley, Newnes, the Newnes glow worms, Zig Zag Railway, and the farming village of Glen Davis.Wollemi National Park is now part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area.
Bush walking bridge Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au
Wollemi National Park Map Photo Credit: Google Maps
Phipps Cutting Picnic Area Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Hiring a Car to Get to Wollemi National Park
Wollemi National Park Car Hire Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au
Wollemi National Park is about 130 km northwest of Sydney. When planning to visit the park, you can hire a car in Sydney or also in nearby Newcastle, Matiland, or Singleton. Be sure to let your car rental agent know that you are travelling to Wollemi National Park so that they can arrange for the right vehicle for the wilderness terrain there. Our helpful car rental agents can also assist you with local maps, holiday tips and pointers, and travel safety information.
Eagle’s Reach Cave
Cave Charcoal Drawing Photo Credit: BradshawFoundations.com
The park contains many aboriginal sites including cave paintings, axe grinding spots, and cave paintings. In 1995 bushwalkers discovered Eagle’s Reach cave, but the find was not publicly announced until the Australian Museum team visited the site in 2003. The team recorded over 200 different images of cave paintings that are estimated to be up to 4,000 years old. The cave is a place where local aboriginal tribes came to meet. The local tribes include the Dharug, Darkingjung, Kamilaroi, Wonarua, Wiradjuri, and Gundungurra. The location of Eagle’s Reach has been withheld in order to protect it from being damaged or vandalised.
Campsites in Wollemi National Park
Ganguddy Campgrounds Photo Credit: Environment.nsw.gov.au.
Dunns Campground Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au
There are 5 different campgrounds to choose from in Wollemi National Park. At the Colo Meroo campground you can pitch your tents on the grassy flats and camp right near the Colo River. The Dunns Swamp-Ganguddy campground is great for families since the car-based and small caravan camping. Long neck turtles and platypus can be seen swimming in the water. The Coorongooba campground is more secluded on the Capertree River with places to swim in the river pools or just relax in the serene environment. The Newnes campground is a majestic spot known as Mother Nature’s amphitheatre. At the Wheeny Creek campground, you will be serenaded by whistling bellbirds accompanied by the running water of the creek.
Capertree River downstream from Glen Davis Village Photo Credit: Wikipedia
The Capertree River runs through Wollemi National Park just downstream from the village of Glen Davis. This farming village is often a starting point for bush walkers taking on the vast wilderness of the Wollemi National Park. The village also has its own campgrounds.
Newnes Glow Worm Tunnel
Newnes Glow Worm Tunnel Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au
Entrance to Newnes Glow Worm Tunnel photo credit: VisitNSW.com
The Newnes glow worm tunnel is a unique experience not to be missed if you are touring through the park. Located in an old rail tunnel about 400 metres long, you will need good walking shoes and a torch to seek out the glow worms. The blue glow actually comes from the larvae of the fungus gnat, not a worm. It glows to lure prey including mosquitoes.
Colo River Gorge and Capertree River
The Colo River Valley Photo Credit: Wikipedia
One of the most picturesque areas of Wollemi National Park is the Colo River, Color River Gorge, and the Capertree River. They are part of the natural maze of canyons and cliffs throughout the untouched forest. The Colo-River Gorge is one of the largest gorges in the world. There are many different trails and tracks to explore. There are 7 different walks that lead to the Colo Gorge ranging from easy to hard grade and spanning from 3 hours up to 2 days. Note that this is remote territory and all precautions should be taken to ensure your safety. The Colo-River Gorge walking tracks are
- Bob Turner’s Track: Easy grade, 3 hours, 7 km. Access begins at Putty Road in Colo Heights.
- Mountain Lagoon (T3) Track: Easy grade, 4 to 5 hours, 5 km.. Access point is Sams Way in Mountain Lagoon.
- Colo-Meroo Trail: Easy grade trail that is a 2 day long trek over 23 km. Access is also a Sam’s Way in Mountain Lagoon.
- Canoe Creek Track: This is a medium grade track that takes 1 day to complete. Access can be found at the Grassy Hill Fire trail, off Putty Road.
- Crawford’s Lookout: This is an easy grade track that takes 3 to 4 hours to complete over 8 km. Gain access from the Culoul Range fire trail off Putty Road.
- Crawford’s Lookout to Boorai Creek: This is a Medium to Hard rated track that takes 20.5 km. The same access point as above with a longer trail.
- Drip Rock Track: This is a hard grade track that takes 2 to 3 days to complete over 32.5 km. Access from Putty Road.
Zig Zag Railway
Zig Zag Railway Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Photo Credit: Zig Zag Railway Facebook Page
The Zig Zag Railway is a tourist attraction aimed to help remind us of a time long gone. When steam engine operation ended in New South Wales in 1967, steam enthusiasts lead by Ian Thornton worked to establish a working steam museum. In 2013, a fire put the railway out of commission and it is still being worked on with the intent of having it running sometime in 2014.