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Explore the Unique Geological Formations in Gardens of Stone National Park

Explore the Unique Geological Formations in Gardens of Stone National Park

Gardens of Stone National Park is a smaller national park just to the west of Wollemi National Park and north west of Blue Mountains National Park. Of course, when it comes to this region, a smaller national park is still 15,080 hectares! It takes a little less than 3 hours to get here from Sydney. Like the other national parks in our current blog series, this protected park along with seven other national parks all make up the UNESCO World Heritage listed Greater Blue Mountains Area. Gardens of Stone is far west enough to be considered part of the central Tablelands. We have been featuring the national parks in the region north of Sydney in New South Wales including the Greater Blue Mountains Area National Parks as well as other national parks in the region.  We featured Berowra Valley National Park, Marramarra National Park, Dharug National Park,  Yengo National Park, Kanangra-Boyd, National Park, and Nattai National Park. Previously, we highlighted several other National Parks in this region including Blue Mountains National Park, Ku-ring-ga National Park, Royal National Park and Wollemi National Park. There are so many national parks in this region close to Sydney, some are part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage-listed area and some are not. Today, we are featuring Gardens of Stone National Park, it is one of the 8 parks that make up the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage-listed Area and makes up part of the Great Dividing Range. Visiting a national park helps contribute to their protection and is an excellent way to be able to enjoy the Australian wilderness. Gardens of Stone National Park gets its name from the natural stone pagodas that are located in the park. Inside the park, the landscape also is made up of dramatic cliffs and canyons, limestone outcrops, karsts, elevated swamps, and some other unusual geological features. Near Gardens of Stone National Park, in addition to Wollemi National Park and Yengo National Park, you can also visit the Newnes State Forest, the Wolgan Valley, and the Wolgan State Forest. The local towns that border the park are Capertee, Ben Bullen, and Glen Davis.

Pagoda, Gardens of Stone National ParkMonundilla Sector of

View of the Natural Stone Pagodas in Gardens of Stone National Park Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Karl Baron from Lund, Sweden – ViewUploaded by berichard, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12813431

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A view of Capertee Valley from Pearsons Lookout in Gardens of Stone National Park Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Froggydarb at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12814350

Capertee-Valley

Capertee Valley in Gardens of Stone National Park Photo Credit: VisitNSW.com

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Gardens of Stone National Park Photo Credit: VisitNSW.com

Things to Do in Gardens of Stone National Park

Ben Bullen trail, Garden of Stone National Park

Ben Bullen Trail in Gardens of Stone National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

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Gardens of Stone National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

Dramatic landscapes are what Gardens of Stone National Park has in store for you! Photography is just as popular here as is rock climbing, hiking, bush walking, canyoning, horse riding, mountain biking, and four-wheel driving. There are walking trails and spectacular views at the lookout in the park. Do your research about the requirements and details of the walking trail you choose. No matter the length of your walk, be sure to plan ahead, understand the fitness level requirements, use sunscreen and hats to protect your skin from the sun, have the right shoes and attire, bring plenty of drinking water, have emergency supplies with you, and make sure that someone not travelling with you knows when you are expected back. Check the weather before your trip so you know what type of conditions and temperatures you can expect. The weather in Gardens of Stone National Park can be extreme and unpredictable, so be sure to come prepared for different weather scenarios. When you take all these necessary safety precautions, it ensures that you will have the most enjoyable holiday.  It is also important to always remember that you are a guest in nature. Bring a bag with you to take your own rubbish away. Leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures. The highlights we will be covering in Gardens of Stone National Park include the Bicentennial Trail, Ben Bullen Trail, the Baal Bone Gap picnic area, and the Newnes Plateau Cliffs.

Crown Creek Fire Trail, Part of the Iconic Bicentennial Trail

The Bicentennial Trail is an iconic trail that is for long distance trekkers, hikers, or horse riders. It is 5,330 km long that follows the Great Dividing Range of eastern Australia and takes you from Cooktown in the tropical Far North of Queensland along the east coast south through Queensland, New South Wales, the ACT and ends in Healesville, Victoria near Melbourne. The Crown Creek fire trail is the part of the Bicentennial Trail that is in Gardens of Stone National Park. This part of the trail takes you through the wilderness of the park with amazing views of the pagodas and other unique geological structures. You should be self-sufficient with plenty of bush experience to traverse this trail. It is a grade medium trail, but is long at 8.2 km one-way. Allow for 5 hours to complete the Crown creek fire trail. You can also ride horses or bike through this section or the entire Bicentennial Trail.

Ben Bullen Trail

Ben Bullen trail, Garden of Stone National Park

Ben Bullen Trail in Gardens of Stone National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

Ben Bullen trail, Garden of Stone National Park

Ben Bullen Trail in Gardens of Stone National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

Ben Bullen trail, Garden of Stone National Park

Ben Bullen Trail in Gardens of Stone National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

The Ben Bullen Trail is great for mountain biking, horse riding, and four-wheel driving over the rugged terrain. It takes about 3 hours to get through the trail driving or riding. The 4WD trail takes you on the steep sandstone cliffs and has amazing, panoramic views of both the Wolgan Valley and the Capertee Valley. The trail follows the Great Dividing Range. There are plenty of spots to get out and walk through to explore the park or sit down among the wildflowers and enjoy a picnic lunch. Of course, you will be able to catch several amazing views of the unique rock formations that make the park famous.

Baal Bone Gap Picnic Area

This picnic area within the park is one of the best spots to rest from your hike and take in the amazing sweeping views of the pagodas, sheer cliffs, and Baal Bone Gap. This picnic area is great for a lunch or snack while you enjoy the views. It also makes for a great base for bush walking or four-wheel driving.

Newnes Plateau Cliffs

If you are an adrenalin seeker or adventure junkie, then this section of the park is for you. Hiking here is only for experienced bushwalkers, mountain bikers, or hikers. The views are magnificent, but the cliffs are dramatic and can be dangerous. You’ll be able to catch views like no other though of the winding Wolgan River, Pantoneys Crown, Donkey Mountain, and views of the pagodas and other rock formations that Gardens of Stone National Park is known for.Bird watching is also great in this area and keep an eye out for other wildlife like kangaroos, wallabies, gliders, and more.

Hiring a Car in Sydney to get to Gardens of Stone National Park

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Gardens of Stone National Park Map Photo Credit: Google Maps

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Sydney Car Rental Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au

It’s convenient and easy to hire a car in Sydney  at one of many convenient locations. If you flew into Sydney on holiday, you can hire a car right at the Sydney Airport. Other locations in Sydney where you can rent a car at a great price include  Sydney east location in Alexandria, or the Sydney southwest location in Ravensby. The drive from Sydney to Gardens of Stone National Park is a little less than 3 hours long. If you want to hire your car or four wheel drive vehicle closer to Yengo National Park, then choose the city of Gosford Budget location. Click through any of the links to get a quick and easy rate quote for the best car rental rates in Sydney. Be sure to let your car rental agent know your travel itinerary so that they can ensure you have the best vehicle for your trip. Many parts of this park are great for four-wheel driving, so you will likely want to hire a 4WD vehicle so that you can access all of those trails. Our helpful car rental agents can also assist you with local maps, holiday tips and pointers, and travel safety information. While in Sydney, check out these other holiday ideas from our blog:

Best Scenic Drives in Australia: Greater Blue Mountains

Scenic Drives in the Snowy Mountains

Snow Valley Way: A Delicious Scenic Drive

Things to Do on Holiday in Sydney

Sydney Holiday Ideas for Families with Kids

Free Things to Do in Sydney

A Spectacular New Year’s Eve in Sydney

Places to See in and Around Sydney

5 Day Trips from Sydney

Sydney’s Famous and Secret Beaches

Scenic Drive from Sydney to Melbourne

Experience the Vast Beauty of Wollemi National Park

Royal National Park

Enjoy the Diversity of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Walking through Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Summertime is the Perfect Time for Sydney’s Outdoor Pools

Best Places to Celebrate Chinese New Year in Sydney

5 Must Do Walks of Sydney

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Shari McConahay
Wife, mom & internet geek. E-Commerce & Internet Marketing old timer, lover of social media, kung fu movies, sci fi, reality tv & game shows.

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