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Bents Basin State Conservation Area

“Bents Basin is a great escape from the city. We’re going to camp next time so we can stay for longer.”

Bents Basin, a deep waterhole that forms part of a gorge on the Nepean River between Camden and Penrith, is a perfect place for swimming, canoeing and fishing. If you’d like to keep your feet on dry land, relaxing by the basin is pleasant as well; it’s backed by a forested escarpment which rises dramatically from the water’s edge. After a tasty picnic or barbecue lunch, take the walk up to Caleys lookout for views of the area – be sure to keep your eyes peeled for native animals and birds long the way.

Bents Basin State Conservation Area is a great place to visit on a daytrip and if you’d like to stay longer, bring your tent or caravan along to set up camp under the stars. If you’re interested in finding out more about the park’s landscape, plants and animals, be sure to arrange a guided Discovery tour with a ranger.

You can even hold your wedding, family event, birthday party or other function here – the Bents Basin Education Centre and Peppercorn picnic area are suitable locations for a range of events and can be booked for exclusive use.

Highlights
 

Why you should visit

Bents Basin State Conservation Area is a special place, here are just some of the reasons why:

Aboriginal heritage
Bents Basin State Conservation Area is the traditional land of the Gundungurra, Dharawal and Darug people. Also known as Gulguer (meaning whirlpool or spinning), Bents Basin is associated with an awful aquatic creature called Gurungadge or Gurungaty. This creature is prominent in the area’s ancestral stories. Archaeological finds suggest the area was also an important trading place. Bents Basin and the adjoining Gulguer Nature Reserve protect a variety of Aboriginal rock art and artefacts.

Rare communities
A visit to the park allows you to see majestic Camden white gums in one of only two known naturally-occurring populations. Look out also for Cumberland Plain woodland which once blanketed almost 30% of the Sydney Basin. Today, its scattered fragments cover less than 6% and remain under threat.

Bygone days
Explorer and botanist George Caley was the first European to visit the area in 1802 and afterwards collected plant specimens for preservation. The area was later used as a stopping point for early settlers travelling from the developing east. If you’re interested in the local history of western Sydney, be sure to check out the historic inn, established in the 1860's and listed on both the state and National Heritage Register, you'll find it near Peppercorn picnic area.

Fascinating and fun
The basin itself is what draws most people here. Known as a scour pool, this geological formation is like a small lake, created over time by fast-flowing floodwaters exiting the gorge about 30-40km/hr. At 22m deep, its waters travel 150km before reaching the ocean. In addition to that, it’s heaps of fun to visit for a spot for swimming, fishing, paddling and liloing.

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Getting there

 Car

From Wallacia (north entry):

  • Drive southwest on Mulgoa Road/Tourist Drive 18
  • At the Wallacia roundabout, take the second exit to Silverdale Road
  • Turn left onto Bents Basin Road and follow signs for Bents Basin

From Wallacia (south/east entry):

  • Drive southwest on Mulgoa Road/Tourist Drive 18
  • Turn right onto Greendale Road
  • Turn right onto Wolstenholme Avenue and follow signs for Bents Basin campground

Get driving directions

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 Opening times

The park gates open at 9am all year round and close at 7pm during daylight savings (4.30pm at other times).

 Fees

Vehicle entry fees

In this park, vehicle entry fees are $7 per vehicle per day. The park has coin-operated 'pay and display' machines - both coins and credit cards are accepted.

 Close to

Bents Basin State Conservation Area is close to:

  • Wallacia (8km)
  • Penrith (25km)
  • Campbelltown (30km)
  • Sydney (60km)

 Bike

Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

Weather and climate

 Visiting through the seasons

Bents Basin State Conservation Area is a great place to visit all year round. Head to the park for a camping weekend in spring, a weekend picnic in the winter sun or a sunny summer day for lots of water activities.

 Temperature

Summer

  • The average temperature ranges between 15°C and 29°C
  • The area's highest recorded temperature in summer is 45°C

Winter ­

  • The average temperature ranges between 3°C and 16°C
  • The area’s lowest recorded temperature in winter is -6°C

 Rainfall

  • The wettest month on average is February, the driest month on average is July
  • The area's highest recorded rainfall is 156mm in one day

Safety

Nattai Area office

Phone: 02 4774 6800
Email: bents.basin@environment.nsw.gov.au
Street address: Wolstenholme Avenue Greendale NSW 2745
Opening hours: 9:00am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday

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Nepean River, Bents Basin State Conservation Area. Photo: John Yurasek