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Bungonia National Park

"My grown-up kids go off to Bungonia by themselves now. They bushwalked and abseiled with us as children and teenagers, and now they're just fully into caving."

Whether you’re looking to do an easy walk through woodland or wanting to push your body to the limits scaling a wall of limestone, Bungonia National Park is the place to visit. Known as the adventure capital of the Southern Tablelands, what at first appears to be a dry plateau quickly opens itself up to reveal a diverse and dynamic landscape filled with natural surprises.

Drop into our park office when you arrive to decide where you’d like to start exploring. It’s only a short walk on Molly O’Neil track to The Lookdown lookout, and the scenic view of Bungonia Slot Canyon from Adams lookout is equally awe-inspiring. What about packing a picnic lunch and doing a day’s hiking through the breathtaking canyon you’ve just seen from above? Or come prepared to tackle something really challenging, like abseiling, rock climbing, canyoning, or caving one of the 200 or so ‘wild’ caves. You need to be experienced and have your own equipment.

Highlights
 

Why you should visit

Bungonia National Park is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

Once upon a time
The park lies across the traditional lands of the Njunawal tribal group, the northwest corner of the Wandandian tribal territory and the southern boundary of the Gandangara tribal group. The ridge tops were almost certainly travel routes as people shifted in accordance with the seasonal availability of food. Evidence of campsites exists on the main plateau and limestone dolines contain edible plants consumed or used by Aboriginal people.

Adventure central
Known as the adventure capital of the Southern Tablelands, Bungonia is a place to really test your limits. There are around 200 ‘wild’ caves in the park, many of which are open for experienced cavers to explore, so you’ll be spoilt for choice. For an exciting journey of waterfalls and plunge pools, Bungonia Creek and Jerrara Creek are the most popular canyoning spots. Bungonia Slot Canyon provides one of the few opportunities in Australia for climbing limestone and is as dramatic a place to scale a rock wall as its name suggests.

This old thing
This park is one of the oldest in New South Wales. It was first protected as a water reserve in 1872, which was also the same year the world’s first national park –Yellowstone in USA – was established. Just as Yellowstone’s geothermal features pull the crowds, Bungonia’s stunning geomorphology, both above and belowground, are its main draw. Louis Guymer was the park’s first caretaker (1889–1909), who discovered caves and erected gates and ladders, some of which you may use during your visit.

Furry friends
The Large bent-wing bat not only has a name that’s hard to say five times very fast, but is classified as vulnerable. Certain caves are closed during the year to help provide a safe environment for breeding and hibernation. Look out for a colony, cloud or cauldron of them as you explore the limestone labyrinths of their natural habitat. A small population of koalas, classified as threatened, also inhabit the park.

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Getting there

 Car

From Canberra:

  • Take the Goulburn turnoff from the Hume Highway (at the Big Merino).
  • Drive into town along Hume Street, which becomes Cowper Street.
  • Turn right into Clinton Street and after a few minutes, you’ll see signs to Bungonia State Conservation Area, which will lead you to the park.
  • Follow these signs for approximately 25 minutes

From Sydney:

  • Turn left off Hume Highway at South Murulan and take the exit at the overpass
  • Follow signs to Bungonia State Conservation Area for approximately 20 minutes

 Opening times

Bungonia National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to high fire danger, or park operations. It's a good idea to ring the office for current information.

 Fees

Vehicle entry fees

In this park, vehicle entry fees are $7 per vehicle per day. The park has a coin-operated 'pay and display' machine - please bring correct coins.

 Close to

Bungonia National Park is close to:

  • Bungonia township (10km)
  • Goulburn (35km)
  • Canberra (140km)
  • Sydney (190km)

 Public transport

For information about public transport options, visit the NSW country transport info website.

 Bike

Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information

Weather and climate

 Visiting through the seasons

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Bungonia National Park. Here are some of the highlights:

 

Spring (Sept, Oct, Nov)

  • Enjoy bushwalking in the comfortable temperatures of this time of year when the wildflowers are at their finest. Late in the season, the stands of brittle gum become extremely photogenic as their white trunks turn pink.

 

Autumn (Mar, Apr, May)

  • After the heat of summer has subsided, take advantage of the milder weather for hiking in the park.

 

Winter (Jun, Jul, Aug)

  • Deeper exploration of caves is possible when their carbon dioxide levels reduce in winter as the warm air from within rises and the caves ‘breathe’.

 Temperature

Summer

  • The average temperature ranges between 12°C and 26°C
  • The area's highest recorded temperature in summer is 40°C

Winter ­

  • The average temperature ranges between 1°C and 13°C
  • The area’s lowest recorded temperature in winter is -9°C

 Rainfall

  • The wettest month on average is March, the driest is September.
  • The area's highest recorded rainfall is 200.7mm in one day

Safety

Bungonia local office

Phone: (02) 4827 4700. An information line is also available on (02) 4827 4760.
Email: bungonia@environment.nsw.gov.au
Street address: 838 Lookdown Road, Bungonia NSW 2580
Opening hours: 9am-4pm Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and most weekends

Close
 
 
Bungonia Gorge, Bungonia National Park. Photo: Sara Fife/Capital Country Tourism