Why you should visit
Gardens of Stone National Park is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:
Working with the community
Gardens of Stone National Park recently acquired a piece of cleared farmland, which sparked an impressive collaboration with the NSW-ACT 4WD Association. Almost 200 4WD volunteers came together to plant more than 1,000 trees and build protective fences, an effort which is hoped will extend a sustainable habitat for the park's regent honeyeater population. Not only did it give 4WD volunteers a chance to learn about conversation from national park rangers, but it also demonstrates an important contribution from 4WD enthusiasts who enjoy and respect our national parks.
Astonishing rock formations
The geological evolution of this park has produced Triassic Narrabeen sandstone cliffs, slot canyons, grand mesas and the beautiful, yet often strangely delicate, pagodas. These pagodas are formed by wind and rain shaping the Banks Wall and Burramoko sandstone layers that spread right across the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, and they range from quite small to over 60 metres in height. They are amazingly beautiful against the blue mountain sky.
The Greater Blue Mountains was named a World Heritage Area for its astonishing biodiversity. It contains almost 100 species (or 13%) of eucalypts in the world. This is because of the great diversity of habitats and landscapes in the region. Plateaus, heaths, flat valley floors with varying exposures and fire histories produce the incredible range of plantlife growing in the park.
The diversity of the park supports a wonderful array of birdlife – this is an internationally-recognised birdwatching area. You may see such threatened birds as the regent honeyeater, swift parrot, spotted harrier, square-tailed kite, turquoise parrot, lyrebird, and many more. Spring and autumn are the times to see the migrations across the sky.
The park’s animals
Walkers may also come across rare broad-headed snakes, Lesueur’s gecko, heath monitors, brown antechinus, bush rats and occasional quolls. Brush-tailed rock wallabies can be seen along the caves and ledges, and the upland swamps in the eastern part of the park are home to giant dragonflies.
An adventurer’s haven
If it’s not enough to view the splendour of the park from your car or the picnic area, perhaps canyoning, mountain-biking the Crown Creek Fire Trail, or climbing Pantoneys Crown or Donkey Mountain are more your style. Come well prepared into this remote and sometimes challenging country, or join one of the private tour companies that bring groups into the park.
Weather and climate
There are lots of great things waiting for you in Gardens of Stone National Park. Here are some of the highlights:
Spring (Sept, Oct, Nov)
- Experience the wonder of the spring bird migrations and enjoy the flowering season for many of the plant species of the park
Summer (Dec, Jan, Feb)
- Though you need to be prepared for hot weather, this can be a great time to explore the pagodas as deep shade falls between them and in the canyons, making for dramatic photographs.
Winter (Jun, Jul, Aug)
- The light in the mountains is beautiful in winter. Take crystal clear scenic photos from your vantage point on the cliff tops or just marvel at how far you can see from up here.
- The average temperature ranges between 8°C and 25°C
- The average temperature ranges between 0°C and 9°C
- The wettest month on average is January, the driest is April.
- The area’s highest recorded rainfall is 135mm in one day
Blue Mountains (Blackheath)
Phone: (02) 4787 8877
Street address: Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath NSW
Opening hours: 9am - 4.30pm, seven days (closed Christmas Day)