Morton National Park

Overview

Easily accessible from Nowra, Morton National Park is great for a daytrip or school excursion. Visit Fitzroy Falls for scenic waterfall views; go mountain biking, walking or enjoy a picnic lunch.

Read more about Morton National Park

Be enthralled by nature on a grand scale at Morton National Park. If the cascading Fitzroy Falls don’t leave you breathless, try the sweeping views from the top of Pigeon House Mountain Didthul.

This enormous park really does have something for everyone; whether you're an experienced bushwalker looking for remote wilderness hiking, a novice mountain biker looking for an easy ride or a keen photographer looking for some scenic waterfalls to capture.

You'll find imposing gorges dissecting the landscape alongside pockets of rainforest that are full of wildlife. There are a number of well equipped picnic areas and numerous informal spots where you can stop for a break to enjoy the view and if you'd like to go camping, head to Gambells Rest campground in the Bundanoon precinct of the park.

The park is easily accessible from Bundanoon, Kangaroo Valley, Nowra and Ulladulla, so it makes for a great day trip or weekend getaway.

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/morton-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Morton National Park.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    It's half an hour drive from Moss Vale to Fitzroy Falls and Belmore Falls along Nowra Road. Turn north onto Myra Vale Road just east of Fitzroy Falls.

    From Nowra, take the Princes Highway to the Southern Highlands via Kangaroo Valley.

    From Wollongong it’s about an hour to Fitzroy Falls and Belmore Falls along the Illawarra Highway. Turn south at Robertson onto Belmore Falls Road.

    Sites in the eastern and southern part of the park are accessible via the Princes Highway.

    Park entry points

    Parking Show more

    By bike

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

    By public transport

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

    Best times to visit

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

    Autumn

    Grab an oar and canoe down the Shoalhaven River or the Kangaroo River. Autumn rains create ideal conditions for river paddling, and you'll find good spots for beginners as well as for more experienced paddlers.

    Spring

    Take the Three Views or Granite Falls walking tracks to see wildflowers in colourful bloom.

    Summer

    The rainforests of Morton National Park are a great place to escape the summer heat – try the Erith Coal Mine track at Bundanoon or the nearby Fairy Bower Falls walk.

    Facilities

    Maps and downloads

    Fees and passes

    Park entry fees: 

    Fitzroy Falls: $4 per vehicle per day. Bundanoon area: $8 per vehicle per day. The park has coin-operated pay and display machines - please bring correct coins.

    • All Parks Pass - For all parks in NSW (including Kosciuszko NP) $190 (1 year) / $335 (2 years)
    • Multi-Park Pass - For all parks in NSW (except Kosciuszko) $65 (1 year) / $115 (2 years)
    • Country Parks Pass - For all parks in Country NSW (except Kosciuszko) $45 (1 year) / $75 (2 years)
    • Single Country Park Pass - For entry to a single park in country NSW (except Kosciuszko). $22 (1 year) / $40 (2 years)

    Annual passes and entry fees (http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/passes-and-fees)

    Safety messages

    Wilderness walking

    There are extensive areas of wilderness in the park, including the Budawangs. Please be aware you may find a range of conditions, including thick vegetation, cliffs and river crossings. Wilderness walking requires a high degree of fitness, preparation and navigational skills.

    If you're planning a long walk in Morton National Park, you can use the bushwalker journey intention form to let park staff know your trip intentions. This may help rescue authorities in their search if an incident occurs during your walk.

    Tianjara Military Training Area safety warning

    Large parts of the Budawang Wilderness, Tianjara and Little Forest Plateaus were once used for military training activities and contain unexploded artillery shells, mortar rounds and grenades, also known as unexploded ordnances (UXO). These areas are in the south-eastern section of Morton National Park.

    How to stay safe

    Activities like walking and driving off-track, setting up tents and campfires, and digging may cause a UXO to explode, resulting in death or serious injury. If you see an object that might be a UXO, do not touch, disturb or try to move it. Take note of its location and report it immediately to NSW Police by calling Triple Zero (000).

    Check the map

    Before you visit this area of the park, check this Morton National Park unexploded ordnances map (pdf, 467.4KB) to see if you’ll be in one of the contaminated area boundaries. Look for signposts at entrances to the affected areas and follow all safety instructions.

    Highly contaminated area

    If you’re visiting this area (the red zone on the map):

    • Stay on vehicle trails and signposted walking tracks 
    • Walking or driving off-track and any form of ground disturbance is prohibited
    • Camping is only permitted at Link Road and Sassafras campgrounds, and campfires must be confined to existing fireplaces 

    Slightly contaminated area

    If you’re visiting this area (the blue zone on the map):

    • Stay on to existing tracks and routes where possible 
    • Campfires are prohibited except in the fireplaces provided by NPWS at Pointer Gap lookout

    Bushwalking safety

    If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    Prohibited

    Pets

    Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the OEH pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Visitor centre

    Nearby towns

    Bundanoon (1 km)

    Bundanoon is the northern gateway to Morton National Park. Follow the well-marked bushwalking trails in one of NSW's largest national parks, admiring waterfalls that plunge into valleys below.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Moss Vale (18 km)

    Moss Vale is the rural centre of the Southern Highlands, with its regional livestock saleyards, farmers market and agricultural show. The meandering tree-lined main street and lush gardens make it one of the most picturesque towns in the region.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Kangaroo Valley (47 km)

    Kangaroo Valley is a National Trust-listed village nestled between the Cambewarra and Barrengarry mountains. Less than two hours from Canberra and Sydney, Kangaroo Valley is one of the state's hidden gems. With a backdrop of rainforest greens, picturesque mountains, rolling pastures, lush valleys, and the Kangaroo River, Kangaroo Valley offers the perfect escape from the bustle of city life.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

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

    Teeming with wildlife

    Honeysuckle (Banksia serrata), Morton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    This massive park is a sanctuary for all kinds of wildlife. Rainforest and moist eucalypt forest support swamp wallabies, gliders, bush rats and long-nosed potoroos. Birdwatchers will be tickled pink with Morton's residents - satin bowerbirds, green catbirds and lyrebirds call the park home, while eagles and falcons hover overhead. You could be fortunate enough to see an endangered ground parrot in the heath. And, if it really is your lucky day, maybe you'll meet a platypus or long-necked tortoise in one of the rivers.

    • East Rim and Wildflower walking tracks Take in awe inspiring views of the Southern Highlands’ on East Rim and Wildflower walking tracks. Start from the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre and wind your way through nature on these joined tracks.
    • Manning lookout For spectacular cliff-top views over Kangaroo Valley, Manning lookout offers great birdwatching on a family driving route through the NSW Southern Highlands, in Morton National Park.
    • Pigeon House Mountain Didthul picnic area Pigeon House Mountain Didthul picnic area offers basic facilities as well as terrific birdwatching and a walking track up the mountain to a scenic lookout.

    Rich Aboriginal history

    View of Morton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    Morton National Park is the traditional Country of the Yuin people. Several hundred Aboriginal sites have been recorded here and there are likely many more. The park's imposing mountains, particularly Didthul, are particularly significant in Aboriginal mythology, as is the majestic Fitzroy Falls. The park's plateau and surrounding country also contain sites of great importance to Aboriginal people, whose occupation of the area dates back over 20,000 years.

    • Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre The award-winning Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre offers information on the region’s local Aboriginal culture, wildlife and birdwatching, in the Southern Highlands.
    • Then and now: Aboriginal culture This school excursion for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students in Morton National Park focuses on HSIE. It gives students the opportunity to experience Aboriginal culture with Aboriginal Discovery rangers, and to develop an understanding of the importance of protecting and respecting culture.
    • Then and now: Aboriginal culture This school excursion in Morton National Park focuses on HSIE. It gives students the opportunity to experience Aboriginal culture with Aboriginal Discovery rangers, and to develop an understanding of the importance of protecting and respecting culture.

    A rugged beauty

    West Rim walking track, Morton National Park. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

    Morton National Park envelops you in its fascinating landscape. Roam through rainforest on the Kangaroo Valley escarpment. Or relax on your picnic blanket, shaded by tall eucalyptus trees - the park has everything from Sydney peppermint to spotted gum and the rare Pigeon House Ash. The park's geological features are equally captivating. Detect different rock types in the cliff face, or find a good vantage point and gaze at the plateau carved with deep gorges. Absorbing the gorges sheer size, coupled with their interesting terraced appearance, can keep you occupied for hours.

    • Badgerys Spur walking track Badgerys Spur walking track in Morton National Park offers a steep and challenging hike on the edge of Ettrema Wilderness Area, finishing on the banks of Shoalhaven River.
    • Granite Falls walking track The easy Granite Falls walking track in Morton National Park, near Nowra, offers scenic waterfall views with springtime wildflowers. Enjoy a picnic by the lookout.

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    • Yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Photo: Peter Sherratt

      Yellow-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus)

      The yellow-tailed black cockatoo is one of the largest species of parrot. With dusty-black plumage, they have a yellow tail and cheek patch. They’re easily spotted while bird watching, as they feed on seeds in native forests and pine plantations.

    • Kookaburra. Photo: OEH

      Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

      Of the 2 species of kookaburra found in Australia, the laughing kookaburra is the best-known and the largest of the native kingfishers. With its distinctive riotous call, the laughing kookaburra is commonly heard in open woodlands and forests throughout NSW national parks, making these ideal spots for bird watching.

    Plants

    •  Black sheoak. Photo: Barry Collier

      Black sheoak (Allocasuarina littoralis)

      The black sheoak is one of a number of casuarina species found across the east coast of Australia and nearby tablelands. Growing to a height of 5-15m, these hardy Australian native plants can survive in poor or sandy soils. The barrel-shaped cone of the black sheoak grows to 10-30mm long.

    • Blueberry ash. Photo: Jaime Plaza

      Blueberry ash (Elaeocarpus reticulatus)

      The blueberry ash is a rainforest shrub which produces blue olive-shaped berries and spectacular bell-shaped flowers, which often appear on the plant together. It is a tall slender shrub or small tree found in rainforest, tall eucalypt forest and coastal bushland in eastern NSW, south-east Queensland and Victoria.

    • Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

      Grass tree (Xanthorrea spp.)

      An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    School excursions (4)

    What we're doing

    Morton National Park has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents. Here is just some of the work we’re doing to conserve these values:

    Understanding landscapes and geology

    Morton National Park ensures the maintenance of special landscapes around the area. Attractions are easily enjoyed by visitors with the implementation of plans to upgrade facilities surrounding particular park attraction areas. NPWS collaborates with volunteers as well as other agencies to ensure the landscape and geological values of the park are preserved.

    Preserving biodiversity

    Morton National Park National Park embraces programs dedicated to conserving vulnerable, threatened and endangered species within its borders. One example is a program to protect the endangered brush-tailed rock wallaby. Efforts to target threats to such plant, animal and bird species are ongoing in this park, and include pest management and community education activities where required.

    Conservation program

    BioNet

    Uniting technology with the vast collection of information on biodiversity in NSW, BioNet is a valuable database open to any user. From individual plant sightings to detailed scientific surveys, it offers a wealth of knowledge about ecology and threatened species in NSW. 

    Managing weeds, pest animals and other threats

    Pests and weeds have a significant impact to the ecosystems within Morton National Park. Reduction of threats, such as foxes, as well as ongoing risk assessments for new and emerging weeds, plays an important role in protecting the biodiversity values of this park.

    Conservation program

    Wild dog control program

    Wild dogs can have significant impacts on other animals and are regarded as pests. Our wild dog control program operates in many NSW national parks and reserves. When carrying out such pest control, we aim to minimise the wild dogs’ effects on livestock and wildlife, while still maintaining dingo conservation in key areas.

    Developing visitor facilities and experiences

    Morton National Park is committed to keeping its visitors safe and informed, and this extends to issues of access and signage. Maintenance of park infrastructure, including walkways, tracks and access points, is ongoing within this park.

    Conserving our Aboriginal culture

    Morton National Park boasts a proud legacy of Aboriginal culture. Ongoing NPWS projects are in place to survey, monitor and assess the condition of the park’s Aboriginal sites from both a cultural and archaeological perspective. NPWS collaborates with local Aboriginal land councils to facilitate this, and works to ensure sites within the park are appropriately recognised, supported and conserved.

    Managing fire

    NSW is one of the most bushfire prone areas in the world as a result of our climate, weather systems, vegetation and the rugged terrain. NPWS is committed to maintaining natural and cultural heritage values and minimising the likelihood and impact of bushfires via a strategic program of fire research, fire planning, hazard reduction, highly trained rapid response firefighting crews and community alerts.

    Conservation program

    Hazard reduction program

    Managing fire-prone NSW national parks requires a three-pronged approach, including fire planning, community education, and fuel management. When it comes to fuel like dead wood, NPWS conducts planned hazard reduction activities like mowing and controlled burning to assist in the protection of life, property and community.

    Fitzroy Falls view from above. Photo: John Yurasek