Lake Yarrunga campgrounds: Kangaroo River

Morton National Park

Affected by closures, check current alerts 

Overview

Hop in your canoe and camp along the waterways of Kangaroo Valley. Paddle east from Tallowa Dam to the Kangaroo River section of Lake Yarrunga. You can only reach these riverside campsites by kayak or canoe.

Accommodation Details
Camping type Tent, Remote/backpack camping
Facilities Boat ramp, toilets
What to bring Drinking water, cooking water, fuel stove, ice, toilet paper, torch, food supplies, first aid kit, topographic map, gps, compass, personal locator beacon, insect repellent, sunscreen
Price There are no camping fees at this campground but a $6 booking fee applies.
Bookings

Bookings are required. Book online or call the National Parks Contact Centre on 1300 072 757. If you have 13 people or more, you need to contact Wollongong office to make a group booking at npws.illawarrahighlands@environment.nsw.gov.au

Please note
  • You are booking an unassigned campsite. If your preferred camping area is full, please move to another campsite along the river. 
  • Only camp within the designated camping areas for your safety
  • Book early, these campgrounds are popular in summer
  • Be aware that sites have been impacted by wildfire. Trees and branches may fall. 
  • Campsites may be impacted by flood debris. This may mean moving to another higher campsite. Be flexible. 
  • This area is part of the Sydney Water Drinking catchment so fires are not permitted. You might want to avoid the cooler months.
  • Some campsites are still closed due to fire damage. Check alerts for closures.

When you really want to escape and recharge, try peaceful riverside camping at Lake Yarrunga. Starting from Talllow Dam, launch your canoe or kayak and paddle east (downstream) through towering sandstone cliffs and patches of forest.

It’s an ideal flat water kayaking adventure for beginner paddlers and families because there are no powered boats or rapids. This area was once a ‘wild’ river and was dammed to provide water for Sydney and Nowra.

Spend your days on the water meandering through the creeks, tributaries and gorges. Azure kingfishers can be seen close to water’s edge all year round and you might spot water dragons diving off into the water when they have company. Wake up to birdsong and catch the sunrise before paddling back to civilisation.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Camping also available at

  • The Shoalhaven River arm of Lake Yarrunga. Photo credit: Audrey Kutzner <HTML>&copy; DPIE

    Lake Yarrunga campgrounds: Shoalhaven River

    For a remote camping escape near Kangaroo Valley, paddle west from Tallowa Dam and camp in the Shoalhaven River section of Lake Yarrunga. You can only reach these riverside campsites by kayak or canoe.

Map


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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 https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/camping-and-accommodation/campgrounds/lake-yarrunga-campgrounds-kangaroo-river/local-alerts

Bookings

Operated by

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Lake Yarrunga campgrounds: Kangaroo River.

Getting there and parking

The access point is at Tallowa Dam. Tallowa Dam is located around 23km from Kangaroo Valley, at the junction of the Shoalhaven and Kangaroo River within Morton National Park.

To get there from Kangaroo Valley:

  • Head north-west and take the Mt Scanzi Road turnoff towards Tallowa Dam – around 500m.
  • Continue south-west and onto Tallow Dam Road
  • After 20mins you’ll reach Tallowa Dam. Park here and kayak or canoe to the campgrounds.

Vehicle access

  • No vehicle access

Parking

There is no parking or vehicle access to the campgrounds. Access is by canoe or kayak only (non-powered boat) from the boat ramp at Tallowa Dam carpark.

Facilities

  • There are no bins so you’ll need to take all rubbish away with you.
  • Water is untreated and not suitable for drinking. Bring plenty of water with you or be prepared to boil the water for at least 3 minutes before drinking or using for cooking.
  • There's no mobile phone coverage from Tallowa Dam and within Lake Yarrunga.
  • You can find more information about facilities at Tallowa Dam on the Water NSW website.

Toilets

4 of the 9 camping areas in the Kangaroo River section have non-flush toilets: Hideaway, Easy Landing, Acacia Flat and Kimberley Park. Bring your own toilet paper.

  • Non-flush toilets

Boat ramp

There is a boat ramp at Tallowa Dam only. Tallowa Dam is the entry point to these riverside campgrounds. Launch your canoes and kayaks from here. You can only reach the campgrounds by canoe or kayak (non-powered boat).

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

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.

Camping safety

Whether you're pitching your tent on the coast or up on the mountains, there are many things to consider when camping in NSW national parks. Find out how to stay safe when camping.

Fire safety

During periods of fire weather, the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service may declare a total fire ban for particular NSW fire areas, or statewide. Learn more about total fire bans and fire safety.

Fishing safety

Fishing from a boat, the beach or by the river is a popular activity for many national park visitors. If you’re planning a day out fishing, check out these fishing safety tips.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus 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).

Paddling safety

To make your paddling or kayaking adventure safer and more enjoyable, check out these paddling safety tips.

River and lake safety

The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

Accessibility

Disability access level - no wheelchair access

Permitted

Swimming is permitted.

Fishing

A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.

Prohibited

Motorised water crafts are prohibited.

Camp fires and solid fuel burners

Cycling

Gathering firewood

Generators

Pets

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

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Visitor centre

Learn more

Lake Yarrunga campgrounds: Kangaroo River is in Morton National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

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.
  • Guided hike to The Castle summit Journey to the summit of The Castle with Big Nature Adventures and experience the raw beauty of Morton National Park. You’ll be treated to spectacular views of the Budawang Range on this full-day hike.
  • Self-guided paddling experiences Leave the world behind and paddle away for half, full or multi-day river adventures along breathtaking gorges in Morton National Park with kayaks and canoes supplied by Kangaroo Valley Safaris.  
  • South Coast wildlife, waterfalls and wine tours Local Travel Planner’s big day out takes in stunning valleys, beaches and waterfalls south of Sydney. It’s also a great way to see native animals and sample delicious local food and wine.

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 excursion experience has been updated and is now being delivered in line with the new NSW Department of Education Curriculum. We will be revising this excursion's name and information online soon. Contact your local national parks office for more information about the updated excursion.
  • Then and now: Aboriginal culture This excursion experience has been updated and is now being delivered in line with the new NSW Department of Education Curriculum. We will be revising this excursion's name and information online soon. Contact your local national parks office for more information about the updated excursion.
  • Then and now: Aboriginal culture This excursion experience has been updated and is now being delivered in line with the new NSW Department of Education Curriculum. We will be revising this excursion's name and information online soon. Contact your local national parks office for more information about the updated excursion.

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.

  • Canoes, cool-climate wines and canapés Indulge your taste buds with gourmet food and wine on this enjoyable guided excursion with Wildfest. It’s a great way to reconnect with nature along magical waterways in Morton National Park, near Kangaroo Valley.
  • 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.
  • Mannings lookout For spectacular cliff-top views over Kangaroo Valley, Mannings 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.
  • Walking with wombats luxury excursions Even if you're short on time, you can have it all on this tour with Perfect Day Sydney. This unforgettable day out includes a magical bushwalk, visits to waterfalls and other scenic sights, and the chance for wombat encounters during a relaxing twilight dinner.

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.

  • Closeup of a laughing kookaburra's head and body. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/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)