Lake Yarrunga campgrounds: Shoalhaven River
Morton National Park
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.
|Camping type||Tent, Remote/backpack camping|
|Facilities||Boat ramp, toilets|
|What to bring||Drinking water, cooking water, toilet paper, torch, topographic map, first aid kit, fuel stove, gps, food supplies, personal locator beacon, ice|
|Price||There are no camping fees at this campground but a $6 booking fee applies.|
|Group bookings||Bookings for up to 4 sites and 12 people can be made online. School groups and commercial tour operators can submit a group booking enquiry form.|
Tucked away in a quiet pocket of the Shoalhaven hinterland, this peaceful part of Morton National Park feels remote and isolated but you’re never too far from town.
Starting from Talllow Dam, launch your canoe or kayak and paddle west (upstream). 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.
Wake up to glistening lake views and head out for day on the water. Lake Yarrunga was formed from flooding a river–so there’s spectacular towering cliffs as you paddle upstream. Look out for the vivid blue-green foliage of coastal Myall, a type of wattle that bursts with golden blossoms in spring.
Camping also available at
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.
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-shoalhaven-river/local-alerts
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- Nowra office
- Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.
- 02 4428 6300
- 104 Flatrock Road, Mundamia NSW 2540
- in Morton National Park in the South Coast and Country NSW regions
Morton National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
Parts of the south-eastern area of this park were once used for military training and may contain unexploded artillery shells. These areas have restrictions in place for your safety.
Park entry fees:
Fitzroy Falls: $4 per vehicle per day. Bundanoon area: $8 per vehicle per day. The park has pay machines - cash and cards accepted.Buy annual pass.
All the practical information you need to know about Lake Yarrunga campgrounds: Shoalhaven 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.
- No vehicle access
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.
- 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.
3 of the 8 camping areas in the Shoalhaven River section have non-flush toilets: Monarch, Camp 2 and Throne Flat. Bring your own toilet paper.
- Non-flush toilets
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
Disability access level - no wheelchair access
Swimming is permitted.
A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.
Motorised water crafts are prohibited.
Camp fires and solid fuel burners
NSW national parks are no smoking areas.
Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre
1301 Nowra Road, Fitzroy Falls NSW 2577
- 9am to 4pm daily. Closed Christmas Day.
- 02 4887 8270
Lake Yarrunga campgrounds: Shoalhaven River is in Morton National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
A rugged beauty
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.
- Castle summit guided overnight hike Conquer the Castle summit on this challenging overnight bushwalk with Epiphany Tours in Morton National Park. You’ll hike through remote landscapes and camp under the stars.
- 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.
- 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
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 Then and now: Aboriginal culture is a Stage 3 (Years 5-6) school excursion at Fitzroy Falls in Morton National Park, focusing on HSIE. Through story and creative expression, the life and culture of the local people are shared.
- Then and now: Aboriginal culture Then and now: Aboriginal culture is a Stage 1 (Years 1-2) school excursion in Morton National Park, focusing on HSIE. Through story and creative expression, the life and culture of the local people are shared.
- Then and now: Aboriginal culture Then and now: Aboriginal culture is a Stage 2 (Years 3-4) school excursion at Fitzroy Falls in Morton National Park, focusing on HSIE. Through story and creative expression, the life and culture of the local people are shared.
Teeming with wildlife
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 The East Rim and Wildflower walking tracks offer awe inspiring views of the Southern Highlands. Starting from Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre, wind your way through nature on these connecting 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 protected in this park
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 (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.
Spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus)
The spotted-tailed quoll is the largest remaining carnivorous marsupial on the Australian mainland. It’s protected as a vulnerable species in NSW.
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 (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 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.