Ben Bullen trail

Gardens of Stone National Park

Overview

If you love 4WDing, mountain biking and horse riding, Ben Bullen trail in Gardens of Stone National Park is for you. There are also great places along the trail to pull over and enjoy a picnic and spectacular views.

Where
Gardens of Stone National Park
Time suggested
3hrs
Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water
Please note

There is limited mobile reception in this park.

Part of Bicentennial trail, Ben Bullen trail turns Gardens of Stone National Park into a spectacular adventure for driving enthusiasts. Suitable for high clearance and well-equipped 4WDing, the trail snakes along the Great Dividing Range, through Ben Bullen State Forest, and into the park. The 4WD trail passes steep sandstone cliffs along the way, with scenic views over the Wolgan and Capertee valleys. 

If driving leaves you itching to stretch your legs, consider tackling parts of the trail via mountain biking. For something a little different, the trail is also terrific for horse riding. Any way you choose to do it, be sure to pack a hamper to break up the journey. With loads of places to pull up and rest along Ben Bullen trail, there are more than enough opportunities for a long picnic lunch and a stroll through the bush. Be sure to admire the wildflowers and stunning rock formations that give the park its evocative name.



For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

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/things-to-do/4wd-touring-routes/ben-bullen-trail/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Ben Bullen trail.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Ben Bullen trail is in Gardens of Stone National Park. To get there from Lithgow:

    • Follow Great Western Highway for 7km, then turn off onto Castlereagh Highway.
    • After 4km, turn right onto Wolgan Road and follow it for 9km.
    • Turn left onto Ben Bullen trail

    Park entry points

    Road quality

    • Unsealed roads

    Vehicle access

    • All roads require 4WD vehicle

    Weather restrictions

    • Dry weather only

    Parking

    Parking is available along Ben Bullen trail.

    Best times to visit

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

    Spring

    Experience the wonder of the spring bird migrations and enjoy the flowering season for many of the plant species of the park.

    Summer

    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

    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.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    8°C and 25°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    0°C and 9°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    January

    Driest month

    April

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    135mm

    Facilities

    You're encouraged to bring gas or fuel stoves, especially in summer during the fire season.

    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.

    • The walking opportunities in this park are suitable for experienced bushwalkers who are comfortable undertaking self-reliant hiking.
    • Check the weather before you set out as Ben Bullen trail can become boggy when it rains.
    • If you’re bushwalking in this park, or planning to drive along Ben Bullen trail, it’s a good idea to bring a topographic map and compass, or a GPS.

    Cycling safety

    Hundreds of cyclists head to our national parks for fun and adventure. If you're riding your bike through a national park, read these mountain biking and cycling safety tips.

    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).

    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.

    Permitted

    Rock climbing is permitted in this park.

    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 pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Learn more

    Ben Bullen trail is in Gardens of Stone National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    An adventurer's haven

    4WD trail in Ben Bullen, Garden of Stone National Park. Photo: David Noble

    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.

    • The Newnes Plateau Cliffs For self-reliant walkers, climbers and mountain bikers, Newnes Plateau is a wonderland of challenging experiences and awe-inspiring views.

    Astonishing rock formations

    Pagoda, Gardens of Stone National Park. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    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.

    • Baal Bone Gap picnic area Visit the jewel in the crown of Gardens of Stone and marvel at the magnificent rock pagodas, sheer cliffs and endless scenic views of Baal Bone Gap.
    • Bicentennial trail For horseriding or mountain-biking, take the Crown Creek fire trail. This iconic part of the east coast trail reveals staggering scenic views and a feeling of complete freedom.
    • The Newnes Plateau Cliffs For self-reliant walkers, climbers and mountain bikers, Newnes Plateau is a wonderland of challenging experiences and awe-inspiring views.

    Incredible biodiversity

    Gardens of Stone National Park is part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. 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. 

    World-class bird watching

    Paper daisies (Helichrysum rutidolepis), Gardens of Stone National Park. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    The diversity of the park supports a wonderful array of birdlife - this is an internationally-recognised bird watching 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. 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.

    Education resources (1)

    Ben Bullen trail, Gardens of Stone National Park. Photo: David Noble