Serendipity Canyon

Mount Wilson area in Blue Mountains National Park

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Overview

Only fit, experienced canyoners should try Serendipity Canyon, near Mount Wilson in Blue Mountains National Park. With abseils and short swims, it’s a technical canyon that should be done with a guide.

Accessibility
No wheelchair access
Distance
7km
Time suggested
7hrs
Grade
Hard. Serendipity Canyon requires moderate fitness and proficiency with ropes and other canyoning equipment.
Trip Intention Form

It's a good idea to let someone know where you're going. Fill in a trip intention form to send important details about your trip to your emergency contact.

Personal Locator Beacon

Hire a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) for free at Blue Mountains Heritage Centre in Blackheath.

What to
bring
Drinking water, canyoning equipment, helmet, wetsuit, sturdy shoes, suitable clothing, first aid kit, mobile phone, dry bag, personal locator beacon, snacks, sunscreen
Please note
  • Don't visit Serendipity Canyon just before, during or after heavy rainfall or storms. Check park alerts before you go.
  • Only attempt Serendipity Canyon with a competent guide.
  • Be sure to choose a Park Eco Pass operator. Only Parks Eco Pass holders are permitted to operate tours in Blue Mountains National Park.
  • You may encounter commercial tour groups.
  • NPWS does not manage, mark or clear canyon access routes. These routes cross natural bushland, cliffs and forest. You must research and be responsible for your own directions and entry and exit information.

Located on the south side of Wollangambe River, Serendipity Canyon is also known as 'Why Don’t We Do It In The Road? Canyon' after the Beatles song of that name. 

This challenging canyon takes about 7 hours to complete, with a total walk in and out of 7km.

To get through Serendipity Canyon, you’ll need to do multiple abseils, including a long one of 20m. This technical canyon also features jumps, scrambles, short swims, and a lengthy (45-minute) creek walk. Since you’ll spend time in the cold waters of Wollangambe River, it’s best to try this canyon in the warmer months of summer.

Access to Serendipity Canyon starts at the Mount Wilson Fire Station, on the fire trail behind the station.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Map


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Map legend

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/adventure-sports-experiences/serendipity-canyon/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Serendipity Canyon.

Getting there and parking

Serendipity Canyon is in the Mount Wilson area of Blue Mountains National Park. To get there:

  • Travel west on Highway B59 (Bells Line of Road).
  • Turn right onto Mount Wilson Road.
  • After about 6km, at Breenhold Gardens, turn left onto The Avenue.
  • Continue to Mount Wilson Fire Station and park.

Access to the canyon is by a formed track. The signposted start to the track is on the fire trail behind Mount Wilson Fire Station.

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at Mount Wilson Fire Station.

Facilities

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Adventure sports

Adventure sports like climbing, caving, canyoning and abseiling offer a thrilling opportunity to explore our unique environments. Before you head out, be aware of the risks and stay safe during adventure sports.

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.

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.

River and lake safety

Water activities

Beaches, rivers and lakes in NSW national parks offer lots of opportunities for water activities. Please take care in the water and find out how to help your family and friends stay safe around water.

Waterfall safety

Waterfalls are beautiful destinations but please be safe when visiting these natural wonders. Read these waterfall safety tips before exploring waterfalls on your next walk.

Accessibility

Disability access level - no wheelchair access

Prohibited

Fishing

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

Serendipity Canyon is in Mount Wilson area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A haven for plants and animals

Yellow flower of the drumstick shrub, Mount Banks summit walk, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: E Sheargold/OEH.

As you’d expect of an area named after famous botanist Sir Joseph Banks, Mount Banks has rich plant and animal life. Around 1,000 types of flowering plants call the park’s diverse environments home, including the NSW floral emblem—the waratah. Watch the vegetation change from open woodland to low-growing heath and bare rock as you walk to Mount Banks summit. At the summit, fertile basalt soil allows tall trees like monkey gums to grow. The trees were named by early European explorers who mistook the resident gliders for monkeys. On ridge tops you may see hanging swamps or the rare Blue Mountains cliff mallee tree, found only in the upper mountains on exposed cliff edges.

  • Mount Banks Summit walk For some of the best scenic views in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, try the steep Mount Banks Summit walk from the picnic area, near Mount Wilson.

Ancient landscapes

View of Mount Banks from Perrys Lookdown, in Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Steve Alton © Steve Alton and DPIE

The distinctive double hump of Mount Banks was formed by lava 12 to17 million years ago, during volcanic eruptions. While softer sandstone eroded over years to carve out the Grose Valley and rocky escarpments, thick basalt layers atop Mount Banks, Mount Tomah and Mount Wilson protected the sandstone underneath. The sheer Banks Wall, an exposed cliff face 510m high, provides a window into the geology of this area. It’s best viewed from Perrys Lookdown in the Blackheath area of the park.

  • Blue Mountains wilderness navigation training This exciting guided weekend in Blue Mountains National Park with MountainSphere Adventures and Education challenges you to boost your ability to navigate with a map and compass.
  • Mount Banks Road cycle route With scenic wilderness views, wildflowers and birdwatching, Mount Banks Road is a great mountain bike ride and walking track, near Mount Tomah, in Blue Mountains National Park.
  • Mount Banks Summit walk For some of the best scenic views in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, try the steep Mount Banks Summit walk from the picnic area, near Mount Wilson.
  • Wollangambe Canyon 1 You need to be fit and a strong swimmer to do Wollangambe Canyon 1, a long canyon near Mount Wilson. Navigational skills are also important for this route.
  • Wollangambe Canyon 2 For fit canyoners and strong swimmers only, Wollangambe Canyon 2 is a long canyon route near Mount Wilson. Good navigational skills are a must to make the 9km walk in and out.

World-class wilderness

Du Faurs Rocks lookout views of Wollangambe wilderness, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: E Sheargold/OEH.

The Grose Wilderness is the only declared wilderness area in Blue Mountains National Park. The walks and cycle route at Mount Banks are some of the easiest ways to explore this protected area. At the heart of the Grose Wilderness is the magnificent Blue Gum Forest. This closed forest of tall blue gum trees is one of the most secluded areas in the Blue Mountains. It also played an important role in the beginnings of the park and conservation movement in NSW. In 1932, the forest was saved from the axe when a group of bushwalkers pooled their money to buy out the lease. Almost 100 years later, intrepid hikers can hike into this natural wonder via Pierces Pass, off Bells Line of Road. Near Mount Wilson, Du Faurs Rocks lookout offers views north into the Wollangambe and Wollemi wilderness areas.

  • Blue Mountains wilderness navigation training This exciting guided weekend in Blue Mountains National Park with MountainSphere Adventures and Education challenges you to boost your ability to navigate with a map and compass.
  • Mount Banks Road cycle route With scenic wilderness views, wildflowers and birdwatching, Mount Banks Road is a great mountain bike ride and walking track, near Mount Tomah, in Blue Mountains National Park.

Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area

Grose Valley seen from Mount Banks Road trail, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: E Sheargold/OEH

Blue Mountains National Park is 1 of 8 national parks and reserves that make up the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (GBMWHA). In 2000, UNESCO recognised the area's outstanding geology, biodiversity, and Aboriginal significance. The GBMWHA lies within the Country of the Darug, Gundungurra, Wiradjuri, Darkinjung, Wanaruah and Dharawal People. With 1 million hectares of rugged plateaux, sheer cliffs, deep gorges, it protects unique ecosystems teeming with rare plants and animals. Over 95 species of eucalypt trees have evolved here over millions of years, making it the most diverse eucalypt forest in the world. Greater Blue Mountains driving route is a great way to see this ancient wilderness right on Sydney doorstep.

  • Wollangambe Canyon 1 You need to be fit and a strong swimmer to do Wollangambe Canyon 1, a long canyon near Mount Wilson. Navigational skills are also important for this route.
  • Wollangambe Canyon 2 For fit canyoners and strong swimmers only, Wollangambe Canyon 2 is a long canyon route near Mount Wilson. Good navigational skills are a must to make the 9km walk in and out.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Sugar glider. Photo: Jeff Betteridge

    Sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps)

    The sugar glider is a tree-dwelling Australian native marsupial, found in tall eucalypt forests and woodlands along eastern NSW. The nocturnal sugar glider feeds on insects and birds, and satisfies its sweet tooth with nectar and pollens.

  • Bare-nosed wombat. Photo: Keith Gillett

    Bare-nosed wombat (Vombatus ursinus)

    A large, squat marsupial, the Australian bare-nosed wombat is a burrowing mammal found in coastal forests and mountain ranges across NSW and Victoria. The only other remaining species of wombat in NSW, the endangered southern hairy-nosed wombat, was considered extinct until relatively recently.

  • 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.

  • Superb fairy wren. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    Superb fairy wren (Malurus cyaneus)

    The striking blue and black plumage of the adult male superb fairy wren makes for colourful bird watching across south-eastern Australia. The sociable superb fairy wrens, or blue wrens, are Australian birds living in groups consisting of a dominant male, mouse-brown female ‘jenny wrens’ and several tawny-brown juveniles.

  •  Superb lyrebird, Minnamurra Rainforest, Budderoo National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)

    With a complex mimicking call and an elaborate courtship dance to match, the superb lyrebird is one of the most spectacular Australian animals. A bird watching must-see, the superb lyrebird can be found in rainforests and wet woodlands across eastern NSW and Victoria.

  • Swamp wallaby in Murramarang National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor)

    The swamp wallaby, also known as the black wallaby or black pademelon, lives in the dense understorey of rainforests, woodlands and dry sclerophyll forest along eastern Australia. This unique Australian macropod has a dark black-grey coat with a distinctive light-coloured cheek stripe.

  • Wedge-tailed eagle. Photo: Kelly Nowak

    Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax)

    With a wingspan of up to 2.5m, the wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey. These Australian animals are found in woodlands across NSW, and have the ability to soar to heights of over 2km. If you’re bird watching, look out for the distinctive diamond-shaped tail of the eagle.

  • Eastern bentwing bat. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Eastern bentwing-bat (Miniopterus schreibersii oceanensis)

    In colonies numbering up to 150,000, eastern bentwing-bats congregate in caves across the east and north-west coasts of Australia. These small Australian animals weigh around 13-17g and can reach speeds of up to 50km per hour. Eastern bentwing-bats use both sight and echolocation to catch small insects mid-air.

Plants

  • 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.

  • Flannel flowers in Wollemi National Park. Photo: © Rosie Nicolai

    Flannel flower (Actinotus helianthi)

    The delicate flannel flower is so named because of the soft woolly feel of the plant. Growing in the NSW south coast region, extending to Narrabri in the Central West and up to south-east Queensland, its white or pink flowers bloom all year long, with an extra burst of colour in the spring.

  • 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.

  • Close up photo of a waratah flower, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Simone Cottrell/OEH.

    Waratah (Telopea speciosissima)

    The beautiful waratah is not only the NSW floral emblem, it's also one of the best-known Australian native plants. This iconic Australian bush flower can be found on sandstone ridges around Sydney, in nearby mountain ranges and on the NSW South Coast. The waratah has a vibrant crimson flowerhead, measuring up to 15cm across, and blossoms in spring.

  • Old man banksia, Moreton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    Old man banksia (Banksia serrata)

    Hardy Australian native plants, old man banksias can be found along the coast, and in the dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone mountain ranges of NSW. With roughened bark and gnarled limbs, they produce a distinctive cylindrical yellow-green banksia flower which blossoms from summer to early autumn.

  • Smooth-barked apple. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    Smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata)

    Smooth-barked apple gums, also known as Sydney red gum or rusty gum trees, are Australian native plants found along the NSW coast, and in the Sydney basin and parts of Queensland. Growing to heights of 15-30m, the russet-coloured angophoras shed their bark in spring to reveal spectacular new salmon-coloured bark.

Environments in this area