Greater Blue Mountains drive – Wollondilly trail

Bargo State Conservation Area

Affected by closures, check current alerts 

Overview

Wollondilly trail, part of the Greater Blue Mountains drive, takes in scenic views of Mittagong Nattai, Thirlmere Lakes and Bargo State Recreation Area, Camden and Picton.

Where
Bargo State Conservation Area
Distance
70km one-way
Time suggested
1hr 30min
Price
Free

Part of the Greater Blue Mountains drive, Wollondilly trail is a great way to see idyllic parts of greater Sydney from the comfort of your car. Pack a picnic lunch before you head off on this scenic mountain drive because you’ll find plenty of picturesque settings to stop and eat at.

This rural bushland circuit off the Hume Highway from Mittagong takes about an hour and a half all-up and tours past Thirlmere Lakes, Nattai National Park, and the Bargo State Recreation Area. 

Stop and stretch your legs at Wombeyan Caves, where you can picnic on the spacious grounds or take a self-guided cave tour. Along the way, you can also visit the Train Heritage Works Museum in Thirlmere, with its amazing collection of locomotives. Be sure to stop in Camden, not far from Campbelltown, where rural life gets a glamorous twist. You can then stop off in charming, historic Picton for a coffee and a browse of the local galleries.

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/driving-routes/greater-blue-mountains-drive-wollondilly-trail/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Greater Blue Mountains drive – Wollondilly trail.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Wollondilly trail is part of Greater Blue Mountains drive. To get there:

    • Join Greater Blue Mountains drive in Nattai National Park and travel east along Burragorang Road. Continue all the way to The Oaks, or turn right onto Barkers Lodge Road and head south.
    • Travelling along Barkers Lodge Road along the eastern side of Nattai National Park takes you to Picton.
    • Exit Picton via Thirlmere Way which takes you to Thirlmere Lakes National Park and Bargo State Recreation Area.
    • Travel over the Hume Highway and follow signs to Mittagong, where this part of the Greater Blue Mountains drive ends.

    Park entry points

    Best times to visit

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

    Autumn

    Mild weather and misty mornings; a great time to explore some of the longer hikes in the park, including Starlight's trail and Couridjah Corridor walk.

    Spring

    Enjoy the incredible array of wildflowers that cover the ground in the rainforests and the mild weather.

    Summer

    Swim or canoe in the lakes and rivers.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    22°C and 27°C

    Highest recorded

    42.8°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    12°C and 15°C

    Lowest recorded

    -10° C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    March

    Driest month

    September

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    247.4mm

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    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).

    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.

    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.

    Nearby towns

    Bowral (54 km)

    Spring is tulip time while summer has fragrant roses and autumn, flowering bulbs. Bowral Tulip Festival runs from the end of September until early October; the Autumn Garden Festival is held in May.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Campbelltown (85 km)

    For nature lovers, the Macarthur region has plenty of natural attractions. Explore nature reserves and wildlife trails or see spectacular native flora and fauna at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, the largest botanic garden in Australia.

    www.sydney.com

    Thirlmere (31 km)

    Part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, Thirlmere Lakes National Park has reed-fringed freshwater lakes, abundant with waterbirds and surrounded by native forest.

    www.sydney.com

    Learn more

    Greater Blue Mountains drive – Wollondilly trail is in Bargo State Conservation Area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Aboriginal connection

    Little River trail, Bargo State Conservation Area. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    The Bargo reserve system falls within the area of Dharawal Land Council. Dharawal People lived mainly on fruits, vegetables, fish and shellfish. The women collected plant foods and were known for their excellent canoeing and fishing skills. Men speared fish and hunted land mammals. The reserve contains numerous reminders of these activities, with Aboriginal sites including axe grinding grooves, wells, engravings and surface artefact sites.

    Bargo Brush

    Views across the valley, Bargo State Conservation Area. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    In about 1798, Europeans discovered the Bargo area. Attempts were made to settle the land and run cattle. However, nobody who was granted land outside the colony of Sydney chose to take up the grant in Bargo. The land was considered of poor quality for grazing and people settled further south. Bargo became a feared place and dangerous to travel through. The road built to pass through 'Bargo Brush' became hazardous; the forest, and its thick understorey, was a great place for bushrangers to hide. In 1863, even the established railway line at Picton bypassed Bargo.

    Green communities

    Little River trail, Bargo State Conservation Area. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    Bargo is dominated by dry sclerophyll forest that is typical to NSW, but the reserve also houses pockets of warm-temperate rainforest. Eleven rare plant species grow within these rainforest areas, including hairy and Mittagong geebung, narrow-leaved mallee ash eucalyptus and native cranberry. Given the more barren nature of the soil in this area, it stands to reason that warm-temperate rainforest replaces subtropical rainforest on poorer soils at higher altitudes in NSW.

    Wildlife-watch

    Little River trail, Bargo State Conservation Area. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    Enjoy the company of native Australian animals in this reserve, such as eastern grey kangaroos, koalas and platypus. There are also vulnerable tiger quolls and long-nosed potoroos cohabiting with 19 reptile species and nine frog species. The majority of the Bargo local wildlife can be easily spotted early morning or late afternoon. Bargo is also ideal for birdwatching, as there are over 160 species of birds which have been found to nest or feed in the area, including glossy black cockatoos.

    Education resources (1)