Dungeon lookout

Kwiambal National Park

Overview

Where Severn River enters a steep gorge, you’ll find The Dungeon, with this lookout offering superb views down into the swell, particularly after rain.

Type
Lookouts
Where
Kwiambal National Park
Price
Free
What to
bring
Hat, sunscreen, drinking water
Please note
  • There is limited mobile reception in this park
  • The weather in this area can be extremely cold during winter and unpredictable. Please ensure you’re well-prepared, bring appropriate clothing and equipment and advise a family member or friend of your travel plans.

After rain, the Severn River churns with extra volume, its water rushing in thunderous flow. A deep river gorge called The Dungeon is the most dramatic passage, with steep walls and granite cascades. This lookout takes you to the top of the gorge, with a scenic view down into the swell. Be sure to keep an eye on the kids – there are cliffs nearby and surfaces are slippery in the wet.

The lookout also offers fine views across the surrounding countryside, with white cypress pines, tumbledown gums, and ironbarks knitting together to form a rich canopy of native trees. On your way to the lookout, you’ll pass open plains areas with eastern grey kangaroos and red-necked wallabies: be sure to bring your camera.

The best time to see animals is September through to March. There are a number of migratory birds that you won’t see until spring, so if birdwatching is of interest, plan your trip accordingly. Mornings and evenings are best for visits, especially on hot days; avid hikers can extend their day by continuing on Junction walk, then settle down for a long barbecue at one of the tables in Lemon Tree Flat campground.

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/lookouts/dungeon-lookout/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Dungeon lookout.

Getting there and parking

Dungeon lookout is in the northern precinct of Kwiambal National Park. To get there:

  • From Ashford, take Wallangra Road north west
  • Turn right onto Sandy Creek Road
  • Then left onto Limestone Road and continue into Kwiambal National Park.
  • Turn left onto Macintyre Falls Road
  • Turn right onto Lemon Tree Flat Road and follow the signs to the campground
  • Leave the car here and follow Junction walk to the lookout

Alternatively:

  • Travel along Inverell Street in Ashford and turn onto Limestone Road.
  • At the intersection of Limestone Road and Sandy Creek Road turn right, and continue into Kwiambal National Park.

Road quality

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at Lemon Tree Flat campground

Best times to visit

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

Spring

Between the warmer months of September and March, spectacular wildflower displays decorate the bush beneath white cypress pines.

Summer

The many swimming opportunities, including rivers, secluded beaches, and even a plunge pool, makes Kwiambal a terrific destination in the height of summer.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

16.9°C and 30.6°C

Highest recorded

41.2°C

Winter temperature

Average

2.7°C and 18°C

Lowest recorded

-6.3°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

January

Driest month

June

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

160mm

Facilities

Drinking water is not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.

Toilets

  • Non-flush toilets

Picnic tables

Barbecue facilities

  • Gas/electric barbecues (free)
  • Wood barbecues (bring your own firewood)

Carpark

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

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 + 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

Fishing

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

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

Glen Innes (97 km)

Set in the most prolific sapphire region of Country NSW, Glen Innes hosts the annual Minerama Fossicking and Gem Show and the annual Australian Celtic Festival, and is home to the Australian Standing Stones.

www.visitnsw.com

Inverell (65 km)

Go fossicking for sapphires and other gems at several places around the city. Grab a map of local fossicking sites from the visitor information centre and try your luck.

www.visitnsw.com

Warialda (57 km)

Warialda is surrounded by picturesque bushland, making it an ideal location for bushwalking and relaxing in natural surrounds. There are numerous places to picnic, and Cranky Rock Nature Reserve is a popular spot for fossicking, birdwatching and exploring. The area also supports a large variety of wildflowers.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Dungeon lookout is in Kwiambal National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Aboriginal cultural heritage

Macintyre Falls, Kwiambal National Park. Photo: Michael van Ewijk

Kwiambal takes its name from the aboriginal people of the Ashford district. Rich in food, water and materials, the area provided a year-round living environment for their ancestors, with sacred sites and hunting grounds spread throughout the park.

Animals

Eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus), Kwiambal National Park. Photo: Michael van Ewijk

There are five rare or threatened plant species in the park: severn wattle, Rodd’s star hair, caustic vine, daisy bush and toadflax. Feel free to look, but please be careful not to damage the plants. In the warmer months of September to March, the wildflowers bloom throughout the bush. Like its flowers, Kwiambal is home to dozens of notable animal species, including 32 types of reptile, 11 frogs, and 30 species of mammal. Some 18 species are threatened or endangered, including koalas, squirrel gliders, and five-clawed worm skinks. There are also an astonishing 101 types of bird, making the park a hot spot for avid birders. Keep an eye out for painted honeyeaters, barking owls, hooded robins, and diamond firetails.

  • Dungeon lookout Where Severn River enters a steep gorge, you’ll find The Dungeon, with this lookout offering superb views down into the swell, particularly after rain.
  • Macintyre Falls lookout Adjacent to a well-equipped picnic area, Macintyre Falls lookout offers scenic views over the river, with nearby swimming, hiking and fishing opportunities.
  • Slippery Rock walking track Slippery Rock walking track in Kwiambal National Park, near Inverell, offers spectacular gorge views as well as fishing, birdwatching and vibrant wildflowers in spring.

Historic heritage

Macintyre River, Kwiambal National Park. Photo: OEH

The flat areas of the park have been subjected to farming of tobacco, giving way to cereal crops and the mining of various minerals and sapphires. Unsurprisingly then, there are a number of historical landmarks within the park, including tobacco-drying sheds, woolsheds, fruit trees, storage sheds, and the remains of a house. History enthusiasts will want to seek these out on a visit.

Native rainforest

Slippery Rock walking track, Kwiambal National Park. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

Kwiambal contains 15 per cent of the native dry rainforest left in NSW. The vegetation is dominated by white cypress pines, silver-leaved ironbarks, and tumbledown gums. Unfortunately, much of the planning area has been subjected to logging in the past, though considerable regeneration makes it a worthy destination for nature-lovers. 

  • Dungeon lookout Where Severn River enters a steep gorge, you’ll find The Dungeon, with this lookout offering superb views down into the swell, particularly after rain.
  • Junction walk Junction walk offers a stroll through ironbarks and pine trees to the meeting of Severn and Macintyre rivers, with swimming, picnicking, and birdwatching opportunities.
  • Macintyre Falls lookout Adjacent to a well-equipped picnic area, Macintyre Falls lookout offers scenic views over the river, with nearby swimming, hiking and fishing opportunities.
  • Slippery Rock walking track Slippery Rock walking track in Kwiambal National Park, near Inverell, offers spectacular gorge views as well as fishing, birdwatching and vibrant wildflowers in spring.

Education resources (1)

Macintyre Falls, Kwiambal National Park. Photo: Michael van Ewijk/NSW Government