Morton National Park
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.
- Entry fees
Park entry fees apply at Fitzroy Falls and in the Bundanoon area of the park
- What to
- Hat, sunscreen, drinking water
Perched on the spectacular cliff-tops in Morton National Park, Mannings lookout offers breathtaking scenic views across Kangaroo Valley. It's a great introduction to the dramatic landscape of NSW Southern Highlands, offering great birdwatching and wildflowers. Near Moss Vale, it makes an ideal spot for a picnic or break on a scenic family drive.
It's a short easy walk through tranquil bushland to the fenced lookout on top of the sandstone escarpment. Gaze across the steep valleys and surrounding cliffs taking in Barrengarry Nature Reserve and Budderoo National Park.
Early mornings are a great time for birdwatching, but you’ll be serenaded by birdsong any time of day. Take your binoculars for a chance to see gang-gang cockatoos, scarlet robins and diamond firetails. For more mesmerising scenery, head along Coast to the Highlands scenic drive.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/lookouts/mannings-lookout/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
- 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 Mannings lookout.
Getting there and parking
Mannings lookout is in the Fitzroy Falls area of Morton National Park. To get there:
- From Moss Vale, head towards Nowra along Nowra Road. After passing Fitzroy Falls village, turn left onto Mannings Lookout Road (unsealed) and follow it to the end.
- From Nowra, head up Moss Vale Road toward Fitzroy Falls. Pass through Kangaroo Valley and continue up Barrengarry Mountain. Turn right onto Mannings Lookout Road (unsealed) and follow it to the end.
- From Robertson, head west along Illawarra Highway, turn left onto Pearson Lane then right onto Myra Vale Road. At the end, turn left onto Nowra Road, then left onto Mannings Lookout Road (unsealed) and follow it to the end.
- Unsealed roads
- 2WD vehicles
- All weather
Parking is available at the end of Mannings Lookout Road.
Best times to visit
There are lots of great things waiting for you in Morton National Park. Here are some of the highlights.
Grab an oar and canoe down the Shoalhaven River or the Kangaroo River. Autumn rains create ideal conditions for river paddling, and you'll find good spots for beginners as well as for more experienced paddlers.
Take the Three Views or Granite Falls walking tracks to see wildflowers in colourful bloom.
The rainforests of Morton National Park are a great place to escape the summer heat – try the Erith Coal Mine track at Bundanoon or the nearby Fairy Bower Falls walk.
Maps and downloads
Camp fires and solid fuel burners
You're encouraged to bring gas or fuel stoves, especially in summer during the fire season.
Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre
1301 Nowra Road, Fitzroy Falls NSW 2577
- 9am to 4pm daily. Closed Christmas Day.
- 02 4887 8270
Mannings lookout 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 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.
- 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.
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.
Eastern ground parrot (Pezoporus wallicus wallicus)
The eastern ground parrot is a beautiful, ground-dwelling native bird that lives in low heathland habitat along the NSW North and South coasts and escarpments. It’s listed 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.