The Lookdown lookout
Bungonia National Park
It’s an easy walk from the carpark at the end of Lookdown Road to Bungonia lookdown, which offers superb scenic views into Bungonia Creek Gorge and beyond.
- Entry fees
- Park entry fees apply
- What to
- Drinking water
- Please note
- When you enter the park, register your intention at the park office visitor register
- The weather in this area can be extreme and unpredictable, so please be well-prepared for your visit.
The word ‘lookdown’ sounds quaint and old-fashioned because its origins are in the late 1800s, back when ladies wore layers of petticoats and gentlemen their three-piece suits for a day out in the bush.
The Lookdown lookout is perched on the edge of the plateau above the Bungonia Slot Canyon. It’s an easy 50m stroll from the carpark to this breathtaking view into Bungonia Creek Gorge and across to Ettrema Wilderness area in Morton National Park.
Spectacular grass trees grow in this area and throughout the park. Their growth rate is around 1cm each year. How many can you spot near the lookdown that were already growing here before the park was first protected as a water reserve in 1872? Also, take a walk along the Molly O’Neill nature track and listen out for a particular lyrebird that lives nearby with its impressive talent for bird and animal calls.
Take a virtual tour of The Lookdown lookout captured with Google Street View Trekker.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/lookouts/the-lookdown-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 Bungonia National Park in the Country NSW region
Bungonia National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to high fire danger, or park operations. It's a good idea to ring the office for current information.
Park entry fees:
$8 per vehicle per day. Daily fees can be paid at the ticket machines at the park office.Buy annual pass.
All the practical information you need to know about The Lookdown lookout.
Getting there and parking
Get driving directions
The Lookdown lookout is in the northern precinct of Bungonia National Park. To get there:
- From Bungonia follow Lookdown Road to the park entrance
- Drive past the park office and continue along Lookdown Road for approximately 1.5km to the end
- The lookout is an easy 50m walk from here.
- Sealed roads
- 2WD vehicles
- All weather
Parking is available at The Lookdown lookout, including a designated disabled spot.
Best times to visit
There are lots of great things waiting for you in Bungonia National Park. Here are some of the highlights.
After the heat of summer has subsided, take advantage of the milder weather for hiking in the park.
Enjoy bushwalking in the comfortable temperatures of this time of year when the wildflowers are at their finest. Late in the season, the stands of brittle gum become extremely photogenic as their white trunks turn pink.
Deeper exploration of caves is possible when their carbon dioxide levels reduce in winter as the warm air from within rises and the caves ‘breathe'.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
12°C and 26°C
1°C and 13°C
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
Maps and downloads
Disability access level - easy
This area is fully wheelchair-accessible.
The Lookdown lookout is in Bungonia National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
Endless caving opportunities
Known as the adventure capital of the Southern Tablelands, Bungonia is a place to really test your limits. There are around 200 wild caves in the park, many of which are open for experienced cavers to explore. For an exciting journey of waterfalls and plunge pools, Bungonia Creek and Jerrara Creek are the most popular canyoning spots. Bungonia Slot Canyon provides one of the few opportunities in Australia for climbing limestone and is as dramatic a place to scale a rock wall as its name suggests.
- De Kerrilleau picnic area Bungonia National Park, in easy reach of Canberra, is an outdoor adventure playground offering caving, canyoning, rock climbing, abseiling, hiking and impressive views.
- The Lookdown lookout It’s an easy walk from the carpark at the end of Lookdown Road to Bungonia lookdown, which offers superb scenic views into Bungonia Creek Gorge and beyond.
Once upon a time
The park lies across the traditional lands of the Njunawal tribal group, the northwest corner of the Wandandian tribal territory and the southern boundary of the Gandangara tribal group. The ridge tops were almost certainly travel routes as people shifted in accordance with the seasonal availability of food. Evidence of campsites exists on the main plateau and limestone dolines contain edible plants consumed or used by Aboriginal people.
One of our oldest parks
This park is one of the oldest in New South Wales. It was first protected as a water reserve in 1872, which was also the same year the world's first national park - Yellowstone, in USA - was established. Just as Yellowstone's geothermal features pull the crowds, Bungonia's geomorphology, both above and belowground, are its main draw. Louis Guymer was the park's first caretaker (1889-1909), who discovered caves and erected gates and ladders, some of which you may use during your visit.
- Bungonia Gorge guided adventure treks Go on a day hike or weekend trek to Bungonia Gorge with 100% Adventure. It’s a great way to experience Bungonia National Park, the adventure capital of the Southern Tablelands.
Winged and furry
The vulnerable large bent-wing bat calls Bungonia home, and certain caves are closed during the year to help provide a safe environment for breeding and hibernation. When open, look out for a colony, cloud or cauldron of bats as you explore the limestone labyrinths of their natural habitat. A small population of koalas, classified as threatened, also inhabit the park.
- Adams lookout Adams lookout, great for birdwatching and picnicking, is the only platform in Bungonia that offers a view of the magnificent limestone feature of Bungonia Slot Canyon.
- Green track Enjoy Green track’s fairly easy hike, a walking track loop through woodlands, gullies, gorges and rainforest, taking in all the park’s major scenic lookouts and wildlife.