Byarong Park picnic area

Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area

Open, check current alerts 

Overview

Easily accessible and featuring all the facilities needed to enjoy a barbecue, the popular Byarong Park picnic area also offers walking track access and birdwatching.

Type
Picnic areas
Where
Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area
Accessibility
Medium
Price
Free
Opening times

Byarong Park picnic area is open sunrise to sunset

What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note
Remember to take your binoculars if you want to bird watch.

Nestled in the Mount Keira foothills, this leafy picnic spot offers a terrific place to fire up the barbecue on a summer’s day. Its convenient location close to Wollongong, and great facilities make it a favourite for families and picnickers.

With plenty of kookaburras, lyrebirds and vibrant parrots overhead, it’s a good idea to bring binoculars for birdwatching. You might even spot an Australian brush turkey, once locally extinct but now on the rise in the Conservation Area.

Adventurers and historians will be able to follow the Mount Keira ring track, tracing some of Surveyor-General Thomas Mitchell’s 1834 road into the Illawarra. Strap on your hiking boots for a scenic walk before an afternoon sausage sizzle.

Take a virtual tour of Byarong Park picnic area captured with Google Street View Trekker.

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/picnic-areas/byarong-park-picnic-area/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

  • in Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area in the South Coast region
  • Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger. However, it is recommended that bushwalking only be undertaken during daylight hours because of the presence of cliff edges and other hazards.

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about the Byarong Park picnic area.

Getting there and parking

Byarong Park picnic area is in the Mount Keira precinct of Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area. To get there:

  • Heading south on the Southern Freeway from Waterfall towards Wollongong, exit at Figtree.
  • Turn left onto the Princes Highway
  • After 0.5km, turn left again onto Mount Keira Road. It is 3km to Byarong Park.

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available but it can be a busy place on the weekend, so it might be limited.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area. Here are some of the highlights.

Spring

Enjoy a native wildflower display on the Forest walk.

Summer

Cool your heels on the Mount Keira ring track, which threads through refreshing rainforest.

Winter

Take advantage of the escarpment elevation for a spot of whale watching north of Mount Keira, or from one of the several lookouts.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

16.5°C and 25.6°C

Highest recorded

42.3°C

Winter temperature

Average

8.3°C and 18.3°C

Lowest recorded

-0.5°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

April

Driest month

August

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

316mm

Facilities

Toilets

  • Flush toilets

Picnic tables

Barbecue facilities

  • Gas/electric barbecues (free)

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

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).

Accessibility

Disability access level - medium

Assistance may be required to access this area

Prohibited

Camp fires and solid fuel burners

Fires are not permitted.

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

Bulli (10 km)

Bulli is a former coal-mining village with reminders of its colourful history. A coastal town, it's at the foot of the steep coastal escarpment.

www.visitnsw.com

Campbelltown (34 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

Wollongong (5 km)

There are plenty of opportunities for adventure activities in and around Wollongong ranging from surfing and swimming to sailing, hang gliding, paragliding, cycling and abseiling. Wollongong is the only place in NSW where you can skydive onto the beach.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Byarong Park picnic area is in Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

200 million years and counting

Views across the escarpment, Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area. Photo: Nick Cubbin

The 500-metre-high Illawarra Escarpment provides a dramatic backdrop to the city of Wollongong and spans 200 million years of geological history. The escarpment is so notable, it's currently listed as a 'Scenic Landscape of State-wide Significance' on the Register of the National Trust of Australia (NSW).

  • Forest walk to Sublime Point track Combining several hiking tracks, this extended day walk is one of the region’s best, taking in scenic views of the coast and Sydney, with access to nearby forest picnic spots.
  • Mount Keira Ring track Encircling Mount Keira, the ring track passes through the varied terrains and forests of the Illawarra Escarpment, starting and finishing in a perfect picnic spot.
  • Sublime Point walking track For a challenging walk through rainforest, Sublime Point walking track offers great birdwatching and scenic views across Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area.

Going bush

Cabbage tree palm (Livistonia Australis), Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

The Illawarra Escarpment contains the most extensive area of rainforest in the Sydney basin and forms a crucial corridor between Royal National Park and the South Coast. The area acts as an important refuge for species that are affected by environmental disturbances such as development and bushfires. There are currently 12 threatened animal species in the area. You might even spot a lyrebird, the wildlife emblem of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

  • Byarong Park picnic area Easily accessible and featuring all the facilities needed to enjoy a barbecue, the popular Byarong Park picnic area also offers walking track access and birdwatching.
  • Forest walk to Sublime Point track Combining several hiking tracks, this extended day walk is one of the region’s best, taking in scenic views of the coast and Sydney, with access to nearby forest picnic spots.

How it all began

Sublime Point lookout, Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area. Photo: Nick Cubbin

The Illawarra Escarpment lands were occupied by the Wodi Wodi Aboriginal people for 20,000 years. As such, they are a source of cultural legends and of continuing spiritual significance: Mount Kembla and Mount Keira, for example, feature in a number of creation stories. The conversation area also contains traditional routes of travel between the coastal plain and the plateau.

  • Mount Kembla Ring track Taking in a significant Aboriginal site, local heritage, stunning scenic rainforest and a notable landmark, the Mount Kembla Ring track offers a taste of everything.

Our colonial past

Mount Kembla lookout, Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area. Photo: Nick Cubbin

The Illawarra Escarpment area is full of important local heritage, including colonial roads like the ones constructed by Surveyor-General Thomas Mitchell around 1834. Some were even built by convicts. Keep your eyes open for buildings, portals, rail tracks and other features from former farming and coal mining.

  • Mount Keira Ring track Encircling Mount Keira, the ring track passes through the varied terrains and forests of the Illawarra Escarpment, starting and finishing in a perfect picnic spot.

Weekend city escape

Rhododendron Park picnic area, Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area. Photo: Nick Cubbin

Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area's convenient proximity to the city and public transport options means it has become an important venue for sports and recreation - on weekends it buzzes with hikers, picnickers, and cyclists.

  • Byarong Park picnic area Easily accessible and featuring all the facilities needed to enjoy a barbecue, the popular Byarong Park picnic area also offers walking track access and birdwatching.
  • Robertson lookout The most scenic views of Mount Keira can be found at Robertson’s lookout, and tables make this a terrific picnic spot as well.

Education resources (1)

Byarong Park Picnic Area hero, Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer