Fitzroy Falls picnic area

Morton National Park

Overview

Have a barbecue beside the waterfall at Fitzroy Falls picnic area, offering scenic views, wildlife, birdwatching and a variety of short walks in the Southern Highlands.

Type
Picnic areas
Where
Morton National Park
Accessibility
Easy
Price
Free
Entry fees

Park entry fees apply at the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre carpark.

Please note
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to birdwatch
  • It can be a busy place on the weekend, so parking might be limited.
  • Accessible facilities are located in the nearby Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre

When you pull up at Fitzroy Falls picnic area, you’ll hear the waterfalls before you see them. It’s a short walk to the spectacular Fitzroy Falls, where water plummets over 80m to the deep rainforest ravine below and the views across the escarpment are not to be missed.

As you’re sparking up the barbecue or unpacking the picnic, you might see one of the resident lyrebirds or an inquisitive swamp wallaby. Green catbirds and eastern whipbirds live in the surrounding bushland, so keep an ear out for their distinctive calls. Look for the iconic waratah, the state flower of NSW, with its long stem and vibrant red flower in spring.

If you feel like stretching your legs, try the West Rim walking track or if you’re visiting in spring don’t miss the East Rim wildflower walk.

The nearby Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre provides displays and information on tours and walks. If you feel like indulging, the café serves scrumptious coffee and cake.

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/fitzroy-falls-picnic-area/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about the Fitzroy Falls picnic area.

Getting there and parking

Fitzroy Falls picnic area is in the northern precinct of Morton National Park, near the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre. To get there:

  • From Moss Vale, drive 18km east along Nowra Road to Fitzroy Falls.
  • From Nowra, drive 41km via Kangaroo Valley and Nowra Road.
  • From Wollongong, drive 65 km via Robertson along Illawarra Highway and Sheepwash Road, then into Nowra Road.
  • From Sydney, drive 137km via Hume Highway to Mittagong and Bowral, then Sheepwash Road and Nowra Road.
  • From Canberra, drive 174km via Hume and Illawarra highways to Moss Vale and Nowra Road.

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre, including several designated disabled spots. Bus parking is available. A daily motor vehicle entry fee applies at the visitor centre carpark. There are coin-operated 'pay and display' machines - please bring correct coins.

Best times to visit

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

Autumn

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.

Spring

Take the Three Views or Granite Falls walking tracks to see wildflowers in colourful bloom.

Summer

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.

Facilities

Toilets

  • Non-flush toilets

Picnic tables

Barbecue facilities

  • Gas/electric barbecues (coin-operated)

Drinking water

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

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.

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.

Accessibility

Disability access level - easy

This area is fully wheelchair-accessible

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.

Visitor centre

Nearby towns

Bowral (18 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

Fitzroy Falls (0 km)

With its rainforest gullies, wildflowers, colourful parrots and rosellas, and many other native animals, Morton National Park is the main attraction at Fitzroy Falls. The boardwalk along the creek, through restored native bushland, takes you to a lookout at the top of the Falls (about 100 m).

www.visitnsw.com

Nowra (26 km)

Nowra is a historic city and the commercial heart of the Shoalhaven. It's on the Shoalhaven River close to beaches and national parks.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Fitzroy Falls picnic area is in Morton National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A rugged beauty

West Rim walking track, Morton National Park. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

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.
  • 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.

Rich Aboriginal history

View of Morton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

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 This excursion experience has been updated and is now being delivered in line with the new NSW Department of Education Curriculum. We will be revising this excursion's name and information online soon. Contact your local national parks office for more information about the updated excursion.
  • Then and now: Aboriginal culture This excursion experience has been updated and is now being delivered in line with the new NSW Department of Education Curriculum. We will be revising this excursion's name and information online soon. Contact your local national parks office for more information about the updated excursion.

Teeming with wildlife

Honeysuckle (Banksia serrata), Morton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

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.

  • Biodiversity month: Talks at Fitzroy Falls September is Biodiversity month. Visit Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre in Morton National Park to hear free talks by conservation experts. Be inspired by their passion for helping threatened species.
  • East Rim and Wildflower walking tracks Take in awe inspiring views of the Southern Highlands’ on East Rim and Wildflower walking tracks. Start from the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre and wind your way through nature on these joined tracks.
  • Manning lookout For spectacular cliff-top views over Kangaroo Valley, Manning 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.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Photo: Peter Sherratt

    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.

  • Closeup of a laughing kookaburra's head and body. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

    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.

Plants

  •  Black sheoak. Photo: Barry Collier

    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. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    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 trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

    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.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

School excursions (4)

Fitzroy Falls picnic area, Morton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek/NSW Government