Kellys Falls picnic area

Garawarra State Conservation Area

Open, check current alerts 

Overview

Kellys Falls picnic area is a network of walking trails, cascading waterfalls and scenic lookouts within Garawarra State Conservation Area between Sydney and Wollongong, near Helensburgh.

Type
Picnic areas
Where
Garawarra State Conservation Area
Accessibility
Easy
What to
bring
Hat, sunscreen, drinking water
Please note

The rocks and paths around the waterfalls can be extremely slippery so please be careful if you venture there. Rock pools can also have dangerous submerged rocks just beneath the surface.

Read more about staying safe near waterfalls

Water cascades over the rocks and drops into a pool, providing a relaxing soundtrack to your lunch at Kellys Falls picnic area, a beautiful spot to get back to nature. From this picnic area, you can walk up to one of four scenic lookouts to take in the views of waterfalls and the rainforest-lined gullies below.

With satin bowerbirds, honeyeaters and wattle birds attracted by the flowering banksia, hakea, grevillea and towering Gymea lilies, it’s a great place for birdwatching.

From here, you can take a walk along one of the adjoining walking tracks; there are bushwalking links to Stanwell Tops and Illawarra Escarpment that take you to the northern suburbs of Wollongong.

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/kellys-falls-picnic-area/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

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

Getting there and parking

Kellys Falls picnic area is in the Kellys Falls precinct of Garawarra State Conservation Reserve. To get there:

  • From F6 Freeway, take Helensburgh exit and follow Lawrence Hargrave Drive, before turning left into Kellys Falls.
  • Travelling south from Grand Pacific Drive, turn left at the junction of Lawrence Hargrave Drive and Lady Wakehurst Drive. Kellys Falls is approximately 2km on your right, just before Walker Street.

Road quality

There is a section of unsealed road leading to the carpark once you turn off Lawrence Hargreaves Drive.

  • Mixture of sealed and unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at Kellys Falls picnic area.

Facilities

Picnic tables

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Waterfall safety at Kellys Falls

  • Be extra careful because rocks and paths can be extremely slippery around the waterfalls
  • Rock pools can also have dangerous submerged rocks just beneath the surface 
  • Please do not climb on pre-existing ropes, rope ladders or anchors as they are not safe. 
  • Stay behind the railing and barriers – they exist to prevent you falling over the edge.
  • Read more about staying safe around waterfalls in NSW national parks 

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.

If you’re bushwalking in this park, it's a good idea to bring a topographic map and compass, or a GPS.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus 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 - easy

  • Kellys Falls picnic area is fully wheelchair-accessible, although there are steps at the waterfalls.

Prohibited

Camp fires and solid fuel burners

No fires are allowed in this reserve.

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dogs and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Learn more

Kellys Falls picnic area is in Garawarra State Conservation Area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Activity central

Cyclist on Cawleys Road, Garawarra State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

Trails weave through 900ha of Garawarra bushland, down into Hacking River gullies and up to scenic lookouts. These trails connect with other bushwalking trails in neighbouring Royal and Heathcote national parks. If cycling or bushwalking are on the agenda for your retreat into nature, then be sure to take your bicycle and hiking boots with you. Feeling more adventurous? Check out the scenic bridle trails for some horse riding in the reserve, west of Helensburgh.

  • Cawleys Road trail Cawleys Road trail is a wide, well-formed track popular for bushwalking, mountain biking and horse riding in Garawarra State Conservation Area, near Helensburgh.
  • Kellys Falls picnic area Kellys Falls picnic area is a network of walking trails, cascading waterfalls and scenic lookouts within Garawarra State Conservation Area between Sydney and Wollongong, near Helensburgh.

The sights and sounds of nature

Lace monitor (Varanus varius), Garawarra State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

Wildflowers are a huge attraction for the area's birds and birdwatchers alike. Wattlebirds, known for the 'wattles' hanging from their cheeks or throats, are abundant. Listen out for unusual noises while bird watching; they could be coming from the lyrebird - the NPWS emblem. Common in the reserve, these ground-dwellers mimic sounds, both natural and artificial.

  • Cawleys Road trail Cawleys Road trail is a wide, well-formed track popular for bushwalking, mountain biking and horse riding in Garawarra State Conservation Area, near Helensburgh.
  • Kellys Falls picnic area Kellys Falls picnic area is a network of walking trails, cascading waterfalls and scenic lookouts within Garawarra State Conservation Area between Sydney and Wollongong, near Helensburgh.

Wilderness zone

Kellys Falls, Garawarra National Park. Photo: Nick Cubbin

Garawarra State Conservation Area borders Royal National Park and, along with the Nasho, was added to the National Heritage list in 2006. With its close proximity to the ocean and temperate climate, a number of environments flourish in this park, including open heath, eucalypt forests and subtropical forests. In late winter and early spring, the area comes alive with colour as banksias, Christmas bells and wattles bloom.

Education resources (1)