Kengal (The Rock) Picnic Area

The Rock Nature Reserve - Kengal Aboriginal Place

Open, check current alerts 

Overview

Kengal (The Rock) picnic area is a well-equipped base for viewing the scenic rock formation, with picnic tables, barbecues, an amenities block, and access to walking trails.

Type
Picnic areas
Where
The Rock Nature Reserve - Kengal Aboriginal Place
Opening times

The Rock Nature Reserve – Kengal Aboriginal Place is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

What to
bring
Hat, sunscreen, drinking water
Please note
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go birdwatching.
  • The weather in the area can be extreme and unpredictable, so please ensure you’re well-prepared for your visit.

A terrific place to settle down and admire the scenic splendour of The Rock is the nearby picnic area. Just off Lockhart -The Rock Road, this is both easy to access and equipped with everything you need to make the most of sunny afternoons. Pack a picnic hamper and a soccer ball to keep the family entertained, or bring along a paperback and take advantage of a shady spot beneath the box trees. How ever you travel, this is a prime picnicking spot for all types of visitors.

In spring, the area blooms with native wildflowers, though woodland birds provide a soothing soundtrack at any time of year. Bring your binoculars for birdwatching, or perhaps some hiking boots to drum up an appetite on Yerong walking track, which leads you to the top of the rock formation. Kengal (The Rock) picnic area is just one of several places to visit at The Rock Nature Reserve. It is a terrific place to begin and end any visit to the reserve.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

The Rock picnic area - overview map

The Rock picnic area - overview map

Map legend

Map legend

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/the-rock-picnic-area/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Kengal (The Rock) Picnic Area.

Getting there and parking

The Rock picnic area is in The Rock Nature Reserve – Kengal Aboriginal Place. To get there:

  • From Wagga Wagga, follow the Sturt Highway west
  • Turn left onto the Olympic Highway
  • Continue to The Rock and turn right onto Urana Street
  • Heading out of town this becomes Lockhart -The Rock Road
  • Continue for approximately 2.5km
  • Turn left into The Rock Nature Reserve – Kengal Aboriginal Place and continue for approximately 500m to the picnic area.

Road quality

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at The Rock picnic area including bus parking.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in The Rock Nature Reserve Kengal Aboriginal Place. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

Cooler days after the high heat of summer make this the perfect season to take advantage of the picnic area, stretching out beneath the red gums.

Spring

Spring sees the park bloom with wildflowers, including woolly ragwort, a threatened species native to the area.

Winter

The crisp clear air of winter provides views from the top of The Rock that sometimes stretch all the way to Mount Kosciuszko; this is the best season for walking.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

13.9°C and 28.5°C

Highest recorded

43.7°C

Winter temperature

Average

4°C and 13.5°C

Lowest recorded

-4.2°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

October

Driest month

February

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

87.2mm

Facilities

Amenities

Toilets

  • Flush toilets

Picnic tables

Barbecue facilities

  • Gas/electric barbecues (free)

Carpark

Drinking water

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

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).

Outback safety

Safety is of high priority in outback areas. In summer, temperatures can reach up to 50°C in some places. Food, water and fuel supplies can be scarce. Before you head off, check for road closures and use our contacts to stay safe in the outback.

Prohibited

Camping

No camping is permitted.

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

Kengal (The Rock) Picnic Area is in The Rock Nature Reserve - Kengal Aboriginal Place. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Geological significance

View along the range, The Rock Nature Reserve.. Photo: C Killick

The reserve sits on the boundary between two major biophysical regions: the Riverine Plains and the western slopes of the Eastern Highlands. This geographic mix gives the area a terrific diversity of landscapes and animal habitats. The Rock itself, unique in the district, is the result of a pressure uplift of sedimentary materials, and is the highest point of a hogback ridge running north to south (The Rock is at the northern end). The summit stands 364m above the surrounding plains.

  • Aboriginal special places guided tours Join Bundyi Cultural Tours in The Rock Nature Reserve - Kengal Aboriginal Place, near Wagga Wagga to explore ancient Wiradjuri culture in a beautiful and timeless landscape.
  • The Towers The Towers is a 100m stretch of the north-east face of The Rock, open to rock sports and also popular with photographers and birdwatchers who want to view peregrine falcons.

Living Aboriginal culture: Kengal

View along the range, The Rock Nature Reserve. Photo: C Killick

The dual name of the nature reserve (since 2005) acknowledges a Wiradjuri cultural presence that stretches back many generations. The Rock is also known as Kengal (meaning ‘sloping hill’), a Dreaming place, lookout, and ceremonial site for the Wiradjuri People and their descendants. It was once used for male initiation rituals. Traditional lore has it that Kengal was created by Baiame, the creator who also taught the Wiradjuri People how to make fire and spears. When settlers arrived in the area, stories go, Baiame left his male and female dingo (Mirrigan) companions, who lay in wait for Baiame’s return, forming The Rock.

  • Aboriginal special places guided tours Join Bundyi Cultural Tours in The Rock Nature Reserve - Kengal Aboriginal Place, near Wagga Wagga to explore ancient Wiradjuri culture in a beautiful and timeless landscape.

'The Hanging Rock’

The Rock lookout, The Rock Nature Reserve. Photo: A Lavender

Charles Sturt first saw The Rock in 1829, though the area wasn’t settled further by Europeans until 1874. They called the remarkable geological feature ‘The Hanging Rock’ because of an overhang on its eastern face. This collapsed in 1874, however, leading to the adoption of its current name – simply, ‘The Rock’. For much of its modern life, the feature has sat on Crown land, and from 1891 its lower slopes were quarried for road base material to provide ballast on a Sydney-Melbourne rail line.

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