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Wentworth Falls picnic area

Katoomba area

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Learn more about why this park is special

Wentworth Falls picnic area is in Katoomba area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A haven for plants and animals

Critically endangered Megalong Valley bottlebrush, Blue Mountains. Photo: Steven Douglas/OEH

Katoomba area’s diverse landscapes are home to a wide range of native plants and animals. Rare and threatened species include the yellow-bellied glider and Blue Mountains water skink. Spotted tail quolls inhabit the deep shady valleys. The ancient dwarf mountain pine, which existed in the age of dinosaurs, lives only in a 9km stretch between Katoomba and Wentworth Falls. In November and early December, keep an eye out for the pink-purple blooms of the critically endangered Megalong Valley bottlebrush, along Six Foot track.

In the footsteps of early tourists

Dardanelles Pass loop walking track, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Nick Cubbin

The Blue Mountains boasts one of the most complex track systems of any national park in Australia. Dating from as early as 1825, around 60 per cent of the tracks have national, state or regional significance. Follow in the footsteps of early European tourists along the many historic tracks near Katoomba and Wentworth Falls, like Princes Rock walking track. Discover mining heritage along the challenging Ruined Castle route, or head down to Federal Pass, built in 1900. As you descend the Giant Stairway, spare a thought for the men who built it by hand using picks, shovels, crowbars and dynamite.

Ancient landscapes

Wentworth Falls waterfall, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Destination NSW

The Katoomba area is one of the easiest places to see the park’s cliff walls and rock overhangs, multi-tier waterfalls and hazy blue forests. Millions of years of volcanic uplift and erosion have carved out the Jamison Valley and the Three Sisters peaks. Eagle-eyed visitors can try to spot the grey coal and shale deposits between the sandstone. These were formed 245 to 290 million years ago when this area held vast swamps and deltas. Today, landscapes range from open forest and windswept heath, to hanging swamps that cling to the cliff face, and remnant rainforest in the spray zones of waterfalls.

Activities at your fingertips

Conservation Hut, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: E Sheargold/OEH

Wentworth Falls picnic area was one of the first tourist facilities developed in the Blue Mountains. Today, you’ll find picnic tables, barbecues, toilet facilities and carparks close to lookouts, waterfalls and walks. Enjoy the interpretative sculptures and multiple lookouts along wheelchair accessible Three Sisters walk. If you’ve got a head for heights, take the steps to the bridge that connects to the first sister. Combine your park experience with Scenic World attractions or Devonshire tea at Conservation Hut. Kids can learn more on a school excursion or holiday activity. Why not get involved in a volunteer bushcare program.

Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area

View of Mount Solitary from Ruined Castle, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Aine Gliddon/OEH

Blue Mountains National Park is 1 of 8 national parks and reserves that make up the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (GBMWHA). In 2000, UNESCO recognised the area's outstanding geology, biodiversity, and Aboriginal significance. The GBMWHA lies within the Country of the Darug, Gundungurra, Wiradjuri, Darkinjung, Wanaruah and Dharawal People. With 1 million hectares of rugged plateaux, sheer cliffs and deep gorges, it protects unique ecosystems teeming with rare plants and animals. Over 95 species of eucalypt trees have evolved here over millions of years, making it the most diverse eucalypt forest in the world. Greater Blue Mountains driving route is a great way to see this ancient wilderness right on Sydney doorstep.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  •  Superb lyrebird, Minnamurra Rainforest, Budderoo National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)

    With a complex mimicking call and an elaborate courtship dance to match, the superb lyrebird is one of the most spectacular Australian animals. A bird watching must-see, the superb lyrebird can be found in rainforests and wet woodlands across eastern NSW and Victoria.

  • Wedge-tailed eagle. Photo: Kelly Nowak

    Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax)

    With a wingspan of up to 2.5m, the wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey. These Australian animals are found in woodlands across NSW, and have the ability to soar to heights of over 2km. If you’re bird watching, look out for the distinctive diamond-shaped tail of the eagle.

  • 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.

  • Eastern water dragon. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    Eastern water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii lesueurii)

    The eastern water dragon is a subaquatic lizard found in healthy waterways along eastern NSW, from Nowra to halfway up the Cape York Pensinsula. It’s believed to be one of the oldest of Australian reptiles, remaining virtually unchanged for over 20 million years.

  • 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.

  • Echidna. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

    One of only 2 egg-laying mammals in the world, the short-beaked echidna is one of the most widespread of Australian native animals. Covered in spines, or quills, they’re equipped with a keen sense of smell and a tube-like snout which they use to break apart termite mounds in search of ants.

Plants

  • Old man banksia, Moreton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    Old man banksia (Banksia serrata)

    Hardy Australian native plants, old man banksias can be found along the coast, and in the dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone mountain ranges of NSW. With roughened bark and gnarled limbs, they produce a distinctive cylindrical yellow-green banksia flower which blossoms from summer to early autumn.

  • 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.

  • A red triangle slug on the trunk of a scribbly gum tree in Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Elinor Sheargold/OEH

    Scribbly gum (Eucalyptus haemastoma)

    Easily identifiable Australian native plants, scribbly gum trees are found throughout NSW coastal plains and hills in the Sydney region. The most distinctive features of this eucalypt are the ‘scribbles’ made by moth larva as it tunnels between the layers of bark.

  • Smooth-barked apple. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    Smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata)

    Smooth-barked apple gums, also known as Sydney red gum or rusty gum trees, are Australian native plants found along the NSW coast, and in the Sydney basin and parts of Queensland. Growing to heights of 15-30m, the russet-coloured angophoras shed their bark in spring to reveal spectacular new salmon-coloured bark.

  • Close up photo of a waratah flower, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Simone Cottrell/OEH.

    Waratah (Telopea speciosissima)

    The beautiful waratah is not only the NSW floral emblem, it's also one of the best-known Australian native plants. This iconic Australian bush flower can be found on sandstone ridges around Sydney, in nearby mountain ranges and on the NSW South Coast. The waratah has a vibrant crimson flowerhead, measuring up to 15cm across, and blossoms in spring.

Look out for...

Wedge-tailed eagle

Aquila audax

Wedge-tailed eagle. Photo: Kelly Nowak

With a wingspan of up to 2.5m, the wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey. These Australian animals are found in woodlands across NSW, and have the ability to soar to heights of over 2km. If you’re bird watching, look out for the distinctive diamond-shaped tail of the eagle.

Environments in this park

School excursions (2)

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