Cawleys Road trail

Garawarra State Conservation Area

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Overview

Cawleys Road trail is a wide, well-formed track popular for bushwalking, mountain biking and horse riding in Garawarra State Conservation Area, near Helensburgh.

Where
Garawarra State Conservation Area
Distance
2.4km one-way
Time suggested
45min - 1hr 15min
Grade
Grade 5
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note
  • Mountain bikers and horse riders share this path with bushwalkers. Please be considerate to other trail users.
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go birdwatching

Need a place to head out hiking or go mountain biking? Cawleys Road trail starts just off the old highway near Helensburgh and heads through low, open forest filled with scribbly gums, banksias and waratahs. It’s a wide track, surfaced with bitumen and gravel, generally flat, and suitable for all walking, mountain biking, cycling or horse riding levels.

Stop for a breather and lunch at Kellys Falls picnic area. A beautiful series of waterfalls cascading into a rainforest gully are a great accompaniment to your break. Those who are mountain biking can also explore some of the other trails connecting to Cawleys Road trail.

Among the scribbly gums and waratahs, you’re likely to see swamp wallabies or echidnas. Honeyeaters and wattlebirds are also attracted by many of the wildflowers, including Gymea lilies, grevilleas and banksias.

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/walking-tracks/cawleys-road-trail/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Cawleys Road trail.

Track grading

Grade 5

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    45min - 1hr 15min

  • Quality of markings

    No directional signage

  • Gradient

    Gentle hills

  • Distance

    2.4km one-way

  • Steps

    No steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Cawleys Road trail is in the western precinct of Garawarra State Conservation Area. To get there:

    • From the F6, take the Helensburgh exit and continue along Parkes Street until you reach the roundabout in the middle of the shopping centre. Continue east along Parkes Street down to Helensburgh Station.
    • Drive past the station and to the end of Wilson’s Creek Road to a bridge over the railway line
    • Park your car on the roadside, then walk over the bridge into the reserve and the trail on the western side of this bridge is Cawleys Road.

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Parking is available on Wilsons Creek Road or along the Old Princes Highway between Waterfall and Garawarra Hospital.

    Best times to visit

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

    Spring

    Blooming wildflowers bring large numbers of birds, making it a perfect time for birdwatching.

    Summer

    Beautiful weather for bushwalking and cycling, particularly early in the day.

    Winter

    Clear days, cool weather and low rainfall are perfect for bushwalking.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    17°C and 27°C

    Highest recorded

    42°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    7°C and 18°C

    Lowest recorded

    -0.6°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    March

    Driest month

    September

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    254.5mm

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    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.

    Cycling safety

    Hundreds of cyclists head to our national parks for fun and adventure. If you're riding your bike through a national park, read these mountain biking and cycling safety tips.

    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).

    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.

    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

    Cawleys Road trail 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.

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