Lake Toolooma trail
Heathcote National Park
A challenging hike through Heathcote National Park, near Waterfall, offering views, wildflowers and birdwatching, Lake Toolooma trail is the ultimate Sutherland bushwalk.
- Heathcote National Park
- 5km return
- Time suggested
- 2 - 3hrs
- Grade 4
- Trip Intention Form
It's a good idea to let someone know where you're going. Fill in a trip intention form to send important details about your trip to your emergency contact.
- What to
- Drinking water, hat, sunscreen, suitable clothing
- Please note
- Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go birdwatching.
This lovely Sutherland bushwalk may only take a couple of hours to complete, but the wonderful sense of solitude it promotes gives you a real feeling of escape. Lake Toolooma trail leads you through uninterrupted bushland to a scenic secluded dam that offers great birdwatching. Though it can be quite steep at times, the trail, like most of the walks in Heathcote National Park, is easily accessed from Waterfall train station.
Soak up picturesque views including Sydney sandstone vegetation and lovely water glimpses as you hike along this rough track. Keep your eyes peeled for birds like honeyeaters, wattlebirds and delicate fairy wrens.
In spring, the heath erupts with wildflowers, including Gymea lilies, tea trees, grevilleas, waxflowers and banksias. Why not take the camera and get some great photos along the way?
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/lake-toolooma-trail/local-alerts
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- in Heathcote National Park in the Sydney and surrounds and South Coast regions
Heathcote National Park is open sunrise to sunset but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
All the practical information you need to know about Lake Toolooma trail.
Grade 4Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
2 - 3hrs
Quality of markings
Quality of path
Rough track, many obstacles
Getting there and parking
Get driving directions
Lake Toolooma trail is in the south-eastern corner of Heathcote National Park. To get there on foot from Waterfall train station:
- Follow Korooban Street over Princes Highway for approximately 400m
- Turn right onto Camp Couts trail and then right again to begin Lake Toolooma trail
- Park at the end of Warabin Street and follow the fire trail for 50m to the signposted Bullawarring walking track and continue for 450m
- Turn left at the junction to continue along Lake Toolooma trail
Park entry points
- Warabin Street, Waterfall See on map
Parking is not available at Lake Toolooma trail – access is via a walking track.
Best times to visit
Heathcote National Park offers an exceptional visit all year round. You're sure to find a walk, tour, activity or attraction to appeal, regardless of the season.
Visit Heathcote National Park in spring to see blooming Gymea lilies give a scarlet glow to the gullies.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
16°C and 27°C
6°C and 17°C
-0.6° C (1968)
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
Maps and downloads
Lake Toolooma trail is in Heathcote National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
A long and varied history
The area was for years home to local Aboriginal people, and you can still see several Aboriginal rock engraving sites. In 1937, a bushwalking group leased a section of what is now national parkland to protect this important area of bush. This section and its surrounds became known as the Heathcote Primitive Area (1943). This was expanded again and renamed Heathcote State Park (1967). In 1974, the area became Heathcote National Park.
The beauty of the bush
Heathcote National Park is a rugged landscape, flourishing with a variety of plants and animals. Eucalypts such as bloodwood, grey gum, Sydney peppermint, and scribbly gum dominate open forest areas alongside pockets of bright flowers like banksias, hakeas, and waxflowers, which are best enjoyed along a relaxing bushwalk. With so much plant life to admire, it’s no wonder wildlife like sugar gliders, ringtail possums and swamp wallabies also call Heathcote home. A soundtrack of chatty friar birds, honeyeaters and lyrebirds can also be heard across the park gorges during winter.
- Bullawarring walking track For great Sydney bushwalking, visit Heathcote National Park, near Waterfall in the Sutherland shire; combine your hike with birdwatching and freshwater swimming.
The great outdoors
Slow down and forget your cares with a freshwater swim. Try Kingfisher Pool, Mirang Pool or Lake Eckersley. Or check out the pretty rockpools and waterfalls where Heathcote Creek meets the Woronora River. Cycle along Pipeline Road to the Sarahs Knob picnic area, where you can also complete a great hill run. The 2250ha park is less than an hour from central Sydney by car or train. The park adjoins Royal National Park, just west of the Princes Highway and South Coast train line. However, once you're inside you'll forget about transportation - the park is beautiful, quiet and secluded, plus, it's a vehicle-free zone. If you love to bushwalk, then Heathcote is your kind of park. A multitude of walking tracks criss-cross the park, including the Heathcote to Waterfall track linking Heathcote and Waterfall train stations.
- Kingfisher Pool picnic area A visit to this Sutherland picnic spot, located at Kingfisher Pool campground in Heathcote National Park, near Waterfall, offers birdwatching, bushwalking and swimming.
- Mooray walking track Enjoy a day of Sydney bushwalking and birdwatching. One of the best walks in Heathcote National Park, Mooray walking track is easily accessed from Waterfall train station.
Plants and animals you may see
Eastern blue-tongue lizard (Tiliqua scinciodes)
The eastern blue-tongue lizard, one of the largest skinks in Australia, is found throughout most of NSW. When threatened, the eastern blue-tongue lizard displays its blue tongue in a wide-mouthed intimidating show. Not an agile animal, they feed on slow-moving beetles and snails.
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.
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.
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.
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.