Back to previous page
Print factsheet

Mount Keira Ring track

Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area

Learn more

Learn more about why this park is special

Mount Keira Ring track is in Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

200 million years and counting

Views across the escarpment, Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area. Photo: Nick Cubbin

The 500-metre-high Illawarra Escarpment provides a dramatic backdrop to the city of Wollongong and spans 200 million years of geological history. The escarpment is so notable, it's currently listed as a 'Scenic Landscape of State-wide Significance' on the Register of the National Trust of Australia (NSW).

  • Forest walk to Sublime Point track Combining several hiking tracks, this extended day walk is one of the region’s best, taking in scenic views of the coast and Sydney, with access to nearby forest picnic spots.
  • Mount Keira Ring track Encircling Mount Keira, the ring track passes through the varied terrains and forests of the Illawarra Escarpment, starting and finishing in a perfect picnic spot.
  • Sublime Point walking track For a challenging walk through rainforest, Sublime Point walking track offers great birdwatching and scenic views across Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area.

Going bush

Cabbage tree palm (Livistonia Australis), Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

The Illawarra Escarpment contains the most extensive area of rainforest in the Sydney basin and forms a crucial corridor between Royal National Park and the South Coast. The area acts as an important refuge for species that are affected by environmental disturbances such as development and bushfires. There are currently 12 threatened animal species in the area. You might even spot a lyrebird, the wildlife emblem of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

  • Byarong Park picnic area Easily accessible and featuring all the facilities needed to enjoy a barbecue, the popular Byarong Park picnic area also offers walking track access and birdwatching.
  • Forest walk to Sublime Point track Combining several hiking tracks, this extended day walk is one of the region’s best, taking in scenic views of the coast and Sydney, with access to nearby forest picnic spots.

How it all began

Sublime Point lookout, Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area. Photo: Nick Cubbin

The Illawarra Escarpment lands were occupied by the Wodi Wodi Aboriginal people for 20,000 years. As such, they are a source of cultural legends and of continuing spiritual significance: Mount Kembla and Mount Keira, for example, feature in a number of creation stories. The conversation area also contains traditional routes of travel between the coastal plain and the plateau.

  • Mount Kembla Ring track Taking in a significant Aboriginal site, local heritage, stunning scenic rainforest and a notable landmark, the Mount Kembla Ring track offers a taste of everything.

Our colonial past

Mount Kembla lookout, Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area. Photo: Nick Cubbin

The Illawarra Escarpment area is full of important local heritage, including colonial roads like the ones constructed by Surveyor-General Thomas Mitchell around 1834. Some were even built by convicts. Keep your eyes open for buildings, portals, rail tracks and other features from former farming and coal mining.

  • Mount Keira Ring track Encircling Mount Keira, the ring track passes through the varied terrains and forests of the Illawarra Escarpment, starting and finishing in a perfect picnic spot.

Weekend city escape

Rhododendron Park picnic area, Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area. Photo: Nick Cubbin

Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area's convenient proximity to the city and public transport options means it has become an important venue for sports and recreation - on weekends it buzzes with hikers, picnickers, and cyclists.

  • Byarong Park picnic area Easily accessible and featuring all the facilities needed to enjoy a barbecue, the popular Byarong Park picnic area also offers walking track access and birdwatching.
  • Robertson lookout The most scenic views of Mount Keira can be found at Robertson’s lookout, and tables make this a terrific picnic spot as well.

Education resources (1)

Naturescapes e‑newsletter

Subscribe to Naturescapes

Get the latest news from NSW National Parks

Mount Keira Ring track, Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer