Newnes Industrial Ruins walk

Wollemi National Park

Overview

Take a walk through historic Newnes Industrial Ruins in Wollemi National Park, near Lithgow. You won’t forget the eerie experience of walking among ruins that are gradually being reclaimed by nature.

Where
Wollemi National Park
Accessibility
No wheelchair access
Distance
2.5km
Time suggested
1hr 30min - 2hrs 30min
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water, sunscreen, hat
Please note
  • The Ruins carpark is only accessible by 4WD or rock hopping on foot across the Wolgan River. Please don’t try crossing the river in a 2WD.
  • If crossing the river on foot, you'll need to add an extra 1km (approx. 20-30mins) each way to the Ruins carpark.
  • Please don’t climb the fragile ruins as they can be unstable
  • Remember to stay on the track as there are hidden holes off the track

Located at the head of the Wolgan Valley, enjoy this fascinating walk into the history of Newnes – once the site of a thriving shale oil mining industry. You’ll see some remarkably well-preserved remnants of the area’s mining history, including old coke ovens, brick kilns, paraffin sheds and crumbling walls.

Starting at the Ruins carpark, the walking track zig zags across the large site, which is on a steep slope. The 15m ‘Big Wall’ is a highlight, and the unique beehive kilns are the largest of their type in Australia. Keep an eye out for wedge-tailed eagles soaring above.

Follow the route of the railway line back to the carpark. If walking from the river crossing, you'll need to add an extra 1km each way. Why not stay the night under the stars at Newnes campground with the local wombats and wallabies.

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/newnes-industrial-ruins-walk/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Newnes Industrial Ruins walk.

Track grading

Grade 3

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

    1hr 30min - 2hrs 30min

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    2.5km

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Newnes Industrial Ruins are in the Lithgow area of Wollemi National Park.

To get there from Lithgow:

  • Follow the Great Western Highway west from Lithgow for 6.5km, then take the Castlereagh Highway exit towards Mudgee.
  • At the village of Lidsdale, turn right onto Wolgan Road towards Wollemi National Park and Newnes.
  • Newnes is around 34km from the Lidsdale turnoff.
  • Cross the Wolgan River at the 4WD ford 100m north of the old Newnes Hotel, and turn left onto the gravel road.
  • You’ll pass several camping sites on your left before reaching the Ruins carpark. The signposted track begins at the locked gate.

If walking to the ruins site:

  • Cross the Wolgan River using the stepping stones, and follow the gravel road on the left around 1km to Newnes Ruins carpark, where the track begins.

Road quality

  • Mixture of sealed and unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • All roads require 4WD vehicle

Weather restrictions

  • 4WD required in wet weather

Parking

Parking is available at the ruins carpark or near the Wolgan River crossing and Newnes Hotel.

Facilities

Toilets

A non-flush toilet is located at the campground on the road to the ruins.

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

  • Check the weather before you set out as the Wolgan River level can rise rapidly
  • Keep a close eye on children and please don’t climb the ruins. They’re unstable and shouldn’t be entered.
  • Please stay on the track – there are some fragile and deep, hidden holes off the track.
  • Drive slowly along the narrow gravel roads and look out for wombats and other wildlife, especially at night.

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.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + 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.

Accessibility

Disability access level - no wheelchair access

Not wheelchair-accessible

Prohibited

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Learn more

Newnes Industrial Ruins walk is in Wollemi National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Ancient connections

Deep Pass campground, Wollemi National Park. Photo: N Stone

The area that is now Wollemi National Park has held significance to Aboriginal people for at least 12,000 years. Evidence of this connection can be seen throughout the park, including ceremonial grounds, stone arrangements, grinding grooves, scarred trees and rock engravings. There are around 120 known Aboriginal sites in the park and probably many more yet to be discovered. The Wiradjuri, Dharug, Wanaruah and Darkinjung people have a strong and ongoing cultural association with their traditional lands and waters. 

  • Pagoda Lookout walking track Pagoda Lookout walking track is a short but steep walk near Rylstone in Wollemi National Park. Enjoy incredible views over ancient pagoda rock formations and the Cudgegong River.

Geological marvels

Newnes campground, Wollemi National Park Photo: Steve Alton

Wollemi's landscape has been sculpted over millennia into a magnificent network of soaring sandstone escarpments, plunging gorges and canyons, winding river valleys and awe-inspiring geological and geomorphological features such as pagoda rock formations, basalt-capped mountains and diatremes. The spectacular Colo gorge and its tributaries form the most extensive sandstone canyon system in eastern Australia. Grab your camera and discover for yourself the breathtaking vistas and natural marvels that make this a World Heritage treasure.

  • Pagoda Lookout walking track Pagoda Lookout walking track is a short but steep walk near Rylstone in Wollemi National Park. Enjoy incredible views over ancient pagoda rock formations and the Cudgegong River.

Nature's haven

Brush tailed rock wallaby (Petrogale Penicillata), Wollemi National Park. Photo: Ingo Oeland

It's little surprise that Wollemi's spectacular landscape shelters a rich diversity of plants and animals. The rare Wollemi pine - a 'living fossil' whose closest relatives thrived some 90 million years ago was rediscovered here in 1994, and the park protects an incredible array of botanical species and communities, from open eucalypt forest and woodlands including Hawkesbury and grey box, to rainforests and perched swamps. This variety makes it an appealing habitat for eastern grey kangaroos, red-necked wallabies and the elusive brush-tailed rock wallaby, as well as the beautifully marked broad-headed snake, regent honeyeater and glossy black cockatoo. Around 55 species of butterfly have also been recorded.

Outdoor adventure

Newnes industrial ruins walk, Wollemi National Park. Photo: Steve Alton

Pitch a tent at one of Wollemi's great campgrounds, like the secluded Colo Meroo backpack campground, the car-accessible Coorongooba campground or the dramatically-situated, car-accessible Newnes campground. With your base set up, you're free to get out and enjoy the park's fantastic outdoor attractions, be they more relaxed pursuits such as picnicking, canoeing and swimming or something more adventurous like rock climbing, horseriding and hiking.

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.

  • Common wombat. Photo: Ingo Oeland

    Common wombat (Vombatus ursinus)

    A large, squat marsupial, the Australian common wombat is a burrowing mammal found in coastal forests and mountain ranges across NSW and Victoria. The only other remaining species of wombat in NSW, the endangered southern hairy-nosed wombat, was considered extinct until relatively recently.

  • Southern boobook. Photo: David Cook

    Southern boobook (Ninox novaeseelandiae)

    The southern boobook, also known as the mopoke, is the smallest and most common native owl in Australia. With a musical 'boo-book' call that echoes through forests and woodlands, the southern boobook is a great one to look out for while bird watching.

  • Satin bowerbird. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Satin bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)

    With vibrant blue-violet eyes and curious antics, the satin bowerbird is a favourite for bird watching and easy to spot as it forages for food in open forest. Relatively common across eastern Australia, in NSW they’re found in coastal rainforests and adjacent woodlands and mountain ranges.

Plants

  • 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.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

Chimney, Newnes Industrial Ruins, Wollemi National Park. Photo: Steve Alton