Starlights trail

Nattai National Park

Closed due to current alerts 

Overview

Starlights trail is a scenic bushwalk, suited to experienced hikers, which forms part the Greater Blue Mountains trail network between Mittagong and Katoomba.

Where
Nattai National Park
Distance
11km return
Time suggested
4 - 5hrs
Grade
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.

Price
Free
What to
bring
Sunscreen, hat, drinking water

Starlights trail is part of the greater trail network between Mittagong and Katoomba, where you can walk for up to seven days in complete, untouched wilderness.

A favourite bushwalker's hike, this walk runs through Nattai National Park and into Nattai Wilderness, with astonishing views of Nattai River and its surrounding cliffs.

Along the way, you’ll enjoy majestic views from Ahearn lookout of cliffs and bluffs. Walkers travelling south of Emmetts Flat can also see glimpses of the towering Russell's needle sandstone spur and Mount Jellore.

Many eucalyptus trees will line your path, as well as pockets of blue-leaved stringybark forest and, on Nattai River, majestic stands of Nattai Sandstone River peppermint forest.

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/starlights-trail/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Starlights trail.

Track grading

Grade 4

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

    4 - 5hrs

  • Quality of markings

    Limited signage

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    11km return

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Rough track, many obstacles

  • Experience required

    Experienced bushwalkers

Getting there and parking

On entering Nattai National Park:

  • Start from the end of Wattle Ridge Road west of the township of Hilltop. A visitor carpark with visitor information is located at the start of the walk at Wattle Ridge carpark.
  • Walkers then access the Nattai Road fire trail then deviate onto the Starlight’s trail, dropping into the Nattai Valley.

Parking

Parking is available at Wattle Ridge carpark.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Nattai National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

Mild weather and misty mornings; a great time to explore some of the longer hikes in the park, including Starlight's trail and Couridjah Corridor walk.

Spring

Enjoy the incredible array of wildflowers that cover the ground in the rainforests and the mild weather.

Summer

Swim or canoe in the lakes and rivers.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

22°C and 27°C

Highest recorded

42.8°C

Winter temperature

Average

12°C and 15°C

Lowest recorded

-10° C

Rainfall

Wettest month

March

Driest month

September

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

247.4mm

Facilities

  • You'll need to bring your own drinking and cooking water
  • You’re encouraged to bring gas or fuel stoves, especially in summer during the fire season.

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

This park is in a remote location, so please ensure you’re well-prepared, bring appropriate clothing and equipment and advise a family member or friend of your travel plans.

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.

  • The walking opportunities in this park are suitable for experienced bushwalkers who are comfortable undertaking self-reliant hiking
  • If you’re bushwalking in this park, it’s a good idea to bring a topographic map and compass, or a GPS.

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.

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.

Nearby towns

Bowral

Spring is tulip time while summer has fragrant roses and autumn, flowering bulbs. Bowral Tulip Festival runs from the end of September until early October; the Autumn Garden Festival is held in May.

www.visitnsw.com

Campbelltown

For nature lovers, the Macarthur region has plenty of natural attractions. Explore nature reserves and wildlife trails or see spectacular native flora and fauna at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, the largest botanic garden in Australia.

www.sydney.com

Thirlmere

Part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, Thirlmere Lakes National Park has reed-fringed freshwater lakes, abundant with waterbirds and surrounded by native forest.

www.sydney.com

Learn more

Starlights trail is in Nattai National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Dharawal and Gundangarra territory

Views from Wollondilly lookout, Nattai National Park. Photo: John Spencer

The Nattai area is the traditional territory of the Dharawal and Gundangarra Aboriginal peoples. The Wollondilly and Burragorang valleys historically form a transition zone between the two. The land and waterways, and the plants and animals that live in them, feature in all facets of Aboriginal culture, including recreational, ceremonial, spiritual, and as a main source of food and medicine. They are closely associated with the dreaming stories and cultural learning that are still passed on to this day.

See the forest through the trees

Reeds along the riverbank, Nattai National Park. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

Nattai is a wonderful place to revel in the beauty of Australian land, thanks to its incredible range of environments, from exposed sandstone plateau tops to wild rainforest and sheltered gorges. Stroll among eucalyptus trees, pockets of blue-leaved stringybark forest and, on the Nattai River, majestic stands of Nattai Sandstone River peppermint forest. In the northern part of the park, you'll find communities of red bloodwood, Sydney blackbutt, red ironbark, scribbly gum, Sydney peppermint, and smooth-barked apple trees. The incredible range of wildlife you can encounter in Nattai National Park will thrill animal-lovers. A huge variety of remote habitats support up to nine species of frogs, 160 species of birds, and 19 species of reptiles; not to mention, wallaroos, emus, swamp wallabies, grey kangaroos, dingoes, wombats, echidnas, forest microbats, gliders, and wallaroos. Among the threatened species you may see are brush-tailed rock wallabies, long-nosed potoroos, tiger quolls, powerful owls, and glossy black cockatoos.

  • Couridjah Corridor walk Couridjah Corridor walk is a 14km return walk that takes in both Thirlmere Lakes National Park and Nattai National Park. Great for hiking, bushwalking and birdwatching.
  • Wollondilly lookout The scenic Wollondilly lookout gazes out across the eucalypt forests, sandstone cliffs and mountain ranges of Nattai National Park.

Wilderness adventures

Views along the along the river, Nattai National Park. Photo: John Spencer

For the adventurous hiker, Nattai is a wilderness paradise offering rugged walking experiences rarely found so close to major cities and towns. There are several long hikes that will suit well-equipped nature lovers. Choose between a number of routes, all of them featuring incredible scenery among the sandstone cliffs, rainforest and woodlands, including Couridjah Corridor walk, Mount Jellore, Starlight's trail, or the Nattai River trail.

  • Starlights trail Starlights trail is a scenic bushwalk, suited to experienced hikers, which forms part the Greater Blue Mountains trail network between Mittagong and Katoomba.

Education resources (1)

Starlight's trail, Nattai National Park. Photo: John Spencer/NSW Government