Sublime Point walking track

Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area

Overview

For a challenging walk through rainforest, Sublime Point walking track offers great birdwatching and scenic views across Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area.

Where
Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area
Distance
0.7km one-way
Time suggested
30 - 45min
Grade
Grade 4
Price
Free
What to
bring
Sunscreen, hat, drinking water
Please note
  • Please respect the residents of Foothills Road by keeping noise to a minimum when entering and leaving the track
  • Avoid parking across residential driveways on Foothills Road
  • There are no rubbish bins along the walk so please take your rubbish away with you 

Sublime Point walking track is one of the iconic treks of the Illawarra escarpment, and a challenging walk through lush coastal rainforest to the plateau above with incredible scenic views. The steep climb is ideal for experienced bushwalkers and a great nature escape only an hour from Sydney, north of Wollongong.

Starting near Sublime Point, the track descends steeply from Sublime Point lookout down the escarpment cliffs, through dense forests dotted with tree ferns and palms. Stop for a breather for some great birdwatching, and look out for yellow-tailed black cockatoos or raptor birds such as falcons and kestrels.

A series of ladders and a giant staircase allow you to rock-hop your way down to Austinmer. Enjoy lunch at the picnic facilities or nearby cafe before heading back down. If the hike up is enough for you though, you can organise a pick-up at the bottom of the track, or catch a train home from Austinmer Station.

Take a virtual tour of Sublime Point walking track captured with Google Street View Trekker.

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/sublime-point-walking-track/local-alerts

Park info

  • in Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area in the South Coast region
  • Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger. However, it is recommended that bushwalking only be undertaken during daylight hours because of the presence of cliff edges and other hazards.

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Sublime Point walking track.

Track grading

Grade 4

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

    30 - 45min

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Very steep

  • Distance

    0.7km one-way

  • Steps

    Many steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    Some bushwalking experience recommended

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Sublime Point walking track is in the Bulli precinct of Illawarra Escarpment Conservation Area. To get there:

    From the top of the escarpment:

    • Take Old Princes Highway, approximately 12km south from Helensburgh to Bulli Heights.
    • Turn left into Sublime Point lookout, approximately 3km north of Bulli Pass.
    • The track begins 50m south-east of Sublime Cafe


    From the bottom of the escarpment:

    • Turn left from Lawrence Hargrave Drive onto Henley/Kirton Roads, Austinmer.
    • Turn left onto Hill Street, then right onto Foothills Road.
    • The track branches off the footpath that joins Foothills Road and Buttenshaw Drive, Austinmer.

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Parking is available at Sublime Point lookout.

    Facilities

    • Drinking water is limited or not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.
    • Picnic facilities are located at Lady Fuller Park, near Austinmer, and Sublime Point lookout.

    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.

    The walking opportunities in this park are suitable for experienced bushwalkers who are comfortable undertaking self-reliant hiking.

    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).

    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

    Campbelltown (54 km)

    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

    Thirroul (27 km)

    The wonderful beach is the most compelling reason to visit Thirroul, a sweep of golden sand backed by a large grassy park with a children's play area, close to shops and cafes.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Wollongong (29 km)

    There are plenty of opportunities for adventure activities in and around Wollongong ranging from surfing and swimming to sailing, hang gliding, paragliding, cycling and abseiling. Wollongong is the only place in NSW where you can skydive onto the beach.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Sublime Point walking 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)

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