Thirlmere Lakes walking track

Thirlmere Lakes National Park

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Overview

Thirlmere Lakes walking track is a 6km walk around three of the park’s lakes and picnic areas - Gandangarra, Werri-Berri and Couridjah - and the historic Heritage Pump Station.

Where
Thirlmere Lakes National Park
Distance
6km loop
Time suggested
1hr 30min - 2hrs 30min
Grade
Grade 4
Price
Free
What to
bring
Hat, sunscreen, drinking water, binoculars

This fantastic birdwatching walk sets out from Couridjah picnic area. The flat, rough but well-defined 6km loop joins Dry Lakes Road and passes Werri Berri picnic area and Heritage Pump Station as you return along Slades Road.

Encircling three of the lakes - Gandangarra, Werri-Berri and Couridjah - here you’ll see many of the 140+ species of waders, waterfowl and woodland birds that visit the area. Among them are white-faced herons, musk ducks, pacific black ducks, pied cormorants, Australasian grebes, and white-bellied sea eagles.

The mild weather of spring and autumn is the best time to enjoy this pretty walk and admire the lovely ground orchids, wetland and woodland vegetation, as well as aquatic plants.

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/thirlmere-lakes-walking-track/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Thirlmere Lakes walking track.

Track grading

Grade 4

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

    1hr 30min - 2hrs 30min

  • Quality of markings

    Sign posted

  • Gradient

    Flat

  • Distance

    6km loop

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Rough track, many obstacles

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Thirlmere Lakes walking track starts at Couridjah picnic area in the southern precinct of Thirlmere Lakes National Park. To get there:

  • If travelling north from Buxton on West Parade, turn left into Slades Road or Pumphouse Road.
  • If travelling south from Picton, turn right onto Slades Road and continue to the picnic area, which will be on the left.

Parking

Parking is available at Couridjah picnic area.

Best times to visit

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

Spring

Admire the ground orchids and active birdlife along Thirlmere Lakes track, or enjoy a pleasant picnic and barbecue at Lake Couridjah picnic area.

Winter

Photo opportunities with frost and misty lakes make this a great time of year to capture an iconic photograph.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

14°C and 28°C

Highest recorded

42.8°C

Winter temperature

Average

2°C and 17°C

Lowest recorded

-10° C

Rainfall

Wettest month

March

Driest month

September

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

245.9mm

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.

Mobile safety

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

Do not swim or go paddling in Thirlmere Lakes when water levels are low.

Prohibited

Gathering firewood

No fires permitted.

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

Thirlmere Lakes walking track is in Thirlmere Lakes National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Birdwatcher’s paradise

White-bellied sea eagle. Photo: John Turbill

The pristine waters of Thirlmere Lakes National Park provide the perfect sanctuary for more than 140 species of birds, which can be spotted in and around the area. As you’re walking along the Thirlmere Lakes track, keep an eye out for waders and waterfowl. Other birds you may encounter while you’re exploring include the white-faced heron, musk duck, pacific black duck pied cormorant, Australasian grebe, and white-bellied sea eagle.

  • Thirlmere Lakes walking track Thirlmere Lakes walking track is a 6km walk around three of the park’s lakes and picnic areas - Gandangarra, Werri-Berri and Couridjah - and the historic Heritage Pump Station.
  • Werri Berri picnic area Werri Berri picnic area is a great spot for picnicking or barbecuing by the lake. You can even walk the nearby Thirlmere Lakes track or visit the Heritage Pump Station.

Rock and roll

Reflections in the lake, Thirlmere Lakes National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Formed over millions of years from the effects of weather and erosion, the majestic Hawkesbury sandstone which surrounds Thirlmere Lakes is a sight to behold. With sandstone plateau slopes which meander downward from the east and west, meeting in the middle to form Blue Gum Creek, the water rolls perfectly down into this idyllic spot where you can swim and go paddling.

  • Werri Berri picnic area Werri Berri picnic area is a great spot for picnicking or barbecuing by the lake. You can even walk the nearby Thirlmere Lakes track or visit the Heritage Pump Station.

Steam train locomotive history

Pump house, Thirlmere Lakes National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Water from the lakes was once pumped to Couridjah to replenish steam train locomotives on the old southern railway line. Historically significant remnants of this era remain in the park, including the restored sandstone Heritage Pump Station and the pump housekeeper’s track.

  • Heritage Pump Station For a bit of locomotive history near Picton, visit the Heritage Pump Station. This historic site was once used to replenish steam trains on the old southern railway line.

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