Gardens of Stone National Park

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Overview

Be inspired by the dramatic landscape at Gardens of Stone. This World Heritage area features stunning rock pagodas, sandstone cliffs, canyons and breathtaking scenic views.

Read more about Gardens of Stone National Park

To walk among the exquisite and varied rock pagoda formations, sandstone cliffs and canyons at Gardens of Stone National Park is a memorable experience. The extraordinary rock shapes, the stunning scenic views over the valleys and the mesa of Pantoneys Crown make this area of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area a must for photographers. This rugged territory is also a haven for adventurers, with excellent opportunities for canyoning, mountain-biking and serious bushwalking or hiking.

There’s plenty to see while enjoying a leisurely walk. Along the way, you can admire rare yellow pagoda daisies bursting from the rocks, blue tongue lizards, and wood geckos basking on the warm stone. You may even be lucky enough to spot a koala in the east of the park..

For a sense of the majesty of Gardens of Stone without the sore legs, why not take one of the wonderful driving tours?

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/visit-a-park/parks/gardens-of-stone-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Gardens of Stone National Park.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Lithgow:

    • Head north on the Castlereagh Highway to Ben Bullen
    • Turn right for the 4WD road to Baal Bone Gap picnic area

     

    From Lidsdale:

    • Follow the Wolgan Valley Road towards Newnes. The valley road descends below the cliffs of Gardens of Stone and Wollemi National Parks. Donkey Mountain is just past the Wolgan valley resort, great for climbing and views. The road ends at Newnes Historic Site and Newnes camping area in Wollemi National Park.

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Road quality

    • Unsealed roads

    Vehicle access

    • All roads require 4WD vehicle

    By bike

    Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

    Best times to visit

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

    Spring

    Experience the wonder of the spring bird migrations and enjoy the flowering season for many of the plant species of the park.

    Summer

    Though you need to be prepared for hot weather, this can be a great time to explore the pagodas as deep shade falls between them and in the canyons, making for dramatic photographs.

    Winter

    The light in the mountains is beautiful in winter. Take crystal clear scenic photos from your vantage point on the cliff tops or just marvel at how far you can see from up here.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    8°C and 25°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    0°C and 9°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    January

    Driest month

    April

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    135mm

    Facilities

    Picnic tables

    Barbecue facilities

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

    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

    Lithgow (28 km)

    Hassans Walls Lookout, near Lithgow, is the highest in the Blue Mountains. Admire Mt Wilson, Mt York, Mt Tarana and Mt Blaxland as well as the pretty Hartley Valley below. To the south are the Kanimbla and Megalong valley and Mt Bindo. While there, go for a walk or ride around the lookout.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Hartley (65 km)

    The small village of Hartley features one of the finest collections of historic buildings in Australia, providing a captivating look into the country's colonial past.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Katoomba (69 km)

    Katoomba is at the heart of most of the stunning natural attractions that make up the Blue Mountains National Park. You can admire deep valleys, sandstone plateaus, waterfalls and native animals from the many walking trails and lookouts near Katoomba.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Gardens of Stone National Park is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

    World-class bird watching

    Paper daisies (Helichrysum rutidolepis), Gardens of Stone National Park. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    The diversity of the park supports a wonderful array of birdlife - this is an internationally-recognised bird watching area. You may see such threatened birds as the regent honeyeater, swift parrot, spotted harrier, square-tailed kite, turquoise parrot, lyrebird, and many more. Spring and autumn are the times to see the migrations across the sky. Walkers may also come across rare broad-headed snakes, Lesueur's gecko, heath monitors, brown antechinus, bush rats and occasional quolls. Brush-tailed rock wallabies can be seen along the caves and ledges, and the upland swamps in the eastern part of the park are home to giant dragonflies.

    Astonishing rock formations

    Pagoda, Gardens of Stone National Park. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    The geological evolution of this park has produced Triassic Narrabeen sandstone cliffs, slot canyons, grand mesas and the beautiful, yet often strangely delicate, pagodas. These pagodas are formed by wind and rain shaping the Banks Wall and Burramoko sandstone layers that spread right across the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, and they range from quite small to over 60 metres in height. They are amazingly beautiful against the blue mountain sky.

    • Baal Bone Gap picnic area Visit the jewel in the crown of Gardens of Stone and marvel at the magnificent rock pagodas, sheer cliffs and endless scenic views of Baal Bone Gap.
    • Bicentennial trail: Cowan Creek fire trail For horseriding or mountain-biking, take Crown Creek fire trail. This iconic part of the east coast's Bicentennial trail reveals staggering scenic views and a feeling of complete freedom.
    • The Newnes Plateau Cliffs For self-reliant walkers, climbers and mountain bikers, Newnes Plateau is a wonderland of challenging experiences and awe-inspiring views.

    An adventurer's haven

    4WD trail in Ben Bullen, Garden of Stone National Park. Photo: David Noble

    If it's not enough to view the splendour of the park from your car or the picnic area, perhaps canyoning, mountain-biking the Crown Creek Fire Trail, or climbing Pantoneys Crown or Donkey Mountain are more your style. Come well prepared into this remote and sometimes challenging country, or join one of the private tour companies that bring groups into the park.

    • The Newnes Plateau Cliffs For self-reliant walkers, climbers and mountain bikers, Newnes Plateau is a wonderland of challenging experiences and awe-inspiring views.

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Gardens of Stone National Park has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents.

    Wolgan Valley, Gardens of Stone National Park. Photo: Hamilton Lund