Lower Grose Valley area

Blue Mountains National Park

Open, check current alerts 

Overview

The Lower Grose Valley area of Blue Mountains National Park tempts you with crowd-free nature escapes. Discover remote camping, walks, and mountain bike trails to secluded lookouts and waterfalls, less than 1.5 hours from Sydney.

Read more about Lower Grose Valley area

Hidden off the beaten track at Woodford, Transit of Venus walking track is a local gem, with family friendly walks to 3 pretty waterfalls including Edith Falls.

Mountain bikers and trail runners will love easy to access trails. Faulconbridge Ridge trail treats you to spring wildflowers and unspoiled views across the lower Grose Wilderness.

Blue Gum Swamp, at Winmalee, is a good spot for bird watching. It's also a sanctuary for threatened species like the yellow-bellied glider, gang gang cockatoo, and powerful owl. Enjoy birdsong as you walk or cycle into the cool, fern-filled valley of tall blue gum forest. Test your legs and push on to Grose Head South lookout for dramatic views of the Grose River, as it carves its way to meet the Hawkesbury River.

Why not combine your visit with the magnificent lookouts, challenging mountain bike trails and fascinating Aboriginal culture of nearby Yellomundee Regional Park.

From Richmond, the scenic Bells Line of Road forms the northern border of the Lower Grose Valley area. Enjoy a picnic at Vale of Avoca lookout overlooking the wild Grose River, near Kurrajong. Head to Bowen Mountain or 4WD to Burralow Creek, where crimson waratah flowers attract picnickers, photographers and birds in spring. Koalas have even been spotted here.

Deep in the valley, remote Burralow Creek campground is a great escape for 4WD adventurers. In summer you might encounter the endangered giant dragonfly as you walk to Bulcamatta Falls via the rainforest gully. By night, there’s fantastic stargazing and wildlife spotting to enjoy.

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/lower-grose-valley-area/local-alerts

Map


Map legend

Map legend

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about the Lower Grose Valley area.

Getting there and parking

To get to the Lower Grose Valley area of Blue Mountains National Park:

From Sydney:

  • Take the M2 and Windsor Road to Richmond, then Bells Line of Road.
  • Or head west on the M4 and Great Western Highway towards Lithgow.
  • The Great Western Highway and Bells Line of Road are connected between Springwood and Richmond via Hawkesbury, Springwood and Castlereagh Roads.

From Lithgow:

  • Follow the Great Western Highway east toward Sydney
  • Or follow Chifley Road from Lithgow which becomes the Bells Line of Road.

Parking

Road quality

  • Mixture of sealed and unsealed roads

Parking

  • Parking is limited at trail heads.

By bike

By public transport

  • Regular daily trains run from Sydney Central Station to Faulconbridge and Woodford. The trip takes around 1.5hrs. Visit Transport for NSW to plan your trip.
  • You’ll need to walk or ride between 2.5km and 5.5km to the national park tracks and trails.

Best times to visit

The Lower Grose Valley area is a great place to visit at any time of year. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

Dry weather and clear skies make this a great time to pack up the 4WD and enjoy a night by the campfire at Burralow Creek campground. After a day exploring, gaze up at the starry skies and try to spot the nocturnal wildlife. During the day, keep an eye out for spotted quail-thrush at Blue Gum Swamp, near Winmalee. You may see male lyrebirds put on a vocal display to attract females.

Spring

From late September, iconic red waratahs bloom in the lower Blue Mountains, making this the perfect time to 4WD to Burralow Creek or visit Bowen Mountain. Springtime is a feast for the senses along Faulconbridge Ridge trail, which is lined with yellow pea flowers, pink boronias, and the creamy flowers of bloodwood and tea tree. Add a few birds to your twitch list at Blue Gum Swamp, such as the red-browed treecreeper or scarlet honeyeater. Why not try your luck fishing for bass in the lower Grose River between spring and early summer (licence required).

Summer

On a hot summer’s day, escape to the dappled shade of Blue Gum Swamp or the cool rainforest gullies along Transit of Venus walk. After summer rain, the trickling waterfalls turn to flowing cascades with refreshing sprays over the rock overhangs. If water levels are high (and safe), it’s possible to kayak from the Hawkesbury River around 5km upstream along the Grose River. You can also walk down the steep, unmarked track from Vale of Avoca lookout to reach the Grose River, where you can go liloing.

Winter

Breathe in the fresh mountain air and soak in the solitude on a winter walk. Breeze along mountain bike ride along trails lined with yellow wattle. Afterwards, warm up at one of the nearby mountain village cafes. Winter-flowering heath banksia and hair-pin banksia are important food sources for animals and birds when little else is flowering.

Facilities

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

All Blue Mountains National Park visitors planning a long hike, off-track or overnight adventure, or visiting a remote part of the park, are recommended to fill in the trip intention form and carry a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). Find out more about hiring a PLB and completing a trip intention form on the dedicated iPads at Springwood Police Station, Katoomba Police Station, and Blue Mountains Heritage Centre (Blackheath).

  • Keep well back from cliff edges at unfenced lookouts and waterfalls at all times, especially when taking photos.
  • Please stay on tracks and be aware of your surroundings and footing.

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.

Cycling safety

Hundreds of cyclists head to our national parks for fun and adventure. If you're riding your bike through a national park, read these mountain biking and cycling safety tips.

Fire safety

During periods of fire weather, the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service may declare a total fire ban for particular NSW fire areas, or statewide. Learn more about total fire bans and fire safety.

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.

Permitted

Camp fires and solid fuel burners

Permitted in designated fireplaces only.

Fishing

A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.

Horses

Horses are permitted on Tabaraga Ridge fire trail and Paterson Range fire trail. Horse riders should be aware that these are popular 4WD and motorbike touring trails. Contact the Richmond office for alternative horse riding experiences in the Hawkesbury area.

Prohibited

Gathering firewood

Pets

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

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Nearby towns

Springwood (6 km)

The Sassafras Gully Loop is one of a number of excellent walks in Springwood. The trail takes you from Springwood Station and past wonderful rock features, dense bushland and waterfalls. It's a nice cool walk in the shade and you're never too far from water.

www.visitnsw.com

Katoomba (20 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

Windsor (20 km)

Explore Windsor's historic buildings, including St Matthew's Anglican Church (1817), Windsor Court House (1822), and the Macquarie Arms Hotel (1815). Bring a picnic or your boat and enjoy the beautiful riverside parks in Windsor including Howe Park and Governor Phillip Park.

www.sydney.com

Learn more

Lower Grose Valley area is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Koala. Photo: Lucy Morrell

    Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

    One of the most renowned Australian animals, the tree-dwelling marsupial koala can be found in gum tree forests and woodlands across eastern NSW, Victoria and Queensland, as well as in isolated regions in South Australia. With a vice-like grip, this perhaps most iconic but endangered Australian animal lives in tall eucalypts within a home range of several hectares.

  • Yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Photo: Peter Sherratt

    Yellow-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus)

    The yellow-tailed black cockatoo is one of the largest species of parrot. With dusty-black plumage, they have a yellow tail and cheek patch. They’re easily spotted while bird watching, as they feed on seeds in native forests and pine plantations.

  • Brush tail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

    One of the most widespread of Australian tree-dwelling marsupials, the common brushtail possum is found across most of NSW in woodlands, rainforests and urban areas. With strong claws, a prehensile tail and opposable digits, these native Australian animals are well-adapted for life amongst the trees.

  • Eastern common ringtail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)

    Commonly found in forests, woodlands and leafy gardens across eastern NSW, the Australian ringtail possum is a tree-dwelling marsupial. With a powerful tail perfectly adapted to grasp objects, it forages in trees for eucalypt leaves, flowers and fruit.

  • Wedge-tailed eagle. Photo: Kelly Nowak

    Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax)

    With a wingspan of up to 2.5m, the wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey. These Australian animals are found in woodlands across NSW, and have the ability to soar to heights of over 2km. If you’re bird watching, look out for the distinctive diamond-shaped tail of the eagle.

  • Swamp wallaby in Murramarang National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor)

    The swamp wallaby, also known as the black wallaby or black pademelon, lives in the dense understorey of rainforests, woodlands and dry sclerophyll forest along eastern Australia. This unique Australian macropod has a dark black-grey coat with a distinctive light-coloured cheek stripe.

  • Sugar glider. Photo: Jeff Betteridge

    Sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps)

    The sugar glider is a tree-dwelling Australian native marsupial, found in tall eucalypt forests and woodlands along eastern NSW. The nocturnal sugar glider feeds on insects and birds, and satisfies its sweet tooth with nectar and pollens.

  •  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.

  • Eastern bentwing bat. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Eastern bentwing-bat (Miniopterus schreibersii oceanensis)

    In colonies numbering up to 150,000, eastern bentwing-bats congregate in caves across the east and north-west coasts of Australia. These small Australian animals weigh around 13-17g and can reach speeds of up to 50km per hour. Eastern bentwing-bats use both sight and echolocation to catch small insects mid-air.

Plants

  • Flannel flowers in Wollemi National Park. Photo: © Rosie Nicolai

    Flannel flower (Actinotus helianthi)

    The delicate flannel flower is so named because of the soft woolly feel of the plant. Growing in the NSW south coast region, extending to Narrabri in the Central West and up to south-east Queensland, its white or pink flowers bloom all year long, with an extra burst of colour in the spring.

  • A red triangle slug on the trunk of a scribbly gum tree in Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Elinor Sheargold/OEH

    Scribbly gum (Eucalyptus haemastoma)

    Easily identifiable Australian native plants, scribbly gum trees are found throughout NSW coastal plains and hills in the Sydney region. The most distinctive features of this eucalypt are the ‘scribbles’ made by moth larva as it tunnels between the layers of bark.

  • Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

    Grass tree (Xanthorrea spp.)

    An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.

  • Old man banksia, Moreton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    Old man banksia (Banksia serrata)

    Hardy Australian native plants, old man banksias can be found along the coast, and in the dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone mountain ranges of NSW. With roughened bark and gnarled limbs, they produce a distinctive cylindrical yellow-green banksia flower which blossoms from summer to early autumn.

  • Close up photo of a waratah flower, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Simone Cottrell/OEH.

    Waratah (Telopea speciosissima)

    The beautiful waratah is not only the NSW floral emblem, it's also one of the best-known Australian native plants. This iconic Australian bush flower can be found on sandstone ridges around Sydney, in nearby mountain ranges and on the NSW South Coast. The waratah has a vibrant crimson flowerhead, measuring up to 15cm across, and blossoms in spring.

  • Wonga Wonga vine. Photo: Barry Collier

    Wonga wonga vine (Pandorea pandorana)

    The wonga wonga vine is a widespread vigorous climber usually found along eastern Australia. A variation of the plant occurs in the central desert, where it resembles a sprawling shrub. One of the more common Australian native plants, the wonga wonga vine produces bell-shaped white or yellow flowers in the spring, followed by a large oblong-shaped seed pod.

Environments in this area

What we're doing

Lower Grose Valley area 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. Here is just some of the work we’re doing to conserve these values: