Southern Blue Mountains area
Blue Mountains National Park
The Southern Blue Mountains area near Oberon is a hidden corner of Blue Mountains National Park. Get off the beaten track and explore remote campgrounds, wilderness walks and 4WD routes. Nearby, Yerranderie historic mining town is a highlight.
Read more about Southern Blue Mountains area
The best way to explore this wild area is along the 4WD Oberon-Colong historic stock route. Pack up the car and follow the unsealed road along the rugged Murruin Range. You’ll get tantalising glimpses of sandstone mesas and the World Heritage Kanangra-Boyd Wilderness next door.
Stop to set up base camp, spread a picnic blanket or stretch your legs at Mount Werong campground. From here you can walk to historic Ruby Creek —you might even have the place to yourself. Longer walks to the pristine Kowmung River will challenge self-sufficient explorers. Or gear up for underground adventures in Colong Caves, if you have caving experience and a permit. Explore the many fire trails by mountain bike or 4WD. The Caves to Caves route, between Jenolan and Wombeyan caves, is a favourite for 4WD touring.
The stock route is the only access to historic Yerranderie Private Town, one of NSW’s most authentic silver mining ghost towns. Book a tour around the preserved settlement and stay onsite at the campground or historic accommodation.
The tall, old growth forest in this area is a sanctuary for wildlife. By day, spot mobs of grey kangaroos, red-necked wallabies, wallaroos, an echidna or large goanna. At night look out for wombats, owls and if you’re lucky, the threatened yellow-bellied glider.
Closer to Katoomba, at the end of the Megalong Valley, you’ll find the open, grassy Dunphys campground. It’s a great base for extended walks along Coxs River or to Kanangra Walls. You can also connect with the 132km Katoomba to Mittagong trail.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/southern-blue-mountains-area/local-alerts
- in Blue Mountains National Park in the Sydney and surrounds and Country NSW regions
Southern Blue Mountains area is always open but some locations may close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
02 6336 6200
Contact hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm.
- 38 Ross Street, Oberon NSW 2787
- Oberon office
Blue Mountains Heritage Centre and Blackheath office
02 4787 8877
Contact hours: 9am to 4.30pm daily. Closed Christmas Day.
- 270 Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath NSW 2785
- Blue Mountains Heritage Centre and Blackheath office
All the practical information you need to know about the Southern Blue Mountains area.
Getting there and parking
To get to the Southern Blue Mountains area of Blue Mountains National Park:
From Sydney via Oberon (3.5hrs):
- Head west on the M4 Motorway and Great Western Highway
- At Hartley, turn left onto Jenolan Caves Road and follow the signs to Oberon.
- From Oberon, take Edith Road and Butter Factory Lane to Shooters Hill Road.
- Turn left onto Mount Werong Road (also known as Colong Oberon historic stock route) and follow this road to the park entrance.
- Dunphys campground is accessed from Blackheath, along Megalong Road.
From Goulburn (1.5hrs):
- Take Taralga-Oberon Road for around 95km
- Turn right onto Cosgrove Road, then right onto Mount Werong Road.
- 4WDs can also take The Range fire trail to Mt Werong from Wombeyan Caves Road.
The nearest fuel and supplies are located in Oberon or Taralga.
Road access restrictions and conditions
- There’s no direct access to Southern Blue Mountains area or Yerranderie through the Burragorang Valley from East Picton or Oakdale. This is a Schedule 1 protected water catchment with access restrictions. If you’re using GPS or online mapping, please enter Oberon or Goulburn as your destination to avoid navigational issues.
- In wet weather, check road conditions or closures with Oberon office.
- Watch for kangaroos, wombats and fallen trees on the Oberon Colong stock route. Keep speed down to avoid accidents and punctures.
- Unsealed roads
Best times to visit
Southern Blue Mountains area is a great place to visit at any time of year, if you're well-prepared. Here are some of the highlights.
Breathe in the fresh air as you discover uncrowded tracks and trails. Then settle around the campfire and cook up a warming stew with local Oberon pine mushrooms. If conditions are dry, discover the many trails winding through this area by 4WD. Try the Caves to Caves trail which connects Jenolan and Wombeyan Caves.
Set up camp at Dunphys campground and head out on a day walk along Coxs River. Find a secluded spot to cast a line for trout -- the October long weekend marks the start of fishing season. This is a captivating time for bushwalking or mountain biking, as wattles, orchids and pea flowers bloom throughout the area.
Enjoy a digital detox and escape the summer heat. At 1200m, Mount Werong campground offers milder temperatures than the coast. Nearby, history buffs can get a glimpse into early pioneering life along the shady 2.5km Ruby Creek walking track, or visit Yerranderie ghost town. Colong Caves can be accessed via a track from Batsh campground, off the stock route. You’ll need caving equipment and experience, and a permit from the Wombeyan Caves office.
Dust off your sense of adventure and head deep into the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, along the Oberon-Colong stock route. If you’re up for winter camping in the wild you might find yourself surrounded by snow at Mount Werong. Come well prepared as it’s isolated and weather can be extreme. You might prefer to stay in historic accommodation at Yerranderie for easy access to the short walks, historic mines, and township tours.
Maps and downloads
You’ll need to apply for a permit to visit Colong Caves, Billys Creek Cave and Church Creek Cave. Permits are available from Wombeyan Caves office.
Camp fires and solid fuel burners
Campfires are permitted only in the fire pits provided. Bring your own firewood. Campfires and solid fuel burners may be prohibited during high fire season.
In designated campgrounds only, including Mount Werong, Limeburners Flat and Dunphys, and within Yerranderie.
Bicycles are permitted on the Oberon-Colong stock route, fire trails in the Mount Werong area, and trails around Yerranderie only. Cycling is prohibited within the Schedule 2 Area of Sydney Water Catchment, including at Dunphys campground, Mount Colong, and Limeburners Flat.
You can fish in the Kowmung River and Coxs River from October to June long weekends. A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.
You can horse ride on public vehicle access roads and fire trails, where gates are open. A section of the Bicentennial tail skirts the park. Horse riders can camp with horses at Mount Werong and Limeburners Flat campgrounds, off the Oberon-Colong stock route.
Recreational hunting in NSW National Parks is an illegal activity and is a fineable offence.
NSW national parks are no smoking areas.
Oberon (34 km)
If the famous Jenolan Caves are on your travel itinerary Oberon in the Blue Mountains is the perfect spot from which to plan your caving adventure. There are a number of ways visitors can tour the caves.
Taralga (65 km)
Many of Taralga's existing buildings date from the 1860s to the 1890s, and most of them consist of stone from local volcanic supplies. This has resulted in an architectural style unique to Taralga that is somewhere between Georgian and Victorian, giving the town a unique and picturesque aesthetic.
Goulburn (111 km)
Named after Henry Goulburn - the British Secretary of State for the Colonies, Goulburn developed into a major centre for wool, and in 1863, it became Australia's first inland city. Today, the town is a rich hub of history, discovery and natural beauty.
Southern Blue Mountains area is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:
Plants and animals you may see
Common wombat (Vombatus ursinus)
A large, squat marsupial, the Australian common wombat is a burrowing mammal found in coastal forests and mountain ranges across NSW and Victoria. The only other remaining species of wombat in NSW, the endangered southern hairy-nosed wombat, was considered extinct until relatively recently.
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.
Lace monitor (Varanus varius)
One of Australia’s largest lizards, the carnivorous tree-dwelling lace monitor, or tree goanna, can grow to 2m in length and is found in forests and coastal tablelands across eastern Australia. These Australian animals are typically dark blue in colour with whitish spots or blotches.
Short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)
One of only 2 egg-laying mammals in the world, the short-beaked echidna is one of the most widespread of Australian native animals. Covered in spines, or quills, they’re equipped with a keen sense of smell and a tube-like snout which they use to break apart termite mounds in search of ants.
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.
Tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)
Found throughout Australia, the tawny frogmouth is often mistaken for an owl due to its wide, powerful beak, large head and nocturnal hunting habits. The ‘oom oom oom’ call of this native bird can be heard echoing throughout a range of habitats including heath, woodlands and urban areas.
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.
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.
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 (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.
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.
Environments in this area
What we're doing
Southern Blue Mountains 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: