Thirlmere Lakes National Park

Overview

Thirlmere Lakes National Park is perfect for a relaxing picnic, walk, birdwatching, and glimpse into locomotive history, near Picton south of Sydney.

Read more about Thirlmere Lakes National Park

Thirlmere Lakes National Park is part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, and makes a great day trip from Sydney.

Pack a picnic and head to Werri Berri picnic area, where you can make use of the free barbecues to cook up a feast while enjoying the fresh Wollondilly Shire air.

Walk off your lunch along the 6km Thirlmere Lakes walking track, which starts from Couridjah picnic area. There's no directional signage but this moderate track is well-defined. The walk is easily combined with a visit to the restored sandstone Heritage Pump Station, for a glimpse into Picton's steam train and railway history.

Birdwatchers should keep an eye out for some of the 140 birds that inhabit the park, including the white-faced heron, musk duck, and white-bellied sea eagle. Many native Australian plants can also be found here. The mild weather of spring is a great time to admire the colourful ground orchids.

Thirlmere Lakes National Park is named for its 5 freshwater lakes, which are thought to be around 15 million years old. There's no swimming or canoeing in the lakes due to low water levels. 

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/thirlmere-lakes-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Thirlmere Lakes National Park.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Picton:

    • Travel south along Remembrance Drive. Turn right onto Thirlmere Way and then right onto Richardson Street, veering left at Westbourne Avenue and continuing on Barbour Road. You can enter the park on Slades Road or Pumphouse Road.

    From Bargo:

    • Head northwest on Remembrance Drive. At Tahmoor, turn left onto Bargo River Road and at Couridjah, turn right onto West Parade. Enter the park at either Pumphouse Road or Slades Road into Thirlmere Lakes National Park.

    Park entry points

    Parking

    By bike

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

    By public transport

    Thirlmere National park is not accessible by public transport.

    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

    Facilities

    Toilets

    Picnic tables

    Barbecue facilities

    Maps and downloads

    Fees and passes

    Park entry fees:

    Under review. No park entry fees collected.

    Annual passes and entry fees (https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/passes-and-fees)

    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

    Picton (10 km)

    Discover Picton's fine heritage architecture on a self-guided walking tour or visit historic Tahmoor House (limited open days). Enjoy a traditionally-brewed beer at George 4th Inn, opened in 1839 for travellers along the Great South Road.

    www.sydney.com

    Bowral (37 km)

    Spring is tulip time while summer has fragrant roses and autumn, flowering bulbs. Bowral Tulip Festival runs from the end of September until early October; the Autumn Garden Festival is held in May.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Campbelltown (44 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

    Learn more

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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Thirlmere Lakes 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.

    Wildflowers hero, Thirlmere Lakes National Park. Photo: John Spencer