14 July 2017

Canberra Day Trips: Bungonia National Park

| Canberra Day Trips
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bungonia national park

Bungonia Lookdown. Photo: National Parks NSW

Bungonia National Park has a well-deserved reputation as the adventure capital of the Southern Tablelands. It’s an exciting outdoor wonderland offering caving, canyoning, rock climbing, abseiling, hiking and impressive views. There are around 200 wild caves in the park, not to mention waterfalls, plunge pools and wildlife.

Bungonia National Park is a nature lover’s paradise crammed full of activities for outdoorsy types.

Three of the park’s unmissable highlights are:

  • Adams Lookout – ideal for birdwatchers and viewing the magnificent limestone canyon
  • De Kerrilleau picnic area – the well-equipped gateway to popular Grill Cave
  • Bungonia Lookdown – for superb scenic views into the Bungonia Gorge and beyond


Why you’ll love it

Adams Lookout is the ideal place for a spot of birdwatching. From here you can appreciate the unique limestone features of Bungonia Slot Canyon, Bungonia Creek Gorge and in the distance, the wilderness of Morton National Park.

De Kerrilleau picnic area is equipped with excellent facilities including a shelter, gas barbeque, picnic tables and toilet block. It’s in an open woodland setting, leading to Grill Cave, perfect for families and novice cavers. If you prefer to keep your activities above ground, the Green Track is accessible from the picnic area.

Bungonia Lookdown is an easy walk from the nearby carpark. Here you’ll find more superb scenic views. You’ll get a birds-eye view of the magnificent grass trees that grow throughout the park.

Keep an eye out for wallabies, lyrebirds and perhaps even a koala. A pair of nesting peregrine falcons regularly flies above the gorge near the lookout.

The park also has a well-equipped car-based camping area if you decide on an extended stay.


Getting there

Bungonia National Park is far enough out of Canberra that it feels like a break from the city, but not so far that you’ll feel like you’ve spent half your day in the car.

Driving directions from Canberra:

  • Head towards Goulburn via the Federal and Hume Highways
  • At the Big Merino, take the Goulburn turnoff from the Hume Highway
  • Drive through Goulburn and turn right into Clinton Street
  • Look out for the signs to Bungonia State Conservation Area
  • Follow these signs for approximately 25 minutes

The roads are almost all sealed except for short tracks within the park. The drive is suitable for most vehicles.

When to go

After the heat of summer has subsided, take advantage of the milder weather in autumn to explore all the activities the area offers.

Spring is an excellent time for bushwalking, and the wildflowers are at their finest (and most photogenic) at this time.

In winter, deeper exploration of the caves is possible because their carbon dioxide levels reduce and the caves ‘breathe’.


Key details

  • Duration: under 2 hours
  • Distance from Canberra: 140 km
  • Cost: park entry fees apply, and you’ll need to display a day use ticket, currently $8 per vehicle per day.There are ticket machines at the park office.
  • Recommended for: climbers, cavers, canyoners, abseilers, hikers, birdwatchers and bushwalkers.
  • More information: visit National Parks NSW’s websites:

If you’ve visited other areas in Bungonia National Park, we’d love to share your favourites with our readers. Let us know in the comments.

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