Kanangra-Boyd National Park
Kanangra–Boyd National Park’s majestic landscape of wild rivers and waterfalls, mountainous terrain and deep gorges is rimmed by national park and state forests. It has a raw and inspiring beauty. The grand sandstone terrain is part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
Stunning views and remote walks are just two features of this mountainous park, much of which is declared wilderness. A little more remote and less visited than the adjoining Blue Mountains National Park, Kanangra–Boyd offers a stunning glimpse of an almost primeval landscape. Keen and experienced bushwalkers will relish the opportunity to appreciate the wilderness up close.
From Sydney via Great Western Hwy then Jenolan Caves Rd and Kanangra Walls Rd; from Oberon via Jenolan Caves Rd then Kanangra Walls Rd; 4WD access from Oberon either via Dingo Dell camping area or Yerranderie Rd
Spring and summer
180 km west of Sydney; 25 km south-east of Oberon
- NSWNPWS 1300 361 967
- NPWS Blackheath (02) 4787 8877
- NPWS Oberon (02) 6336 1972
Permits required in advance for caving or exploring at Tuglow and Colong Caves; contact NPWS
68 661 ha
Jenolan Caves/Katoomba 1300 653 408
Oberon (02) 6336 0666
Featured Activities in the National Park
Walk to the lookout for stunning views of the awesome Kanangra Walls
Fish for trout in the crystal-clear river waters
Marvel at the park’s remote beauty
- Kanangra–Boyd National Park, Eco-friendly activity
A look at the past
The difficult terrain and low-grade soil has saved this area from development, although there was a pine plantation on the Boyd Plateau at one stage in the past. A reserve for public recreation at Kanangra Walls was set aside in 1891; Kanangra–Boyd National Park was formally created in 1969.
The park is part of the land once inhabited by the Gundangarra people and possibly by the Wiradjuri people and there are vestiges of their lifestyle with significant Aboriginal cultural sites.
Visually arresting are the sandstone landmarks such as the soaring Kanangra Walls and Thurat Spires. Enticing for nature lovers are vast gorges, a network of limestone caves and hidden pockets of rainforest. A labyrinth of creeks and rivers dissects the valleys, with the Kowmung River, one of the last wild rivers in the state, especially impressive. The pristine waters of the Kanangra, Kowmung and Jenolan rivers form part of the catchment for Sydney’s water supply.
Vegetation communities range from snow gum forests, tall eucalypt forests, stunted heath and swamplands on the Boyd Plateau to wet eucalypt forest and rainforests on the edge of the escarpment and sheltered gullies. Soft grey–green casuarina forests fringe the major waterways.
The extensive karst caves system provides habitats for at least seven species of bats, with the large forest bat and the southern forest bat the most common. The vulnerable brush-tailed rock-wallaby also finds sanctuary near these caves. As well, eastern grey kangaroos, wallaroos, wombats, common ringtail and brushtail possums and gliders all dwell in the park. Birdlife includes yellow-tailed black-cockatoos and glossy black-cockatoos, white-throated treecreepers, fantails, thornbills and whipbirds, honeyeaters and the superb lyrebird.
For the active there is exceptional bushwalking, bush camping, swimming, caving and abseiling. Those who enjoy a more leisurely pace can indulge in a spot of peaceful trout fishing, wildlife-watching or marvelling at the spellbinding views.
From the Kanangra Walls carpark a well-marked track of about 10 minutes leads to a lookout where you can see Kanangra Walls, soaring up to 100 metres high (there is wheelchair access to the lookout). The next lookout is a viewpoint for the magnificent Kanangra Falls. Unmarked tracks also cross the Kanangra Plateau but there are no rails so take care. Head south to Mount Maxwell (about 1.5 km) for more expansive views. It is easy to spend 3 or 4 hours exploring the plateau.
For experienced bushwalkers wishing to undertake longer, and quite strenuous, walks there are a number of tracks from Katoomba, including the Six Foot Track (Katoomba to Jenolan Caves, 3 days). Walkers should carry a compass, topographic map and emergency gear. Remember that the weather is unpredictable and advise a reliable person of your plans before and after your trip.
Caving, canyoning and abseiling
The park provides some inspiring and challenging venues for these adventure sports. Permits are needed for some caving locations. Check with the NPWS for full details.
Whether you're a beginner or an experienced cyclist, there's a wilderness ride for you in Kanangra–Boyd. Following well-used fire trails, tracks wind through a range of landscapes and vegetation, including stands of towering gums and lush rainforest. Try the Boyd River cycling loop (21 km, easy), which starts and finishes at the Boyd River campground, includes creek crossings and takes in Morong Falls; or the Mount Emperor cyclingf loop (12.5 km, medium difficulty), which takes in astounding cliff and escarpment views. Spring and autumn are recommended for optimum riding conditions.
Although routes in the park are fairly limited in number, there is some challenging driving, such as the Kowmung River Fire Trail, which crosses the Kowmung River and two steep ridges.
CampsitesFind out more
Find out more
Find out more