Budderoo National Park – A quick guide to some of the awesome waterfalls, viewpoints and short trails in Budderoo National Park

About Budderoo National Park

Budderoo National Park has something for everyone. With scenic waterfalls, stunning viewpoints, beautiful rainforest trails and plenty of wildlife, there is no shortage of things to see and do here. Located in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales about 2 hours drive south of Sydney, it’s the perfect day trip for a nature fix.

Carrington Falls

Entrance Fee: Free

Parking: Carrington Falls picnic area (also known as Thomas’ Place picnic area)

From the carpark, a 570m paved trail leads you on a circuit to two great views of Carrington Falls; Falls View and Valley View and a third over the Kangaroo River. These mighty falls are one of the more impressive in the area and the easily accessible circuit makes seeing them nice and simple. Surrounded by native plants like wattle trees, the smells and colours along this trail make it all the more enjoyable. About 150m into the circuit you’ll reach the first viewpoint – Falls View. From this lookout, you can really appreciate the scale of the falls as it plummets 50m into the Kangaroo River below. This unimpeded tree-famed view was our favourite of the three.

A further 150m along the track takes you much closer to the falls. Follow the few stairs down to the Valley View viewing platform for a slightly impeded, but nice view. About 50m further around you’ll reach the final lookout with nice views over the Kangaroo River. Continue on to complete the circuit finishing back at the car park.

Carrington Fall - Budderoo National Park

Nellies Glen

Entrance Fee: Free

Parking: Nellies Glen picnic area

From the car park, follow the nice, easy, flat but unpaved trail, leading to Nellies Glen, taking just a few minutes. This pool and small waterfall are nice and ideal for taking a dip at the hotter times of year. The most popular thing to do here is to have a picnic. Avoid the weekends and holidays if you want a more tranquil experience at this hidden gem.

Nellies Glen - Budderoo National Park

Warris Chair Lookout

Entrance Fee: Free

Parking: Nellies Glen picnic area

From the same Nellies Glen picnic area car park, are several trails to explore. And a quick and easy one to combine in a Budderoo National Park day trip is the Warris Chair Lookout. At only 1km return, this short trail takes you to a beautiful lookout on the western edge of Kangaroo Valley. From there you’ll be rewarded with awesome views over the forests of Budderoo National Park.

Warris Chair Lookout Budderoo National Park

The Falls Walk

Entrance Fee: Free

Parking: Minnamurra Rainforest Centre – Parking fee $12 p/day

Starting at the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre, this 4.2km trail initially takes you along part of the Rainforest Loop. We recommend taking the scenic ‘Lower Section’ (Loop Walk), running parallel to the Minnamurra Rivulet, connecting to the Falls Walk. The paved track crisscrosses the stream at times over a series of bridges, including two suspension bridges.

Shortly after the second suspension bridge, you’ll come to the start of the one-way Falls Walk. The first 500m of this uphill walk are moderately steep. The final 800m are on less of an incline as you travel up and over the Lyrebird Falls Bridge to the Minnamurra Falls viewing platforms. The first being the Lower Falls Platform from where there’s views up in tree canopy as the lower section of the falls plummets into the slot gorge. The Upper Falls Viewpoint gives a perfect front-on view of the 22m upper section of the Minnamurra Falls. Coming at the end June the falls weren’t at their fullest, but still well worth a visit.

Minnamurra Falls Budderoo National Park

To return to the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre, follow the Falls Walk downhill until it rejoins the Loop Walk. From here you can turn right or left. If you’ve already walked the ‘Lower Section’ en-route, turn left and follow the downhill Loop Walk back along the elevated walkway to complete the full circuit. In total you’ll likely want 1-2 hours to complete this circuit.

Look and listen out for the Lyrebirds

The trails around the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre are a Lyrebird hotspot. These birds are really amazing and the sounds you’ll hear on this walk are truly impressive. Lyrebirds are capable of imitating almost any sound that they hear, natural or manmade. This mimicry includes mobile phone ring tones, car alarms, camera shutters, dogs barking and so much more. During our late June visit we saw about 15 different Lyrebirds on this walk. And being the peak of the breeding season (June to August) the males were out to impress! Not only were they at their vocal best, but their elaborate tail feathers were at their finest, ready to be fanned out as part of their courtship display.

Male Lyrebird - The Falls Walk, Budderoo National Park

Tip: Arrive as the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre opens. You’ll likely have this trail to yourself, or at least not have to share it with too many other people at this time.

Jamberoo Lookout

Entrance Fee: Free

Parking: Jamberoo Lookout

A really quick and easy stop en-route to or from Budderoo National Park is Jamberoo lookout. Drive right up to the viewpoint and you will rewarded with awesome views. As with the stunning viewpoints in Wollongong, the views here face the mighty Pacific Ocean. On a clear day, there’s panoramic views over the rolling hills to Kiama and north past Lake Illawarra to Wollongong.

Jamberoo Lookout - Budderoo National Park

Wildlife of Budderoo National Park

Budderoo National Park is packed full of wildlife, particularly birdlife. The aforementioned Lyrebirds are abundant and could be heard, if not seen throughout the park during our June visit. Other easy to spot birds here include various Cockatoos, King Parrots, Rosellas and Kookaburra’s. But look carefully whilst on the trails above as there are plenty of inconspicuous pretty birds to be found. We saw Eastern Yellow Robins, Green Catbirds, Eastern Spinebills and Spotted Pardalotes to name a few. Scan the ground for blue objects which might lead you to the male Satin Bowerbird. And particularly in spring, look out for flashes of red as Flame Robins and Firetails dart around the heath.

Kookaburra at Budderoo National Park

Drive Carefully

This amazing part of New South Wales is not only home to some stunning waterfalls and viewpoints, it’s also home to some awesome Australian wildlife. The number of dead wombats we saw whilst driving around this part of the Southern Highlands was shocking. So when exploring this area, please bare that in mind and consider the below:

  • Drive sensibly and slowly – Animals need time to get off the road. Reducing your speed can drastically reduce the chances of hitting wildlife.
  • In this area be particularly alert for Wombats. They have no road sense and often get hit by cars when crossing the road.
  • Avoid driving at night time, dawn and dusk if you can. When you are out during these times, be extra vigilant!
  • If you encounter injured, sick and orphaned wildlife in the Southern Highlands, the northern part of the Southern Tablelands and Kangaroo Valley, contact Wildlife Rescue South Coast on their 24/7 Rescue Hotline 0418 427 214.
  • Download the free IFAW’s Wildlife Rescue App here. This app connects people in New South Wales to the nearest animal rescue group when they find injured wildlife

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