Looking for the best things to do in Wollemi National Park? Honestly, I’d never heard of Wollemi National Park but it ended up being one of my favourite day trips in New South Wales. And the sunset at Pagoda Lookout was a particular highlight – despite nearly missing it! There’s not a great deal to say about this particular marvel other than that, well, it’s pretty epic.
Funnily enough, I only we found out about this lookout when my mate Rob was messing about on google maps and clicking on random photos. When he saw this view, he was adamant we were going! So we did. And then I came back andwrote this post to record a very special day explore Wollemi National Park. 😉
VISITING WOLLEMI NATIONAL PARK
+ GLOWWORM TUNNEL WALKING TRACK
This expansive national park is the perfect fit for anyone who wants to escape the city and get into nature. Whilst not full of known ‘attractions’ it’s an expansive, gorgeous landscape perfect for camping, hiking, kayaking and other outdoor pursuits.
I only had one day in the area unfortunately so before heading to the Pagoda Lookout we went to the glowworm tunnel. The tunnel is 400m long so be sure to take a torch but turn it off once you’re inside to see the glowworms light up!
Another unique experience in NSW: JENOLAN CAVES TOUR + how to spot a platypus on a Sydney day trip!
How to get to the glowworm tunnel in Wollemi National Park:
The Glowworm Tunnel Walking track is an easy 1-hour walk from Wolgan Valley carpark and my first experience seeing glowworms! But getting to the start point was an insane, bumpy drive with hundreds of potholes. 4WDs are recommended… if not, good luck!
There are various access points but the closest carpark is on Glow Worm Tunnel Road – continue on this road until you reach the small carpark.
Other visitors had come from Wolgan Valley Carpark, some who had chosen to do a longer hike and others who just weren’t sure how to get there! It’s around 2.5 hours from Sydney or 1-hour from Lithgow. Contact tourism for directions beforehand if you’re unsure.
SUNSET AT THE AMAZING PAGODA LOOKOUT
Although this is a very short walk – 1.25 km each way – be prepared and wear good shoes. The majority of this ‘walk’ is actually clambering up rocks to get to the top and is NOT recommended for anyone who is a bit wobbly on their feet!
And you only know you’ve got to the top because, well, the stunning 360-degree view of the gorgeous surrounding area will make that obvious.
So take a breath, sit back and enjoy!
Truly a fantastic vantage point to see the river winding through the landscape one side and the rock formations and bush on the other.
HOW TO REACH THE PAGODA LOOKOUT
It takes around 3 hours to get to Wollemi National Park from Sydney. The campground is a 1 hour from Mudgee or 20 minutes from Rylstone.
First, you will drive to Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp campground. You have to access this area by car. The dirt track road is a bit dodgy but the expansive countryside on the way there made for one gorgeous drive. Plus it helps that Rob has a 4WD – though it is accessible by 2WD.
Once you arrive at the campground you will have to drive/walk around to find the sign to the WEIR WALK. This signpost is near a carpark by a lake. This part is a flat walk.
You’ll eventually see the PAGODA LOOKOUT sign on your left, and from here it’s only 120m to the top but very steep.
BE PREPARED IF YOU GO FOR SUNSET!
Due to the 360 view, it’s an amazing place for sunset. Make sure you take a headtorch and go with a friend. Leave right/soon after sunset so you are not clambering down in pitch-black – for this reason, I don’t recommend sunrise as I can’t imagine finding your way up in the dark.
And if you are not staying at the campground (we didn’t) DRIVE SLOW – this is the time that kangaroos and wombats are out and about, so stay at a slow speed so they don’t get squashed. 🙂
GANGUDDY-DUNNS SWAMP CAMPGROUND
This beautiful area is home to striking Pagoda Rock Formations and serene views of the Cudgegong River, with lots of gorgeous nature in it’s surrounds. Kayaking, swimming and walking are popular activities here.
$6 for adults to camp and $3.50 for children mind, so shame it’s a bit pricey. 🙂
Bookings not necessary but all the info you need is here: Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp Campground Information
The Dunns Swamp area is known as Ganguddy to local aboriginal people and the natural swamps were an important resource to them. Please be respectful and leave this beautiful area for future generations to enjoy.
Hi, I’m Cassie, and I’ve been solo travelling the globe since May 2018. In this time, I’ve backpacked around Southeast Asia, Japan and The Balkans, alongside spending a year living in Australia. Currently isolating in New Zealand.