One of the best things to do in Wollemi National Park, NSW is to head to the stunning Pagoda Lookout!
Located north of the Blue Mountains, a trip to Wollemi National Park makes for a great day trip or weekend trip from Sydney.
Where Is Wollemi National Park?
Wollemi National Park is a 4 hour drive from Sydney. It is located north-west of Sydney, between the Blue Mountains and the Hunter Valley. The charming town of Mudgee is also 1 hour to the west of Wollemi National Park.
Wollemi National Park is a lot less touristy and far more vast and expansive than the Blue Mountains National Park. In addition, despite being World Heritage Listed, Wollemi National Park isn’t really famous for any tourist attractions.
It does however feature very dramatic scenery and there are so many scenic walks you can do here – it is the perfect place for those wishing to escape the crowds and enjoy nature.
How To Get To Pagoda Lookout – Wollemi National Park
There isn’t any public transport to Wollemi National Park so you will need to drive.
To reach Wollemi National Park from Sydney you will drive past the Blue Mountains National Park, so you may want to time a trip to Wollemi with a stop in the Blue Mountains and make a weekend of it, or include it in a NSW road trip itinerary.
There are many stunning places in the Blue Mountains such as the Three Sisters in Katoomba, Wentworth Falls and the iconic Hanging Rock.
The drive through Wollemi National Park to Pagoda Lookout is stunning: the landscape is so unique.
Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp Access Road
There are so many potholes on the last 3km of the drive: the Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp Access Road that leads to the Pagoda Lookout walking track. I did it in a 2wd but I went very slow and advise you to do the same so you don’t damage your car.
The car park for the Pagoda Lookout is located by the Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp Campground. Click here for the directions to Pagoda Lookout from the carpark.
Weir Walk to Pagoda Lookout
From the Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp Campground find the sign that says ‘Weir Walk ‘ – this is the start of the walk to Pagoda Lookout. Walk along the Weir Long Cave Circuit next to the river.
This part of the walk is easy and flat, it’s when you turn off to the left off the track (when you see the Pagoda Lookout sign) that it starts to get difficult. From here it is 120 metres to the top of the Pagoda Lookout but you need to climb up the rocks and it’s quite steep.
Despite the Pagoda Lookout Walking Track being a short walk (1.2km) you absolutely need good shoes. It is definitely not an easy walk and the hardest part involves climbing up the steep Pagoda rock formations at the end.
When you get to the top, the panoramic views out across the mountains and the Cudgegong River from the Pagoda Lookout are spectacular.
If you manage to get a sunset photo at Pagoda Lookout – even if the sunset wasn’t spectacular, check out how to edit a sunset photo to make the colours look fantastic!
What To Bring To Pagoda Lookout
- sturdy trainers or walking shoes
- a torch if you will be there around sunrise or sunset (although I really really don’t recommend climbing up or down these rocks in the dark)
- as it’s quite a difficult climb and fairly isolated, it’s best to come with a friend so you’re not on your own if you get stuck. If you come solo, let someone know beforehand where you are going as there is often no signal here.
Other Things To Do In Wollemi National Park:
You can kayak or paddle board on the Cudgegong River with Southern Cross Kayaking, which is located right near the start of the walk to Pagoda Lookout.
If kayaking isn’t your thing, you can go swimming or fishing at the river.
If you have time, stay overnight at Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp Campground. The views over Dunns Swamp (known as Ganguddy to the local Aboriginal people) are absolutely spectacular and you might even see platypus or turtles in the weir!
During the holidays this is a popular camping spot, and bookings must always be done beforehand. It costs $6 for adults and $3.50 for children per night.
Glow Worm Tunnel Walking Track
A 2 hour drive from Pagoda Lookout will take you to Wolgan Road where you can park to visit the Glow Worm Tunnel – still in Wollemi National Park. Click here for the location of the Glow Worm Tunnel.
Like the drive to the Pagoda Lookout, the drive to the Glow Worm Tunnel is full of potholes and is very bumpy so a 4WD is advised. It is however possible to drive there using a 2wd, just be careful and drive slowly to avoid damaging your car.
It’s a 4.4km walk one way to the Glow Worm Tunnel from the car park and should take an hour each way to walk. You’ll walk along Old Coach Trail and then on to Glow Worm to Newnes Walking Track. Click here for directions.
Alternatively, there is a closer car park and shorter walking track to reach the Glow Worm Tunnel, but it involves a longer drive from Pagoda Lookout.
Instead of a 2 hour drive from Pagoda Lookout, it is a 2.5 hour drive, but the walk to the Glow Worm Tunnel is just 1.3km, so should be around 18 minutes walk each way. You’ll need to drive to the end of Glowworm Tunnel Road. Click here for directions.
The glow worm tunnel is 400 metres long. Bring a torch but turn it off to be able to see the glow worms in the dark!
Other Places To Visit Near Wollemi National Park:
Pearsons Lookout Over Capertee Valley
1 hour drive from Pagoda Lookout is Pearsons Lookout over Capertree Valley. It is a small pull-in area located just off the Castlereagh Highway – halfway between Wollemi National Park and Blue Mountains National Park.
The views here are stunning too!
More Australia NSW East Coast Travel Itineraries:
Planning a New South Wales road trip? NSW is home to some absolutely spectacular scenery, from stunning waterfalls to beaches and hikes. If you’re set on doing a NSW road trip – or even a Sydney to Brisbane road trip, check out these other travel guides to help you plan your trip!
Fingal Head: The Giants Causeway in Australia!
Byron Bay: Best Byron Bay Photography Spots
Nimbin: Things To Do In Nimbin
Yamba: What To Do In Yamba
Port Macquarie: 7 Best Port Macquarie Beach You Have To Visit!
Seal Rocks: Top Things To Do At Seal Rocks
Forster: Booti Booti National Park Walks
Port Stephens: Camel Rides & Stockton Sand Dunes
Newcastle: The Bogey Hole – Secret Ocean Pool!
Lake Macquarie: Caves Beach – NSW Best Sea Caves!
Central Coast: Bouddi National Park Walk
Broken Bay: Pearl Beach To Patonga
Southern Highlands: Fitzroy Falls Walk
Northern Illawarra: Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout
Southern Illawarra: 14 Best Things To Do In Kiama!
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Catrina is a Travel Writer, SEO Specialist and ex-Flight Attendant based in Sydney, Australia. She has visited 85 countries and lived in several – including Italy, Australia, United Arab Emirates and England. Her work has been featured in a variety of popular travel publications including Fodors, Escape, Australian Traveller and Bear Grylls, as well as several international aviation and travel companies. The majority of her work however features on her own website – 24hourslayover.com where she has written over 500 travel articles!