On the western edges of World Heritage-listed Wollemi National Park lies an inland oasis in Ganguddy campground, ie. Dunns Swamp. With a vast array of activities on offer, Dunns Swamp is an attractive spot for the whole family or just a weekend away with your mates.
It’s a four-hour road trip northwest from Sydney and over the Blue Mountains – here’s how to get the most out of it.
Before leaving, pack the essentials: sunscreen, good walking shoes, hat and bathers. There is no drinking water available on site, so load up the car with enough for the whole crew. The campground provides barbeques, but you’ll need to supply your own firewood. If travelling in summer, you can hire kayaks on site when you arrive, but otherwise you’ll need to bring your own.
Follow the Great Western Highway past Lithgow and exit onto the Castlereagh Highway at Marrangaroo. Jump onto Bylong Valley Way and follow the signs to Dunns Swamp – Ganguddy. The last part of the journey will be on unsealed roads, but a 4WD isn’t necessary.
There are 80 spaces on site, and you can choose to bring your caravan or car, or pitch your own tent. Tip: you can’t book ahead, but it’s $6 per adult and $3.50 per child per night, so make sure you have cash before you arrive.
Dunns Swamp – Ganguddy Campground
No matter where you settle, you’ll be surrounded by natural waterways and entries to walks for all abilities. There are also several that are wheelchair accessible. The Indigenous art in and around the rock formations may date back as far as 7000 years.
Weir Walk to Pagoda Lookout is a one-hour return trip of about two-and-a-half kilometres, and can be quite steep and uneven, but you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views over Cudgegong River, volcanic outcrops, and pagoda rocks that date back to the Triassic period. This is a must-do for the photographers in your group.
For those more into water sports, go for a dip, soak up the tranquillity while canoeing across the glassy surface or drop a line for some relaxing fishing.
Flora and Fauna
For an easier walk, head down to Platypus Point. It’s a 20-minute trip, and 800 metres return. Tip: if you go at dawn or dusk and stay quiet, you might even spot a platypus or turtle playing at the surface.
You’ll also likely cross paths with grey kangaroos, wallabies, gliders, wombats and koalas. Be on the look out in the spring for snakes sunning themselves – the tracks are dappled with sunlight. Bring your binoculars to witness the more than 100 species of bird and 55 species of butterfly that call this area home.
If you’ve still got some fuel in the tank, and you’re in a 4WD, head into Wolgan Valley and Newnes on your way home for an entirely different look at Wollemi National Park. The Industrial Ruins walk and the glow worm tunnel are an ideal way to cap off a stellar weekend of camping adventures.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Wild Turkey.