Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 04, 2017 at 22:43
ThreadID: 134048 Views:4426 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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Thanks to the people that commented on my Olympic Hwy post yesterday. We are on the road and staying in Cowra tonight. Tomorrow we are considering heading out to Newnes. My understanding is there is National Park camping one side and private camping the other side which is dog friendly. Just want to know if anyone has been there recently and if so, what is the river crossing like? We are towing a Jayco camper and husband is concerned about getting stuck out there. Has there been much rain of late? We are just wanting to do the glow worm walk. What is the road like to get out there? Any info you've got would be appreciated. We're just winging this road trip at the moment. Cheers ??
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2017 at 23:05

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2017 at 23:05
Gezza, driving into Glow Worms from Lithgow, I can't recall any river crossings.
It does get windy and narrow towards the end at GW carpark, hopefully traffic coming the other way is sensible with speed too.

We camped in Turon NP a little further NE (Diggings) and the Turon River did have some crossings, esp down to Turon Gates and beyond or south through the park.
Obviously dogs are no go in there, not sure about the private camping you are referring to, but perhaps the state forest part of the park is ok ?

I recall passing a large camp area on the GW road on the right, would be out of the nat park area I'm sure.
It was full of yahoos at he time with bikes. quads etc, hopefully you're going at quiet time there and no such crowds.
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Follow Up By: Gezza H - Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 at 06:26

Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 at 06:26
Thanks Les. I believe there is a campground st the end of the road which is National Park then if you cross the river there's a private campground opposite the pub. How far are the Glow worms from Lithgow?
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 at 13:07

Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 at 13:07
About 35km Gezza, bit of a climb at the start from where the blacktop ends, but pretty easy gravel road then all the way.
I'd say about an 3/4 hour or so taking it easy.

We did go up Newnes Rd via Lidsdale, went to some Aboriginal rock art walls, which were very interesting, but then went out again and around to the GW tunnel via the Lithgow access.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 at 13:34

Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 at 13:34
Gezza, here's a bit of a map (EOTopo) of the area.

The bullseye cursor is on Blackfellows Hand Rock, where the aboriginal art is. Access from the Wolgan Valley/Newnes Road just near the Rock via Blackfellows Hand firetrail, or via Lithgow via Blackfellows Hand FT. Follow the orange highlight. 4WD only from both directions and a bit of low range work. There is a very good info and interpretive board at the Newnes Road end.

The campground with yahoos and dirt bikes that Les referred to is Bungleboori. Years ago it was nice, but now it's a disgrace with piles upon piles of rubbish left by dirt bike bogans on a daily basis. Best avoided. (Not saying all dirt bike riders are bogans, but the ones that frequent Bubgleboori definitely are.) It is a Forestry campground. If it was NP it would have been cleaned up or closed - probably the latter.

Lost City is worth a look, very photogenic. Take the rough track heading southwest from Bungleboori camp - again 4WD low range.


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Reply By: Life Member TourBoy, Bundaberg - Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 at 06:41

Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 at 06:41
Hi Gezza,

The Newnes road is a different road to the glow worm tunnel.
The tunnel road is accessed via Lithgow up on the Newnes Plateau where the trail / quad bikers go in the state forest.
The Newnes Rd is accessed via Lidsdale and goes to the old township and ruins (NP) near the pub.
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 at 07:48

Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 at 07:48
We are up that way regularly and the creek crossing between the private and NP campgrounds is of no consequence and water, if any, will be nominal.

I’d expect reasonable numbers up there during the holidays and both grounds are pleasant enough, our preference being the NP.

As others have indicated, the road into the Glow Worm tunnels is quite separate to the road into Newnes and a reasonable, but pleasant drive, and it is well worth the trip to see it. It is possible to walk to the Glow Worm tunnel from the Newnes road and I have done this a few times, a bit of a hike if you are into that sort of thing.

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 at 10:28

Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 at 10:28

The road in to Newnes is sealed except for the last 12 or so km which is 2WD all weather gravel. There is a very steep, winding drop into the valley at the start which will be a big pull on the way out. That part of the road is narrow, but two lane sealed, so all good.

There are two NP camping areas at Newnes. Neither permits dogs, of course. The easier to access is the one straight ahead past the old pub (now kiosk/museum). Keep going across a small creek, usually dry or just a dribble, and there's a large campground ahead of you with the Wolgan River on your right.

The other NP camping area is accessed by turning right a couple of hundred metres before the old pub. You cross the Wolgan River but it's shallow, just a few inches, then a hard left turn on the other side. Drive a hundred metres or so to the campground. It is much smaller than the first but in some ways nicer.
Both are very popular in peak times and are free. Toilets at both, but that's all. BYO everything.

The private camping is on the right hand side of the road as you approach the old pub. I think there are toilets and showers. Ask at the pub for details. Don't know about dogs. Sorry for sketchy details. We are self-contained and always use one of the NP camps.

A self-guided walk in the shale oil refinery ruins is worthwhile. You can get an interprative brochure at the old pub. (But not a beer.)

From Newnes you can drive back to a parking area about 5 or 7 km and from there walk to the glow worm tunnel. You have to cross the river on a concrete causeway so you'll get wet feet, then a steepish climb on a vehicle track to the old railway alignment, then an easy 3km (I think) walk with a couple of rock scrambles along the old railway to the tunnel. Return the same way or walk through the tunnel and take a circuit back to the car park. About 4 hours walking all up, depending on fitness.


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AnswerID: 607241

Reply By: Gronk - Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 at 11:53

Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 at 11:53
Dogs are allowed at the campground straight opposite the old pub, but obviously not at the 2 nat park campgrounds.
As mentioned, it is a long hike to the glow worms from Newnes, so a lot easier to go in from the zig zag railway end.
AnswerID: 607243

Reply By: duck - Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 at 17:52

Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 at 17:52
1st drive to the glow worm tunnel car pack (2WD any weather) (could struggle to turn around with trailer if the car park is full but not impossible) do the walk into the tunnel stay to the right side in the tunnel (heading to newness) use as little light as possible & keep the nosie down (my kids have always done it with out lights & have not fallen over & broke there necks yet but its a challange) then on return drive take the track back via blackfellows caves some interesting rocks & caves it will be tight but you can get thru towing a trailer (4wd) then down to newness (2wd any weather) if the crossing is up it normally is not for long & if you get struck you will not have to wait long for help as there is normally a lot of 4wd's about at any time of the year
you will be driving thru several National parks so I quess this is a companion/blind/medical Dog

good luck
AnswerID: 607247

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 at 18:21

Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 at 18:21
In his Olympic Way thread, OP says he is towing a van, not a CT. If it's a full sized conventional van he won't get thru Blackfellows at the western end in either direction, IMO. I got my Kimberley Karavan through ok behind a BT50 but I'd not want anything bigger in width, length or overhang. If I were him I'd scout it from Newnes without the van first.

Our last visit with a group, we based at Newnes and took a day trip without vans/trailers and did Blackfellows from the west, plus some others, and the Lost City.Glow Worm tunnel on another day and walk the ruins on a third. This time of year days are long enough to do the tunnel and the ruins in one day if you're fit.



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Reply By: Michael H9 - Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 07:18

Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 07:18
A couple of the replies have it right. The private camp is right opposite the old pub next to the river before you get to the two NP campgrounds. On the Newnes road about 5kms before the pub there is a parking area for a walk to the glow worm tunnel. It's a longer walk than if you drive in from the Lithgow side. There is also a longer walk again that starts just over the river crossing to the second NP campground near the refinery ruins. Newnes is a lovely spot.
Others have mentioned Lost City. I wouldn't be going anywhere near the Lost City with a trailer attached. There isn't much room to turn at the end of the track.
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