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Bushwalking track notes, photographs, maps and more for Lady Carrington Drive are found in each of the tabs below
Lady Carrington Drive
Time: 3 hrs 45 mins Walking time
Please allow extra time to rest and to explore
11.1 km S of Loftus
Length: 9.7 km Walk Length
As this is a One Way walk, the 9.7 km only includes the walking distance from the start to the end point
Royal National Park
Climb: 266 m Total Climbing
This walk has a total cumulative climb of 266 m, this is the total of the elevation gains made in each of the walks uphill sections
There is car access and parking near the end of this walk
Style: One way
Track: Moderate

This walk follows the historic Lady Carrington Drive alongside the Hacking River. The old road is closed to traffic and provides a great way for walkers (and mountain bikers) to explore the richness of Royal National Park. You can explore the fantastic natural sandstone rock formations, historical artefacts, read the information signs, rest in the picnic areas and appreciate the magnificent native trees. You may well be lucky enough to spot lyrebirds. The southern end has the steepest sections with the walk becoming generally flatter as you head north. (open in app)


There are closures in Royal National Park
Today's Fire rating
LOW MODERATE (No fire ban)
  Bushwalking track notes photographs, maps and camping spots for Lady Carrington Drive

Map of Walk

Location

                Sponsor of Lady Carrington Drive bushwalking tracknotes
Map of Lady Carrington Drive
Problem loading PDF Try here
Map Controls - Show Contours | Hide Path | Hide Distances | Hide Names
Map Scale 1 km
Int of Lady Carrington Drive and Sir Bertam Stevens Drive
Int of Lady Carrington Drive and Walumarra track
Bola Picnic Area
Int Palona Cave Trk and Lady Carrington Drive
Int Palona Cave Trk and Lady Carrington Drive
Palona Brook Picnic Area
Calala
Jersey Spring clearing
Jersey Spring
Gibraltar Rock
Starting point for this hiking track: Int of Lady Carrington Drive and Walumarra track

Base maps are used under licence and is © Department of lands   Panorama Avenue Bathurst 2795   www.lands.nsw.gov.au

Maps that cover the walk area (please always carry maps of the area)

Print a map and track notes here
 Otford 1:25 000 Map Series NSW-91294S 
 Port Hacking 1:25 000 Map Series NSW-91294N 
 Port Hacking 1:100 000 Map Series 9129 

Photo Gallery

 
Lady Carrington Drive gate, Sir Bertram Stevens Dr end
 
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Southern end of Lady Carrington Drive
 
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Table at Bola Picnic Ground
 
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Palona Caves Int
 
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Inside Palona Cave
 
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Palona Brook Picnic area
 
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In memory of Alan Rendell
 
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Tree at the top of Calala
 
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Crossing Kobardo (Parrot) Brook
 
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Stone boundary on Lady Carrington Drive
 
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Jersey Spring 1892
 
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Cutting on Lady Carrington Drive
 
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Lady Carrington Drive with a glimpse of the Hacking River
 
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Gibraltar Rock
 
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Terrain

Cross sectional view of the Lady Carrington Drive bushwalking track

Cross Section of the Lady Carrington Drive bushwalking track



Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Lady Carrington Drive bushwalking track

Summary of the gradients over the the lenght of the Lady Carrington Drive bushwalking track

Overview of this walks Grading - Based on the AS 2156.1 - 2001
These details are new. This new feature still requires more testing and refining. Please use the 'Walker Feedback' for report specific issues. Please e-mail Matt if you have any general comments. Hope you find it helpful.

Under this standard, a walk is graded based on the most difficult section of the walk.
Length 10km
Time 3 hrs 45 mins
.


Grade 3/6

Track: Moderate
AS 2156.1 Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Quality of track Clear and well formed track or trail (2/6)
Signs Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Experience Required Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)
Infrastructure Generally useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats) (1/6)
*This summary of grading information is new and still in testing

Some more detail of this walks Grading
Here is a bit more details explaining the grading looking at sections of the walk.
Gradient
4.9km of this walk has gentle hills with occasional steps and another 4.3km has short steep hills. The remaining (430m) is flat with no steps.

Quality of track
Around 9km of this walk follows a clear and well formed track or trail, whilst the remaining 1km follows a smooth and hardened path.

Signs
Around 5km of this walk has directional signs at most intersection, whilst the remaining 4.4km is clearly signposted.

Experience Required
Around 7km of this walk requires no previous bushwalking experience, whilst the remaining 2.6km requires some bushwalking experience.

Weather
This whole walk, 10km is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).

Infrastructure
This whole walk, 10km is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats).

Track Notes


Drive from Lady Carrington Drive gate (Willow Tree)
You can drive or ride from this end of this Bushwalk A park entry fee is required for driving into the park.
You can drive or ride from the end of this walk
Use these links to plan your trip from the end of this walk.
Plan your trip to --> Castle Hill|Chatswood|Dural|Epping|Gosford|Hornsby|Katoomba|Manly|Parramatta|Penrith|Strathfield|Sutherland|Sydney|

(0 km) Int of Lady Carrington Drive and Sir Bertam Stevens Drive to Bola Picnic Area intersection
Track: Moderate - servicetrail,bushtrack
Length = 728 m Time = 13 mins
Climb = 1 m Descent = -25 m
From the car park on Sir Bertram Stevens Drive (500m north of the intersection with McKell Ave), this walk heads between the boulders[fac=8405] (on the western edge of the car park) then leads downhill[1] to get around to the back of the locked gate (56cm high) and sandstone wall[2]. From here the walk follows the wide dirt Lady Carrington Drive trail downhill past the 'Forest Path' information sign[3] and continues mostly downhill for just over 600m through the forest to come to a three-way intersection signposted with the 'Walumarra Track'[4][5].
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads downhill along the main wide dirt trail[6], keeping the valley to the right. The trail bends right and leads down into the valley for about 60m passing the 'red cedar' information sign[7][8] to come to the signposted three-way intersection with 'The Forest Path'[9] beside the the Bola Creek picnic area[fac=8407][10], just before the creek.

Bola Picnic Area Alt = 35 m
Bola Picnic Area, in the Royal National Park, is at the intersection of Lady Carrington Drive and Forest Island Track[11], beside Bola Creek[12]. You will find a small clearing[13] with a picnic table[14][fac=8407] in a gorgeous rainforest setting, surrounded by tall trees[15] and ferns scattered through the area. There is no car access to the picnic area, making this a lovely quiet area.

(0.73 km) Bola Picnic Area to Int Palona Cave Trk and Lady Carrington Drive
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 1.04 km Time = 21 mins
Climb = 25 m Descent = -42 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Audley 9km' arrow[16] gently downhill along the wide trail to cross the culverted Bola Creek[17]. The trail then bends left and leads steeply up for about 200m where the trail then gently undulates through the forest[18][19] for about 800m before coming to the faint intersection, with the signposted 'Limestone Cave' bush track[20] (the timber sign is behind a tree on the left, before the signposted 'Palona Brook'[21]).

(1.77 km) Int Palona Cave Trk and Lady Carrington Drive to Palona Cave and Waterfall
Optional sidetrip: Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 781 m Time = 19 mins
Climb = 69 m Descent = -9 m
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Limestone Cave 1.6km' arrow along the track, heading up the hill and away from the road. The walk continues up a long hill, winding through dense forest for a short while before flattening out and continuing along the side of the hill. The walk winds through the bush and passes several rock overhangs and outcrops either side of the track, as the walk make its way along to the Palona Caves at the end of the track.
(Retrace your steps back to the main track, then turn right to continue along this walk.)

Palona Cave Alt = 77 m
Palona Cave is off Lady Carrington Drive, north of Bola Picnic Area, in the Royal National Park. Palona Cave is a large limestone overhang with a few cave decorations such as columns and stalactites. Being open to the environment, the cave has some green moss and is not reminiscent of other pristine white limestone caves. The cave is a unique feature for the area and is well worth allowing time to explore.

(1.77 km) Int Palona Cave Trk and Lady Carrington Drive to Palona Brook Picnic Area
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 108 m Time = 2 mins
Climb = 1 m Descent = -4 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads downhill along the main wide trail as it soon bends to the right. After about 50m the trail crosses the signposted and culverted[22] 'Palona Brook'[23] to come to a picnic area[24] (on the right-hand side).

Palona Brook Picnic Area Alt = 19 m
Palona Brook Picnic Area is found on the north side of Palona Brook along side the old Lady Carrington Drive[25]. The picnic area is home to a couple of wooden picnic tables[fac=8408][26][27] and is next to the steep gully and culvert that Palona Brook flows through[28][29]. A pleasant spot to rest when visiting the nearby sandstone cove or exploring the old road.

(1.88 km) Palona Brook Picnic Area to Calala
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 2.55 km Time = 53 mins
Climb = 96 m Descent = -102 m
Continue straight: From beside the Palona Brook picnic area, this walk heads gently uphill along the wide trail away from 'Palona Brook'[30] keeping the main valley to the left. The trail leads through the forest for about 400m to pass an old picnic table[fac=8409] (about 20m[31] off the left-hand side of the trail) then about 600m later the trail leads past a small metal plaque (on a rock) reminding of the tragic loss of Alan Rendell, who died fighting bushfires here in 1988[32]. The walk now continues gently undulating along the wide trail for another 400m to pass signposted (and culverted) 'Burunda Brook'[33] in a pleasant rainforest environment. The trail continues to lead as it winds through the forest for just over 1km, passing the site of a repaired landslide[34], crossing a few culverted creeks[35] to then come to the sign posted and large 'Calala'[36] clearing (on the left).

Calala Alt = 6 m
The signposted 'Calala'[37] clearing lies between the old Lady Carrington Drive and the Hacking River. The large clearing[38] has a picnic table[39][fac=8410] and plenty of shade from the surrounding trees. There is an informal steep track[40] that provides access to a small sandy beach[41] on the Hacking River, making this a lovely spot to rest on a warm day.

(4.43 km) Calala to Jersey Spring clearing
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 2.61 km Time = 51 mins
Climb = 80 m Descent = -74 m
Continue straight: From 'Calala'[42], this walk follows the main wide management trail (old road)[43], keeping the Hacking River to the left. Over the next 1km, the trail crosses two culverted creeks (Murrindum Brook and Dirijiri Brook) before crossing the more distinct valleys[fac=8411] of Birumba and Kobado Brooks. (Kobado Brook has an old small sandstone water trough[44]). The walk then continues winding along the old Lady Carrington Drive, passing over several more culverted creeks and coming down to an area with several palm groves and a large clearing (on the left)[45][46]. The clearing is not signposted but is known as Jersey Spring clearing and has a picnic table[47][fac=8413].

Jersey Spring Clearing Alt = 9 m
The Jersey Spring Clearing is an open grassy area between the old Lady Carrington Drive and the Hacking River. The clearing is not formally named but is just south of the Jersey Spring. This is a great area to stop, rest[fac=8413] and enjoy the journey along the old road

(7.04 km) Jersey Spring clearing to Jersey Spring
Walk: Easy - servicetrail
Length = 130 m Time = 3 mins
Climb = 5 m Descent = -5 m
Continue straight: From the clearing[48][49], this walk follows old Lady Carrington Drive management trail uphill keeping the Hacking River to the left. After about 100m the trail leads past a 'Jersey Springs' information sign[50] and comes to the two sandstone sandstone 'Jersey Spring' troughs[51][52].

Jersey Spring Alt = 13 m
The Jersey Spring is beside the old Lady Carrington Drive in the Royal National Park. The permanent spring feeds into two sandstone troughs, built in 1892 to provide water for horses and people traveling along the road. The troughs are still fed by the same spring (although it has moved overtime and the water is no longer suitable for drinking). The springs are named after Rt. Hon. Victor George (Earl of Jersey), the 17th governor of NSW. More info

(7.17 km) Jersey Spring to Gibraltar Rock
Walk: Easy - servicetrail
Length = 2.05 km Time = 39 mins
Climb = 47 m Descent = -54 m
Continue straight: From 'Jersey Spring'[53], this walk follows the old road, keeping the Hacking River to the left. The walk continues along the trail as it gently undulates and winds along the side of the Hacking River for just shy of 2km to pass over Mullion Brook on an old sandstone culvert[54][fac=8414] and past a series of palm groves[55]. About 100m after Mullion Brook this walk comes to the picnic table[fac=8101] at Gibraltar Rock[56] with a cobblestone[fac=8102] section of trail below the overhang[57].

Gibraltar Rock Alt = 5 m
Gibraltar Rock[58], Royal National Park, is a sandstone overhang found near the northern end of Lady Carrington Drive. The old road passes under the rocks and is home to a small section of sandstone cobblestone[59]. At this point, the old road offers great views of the Hacking River[60] and across to Wattle Forest picnic area. These and many other sandstone formations, together with the history, make this old road quite interesting to explore. There is a picnic table[fac=8101] under the overhang.

(9.23 km) Gibraltar Rock to Lady Carrington Drive gate (Willow Tree)
Walk: Easy - servicetrail
Length = 429 m Time = 8 mins
Climb = 11 m Descent = -6 m
Continue straight: From the Gibraltar Rocks[61], this walk follows the management trail[62] gently downhill (keeping the river to the left), off the cobble stoned area[fac=8102]. The walk continues along the dirt trail for about 400m[63], to head around the locked gate[64] and come to an intersection[65] just past the 'Lady Carrington Drive' sign[66].

Lady Carrington Drive Alt = 12 m
Opened in 1886 by Lady Carrington, this road was formally named 'Lady Carrington Road' (later changed to 'drive'), and started on the southern side of the then newly constructed Audley weir. The road became popular among people exploring the region. The road follows the Hacking River's east bank and then Bola Creek to Sir Bertram Stevens Drive. Much history has been preserved, with several drinking troughs still filling with water and many sandstone retaining walls still standing. The brooks that the old road crosses have been named using the traditional names of birds, the following is a list with the English name in brackets. Mullion (Eagle), Wurrul (Bee Eater), Burowa (Bustard), Karonga (White Crane), Gorra Worra (Laughing Jackass), Buralga (Native Companion), Kobardo (Parrot), Birumba (Plover), Dirijiri (Wagtail), Murrindum (Quail), Dumbal (Crow), Tamur (Bronze winged Pigeon), Burunda (Swan), Karani (Duck), Palona (Hawk) Brooks.

Drive from Lady Carrington Drive gate (Willow Tree)
You can drive or ride from this end of this Bushwalk Parking fees apply in the area.
You can drive or ride from the end of this walk
Use these links to plan your trip from the end of this walk.
Plan your trip to --> Castle Hill|Chatswood|Dural|Epping|Gosford|Hornsby|Katoomba|Manly|Parramatta|Penrith|Strathfield|Sutherland|Sydney|

Getting there

Plan your trip to the start of the walk and back from the end of the walk

Public Transport links currently not working, sorry

Driving Directions
To the start of the walk
Sorry there are no
public roads to
the start of this walk
From the end of the walk

Drive to:


Near by


Campsites in the park
Bonnie Vale camping ground
North Era camping ground
Uloola Falls camping ground


Nearest know Outdoor Stores near the start of this walk
Store Address Phone Distance (straight line)
Engadine Disposal & Outdoor Centre Pty Ltd 1042 Old Princes Hwy, Engadine (02) 9520 3367 9.4 km
Paddy Pallin Adventure Equipment 587 Kingsway, Miranda (02) 9525 6829 14.4 km
Boots Great Outdoors 23 Koonya Cct, Caringbah (02) 9542 8988 15.8 km
Onrope 11 Nelson Ave, Padstow (02) 9709 6299 23.7 km
Dans Caravans 422 Hume Hwy, Yagoona (02) 9790 7047 26.8 km


A list of the nearest UHF CB repeaters I found to Lady Carrington Drive.
Channel Call sign
(more info)
Site Distance and dir from Lady Carrington Drive
Click to re-center search
3 VMG3 Mine commsite WESTCLIFF COLLIERY 21 km (to the WSW)
1 SYD01 12/14 Ormonde Parade HURSTVILLE 21 km (to the NNE)
7 SYD07 7 Glamorgan St BLACKTOWN 42 km (to the NNW)
5 SYD05 Sydney Adventist Hospital 185 Fox Valley Rd WAHROONGA
Emergency use only
46 km (to the N)
8 ROB08 Communications Site MT MURRAY 58 km (to the SW)

Weather and Park info

Fire Danger
This walk passes Greater Sydney Region fire area which currently has a LOW MODERATE rating and No fire ban in place.
(Tomorrow the Fire Danger Rating is LOW MODERATE, No fire ban.) (Downloaded 3 years ago)
Please Note: Each park may have its own fire ban, this rating is only valid for today and is based on information from the RFS Please check the RFS Website for more information.

Weather and Climate
Weather and Climate summary detailed weather and climate information here
°C (feels like °)
km/h from the
% humidity     (as at )
A graph displaying the average daily temperature range for the year

Royal National Park Link to official closures and fire bans page

Region: Sydney & Surrounds
Park fees Camping Facilities
Current Park Closure information for Royal National Park
Closure information last downloaded Sunday 27th of September 2015 07:00 AM
Closed areas: The Coast track upgrade
The Coast track will be undergoing construction works between Beachcomber Ave and Marley Beach over a 9 month period. Works include resurfacing, installation of raised board walk and stairs and will be undertaken between October 2015 and May 2016. During the works it will be necessary, at times, to close the Coast Track for visitor safety. Please be aware that during closures the full coast track walk will not be possible and you may need to plan your route to start and finish at a different location. The Royal National Park alerts page will be updated regularly so please check it before you leave home. Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please contact Royal National Park area office on (02) 9542 0632 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.

Closed areas: Wedding Cake Rock
Access to Wedding Cake Rock is prohibited. National Parks and Wildlife Service has undertaken a geotechnical assessment of the rock, which found that there is high chance that it could collapse at any time. Safety fencing has been erected to protect the public while a more permanent solution is developed. This is a really beautiful location and a spectacular rock formation to look at, but the key is doing it at a safe distance from the edge.

Safety alerts: Audley precinct in wet weather
Access across the Audley Weir may be closed due to river flooding during times of wet weather. During wet weather, NPWS advise park visitors to visit Live Traffic NSW to ascertain the status of the Weir crossing before commencing their travel to the park. During times of closure, access to Bundeena, Maianbar residential areas, Royal National Park Visitor Centre, including the Audley Dance hall and cafe, is via McKell Ave Waterfall.


Walker Feedback

Comments
Add NewSearch
Tejas - Nice relaxing walk IP:110.20.186.xxx | 2014-05-26 07:47:51
This is a nice relaxing walk. At first the track is wide and I thought this was going to be a typical management trail through the forest.

But as you go on to the historical features and dense bush it becomes quite nice, the track narrows and has that "im in the middle of nowhere" feel about it.

Plenty of wildlife, the usual cockatoos, they really are loud, even a snake or two so watch out.

There are some areas that are muddy - its been dry for a while so will always be like that but passable on the side. Nice gradient as well.
Wark - Walk to the cave IP:119.225.10.xxx | 2015-05-24 23:46:51
Walked this track yesterday. It was a bit muddy in places and there was some sort of bike race going on so we encountered plenty of them coming the other way. Seemed a long walk to the cave turn off but a lovely day for it. At the turn-off there is a large sign which says "Limestone cave 1.6km" but this distance is completely wrong - it's probably about 800m so 1.6km return might be correct.

I was keen to see the only limestone cave in the Sydney basin and it was nice but of course not spectacular as you can't really go inside as it's just an overhang with some formations. Still rather unique though. The waterfall was in full flow - not easy to get a photo of it due to the bush. Plenty of leeches away from the cave too.
Recommended. Took us about 4 hours or so all up.
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