Dog Friendly, Blue Mountains NSW

The Blue Mountains NSW west of Sydney with its four national parks including the World-Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park, Wollemi National Park, Garden of Stones National Park and Turon National Park is a popular tourist destination with people coming from all over Australia and the world to bushwalk. It is also an area visited for its cafes, restaurants and pubs as well as its historical sites, art galleries, live shows and festivals.

The Blue Mountains with all its national parks is often overlooked or avoided by dog owners based on the assumption there are very limited or no places to visit and authentically enjoy what the mountains have to offer. While dogs are forbidden to enter national parks there are state reserves and council managed lands that offer great alternatives to visit with your four legged friend.

All walking trails, lookouts, parks, camping and accommodation options discussed in this article are dog friendly. Most require dogs to be on a leash unless otherwise signposted. Dogs off leash need to be under suitable control. I hope you find reason to make the trip to the Blue Mountains with your dog and enjoy it as we have.

TRAILS, TRACKS AND LOOKOUT

Knapsack Viaduct, Glenbrook
Knapsack Viaduct, Glenbrook

Knapsack Reserve, Glenbrook

Knapsack Reserve, located at the foot of the Blue Mountains, is a historical site of the Lapstone Zig Zag Railway built in 1867 as part of the train line from Penrith to Wentworth Falls. The reserve also boasts the historical sandstone Knapsack Viaduct (Bridge) and Lennox Bridge as well as a memorial to John Whitton the engineer-chief appointed to build the railway. The Lennox Bridge is the “oldest surviving stone arch bridge” on mainland Australia.

The reserve is a maze of walking trails with multiple entry points. The walks are dog friendly on a leash, while the walks are lovely they have more a historical focus than one of bushwalking and are well maintained and easy to follow.

Marges Lookout
Grade: Easy
Distance: 1.3 km each way
Time: 30 mins each way
Access: 26 Barnet Street, Glenbrook 
Features: Views of Penrith Lakes
Parking: Reserve carpark 

Elizabeth Lookout
Grade: Easy
Distance: 1.1 km each way
Time: 25 mins each way
Access: 26 Barnet Street, Glenbrook
Features: Views of Penrith
Parking: Reserve carpark

Lennox Bridge via Marges Lookout
Grade: Medium
Distance: 1.8 km each way
Time: 45 mins each way
Access: 26 Barnet Street, Glenbrook
Features: Views of Penrith Lakes, Historical Lennox Bridge
Parking: Reserve carpark

Knapsack Bridge via Elizabeth Lookout 
Grade: Medium
Distance: 1.6 km each way
Time: 40 mins each way
Access: 26 Barnet Street, Glenbrook
Features: Views of Penrith, Historical Knapsack Viaduct (Bridge) 
Parking: Reserve carpark

John Whitton Memorial Place via Elizabeth Lookout and Knapsack Bridge
Grade: Medium
Distance: 2.4 km each way
Time: 1 hr each way
Access: 26 Barnet Street, Glenbrook
Features: Historical Knapsack Viaduct (Bridge), views of Penrith, historical gatekeepers cottage
Parking: Reserve carpark

Zig Zag Railway & Knapsack Viaduct
Grade: Medium
Distance: 2 kms
Time: 1 hr return
Access: Knapsack St, Glenbrook
Features: Knapsack Viaduct (bridge), section of the original railway path, old train station
Parking: Carpark
Other info: Local historical walk following where historical rail track once went.

**

Bluff Reserve, Glenbrook
Bluff Reserve, Glenbrook
Glenbrook Gorge, Bluff Lookout
Glenbrook Gorge, Bluff Lookout

Bluff Reserve, Glenbrook

Bluff Reserve is significant to the rail history of the Blue Mountains. Walking tracks within the reserve follow the original tramways that were temporarily used while the railway was being built in the early 20th century. The bluff overlooks Glenbrook Gorge where the train line starts its journey up the mountains including through the Glenbrook Train Tunnel and has some great views of the valley and of the Penrith area. 

Darks Common, Bluff Lookout and Chalmers Lookout
Grade: Easy
Distance: <2 km return
Time: 1 hr return
Access: Emu Rd, Glenbrook
Features: View of Glenbrook Gorge, Penrith and Nepean River, Glenbrook Creek, original path of the tramway
Parking: Carpark

**

glenbrook-lagoon.jpg
Glenbrook Lagoon, Glenbrook

Glenbrook Lagoon, Glenbrook

Glenbrook Lagoon is a unique natural wetland habitat. It is fed by Lapstone Creek and was historically used to cool steam train engines in the early 1800s. It is now a haven for local birdlife, turtles and fish.

Glenbrook Lagoon Circuit
Grade: Easy
Distance: 1 km circuit
Time: 45 mins 
Access: Glenbrook Road, Glenbrook or Haymen Street Glenbrook 
Features: Wetlands, woodlands, picnic area, turtles and birdlife. 
Parking: Carpark or residential street parking

**

Florabella Pass

Florabella Pass, Warrimoo or Blaxland

Florabella Pass is located near the foot of the Blue Mountains and has some rugged terrain, stunning rock formations, bushland and bird life. Dogs are permitted and it is a great walk for those wanting to experience the bushland of the area close to Penrith.

Florabella Pass Trail
Grade: Med
Distance: 3 km each way
Time: 2 hr each way
Access: Florabella St, Warrimoo or Ross Cres, Blaxland
Features: Views of Glenbrook Gorge, rock formations, Florabella Creek, Florabella Pass and Pippas Pass.
Parking: Each end of the walking trail starts or ends at Blaxland and Warrimoo Train Stations, each of these have free commuter carparks.

**

Yarramundi River Reserve, Yarramundi
Yarramundi River Reserve, Yarramundi

Yarramundi River Reserve

The Yarramundi River Reserve is located at foot of the Blue Mountains in the Hawkesbury (near Richmond). The reserve is extremely popular in the summer months as it has shallow areas for swimming making it popular with families. The reserve is located on the junction of the Grose and Hawkesbury-Nepean Rivers and is 12 hectares all of which is off leash for dogs. 

There are no set trails but the area can be explored on foot with most people making there way along the river banks.

Grade: Easy
Distance: Various
Time: Various
Access: Springwood Road, Yarramundi
Features: Off leash area, some picnic tables and plenty of areas for picnicking and swimming.
Parking: Two carparks either side of the Yarramundi River Bridge.

**

Birdwood Gully Loop Track
Birdwood Gully Loop Track
Birdwood Gully, Springwood
Birdwood Gully, Springwood

Birdwood Gully Park, Springwood

Birdwood Gully has local historical significance with Springwood Creek after which the local town was named flowing through it. It was also one of the early tracks developed to bring tourist to the area. The reserve continues to be cared for by a local bush care group. The gully features lush rainforest and creeks, which are currently rather dry due to ongoing poor rainfall. There are also glow worms which make it popular for visitors and locals.

Birdwood Gully Loop

Grade: Easy
Distance: 2.6 km
Time: 1.5 hr circuit
Access: 36 Lucinda Ave, Springwood; 12 Boland Ave, Springwood; or  15 Bednal Road, Springwood
Features: Springwood Creek, Birdwood Gully Creek, rainforest, rock overhang, cave and glow worms. 
Parking: On street parking in residential streets. Note parking on Bednal Road has a very narrow shoulder so parking is not recommended.
Other Info: Steep decent and ascent in and out of the gully. 

Springwood Creek Trail
Grade: Easy
Distance: 1 km each way
Time: 30 min each way
Access: 36 Lucinda Ave, Springwood or 12 Boland Ave, Springwood
Features: Springwood Creek
Parking: On street parking in residential streets
Other Info: Start the Birdwood Gully Loop walk from either Lucinda Ave or Boland Ave, approx. 850m along the trail from either starting point is the junction for the Springwood Creek trail. 

**

Horseshoe Falls Reserve, Hazelbrook
Horseshoe Falls Reserve, Hazelbrook

Horseshoe Falls Reserve, Hazelbrook

This reserve also known as Burgess Falls Reserve has a walking trail that passes six waterfalls. It is best visited after rainfall so that the creek and waterfalls are flowing. Some parts can be slippery so ensure you wear suitable footwear. It is also recommended that you take drinking water.

Burgess Falls Walking Track
Grade: Medium
Distance: 2.4 km each way
Time: 1 hr each way
Access: 83 Oaklands Road, Hazelbrook or Winbourne Road, Hazelbrook
Features: Horseshoe Falls (also called Lyrebird Falls), Oakland Falls, Burgess Falls, Glow-Worm Nook Falls, Lena Falls, Fairy Falls, Hazelbrook Creek, The Amphitheatre
Parking: On street parking

**

Terrace Falls Park, Hazelbrook
Terrace Falls Park, Hazelbrook
Terrace Falls
Terrace Falls

Terrace Falls Reserve

Unfortunately ongoing poor rainfall has seen the creek and waterfalls slow to a trickle. The scenery is still stunning and Bedford Pool remains suitable for swimming in the summer months. These walking trails are well worth a visit.

Entry to the walking trails in the reserve is along Terrace Falls Fire Trail for about 1 km and is now only accessible by foot.

Terrace Falls Circuit
Grade: Medium
Distance: 4.5 km including side tracks
Time: 2 – 3 hrs
Access: Lake Road off Terrace Falls Rd, Hazelbrook
Features: Terrace Falls, Bedford Creek, Bedford Pool, The Pyramids, Victor Falls, Lester Pool, Picnic Point, Willawong Pool, coachwood and sassafras forest
Parking: On side of road at the fire trail gate

**

Junction Falls, Lawson Waterfall Circuit
Junction Falls, Lawson Waterfall Circuit

Southern Lawson Park

As locals this was one of our favourite bushwalks with or without our dogs. It is just a very nice scerene walk past four lovely waterfalls. The circuit track can be done by all ages and ability. My recommendation is take a picnic and your camera, take your time and enjoy the scenery.

South Lawson Waterfall Circuit, Lawson
Grade: Medium
Distance: 3 km
Time: 1.5 hr circuit
Access: 72 Honour Ave, Lawson
Features: Adelina Falls, Federal Falls, Cataract Falls and Junction Falls
Parking: Off street parking for a limited number of cars

**

Minnetonka Waterfall, Bullaburra
Minnetonka Waterfall, Bullaburra

Red Gum Park, Bullaburra 

Bullaburra is a small residential village in the Blue Mountains between Lawson and Wentworth Falls. Tucked away among some of the houses in the gully is Red Gum Park which has a small but pretty waterfall known as Minnatonka Falls. This walk was one of our locals when we lived in the Blue Mountains and isn’t well known even among locals. (Photo source: Wikipedia)

Minnatonka Falls Trail
Grade: Medium
Distance: <2 km
Time: 1 hr
Access: 30 De Quency Street, Bullaburra or 50 Genevieve Road, Bullaburra
Features: Minnatonka Falls, picnic tables, creeks 
Parking: Residential on street parking at all entry points. All are quiet streets and parking is easy to find

**

Charles Darwin Walk, Wentworth Falls
Charles Darwin Walk, Wentworth Falls
Waterfall on the Charles Darwin Walk, Wentworth Falls
Waterfall on the Charles Darwin Walk, Wentworth Falls

This trail follows the footsteps of Charles Darwin who walked the track in 1836. The trail is well maintained with boardwalks, it follows the Jamison Creek and is popular in the summer months for swimming. It is important to note that the track is dog friendly for about 2/3 of the way and then it enters the national park, this is well signposted.

Charles Darwin Walk, Wentworth Falls
Grade: Easy
Distance: 2.4 km each way
Time: 1.5 hr each way
Access: Wilson Park, Falls Rd, Wentworth Falls
Features: Jamison Creek, Weeping Rock, waterfalls,
Parking: Parking bays along Falls Road.

**

wentworth-falls-lake.jpg
Swimming at Wentworth Falls Lake, Wentworth Falls
Wentworth Falls Lake Playground
Wentworth Falls Lake Playground

Wentworth Falls Lake Reserve, Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls Lake is an old railway dam and was created by damming Jamison Creek in 1878. It is now a wetland habitat for native wildlife and birdlife. It is a popular local spot for walking, swimming and picnicking.

Wentworth Falls Lake Loop Walk
Grade: Easy
Distance: 3.5km
Time: 1.5 – 2hrs
Access: Waratah Street, Wentworth Falls or Sinclair Crescent, Wentworth Falls which runs along the lake
Features: Wentworth Falls Lake, playgrounds, BBQs, picnic tables, sculptures and toilets
Parking: Carparks and parking bays

**

Sublime Point, Leura
Sublime Point, Leura
Three Sisters, Blue Mountains NSW
Three Sisters, Blue Mountains NSW
Views of Mount Solidarity and Jamison Valley
Views of Mount Solitary and Jamison Valley

Sublime Point, Leura

Sublime Point isn’t a bushwalk. It does however provide panoramic views of the Jamison Valley, the famous Three Sisters and is an excellent alternative to the very touristy Echo Point. It is a little out of the way on the outskirts of the Leura township but is well worth the drive. The area is popular for picnics.

Sublime Point Walking Track
Grade: Easy
Distance: 175m each way
Time: 20 mins return
Access: Sublime Point Road, Leura
Features: Views of the Jamison Valley, Mount Solitary and glimpses of the Three Sisters. Bird watching.
Parking: Carpark

**

Minnehaha Falls and waterhole, Katoomba
Minnehaha Falls and waterhole, Katoomba

Minnehaha Falls Reserve, Katoomba

This track is currently temporarily closed. I have still added to this article as it is a fantastic scenic walk with lovely waterfalls and waterholes. It is one worth doing when the track reopens.

Minnehaha Falls Trail
Grade: Medium
Distance: 1 km each way (to the falls)
Time: 1.5 hr return
Access: Minni Ha Ha Rd, Katoomba
Features: Minnehaha Falls, Yosemite Creek, water pools suitable for swimming  with the biggest and deepest at the falls and picnic tables at the beginning of the trail
Parking: Carpark
Other info: Steep decent to the bottom of the falls and rock pool via metal stairs which may not be suitable for all dogs. All our dogs (Border Collies, Maltese Terrier and Shitzu) haven’t been a fan of the stairs but managed them. Also note there is a fork in the track, left takes you to the falls and right to other swimming holes.

**

Historical Walking Tracks, Blackheath and Mount Victoria
Historical Walking Tracks, Blackheath and Mount Victoria
Porters Pass, Blackheath
Porters Pass, Blackheath

Blue Mountains Historical Walking Tracks, Blackheath and Mount Victoria

Historical trails will satsify just about any keen bushwalker with views and natural features as good as most you will see in National Parks, as well as those with an interest in local history or landmarks.  As a bonus these tracks are on land managed by Blue Mountains City Council and for this reason dogs are allowed on lead. These trails are my favourite to walk with my dogs in the mountains especially when I want to walk for more than an hour. Take water, your camera and lunch.

Centennial Glen to Porter’s Pass, Blackheath
Grade: Medium
Distance: 5.5 km circuit
Time: 3 hrs
Access: Eveleigh Street, Blackheath
Features: Walls Ledge, Colliers Causeway, Fort Rock, Centennial Glen, Kanimbla Valley, Porter’s Pass, Mountain Devil, Lambert’s Lookout
Parking: Carpark

Lawson’s Historic Crossing Track
Grade: Medium
Distance: 11km
Time: 4 hrs return
Access: Mt York Rd, Mt Victoria
Features: Historical points of interest, views, birdlife,
Parking: Carpark

Lockyer’s Historic Crossing Track
Grade: Medium
Distance: 9 km
Time: 4 hrs return
Access: Mt York Rd, Mt Victoria
Features: View of Hartley Vale, convict built remains, birdlife and views
Parking: Carpark

Fairy Bower / Mt Piddington
Grade: Medium
Distance: 3 km
Time: 2 and 1.5 hr circuits
Access: Tollhouse, Great Western  Highway, Mt Victoria
Features: Picnic area, amphitheatre, Fairy Waterfall, waterhole, views, rainforest, Mount Piddington, Marguerite Cave
Parking: Carpark

Little Zig Zag /Reinitz Pass
Grade: Medium
Distance: 2 hr circuit
Time: 3 hr circuit
Access: 89 Kanimbla Valley Rd, Mt Victoria
Features: Bushrangers Cave, Kanimbla Valley, Little Zig Zag, Pulpit Rock Lookout, Ross Cave, Wilson’s Glen, Redrock Lookout, Reinits Pass.
Parking: On street residential parking

Berghofers Pass Trails, Mount Victoria
Berghofers Pass Trails, Mount Victoria

Berghofers Pass Return Walk
Grade: Easy
Distance: 4.5 km
Time: 1.5 hrs
Access: Mount York Road, Mount Victoria
Features: Historical stonework, viaduct, historical sandstone water trough and views.
Parking: Carpark (opposite side of road to track start)

Berghofers Pass return via Great Western Highway, Hartley Vale Road and Lawsons Long Alley
Grade: Hard
Distance: 17 km
Time: 8 hr
Access: Mount York Road, Mount Victoria
Features: Historical stonework, viaduct, historical sandstone water trough, views, Kerosene Creek, Hartley Vale historical buildings, 
Parking: Carpark (opposite side of road to track start)

**

Lost City Rock Formations, Newnes State Forest NSW
Lost City Rock Formations, Newnes State Forest NSW

State Mine Heritage Park, Newnes Plateau 

State Mine Heritage Park is located on the Newnes Plateau above Lithgow and alongside the  Blue Mountains, Wollemi and Gardens of Stone National Parks. The park can be accessed from State Mine Hill Road from Lithgow or Newnes Forest Road from the Zig Zag Railway.

The forest allows dogs, has bush camping, 4WD tracks and walking tracks.

Lost City
Grade: Easy
Distance: <500 m walk
Time: 20 mins return walk
Access: Lost City Trail (4×4 Track), State Mine Gully, then a short walk to rock formations.
Features: Pagoda rock formations, valley views
Parking: Carpark

Maiyingu Marragu (Blackfellows Hand Art Site)
Grade: Easy
Distance: 400m
Time: 10 mins
Access: Blackfellows Hand Fire Trail (4×4 Track)
Features: Indigenous rock art, caves, native bushland
Parking: Carpark

**

View from Hassans Walls Lookout, Lithgow
View from Hassans Walls Lookout, Lithgow
Hassans Walls, Lithgow
Hassans Walls, Lithgow

Hassans Walls Reserve, Lithgow

Hassans Walls Lookout is the highest in the Blue Mountains at 1130m above sea level. Named Hassans Walls by Governor Macquarie after the enscarpement reminded him of hill forts in India.

Hassans Walls Broadwalk and Lookout
Grade: Easy
Distance: 400m walk
Time: 10 mins return walk
Access: Hassans Walls Road, Lithgow
Features: Views of Mount Wilson, Mount York, Mount Tarana, Mount Blaxland, Hartley Valley, Kanimbla Valley and Megalong Valley.
Parking: Carpark

OTHER NEARBY WALKS OF NOTE

Bridge to Bridge Walk, Penrith

This walk is along the Hawkesbury-Nepean River and includes the popular Tench Reserve where there are playgrounds and grass areas for picnicking.

Grade: Easy
Distance: 7 km
Time: 1.5 hr
Access: Nepean Avenue, Penrith or Trench Avenue, Penrith
Features: River views
Parking: Various including carparks or residential street parking

International Regatta Centre, Penrith

Regatta Centre was purpose built for the Sydney 2000 Olympics and Paralympics for the rowing events. The site boasts 178 hectares of scenic parklands, views of Penrith Lakes and the Blue Mountains.

Grade: Easy (pathed)
Distance: 5 km circuit
Time: 1.5 hr
Access: Gate A, Old Castlereagh Road, Penrith
Features: Parklands, events (see website), walking tracks, lake, BBQs, picnic tables, amphitheatre,
Parking: Carpark with plenty of parking

OFF LEASH PARKS

These off leash parks are provided and maintain by local council. Our dog Chika is fearful of other dogs so we are not users of these parks except the Former Lawson Golf Course Off Leash Park because it is unfenced and provides space for Chika not to have interact with other dogs.

List of the fourteen off leash parks and the facilities provided can be found here.

CAMPGROUNDS and ACCOMMODATION

There are dog friendly campgrounds and accommodation options in the Blue Mountains to suit all budgets. Those listed below are not an exhaustive list. I also recommend using a website such as Airbnb filtering for dog friendly options. I have never stayed at any of the options listed below so are unable to provide any reviews. It would be best to do your own research before deciding if any will suit you or your dog.

Bulls Camp Reserve, Great Western Highway, Woodford: Free camp, 24 hour limit, toilets, suitable for all rigs.

Old Fort Reserve, 1363 Megalong Road, Megalong Valley: Free camp, toilets, swimming, walking trails, suitable for all rigs, bring own water, 10 day limit.

Mount York Campground, Mount York Road, Mount Victoria: Free camp, toilets, near walking trails, views, bring own water, suitable for tents and small rigs.

Lockyer’s Track Campground, 261 Hartley Vale Road, Hartley Vale: Free camp, toilets, bring own water, near walking trails, scenery, suitable for all rigs, 7 day limit.

Blackheath Glen Tourist Park, 67 Prince Edward Street, Blackheath: Fees apply, toilets, showers, water, swimming pool, laundry facilities, powered and unpowered sites, BBQs and other facilities.

Venice Caravan Park, 1134 Browns Gap Road, Hartley Vale: Fees apply, toilets, showers, powered and unpowered sites, suitable for all rigs.

Turon Gates Mountain Retreat, 942 Upper Turon Road, Capertee :Fees apply, camping (unpowered sites only) and self contained cottage options. Set among the bushland with lovely scenery. 

Lilianfels Resort and Spa, 5 – 19 Lilianfels Road, Katoomba: Fees apply. This is high end boutique accommodation option with restaurant and spa facilities. There are even packages for spoiling your four legged friend.

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2 thoughts on “Dog Friendly, Blue Mountains NSW

  1. Bernadette says:

    Thankyou for updating dog walks in the Blue Mountains and surrounds. Our dog is also fearful of other dogs so finding quiet relaxing walks has been extremely hard. I really appreciate this article and plan a different walk each week with our toy poodle.

    Thank you

    Like

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