The closest town to the trailhead is Goulburn, NSW. You will also pass close by the tiny hamlet of Bungonia
You can start this trail from a number of points along the track but the NSW National Parks Service website suggests starting from the David Reid car park which is a good option
David Reid car park
Bungonia National Park is without a doubt one of those gems that for many remains unknown. Located in Country NSW close to the inland city of Goulburn, 90 minutes from the outskirts of Canberra, and not much further from the southern outskirts of Sydney. This National Park focuses on the Bungonia Gorge, a large gorge that provides panoramic views and contains plenty of key walks that will suit walkers of all levels of experience, including one that takes you into the gorge itself (the Red Track).
On this day we did the Green Track walk and when we talked with one of the Rangers, he indicated the park was much busier than normal. The main reasons is that while many surrounding National Parks were impacted by last summer’s bushfires, Bungonia remained relatively untouched. Whichever walk you do, please remember that you should sign the walk intention form located on the front verandah of the visitor centre.
The Green Track is a loop track you can start from a number of different locations. If you are camping for the weekend, you can start from the campground. If you’re planning a barbecue with the family at the end of the walk, then you can start at Adams Lookout.
The online factsheet from the Park Service suggests starting at the David Reid car park which is where we commenced the walk. Almost without fail I tend to walk in a clockwise direction but in this case it just felt right to go anticlockwise. By doing the walk in this direction you experience the majority of the highlights in the first half.
Start by walking across the road from the David Reid car park following the arrows attached to the Green Track marker. At this stage you are also on the Red Track walk which is the option that takes you down into the gorge below. Turn towards the left and you will skirt around the rim of the gorge. The bushland is fairly open on most of this walk and there are a number of highlights. While the trail for the majority of the walk is well maintained, many of the side options are rougher so you need to pay attention to your footing.
First up is Mass Cave which is just off the trail but is well worth the visit (please note that sometimes the caves are closed). The cave gets its name because in some dark distant past, church services were held inside. You enter through an open metal gate and follow the chain down a slope. We strongly recommend that if do this cave, you carry a headlamp as there is one section just before you enter the main cavern where it’s very dark however once you enter the cavern proper there is a ‘window’ that casts some light. There is a section at the back of the cave that goes further in that we couldn’t see without a torch. If you have any degree of claustrophobia then avoid entering the cave.
Once you leave the cave, return back the way you came and continue onto the main track. Shortly after getting back on the main trail we came to an intersection with a sign that pointed to the right but we were soon to discover that the sign had been rotated and took us off trail. However, doing a short detour to the right is actually worthwhile as you come across a natural lookout with great views over the gorge. If you take the detour please ensure you take care and keep well away from the edges.
Back on track again we headed towards Adams Lookout which has its own car park, toilet, picnic area and gas barbecue. The lookout is wheelchair friendly and once you reach the lookout itself, there are upper and lower lookouts that provide views across and down the gorge.
From Adams Lookout we headed back on the trail and not far away is another optional lookout, Jerrara Lookout. This lookout is one of the older pieces of infrastructure and needs a bit of TLC but does provides a different viewpoint across the gorge and again is well worth a visit.
Next stop is the campground and it is at this stage you have a short road walk before heading back bush again. This last section of bushland helps to complete the loop by taking you across the main spine road. You eventually hit the final return leg and get the best views of the mine across the valley which is located just outside the National Park. At this point you are on a section of trail that forms part of the Green, White and Red Tracks which take you back to the starting point.
All up this walk took us just under 2.5 hours and we did every possible side option we could. It’s a good walk and while its not overly demanding it does push the muscles and at the end of the day you will feel it. We only saw one bird in the flesh on this trail but heard plenty of others. We didn’t see any animals and that’s not surprising because all of the water is down in the gorge below.
I think this will be a great walk in spring when the wildflowers are at their peak but you can do it anytime of the year. If you do it in summer I recommend starting early to avoid the heat as there isn’t a huge amount of shade. Don’t forget to sign out at the visitor centre when you leave the park.
Without a doubt this walk sits in my memory – its one I really enjoyed and I am keen to get back out to Bungonia, perhaps to spend the weekend camping, to complete the other walks on offer. The reason for the distance on our walk is that we did all the side options including one we weren’t meant to but in all honesty it’s worth adding a bit of distance to get additional views.
Getting to Bungonia National Park takes a bit of weaving but the signage is reasonably good. Your best bet is to enter ‘David Reid Access’ into Google Maps and this will direct you very well to the start point
Follow the road signs to the park
The signage is very obvious to the park. This intersection is just before Bungonia village
Entering Bungonia National Park
Visitor centre car park
Park entry fee machine
Water tap at the visitor centre. There is another one at the campground. The water tanks at the car parks contain unfiltered water
Close up of trail register – make sure you sign in and out. There are copies of the paper trail maps just to the side of this register
Bungonia Gorge trail map. This images was current as at 4 July 2020. Use this as a guide but you are best picking up a hard copy at the park just in case there have been changes
Bungonia Gorge signage. These information kiosks are spread around the park at the trailheads and contain detailed information on the walks
Close up of map showing David Reid car park. This car park is only a 5 minute drive from the visitor centre
There is a road that accesses all the main car parks and runs a short distance through the park. It can be a bit narrow at times so pay attention to the traffic
Turnoff to Adams Lookout. You will drive past this sign on the way to the David Reid car park. If you have family with you and plan on having a barbecue at the end of the walk, we suggest starting and finishing at the Adams Lookout car park
Entry signage to the David Reid car park
You can do the Green Track walk in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction. We suggest you do this walk in an anticlockwise direction – a real rarity for us!
Walk start point across the road from the David Reid car park
The Red Track starts at the same trailhead – this walk is for fit, experienced walkers only
Trail example not long after the walk start
Follow the green arrows
Red Track option – head straight ahead and it takes you down into the gorge
Side trail to Mass Cave. This is not formally part of the walk but well worth a visit unless you are claustrophobic
Grass tree flower spikes
Entrance to Mass Cave. We suggest you bring a headlamp or torch with you for this part of the hike
Going down into Mass Cave. There is a chain to hold onto along the left side of the rock wall
Still going down
Into the darkness. The area beyond this dark point has OK natural light but we still suggest bringing a torch
The ‘window’ in the mass chamber
Heading out of Mass Cave
Back to the mouth of Mass Cave
Woops! After we got back on trail from the Mass Cave we came across this trail marker which pointed to the right. It was actually meant to point down the trail to Mass Cave so took us off track. We took this detour anyway and were rewarded with some great views across the gorge over to an exposed rock outcrop
Panorama view across the valley
This view is from an natural lookout that doesn’t have any safety barriers. Don’t get toe close to the edge!
Approaching Adams Lookout
Adams Lookout picnic area
Toilets at Adams Lookout
Wheelchair accessible walk out to the lookout
Approaching the lookout platform
Down to the lower platform at Adams Lookout
View from the upper viewing platform at Adams Lookout, Bungonia National Park, NSW
Trail example leaving Adams Lookout
Looking out from Jerrara Lookout
Trip hazard at Jerrara Lookout, nasty little buggers thes star pickets if you don’t see them
Alternate trail marker
If you do take children on this trail keep a close eye on them as there are some areas close to the cliff edge that don’t have fencing
See the other trail marker in the background
Yellow trail marker – this trail starts at the Bungonia Campground
Short section of road walking through the campground before heading back out bush again. The campground is at the rear of the Park information centre
After a section of bushland you cross back over the main road and start the journey back to the car park
Orange Trail marker
An example of the trail towards the end of the loop
White Trail sign. This walk takes you down to the Shoalhaven River and back
Red Track connection (right). Turn left to return to the car park
This last section of the trail combines the Green, Red and White Tracks
Mine across the valley which is just outside the National Park
Back to the David Reid trailhead
Don’t forget to sign out when you return
Google Map to trailhead for the Green Track/Red Track/White Track. The trailhead is around 37 km from the Goulburn GPO and around a 30 minute drive
Car park signage at the entrance to the car park
This car park will comfortably fit around 20+ cars if people park correctly
David Reid car park toilets
A sign of the times – toilet paper theft!
Toilet view – basic but functional
Elevation profile for the Bungonia Gorge Green Track. This track doesn’t have huge elevation changes but it’s a hard slog at times
This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker