Kanangra-Boyd National Park: has an area of 68,660 hectares (169,590 acres) and is situated 180 kilometres west of Sydney.
Kanangra-Boyd National Park is part of the vast Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. The Park was gazetted in 1977 after lengthy battles over proposed pine plantations and mining.
Kanangra-Boyd National Park has vast gorges, high lookouts plus extensive cave systems as well as wild and scenic rivers. The rivers, within the Park, feed Warragamba Dam. This is the main water storage area for Sydney and the Park is a major source of unpolluted water.
The Park provides a wide range of bushwalking experiences. There is plenty of scope for lengthy, wilderness walks. People undertaking these walks must be self-reliant and leave information about their route and duration with National Parks and Wildlife personnel as well as friends and relatives.
There is an interesting, shorter walk that leads to lookouts along Kanangra Walls. This is a dramatic feature (see image) and car parking is provided a short distance from Kanangra Walls which is an immense sandstone plateau.
The park protects significant aboriginal sites including rock art, campsites and axe grinding grooves.
There are also sites of early European contact with the area. Within the Park there are remains of cedar-logging roads, stock routes plus evidence of shale oil and coal mining. Near Kanangra Walls there is a large cave where there are the remains of a wooden floor. Apparently dances were held in the cave in the late 1800’s.
There are a number of major cave systems in the Park including Billy Creek Caves, Colong and Tuglow. The cave systems are home to a number of bat species.
Other wildlife is prolific. Over 110 species of birds have been observed and 14 frog species call the Park home. Grey Kangaroos, Wallaroos, Brush-tailed Rock Wallabies, Koalas, Echidnas and Platypus are also found in Kanangra-Boyd National Park.
Vegetation is varied and plentiful. There are wet and dry sclerophyll forests, heathlands, rainforests plus sub-alpine Snow Gum and swamp communities.
A number of rare plant species are protected in the Park. These include Boronia deanei, Eucalyptus macarthurii and Hakea dohertyi. No doubt more rare species will be discovered as further botanical exploration is undertaken.
There is car-based camping at the Boyd River Crossing on the road to Kanangra Walls. This is a very pleasant area. We camped there many years ago. Two memories: sighting Boronia deanei and seeing large trout in the clear waters of the Boyd River.
Access is via the Kanangra Road. About 30 kilometres is unsealed but suitable for 2WD vehicles. The road passes Jenolan Caves. This is another of the area’s cave systems. It is a popular tourist attraction and many of the limestone caves are open for guided tours. Brush-tailed Rock Wallabies are often sighted around the caves area. Caves House provides up-market accommodation.
Kanangra-Boyd National Park is a beautiful area with breath-taking scenery and interesting vegetation.
Kanangra Walls accidentally starred in a major Australian film. Jedda was the first Australian film to feature Aboriginal actors. The film was set in the Northern Territory and in the final scene the male and female stars jumped to their deaths off a cliff along the Fitzroy River.
The film was in colour and back in the 1950’s and 60’s this type of film was processed in England. The film containing the final scene was either lost of damaged in transit. It was too expensive to return to the Northern Territory to shoot the scene again. So Kanangra Walls, because it was relatively close to Sydney, was chosen as the site for the filming of the final scene.
If you watch the final scenes of Jedda you will see a rapid change of vegetation from that of the Northern Territory to the Hawkesbury Sandstone vegetation of Kanangra-Boyd National Park. We have stood on the site of the final scene of Jedda. The point of the “final” leap is about halfway along the edge of the escarpment in the photograph.