Lady Carrington Drive
Dharawal Country

3 h 15 min to 3 h 45 min
5 h 38 min to 9 h 23 min

9.6 km
oneway

↑ 174 m
↓ -221 m

Moderate track
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. Let us begin by acknowledging the Dharawal people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
Show all
Lady Carrington Drive gate Sir Bertram Stevens Dr end. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Southern end of Lady Carrington Drive. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Table at Bola Picnic Ground. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Palona Caves Int. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Inside Palona Cave. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Palona Brook Picnic area. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
In memory of Alan Rendell. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Tree at the top of Calala. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Crossing Kobardo (Parrot) Brook. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Stone boundary on Lady Carrington Drive. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Cutting on Lady Carrington Drive. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Lady Carrington Drive with a glimpse of the Hacking River. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2016.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2016.
Gibraltar Rock. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2016.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2016.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2016.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2016.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2016.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2016.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2016.
Downloads GPX PDF

+
-
Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
+
-
Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start At the intersection of Sir Bertram Stevens Drive & Lady Carrington Drive (-34.1488024,151.0301973)
Mode Car
DirectionsFrom Princes Highway, A1
  • Turn on to then drive for 200 m
  • Turn left onto Kooraban Street and drive for another 4.7 km
  • Turn left onto Sir Bertram Stevens Drive and drive for another 470 m
Finish (-34.0794063,151.0551439)
Mode (end) Car Shuttle   Car   (Parking fees apply in the area.)
+
-
Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the car park on Sir Bertram Stevens Drive (500m north of the intersection with McKell Ave), this walk heads between the boulders (on the western edge of the car park) then leads downhill to get around to the back of the locked gate (56cm high) and sandstone wall. From here the walk follows the wide dirt Lady Carrington Drive trail downhill past the 'Forest Path' information sign and continues mostly downhill for just over 600m through the forest to come to a three-way intersection signposted with the 'Walumarra Track'.
From the intersection, this walk heads downhill along the main wide dirt trail, 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 to come to the signposted three-way intersection with 'The Forest Path' beside the the Bola Creek picnic area, just before the creek.....
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Sir Bertram Stevens Drive & Lady Carrington Drive Start heading along Lady Carrington Drive (a vehicle track).
Find the car park at the start.
After 35 m find the "Pinch Point" (20 m on your left).
Pinch Point
Pinch Point

Pinchpoints between rocks. The widest space is between the 5th and 6th rock from the fence (at the west side of car park) is 56cm wide.
+
-
Pinchpoints between rocks. The widest space is between the 5th and 6th rock from the fence (at the west side of car park) is 56cm wide.

After another 6 m head through/around the gate.
After another 610 m (at the intersection of Lady Carrington Drive & Walumarra Track) continue straight, to head along Lady Carrington Drive.
After another 165 m find the "Bola Picnic Area" (20 m on your left).
Bola Picnic Area
Bola Picnic Area

Bola Picnic Area, in the Royal National Park, is at the intersection of Lady Carrington Drive and Forest Island Track, beside Bola Creek. You will find a small clearing with a picnic table in a gorgeous rainforest setting, surrounded by tall trees and ferns scattered through the area. There is no car access to the picnic area, making this a lovely quiet area.
+
-
Bola Picnic Area, in the Royal National Park, is at the intersection of Lady Carrington Drive and Forest Island Track, beside Bola Creek. You will find a small clearing with a picnic table in a gorgeous rainforest setting, surrounded by tall trees and ferns scattered through the area. There is no car access to the picnic area, making this a lovely quiet area.

At the intersection of Lady Carrington Drive & Forest Path continue straight, to head along Lady Carrington Drive.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Palona Cave and Waterfall. To start this optional side trip turn right here. On returning from this side trip turn right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 1.1 km (at the intersection of Lady Carrington Drive & Palona Cave (Limestone Caves) Track) continue straight, to head along Lady Carrington Drive.
After another 150 m find the "Palona Brook Picnic Area" (5 m on your right).
Palona Brook Picnic Area
Palona Brook Picnic Area

Palona Brook Picnic Area is found on the north side of Palona Brook along side the old Lady Carrington Drive. The picnic area is home to a couple of wooden picnic tables and is next to the steep gully and culvert that Palona Brook flows through. A pleasant spot to rest when visiting the nearby sandstone cove or exploring the old road.
+
-
Palona Brook Picnic Area is found on the north side of Palona Brook along side the old Lady Carrington Drive. The picnic area is home to a couple of wooden picnic tables and is next to the steep gully and culvert that Palona Brook flows through. A pleasant spot to rest when visiting the nearby sandstone cove or exploring the old road.

Then find the "Picnic Table" (30 m on your right).
Picnic Table
Picnic Table

A timber slat picnic table and bench seat. The table is 76cm high, 91cm deep and 2.12m wide. The seats are 44cm high, 30cm deep and 2.12m wide (no backrest).
+
-
A timber slat picnic table and bench seat. The table is 76cm high, 91cm deep and 2.12m wide. The seats are 44cm high, 30cm deep and 2.12m wide (no backrest).

After another 5.2 km find the "Jersey Spring Clearing" (9 m on your left).
Jersey Spring Clearing
Jersey Spring Clearing

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 and enjoy the journey along the old road
+
-
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 and enjoy the journey along the old road

After another 145 m find the "Jersey Spring" (on your right).
Jersey Spring
Jersey Spring

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.
+
-
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.

After another 1.9 km come to the "Trip Hazard".
Trip Hazard
Trip Hazard

There are a number of tall stone walls and culverts crossing creeks along Lady Carrington Drive that are unfenced and have unmarked edges. The potential fall is significant enough to cause serious injury or death. Stay well clear of the edges.
+
-
There are a number of tall stone walls and culverts crossing creeks along Lady Carrington Drive that are unfenced and have unmarked edges. The potential fall is significant enough to cause serious injury or death. Stay well clear of the edges.

After another 140 m find the "Gibraltar Rock" (on your right).
Gibraltar Rock
Gibraltar Rock

Gibraltar Rock, 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. At this point, the old road offers great views of the Hacking River 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 under the overhang.
+
-
Gibraltar Rock, 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. At this point, the old road offers great views of the Hacking River 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 under the overhang.

Then find the "Trip Hazard" (on your right).
Trip Hazard
Trip Hazard

An 8cm trip hazard between dirt and cobblestones.
+
-
An 8cm trip hazard between dirt and cobblestones.

After another 300 m come to a car park.
The end.
About 45 m past the end is "Willow Tree".
Willow Tree
Willow Tree

Willow Tree is a picnic area in the Royal National Park. It is found on the south side of Audley, between the old Lady Carrington Drive and the Hacking River. The picnic area has a large shelter with 4 picnic tables, an open grassy area, parking, BBQ's, tap water, garbage bins, recycling and toilets. The picnic area stretches along the river bank and provides a lovely spot to stop and enjoy the park .
+
-
Willow Tree is a picnic area in the Royal National Park. It is found on the south side of Audley, between the old Lady Carrington Drive and the Hacking River. The picnic area has a large shelter with 4 picnic tables, an open grassy area, parking, BBQ's, tap water, garbage bins, recycling and toilets. The picnic area stretches along the river bank and provides a lovely spot to stop and enjoy the park .

About 20 m past the end is "Lady Carrington Drive".
Lady Carrington Drive
Lady Carrington Drive

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 become 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.
+
-
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 become 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.

About 110 m past the end is "Toilet".
Toilet
Toilet

Male and female toilet block. Entrance is 67cm wide, hand basins 90cm high, toilet seat 43cm high. Male toilet has a urinal with 20cm step. No handrails. There's a bigger toilet at the back, entrance is 81cm wide, hand basins 76cm high, toilet seat 47cm high.
+
-
Male and female toilet block. Entrance is 67cm wide, hand basins 90cm high, toilet seat 43cm high. Male toilet has a urinal with 20cm step. No handrails. There's a bigger toilet at the back, entrance is 81cm wide, hand basins 76cm high, toilet seat 47cm high.


An optional side trip to Palona Cave and Waterfall.
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Palona Cave (Limestone Caves) Track & Lady Carrington Drive Start heading along Palona Cave (Limestone Caves) Track (a walking track).
Continue another 730 m to find Palona Cave at the end.
About 35 m past the end is "Palona Falls".
About 45 m past the end is "Palona Cave".
Palona Cave
Palona Cave

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.
+
-
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.

About 70 m past the end is "Palona Brook Falls".
Palona Brook Falls
Palona Brook Falls

The waterfalls on Palona Brook are just beyond Palona Cave. The brook is ephemeral (not permanently running), but when it is running, the waterfalls are a cool place to explore on warm days. The waterfall is made of up two main cascades, with a short landing in between. The water falls into a reasonably small rocky pool.
+
-
The waterfalls on Palona Brook are just beyond Palona Cave. The brook is ephemeral (not permanently running), but when it is running, the waterfalls are a cool place to explore on warm days. The waterfall is made of up two main cascades, with a short landing in between. The water falls into a reasonably small rocky pool.

Turn around and retrace your steps back the 730 m to the main route.
+
-
Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Lady Carrington Drive


Grading
Class 3/6
Moderate track
Length 9.6 km
Time 3 h 15 min to 3 h 45 min
Quality of track Clear and well formed track or trail (2/6)
Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Generally useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats) (1/6)
Experience Required Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)

Naturally Accessible
Slope summary:
The majority of this walk is gently undulating, although there are some very steep sections at the southern end. If using a wheelchair, assistance is most likely to be required on some of the hills.

Surface summary:
This walk follows a 5.5m wide dirt trail (old road) for most of the length. All creeks have bridges (culverts). The trail becomes boggy after rain. There are two pinch points, the narrowest is at the southern end at 56cm.
+
-
Articles
Discover more details to thrive on track
Get more information
Wildwalks
+
-
Reviews & Feedback
Share your experience
+
-
Weather & Alerts
Check forecasts & closures
Show Full Weather
Alerts and Closures
Show all alerts
Show all alerts
Show all alerts
+
-
Other Journeys
Discover nearby and similar journeys
Similar Journeys
Nearby Journeys
Some of the information and maps on this page was generated using data from the awesome © OpenStreetMap contributors.
Please see how you can embed some widgets, access data and other stuff to that might be helpful.