Who wouldn’t love rolling green hills, spectacular views all around, captivating wilderness, sparkling rivers and a land shared between humans and a huge amount of wildlife? If that doesn’t sound good to you, then don’t bother visiting Kangaroo Valley. But if it sounds like it ticks all the boxes for your next dream getaway, then make your way there and you won’t regret it.
We were once again recommended Kangaroo Valley by a friend and I have to say that once again, my friend was right! From the moment we began our descent into the valley and caught a glimpse of its gorgeous interior, we knew we’d made the right decision.
Kangaroo Valley is the perfect place to go to simply relax and enjoy the views but if you are an active person and love to do more, there are plenty of activities available in the valley as well.
Here’s what you can do in this incredible part of New South Wales.
1- Visit the historic Hampden Bridge
The historic Hampden Bridge is a single span, sandstone bridge spanning the Kangaroo River. It is one of the valley’s main attractions. Built in 1898, it is Australia’s last surviving wooden suspension bridge. On its southern side, you can walk down under the bridge to get great views of the sheer sandstone cliffs that line the Kangaroo River.
When we visited, the bridge was undergoing renovation, but even covered with scaffolding, the bridge looked impressive.
If you are driving across the bridge, bear in mind that it is one way only, so make sure the road is clear.
2- Hire a kayak
Just across the other side of the Hampden Bridge, to your left, you can hire kayaks from Kangaroo Valley Safaris.
You can choose one of their self-guided day trips or they have multi-days options if you have more time and enjoy kayaking.
They provide the kayak and all the other gear you need. You can start from under the Hampden Bridge or from the Bendeela picnic area. We opted for the Hampden Bridge to the Bendeela picnic area option. It was a five-kilometre paddle, passing through six small but fun rapids.
The river views along the way were truly spectacular, especially since it really felt like we were the only people around – just us and the wildlife. We encountered many water dragons along the way, together with ducks and many different species of birds. Another thing that made it even more special was the sound of the crickets in the trees. I never realised just how loud those guys can be! I am not kidding, it felt like they were screaming at us, which was quite surreal.
Once you end your trip at the Bendeela picnic area, you can hang out there for a while and look for wombats. This picnic area is also a free camping site and has lots of wildlife roaming around. When you are ready, Kangaroo Valley Safaris will be there waiting to take you back to their office.
3- Take a hike on the Three-Views walk
The Three Views trail is an easy, flat and accessible walk in Kangaroo Valley. This rewarding hike passes through open woodland and sandstone heath vegetation. If you do it in spring, you will find a spectacular display of wildflowers. There are three separate walks to do, all leading to a cliff edge offering dramatic views over the Shoalhaven gorge, towards the Ettrema Wilderness.
Lake Yarunga View is 3.4 km return.
Tallowa Dam View is 4 km return.
Shoalhaven River View is 5.7 km return.
If you decide to tackle all three trails, it is an approximately 9 kilometres return walk. You can spend one or two hours doing one of the shorter walks or spend longer and visit all three. Or, if you are staying for a few days, you can do them on separate days. We completed all three and it was worth it. Incredible views.
4- Check out the Manning Lookout
For some spectacular cliff-top views over the valley, stop off at Manning Lookout. This lookout is also a great spot for birdwatching.
5- Visit Fitzroy Falls
Fitzroy falls are just a 20-minute drive from Kangaroo Valley and are a great place to go for some bushwalking. There are a couple of walking tracks that you can follow.
The East Rim and Wildflower walking track is a 6.7-kilometre round trip which takes you to lookouts with superb views of the Yarrunga Valley below and its thick Eucalyptus forest.
The West Rim walking track is a shorter 3.5-kilometre return hike and offers different vistas of gorges and more waterfalls. If walking is not your thing, you can easily access the viewpoint to see the Fitzroy falls themselves. They’re just a short walk from the visitor centre.
During your walk, you might even come across some wildlife. We came across a lyrebird who was in mid song! It was pretty cool.
6- Drive to the Tallowa Dam
The Tallowa Dam is 23 kilometres from Kangaroo Valley village. This huge forty-three-metre-high dam holds water from a 5,821 square kilometre catchment, forming a 930-hectare lake holding 90,000 megalitres.
At the dam you will find picnic tables as well as electric barbecues, and toilets. You might spot some wildlife, such as goannas or kangaroos.
There are also a couple of viewing areas and you can view the largest fish lift of its kind in the country. This lift transports fish over the dam wall in a 2,500-litre bucket, protecting ten native fish species by allowing them to migrate between the lower and upper parts of the Shoalhaven River.
7- Play a round of golf
Are you a golfer? The Kangaroo valley Golf and Country Resort is awesome! This 18-hole golf course looked like a real challenge for us non-golfers but wow, those views almost made me want to pick up a club! And of course, there’s always the resident kangaroos hanging around to distract you.
8- Have a local beer at the Friendly Inn
The Friendly Inn is the local pub in Kangaroo Valley, and it has a great atmosphere. Grab a beer, order some food and enjoy them in its huge beer garden. Children can play in their playground and if you visit on weekend, you might be treated to some live music.
Where did we stay in Kangaroo valley?
We stayed in one of the cottages right next to hole 8 of the Kangaroo valley Golf and Country Resort. I have to say that we didn’t want to leave. Every day, we sat on our deck and watched the local wildlife leave the nearby forest at dusk and head out onto the fairways. There were Kangaroos galore.
Even as non-golfers, we loved staying there. Actually, it was quite entertaining watching the golfers play in front of us while we enjoyed our wine and nibbles!
You can book your stay at the Kangaroo valley Golf and Country Resort here.
Or, if you’d prefer something different, use HotelsCombined to search for accommodation across all of the major travel sites.
Where is Kangaroo Valley and how to get there?
Kangaroo Valley is just a two-hour drive from Sydney and two and a quarter hours from Canberra. So, it’s the perfect weekend getaway from both cities. The best way to get to Kangaroo Valley is by car. Plus, with so much to see around the area, it will be a lot easier if you have your own car.
Do you have more time to spend on the South Coast of New South Wales? Why not check nearby Kiama.