20 Fun Things to do in Kangaroo Valley | Visitor Guide

If you like waterfalls, clifftop lookouts, river water sports and national park walks you’ll find plenty of things to do in Kangaroo Valley. Two hours from Sydney, Kangaroo Valley is also a relaxing place. Explore the villages and farmland in this beautiful and spectacular part of New South Wales’ south coast.

Featured Image Hampden Bridge © Destination NSW

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Fitzroy Falls

Things to do in Kangaroo Valley

The highlight of our visit to Kangaroo Valley was the half day kayak down the Kangaroo River. It is a great way see the areas wildlife and forests. There are also lots of short drives from Kangaroo Valley that take you to amazing lookouts. The views from Cambewarra Lookout will take your breath away. Read on to see what makes Kangaroo Valley such a beautiful spot to visit.

Hampden Bridge

Hampden Bridge

You might wonder what’s so special about a bridge in a little town in the southern highlands, but this is no ordinary bridge. Opened in 1898, it spans the Kangaroo River and is a single span wooden suspension bridge. That is all kind of interesting for a bridge nerd, but the fun thing is how it looks. The big sandstone towers at each end make it look like it belongs near a castle. There are good views of it from both side of the roads. We’re sure once you see it, you will agree it is an impressive looking thing.

Pioneer Village Museum

Pioneer Village Museum

This is a fun thing to do in Kangaroo Valley. Located across the road from Hampden Bridge, the pioneer museum has a collection of 19th and early 20th century style buildings and sheds. The buildings include a schoolhouse, dairy, and homes with period décor – Riverside Rendell Cottage. There is a war remembrance room and many other items from a bygone era.

The museum is set in bushland and there are walks you can do around the property to enjoy the scrub and spot some of the local wildlife. Opening hours vary day to day so best check before you visit, they are open every day in school holidays. There is also a souvenir shop, BBQs and picnic tables on site.

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Kangaroo Valley Bakery

Kangaroo Valley Main Street

A stroll down the main street of Kangaroo Valley will take you past a bunch of fun shops. There’s the Fudge and Ice Creamery, bakery, the Friendly Inn Hotel, cafes and craft shops. It is not a long street, but by the time you stop for some fudge, a pie or coffee it could end up being at least a half day activity.

One thing on our list for next time is the Kangaroo Valley Pie Shop. It was closed for our visit. The sign on the shop says ‘the worlds best pies’ and that’s a claim that just has to be tested out!

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Kanagroo Valley Historic Walk

Historic Walk

If you want to immerse yourself in the history of the Kangaroo Valley, there is a self-guided historic walk. There are more than 20 sites on the route that takes you from one end of the main street to the other. Starting at the showgrounds, you’ll see a range of National Trust listed sites and places of historic interest as you make your way to Hampden Bridge. It is an easy loop, allow a couple of hours to go up one side of the street and down the other. Maps are available online or at the showground.

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Kangaroo Valley Flying Foxes
Flying Foxes
Water Dragon
Water Dragon

Kangaroo Valley Wildlife

Wildlife spotting is one of the fun things to do in Kangaroo Valley, and there is a lot to see. There are kangaroos, you’ll spot wombats in the nearby Bendeela Recreation Area, and if you look in the trees you can see hundreds of flying foxes. We saw heaps in the trees outside St Joseph’s Church. Along the river keep an eye out for water dragons and all sorts of birds including the brilliant azure kingfisher. In the nearby National Parks, if you are there early, you can spot lyrebirds.

Kangaroo Valley Golf & Country Retreat

Kangaroo Valley Golf and Country Retreat

If the first thing you pack for a holiday is your golf clubs, you have to spend a day at the Kangaroo Valley Golf Course. The bushland and escarpments create a beautiful setting for a golf course. The 18 hole course has undulating fairways and dams to negotiate as you make your way around. It’s not unusual to have to make your way around a few kangaroos too! there is also accommodation and a restaurant on site.

Yarrawa Winery
© Yarrawa Estate

Yarrawa Estate

If you go for a picturesque drive along upper Kangaroo Valley Road, make sure you drop into the Yarrawa Estate cellar door. Open on weekends and public holidays for tastings, you can try everything from a chardonnay or shiraz to a Verdelho and sparkling Pinot. Grapes aren’t all owners Sue and Mark grow on the estate. You can also sample their locally produced fruit, nuts and oils.

Tallowa Dam

Hikes & Rides

The perfect way to explore the indigenous and European history of the region and take in the pastures and forests is to go for a walk or ride. There are some great tracks around Kangaroo Valley and into Morton National Park. The Valley Floor ride (16km) and Upper Kangaroo Valley Road (24km) are both good tracks for a pedal.

For walkers, a good place to start is the Three Views Walk near Tallowa Dam. There are three tracks with views of Lake Yarrunga, Tallowa Dam and Shoalhaven River. Do one track for a short walk or all three to fill in a day (13km and 5 hours). McPhails Trail and Griffins Fire trail are both medium to hard walks but will get you deep into the forest and show a glimpse into areas logging history.

Belmore Falls

Belmore Falls

Waterfall watching is a popular thing to do in Kangaroo Valley. Belmore Falls is in Morton National Park, 30 minutes from Kangaroo Valley. We drove to the top of the falls and there was plenty of water going over. There are walking tracks to the base of Belmore falls from Hindmarsh and the Belmore falls lookouts, but they were closed at time of writing. Check before you go, when the walks are open, they provide great views of the falls.

Bendeela Recreation Area

Bendeela Recreation Area

This is a popular camping and day visit area along the Kangaroo River. It is the perfect spot to launch a kayak or go fishing. Watch your step, there are wombat burrows everywhere! This is also a popular free camping area. Checkout our camping guide for places to stay in and around Kangaroo Valley.

Read More :  Plan your Kangaroo Valley Camping Trip

YouTube video

Kangaroo Valley Kayaking

One of the most popular things to do in Kangaroo Valley is go for a paddle on the Kangaroo River. There are several kayak hire places in Kangaroo Valley including Kangaroo Valley Kayaks, Kangaroo Valley Safaris and Kangaroo Valley Adventure Company. The most popular paddle is to launch from Hampden Bridge and kayak to Bendeela Recreation Area – which is what we did.

We got our gear from Kangaroo Valley Safaris who were great to deal with. The paddle from ‘The Bridge’ to Bendeela takes around two hours and there is beautiful scenery. If you take your time, you’ll spot water dragons sunning on the rocks along the banks or maybe even going for a swim. There is a lot of birdlife along the river too.

With a lot of water in the river you might encounter a few short rapids which make for a bit of excitement. Once you reach Bendeela you get collected and taken back to Hampden Bridge where you started. It was great fun; we can recommend getting on the water if you get the chance. There are longer paddles available where you can camp overnight further up the river in the forest.

Fitzroy Falls

Fitzroy Falls

Fitzroy Falls are 15 to 20 minutes from Kangaroo Valley. If you like a forest waterfall walk, you’ll love this spot in Morton National Park. The walk to do is the 3.5km West Rim Track that takes you past five waterfalls and lookouts. The track has a few ups and downs and the odd stoop to get under low hanging rocks, but it all adds to the experience.

Along the walk you’ll see Fitzroy Falls, Twin Falls, Lady Hordern Falls and the Grotto. The turnaround point for the 90 minute walk is Renown Lookout. The track can get busy on weekends and during holidays so go early if you want to avoid the crowds. An early walk also gives you the best chance to see a lyrebird which we were lucky enough to do on our walk.

There is also The East Rim Track, which is a more rugged 6.5 km hike, but the West Rim has the pick of the views. The East Rim walk will have fewer people on it so you might be a better chance of spotting more wildlife. There is a big Visitor Centre at Fitzroy Falls which has plenty of information about the other parks in the area.

Manning Lookout

Mannings Lookout

If you want to get a bird’s eye view of Kangaroo Valley there is one place to go – Mannings Lookout. Located 20 minutes from Kangaroo Valley near Fitzroy Falls in Morton National Park, you get a great view of the cliffs, forests and farmland. The escarpments are 120 metres high and provide a dramatic frame to the valley below. Access to the lookout is via a short, easy walk. The area is well known for birdlife. Keep an eye out for gang-gang cockatoos and scarlet robins. There are picnic tables near the carpark.

Cambewarra Mountain Lookout

Cambewarra Mountain Lookout

If Mannings Lookout leaves you wanting more great views, go to Cambewarra Mountain Lookout. It is 15 minutes from Kangaroo Valley. The road there is narrow and windy near the top don’t be in hurry to get up there. Your patience will be well rewarded with panoramic views across the Shoalhaven.

The summit is well developed with gardens, terraced lawns and a popular café where you can sit, enjoy afternoon tea and gaze out towards the coast. King Parrots, lorikeets, rosellas and lyrebirds are regular visitors to the lookout.

Minnamurra Rainforest

Minnamurra Rainforest Centre

If you’re doing a Fitzroy/Belmore/Carrington falls day trip from Kangaroo Valley it is not much further to get to the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre. It is about an hour from Kangaroo Valley in Budderoo National Park in the Jamberoo Valley. An entry fee applies and for that you get to experience the rainforest along an undulating boardwalk.

To be honest, if you have been to a Springbrook National Park in Queensland or are even just a keen bushwalker, this might not be your thing. You are paying for the convenience and ease of access to the forest. If a rainforest is something you don’t see every day and you don’t want to worry about getting lost, then there is a lot to like here.

There are two walks; the rainforest loop walk that takes about an hour and the longer Falls Walk which takes about 2 hours. The Falls Walk has some steep sections, but you get rewarded with views of three falls and less crowds.

There is an information centre, café, picnic area and toilets at the entrance to the walk. As we discovered this can be a busy place in holiday periods. If you want a bird’s eye view of the forest, drop into the nearby Illawarra Fly Tree Top walk.

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Carrington Falls

Carrington Falls

Visiting Carrington Falls in Budderoo National Park is a half day activity from Kangaroo Valley but well worth the drive. It is about an hour to Carrington Falls which are a 90 metre high single drop waterfall. There are several short walks that give you some great views of the waterfall, the Kangaroo River and the bushland. There is a 570 meter loop track and a few shorter walks that take you to different lookouts. The walks are not long but have some steep sets of stairs to get up and down.

Near the falls you’ll find the Thomas Place Picnic Area, a great spot for lunch. Nearby you can drive to the other side of the falls which gets you to some more lookouts over the spectacular valley. The longest walk which is a couple 2 kilometres long takes you to the Misisngham Lookout. A shorter walk takes you to Warris Chair Lookout that has views over the rainforest. The area is rich in birdlife so keep watch in the trees.

Barren Grounds Nature Reserve

Barren Grounds Nature Reserve

If you have read about the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre and decided it is not your thing, you will love this. Barren Grounds Nature Reserve is about 40 minutes from Kangaroo Valley next door to Budderoo National Park. The area has several walks that let you take in the views, wildlife and bushland.

There are three main walks you can do – Cooks Nose Track (8km 3hours), Griffiths Track (8km loop 3 hours) and the Illawarra Lookout Walk (2km). The Illawarra Lookout walk is a family friendly trek that has great views over Kangaroo Valley. The Longer Griffiths hike takes you through a mix of environments and is the pick of the walk for bird spotters.

All the walks start at the Barren Grounds picnic area. Even if you don’t have your walking shoes on, the picnic area is a pleasant spot to explore and have lunch.

Berry Donut Van

Berry Donut Van

Here at Curious Campers, we like to think we are pretty good when it comes to organising our trips. Even so, we still make some rookie errors and his was one of them. When we heard about a van that sells berry donuts, we thought yum, got to try that. We drove up and down the main street of Kangaroo Valley but there wasn’t a donut van in sight.

As we now know, the Berry Donut Van is not a van that sells berry donuts in Kangaroo Valley. It is a donut van in the town of Berry – a windy 30 minute drive from Kangaroo Valley. The donut van is in the main street and is something of an institution. People we met told us there can be queues 50 metres long to get a donut from there. Donuts aside, Berry is fun day trip from Kangaroo Valley. The main street is full of local arts, crafts, antiques and cafes.

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Kangaroo Valley FAQ’s

Getting to Kangaroo Valley

Getting to Kangaroo Valley

The most direct route from Sydney takes just over 2 hours via Mittagong. An alternate route is to follow the coast. Take the turn off onto the Sea cliff Bridge then continue to Kiama and Berry. This will take about 3 hours.

Kangaroo Valley Wombats

Kangaroo Valley Wombats

The Bendeela Picnic and Campground is well known for its wombats. In fac, you have to watch your step there for all the wombat burrows. The best time to see them is dawn and dusk. Campers are quite likely to see them trundling through the campground.

Worth Visiting?

Is Kangaroo Valley Worth Visiting?

Kangaroo Valley is a great place to visit especially if you like outdoor activities. It is a great base for exploring nearby Morton and Budderoo National Parks and you can go for a paddle on the Kangaroo River. There are also a lot of walking and bike tracks nearby.

How Long?

How long do you need in Kangaroo Valley?

Kangaroo Valley is a beautiful place for a weekend getaway from Sydney or you could spend 3 or 4 days in Kangaroo Valley if you want to get to some lookouts, waterfalls and relax with some local food and wine.

Southern Highlands Day Tours

The Dolls House
The Dolls House
Holiday Haven
Holiday Haven

Kangaroo Valley Accommodation

Kangaroo Valley has a wide variety of accommodation options from gorgeous bed and breakfasts, country resorts to caravan parks. Check out a few of our favourites here.

  • Stay in a cottage or villa & enjoy stunning views at the Kangaroo Valley Golf & Country Retreat
  • The Dolls House B&B – A charming 2 bedroom cottage a short walk from the village
  • Holiday Haven Caravan Park Cabin – Nestled about the stunning Kangaroo River and next to the historic Hamden Bridge the cabins are self contained, most with a small balcony area

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Things to do in Kangaroo Valley
Things to do in Kangaroo Valley
Things to do in Kangaroo Valley
Things to do in Kangaroo Valley
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