Discovery Trail: Wolgan Valley
- 35 kms (one way)
- Driving Time
- 1 hr (one way)
- Road Conditions
- Highway, narrow sealed roads, unsealed roads (dry weather only)
- Lidsdale (on The Greater Blue Mountains Drive)
- A spectacular return drive down the mighty, cliff-bound Wolgan Valley to the historic Newnes industrial area in Wollemi National Park.
- Blackfellows Hand Cave, Wolgan Valley scenery, Newnes
- Narrow, winding roads. Wolgan Valley road is unsuitable in wet conditions.
From Lidsdale, a small village north of Lithgow on the Castlereagh Highway (also The Tablelands Way and The Greater Blue Mountains Drive), take the sealed Wolgan Road on the right. It travels through the valley of the upper Coxs River to Wolgan Gap and a very steep and winding descent into the Wolgan Valley. Just before the gap, a small unsealed road on the right leads one kilometre to a short walk to Blackfellows Hand Cave, with extensive panels of Aboriginal stencil art. The road through the Wolgan Valley is mostly unsealed with some sharp bends. But travellers are rewarded with the dramatic clifflines of Wollemi National Park rising beyond the farmland on both sides of the valley, capped with the intriguing shapes of 'pagoda' rocks.
As the valley begins to narrow, a signposted track on the right is the start of a steep walk up to the old Newnes railway alignment, and along the railway to the Glow Worm Tunnel. Continuing downstream, the valley walls and bush close in more, the Wolgan River runs close to the road, and you enter Wollemi National Park. At 35km from Lidsdale, the historic village of Newnes is reached. The only obvious feature at first is the privately-owned Newnes Hotel, but in the surrounding bush the extensive ruins of the village and Commonwealth Oil Corporation's shale mining and refining operation await your exploration. There is excellent camping on grassy flats beneath towering cliffs and a self-guided track leads you through the most interesting industrial ruins.
For the more adventurous, the steep and historic Pipeline Pass track links the valley with Glen Davis across the range, and downstream lies the Wollemi Wilderness.