The Forest Way Track
Dharawal Country

1 h 45 min to 3 h 30 min

4.4 km
circuit

↑ 159 m
↓ -159 m

Moderate track
Opened in 1886, the Forest Path was once part of a controversial logging site, the first time that logging was stopped in Australia by protest. Now it is a short trail looping around the hill, following the Hacking River. Through a shaded environment of ferns and eucalypts, this walk passes through a very pretty environment that was definitely worth preserving. 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. 
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The south end of Lady Carrington Dr.. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Lady Carrington Dr near the Wallumarra Track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
The Bola Picnic Area. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
The bushtrack as it heads NE towards the Hacking River. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
The Forest. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
The undergrowth of the forest. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
The southern edge of the forest. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
The track just before the carpark. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Heading east on the Hacking River. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
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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.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start At the intersection of Lady Carrington Drive & Sir Bertram Stevens Drive (-34.1488024,151.0301973)
Mode Car (A park entry fee is required for driving into the park.)
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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'.....
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Lady Carrington Drive & Sir Bertram Stevens Drive Start heading along Lady Carrington Drive (a vehicle track).
Find the car park at the start.
After another 15 m (at the intersection of Lady Carrington Drive & Forest Path) continue straight, to head along Lady Carrington Drive.
After another 30 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.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Palona Cave and Waterfall. To start this optional side trip continue straight here. On returning from this side trip veer right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 105 m (at the intersection of Lady Carrington Drive & Forest Path) turn left, to head along Forest Path (a walking track).
After another 90 m find the "Bola Picnic Area" (10 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.
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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.

Then find the "Picnic Table" (10 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).
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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 2.9 km turn left, to head along Forest Path.
After another 650 m veer left, to head along Forest Path.
After another 35 m pass the car park (on your right).
After another 30 m (at the intersection of Lady Carrington Drive & Forest Path) turn sharp right, to head along Lady Carrington Drive (a vehicle track).
After another 25 m come to the end.

An optional side trip to Palona Cave and Waterfall.
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Forest Path & Lady Carrington Drive Start heading along Lady Carrington Drive (a vehicle track).
After another 1.1 km (at the intersection of Lady Carrington Drive & Palona Cave (Limestone Caves) Track) turn right, to head along Palona Cave (Limestone Caves) Track (a walking track).
After another 50 m find the "Palona Brook Picnic Area" (75 m on your left).
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.
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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.

Continue another 670 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.
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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.
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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 1.8 km to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

The Forest Way Track


Grading
Class 3/6
Moderate track
Length 4.4 km
Time 1 h 45 min to 3 h 30 min
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Signage Clearly signposted (1/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)
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Articles
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