You will need your own vehicle to get to Newnes,
as there is no public transport, other than by taxi from Lithgow (50km away).
(Lithgow can be reached by train from Sydney.)
<-- On the road to Newnes
(Click photo for more road pictures.)
Head west across the Blue Mountains, either via Katoomba (M4 and A32), or via Windsor and Bell (M2/A2 and B59). Head
west from Lithgow (A32) and take the Castlereagh Highway (B55) towards Mudgee. About 11km from the highway traffic
lights at Lithgow and just past the Wallerawang Power Station is a major road junction. Take the right-hand road here
("Wolgan Road") through Lidsdale to Newnes. Watch for "Lidsdale" on the advance road signs and there is a service
station on the corner. This road is marked as a "Discovery Trail".
Follow the Great Western Highway (A32) to the Castlereagh Highway (B55), then as above. It is also possible to follow
side-roads through Wallerawang.
Take the Lidsdale turn-off after crossing the Cox's River. About 1km along this road in Lidsdale, turn left at the
The drive from Lidsdale to Newnes is 35km and would normally take at least 45 minutes.
North of Lidsdale, the road is bitumen to the foot of Wolgan Gap (12km), although sometimes narrow with deteriorating
edges in the section beyond Lidsdale to 800m beyond the Angus Place Colliery. The descent of Wolgan Gap is also narrow,
steep and winding.
The first 14km of road from the bottom of Wolgan Gap is bitumen. From there to Newnes (9km) it is mostly earth formed
with some clay patches.
The road is not really suitable for large caravans, although small trailers should present no difficulty.
Read further down this page for specific road conditions.
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|Specific Road Conditions:|
General comments -
- As well as looking at the beautiful scenery when heading to Newnes, do take a note of possible driving hazards
(such as sharp or blind curves), as they will still be there when you drive out again. For some reason, some people
like to drive faster when going home.
- DON'T SPEED!
Please stay within posted speed limits on this road. These are the maximum advisable on the best parts, provided
conditions are good. If you have not driven this road before, it is recommended that you stay well under the limits and
pay particular attention to all warning signs.
- There are several blind corners and crests on this road, while cattle, wallabies and wombats are additional road
hazards, particularly in the late afternoon and at night. 4WD vehicles are particularly unstable at speed, while most
modern 2WD vehicles with front-wheel drive can become undrivable with even minor front-end damage.
- KEEP TO THE LEFT!
Frequently in the Wolgan Valley, you will need to pass vehicles coming the other way. At a few places the road is only
one car width and these need to be taken with care. At all other places, please drive on the left-hand side of the
road, particularly on corners and crests, where you need to SLOW DOWN!
- Please make sure your car is roadworthy and carrying normal spare parts such as tools and a spare tyre. Also, make
sure you have enough petrol, as fuel is not sold at Newnes. The nearest service stations are at Lidsdale, Wallerawang
and Marrangaroo, which are from 35km to 45km from Newnes.
Wolgan Road from Lidsdale to the top of Wolgan Gap (bitumen, 10km) -
- From the Castlereagh Highway, the turnoff to Newnes is at Lidsdale, just past the power station and immediately
before the turnoff to Wallerawang. There is a service station on the corner. The turnoff is marked for both Lidsdale
and Newnes, but only "Lidsdale" appears on the advance warning signs.
- Please keep to the left of the centre line over crests and around bends on this road. The speed limit here is
50km/h through Lidsdale, then 80km/h.
- Parts of this road to the top of Wolgan Gap have been upgraded and are marked on the edges with white lines. Do not
speed, as some of the corners are tricky.
- Older bitumen is generally good, although narrower and there are some places where rough repairs have been made.
The road down Wolgan Gap (bitumen, 2.5km) -
- The road down Wolgan Gap is fairly steep, very winding and very narrow in a number of places.
- There are TWO "reduce speed" signs just before the top of the Gap. Yes, one sign is not enough; they
REALLY MEAN IT!
- Watch out for fallen rocks on the road when descending this section, particularly after rain.
- Although posted with a 50 km/h limit, stay well under this, if you have not driven this road before.
The first 14km of road in the Wolgan Valley (to the entrance to the Emirates "Wolgan Valley Resort") (bitumen) -
- This section has recently been sealed, with centre line-marking.
- Speed limits have still to be assessed. However, we would recommend that you stay under 80km/h at all times,
much slower on corners and crests and slower still if you have not driven this road before.
- Please pay attention to roadside warning signs erected along the road in the valley in advance of most of the
"difficult" corners. Some signs have still to be errected.
- Keep to the left on all bends and crests and watch out for oncoming traffic.
Emirates "Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa":|
• Please do not enter. Access to this resort is restricted to guests and staff. It is NOT open to the general
The creek crossing at the "Corn Paddock":|
• This crossing has a concrete base, normally dry, but it can quickly flood after heavy rain.
• If water is flowing over it and some concrete is still showing, then it is usually safe to cross for all but
• If the concrete is completely covered, then DO NOT CROSS until the water level drops.
The remaining 8km of Wolgan Road to the Newnes Hotel (earth formed) -
- This section is usually in fair to good condition, but it is narrow and winding and may become corrugated from
normal wear and tear when the road is due for regrading.
- It is recommended that you stay under 60km/h for this section of road.
- In sunny weather, drive carefully through shadows as dappled light may conceal damaged sections of road.
- Take particular care in wet weather, as the road can become slippery and even break up into a muddy mess in some
- This section of road is also subject to flooding after very heavy rain.
- As well as the usual road hazards, on this section of road watch out for kamikaze wombats and fallen trees,
paricularly at night.
Roads beyond the pub (earth formed, 1km) -
- The road to the Little Capertee Camping Area is usually in fair condition, with water damage in a couple of places.
Watch out for oncoming traffic.
- Slow down when crossing the creek into the camping ground. There is a sharp gutter at the gates and the creek
crossing has a narrow concrete base marked by white posts. This crossing is suitable for most vehicles, although the
exit into the camping area is a bit rough.
- The Wolgan River crossing (on the right, 200m past pub at Newnes) is very sandy and unstable. It is suitable for
4WD vehicles only with good clearance. This is the best point for pedestrians to cross and there are some
stepping stones here.
- Do not cross the Wolgan River at all following heavy rain or if the river is in flood. The river can rise
very quickly and it could leave you stranded.
- Please note that there are no facilities at Newnes to extract bogged vehicles.
See Places near Newnes page for information on roads on the Newnes Plateau.