The Minnamurra Rainforest is an easy day trip from Sydney.
Whether you are just on holiday in the Harbour city, or live here full time, this hidden gem of South Coast NSW is well worth the visit if you enjoy hiking, Aussie wildlife, or beautiful views.
How to Get to the Minnamurra Rainforest
Location: 345 Minnamurra Falls Road, Jamberoo, NSW, 2533
It takes about two hours to drive from Syndey down to the Minnamurra Rainforest, making it doable as a day trip. Enjoying the area will take most of the day, but the beauty of the South Coast area is well worth it.
Best Time to Visit the Minnamurra Rainforest
The Minnamurra Rainforest is a popular spot for Sydney residents to visit with their families. Avoid coming down during the New South Wales School Holidays as it will be harder to find a parking spot. The trail is also overrun with kiddos during this time.
Seasonally, the park offers new and exciting things with each change of the weather, but the animals are a bit more active when it’s warmer outside.
Minnamurra Rainforest Centre
After parking and paying for your time in the park at the stations in the lot, start your visit with the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre.
It has some of the best bathrooms on the South Coast of NSW. You can buy snacks and drinks for your walk inside the visitor centre, as well as have a look through some great souvenirs from local artisans. I buy ice cream and something wombat-themed every time I visit.
If you brought lunch, there is a nice picnic area outside to enjoy eating before you head off.
Lyrebird loop walk
Time: 9am to 5pm daily. Last access 4pm (3pm if you want to add the waterfall walk).
Cost: included with a National Parks pass (if you don’t have one, you pay for parking in the lot).
The Lyrebird loop walk is an easy 1-mile loop that people of most fitness levels can complete. There are some ramps and stairs, but most of the walk is on a boardwalk and is easy to navigate. You’ll also get a chance to walk across a few suspension bridges.
You will seriously feel like you’ve been transported to the north of Australia straight into the tropics.
Think tall, lush trees, a rushing river, and a cooler climate.
The Lyrebird loop walk is also a great place to get up close and personal with some lesser-seen Aussie wildlife.
Across my visits, I’ve seen water dragons and wallabies. But I also got a chance to listen to the iconic Australian Lyrebird.
These masters of disguise can imitate nearly any sound they hear, from the click of a camera to the cry of a baby. My friends and I were lucky enough to hear what we thought was a particularly obnoxious car alarm. That is, until we realized it was coming from the bushes and not the parking lot, which was miles away.
We walked closer and saw its brilliant tail feathers through the leaves. It sang and sang (if you consider a car alarm singing) before wandering further into the trees and out of earshot.
I still can’t believe how lucky we were to experience that.
Minnamurra Falls walk
The Minnamurra Falls walk adds another 1.6 miles to the overall walk. The climb up there was really steep. The first time I went, my friend literally had to go behind me and push me up the ramp cause I started running out of steam lol.
Toward the end of the Lyrebird loop walk, you will start seeing signs for the Minnamurra Falls walk. This walk is open depending on the weather. On my first visit, it had been dry recently, so the path was open. Some of it is steep and narrow, while other parts are only soft dirt.
If it rains too much, the path will be closed because the soft dirt turns to mud and other parts become dangerous due to falling debris.
The first time I went, it was open and I saw the waterfall. The second time, it was all rained out. Even if it’s closed, don’t delay your visit as the Lyrebird loop walk offers more than enough interesting nature to enjoy without adding the waterfall.
Cascade Falls walk
If it’s still light when you finish the Minnamurra Rainforest walk, then head over to nearby Cascade Falls for another short, easy hike.
I promise this one isn’t difficult at all. I am NOT a good hiker and was able to breeze through it.
The Cascade Falls walk is a little over a mile there and back, with some steps and climbing, but most of the walk is along flat dirt.
I’ve been twice and enjoyed it both times.
It is open from dawn to dusk (well, technically 24/7 cause there isn’t really a gate, but it would be sketchy at night) and there are NO BATHROOMS.
So if you have to pee all the time like I do, be sure to do so before you leave the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre … or you’ll have to find a little private spot off the trail to relieve yourself which isn’t always ideal.
The parking lot is very small, but there is also a bit of parking on the grass across the road.
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