The Wolgan Valley is a beautiful cliff-lined valley north of Lithgow, far beyond the urban jungle of the Upper Blue Mountains.
There is pleasant camping in the valley at Newnes (once a thriving mining town, now just an old pub and a campground). Unlike most climbing areas in the Blue Mountains, you have to walk up to the cliffs instead of down or abseil in.
The rock varies from classic shear faces offering stunning face climbs and splitting cracks, to rubble and choss. Many consider the rock this side of the mountains a little sandy for their fancies; all the better for Wolgan devotees who have acres of rock to explore and climb all to themselves.
There is a lifetime of climbing here.
Photo by Rod Smith
From Sydney: Take the Great Western Highway to Lithgow, then take the Mudgee exit to Lidsdale, then follow the signs to Newnes. About 2.5 hours.
There are several options for staying overnight in the valley:
- Free camping at Capertree Creek campground
- Stay at the pub cabins
- Stay at the luxury Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa
- For the valley rim crags, free camping on the Newnes plateau
There are no services in the valley at all. The old pub only serves icecreams and cold drinks, but no beer. Lithgow is the closest town with supermarkets, bakeries, internet, etc. Bring drinking water or boil water from the river.
If you are new to climbing in the Wolgan Valley, I suggest you get hold of the Wade Stevens guidebook, as it will introduce you to the Valley and get you orientated. The climbing areas described here will form the basis of the next guidebook, to replace the current one eventually.