Bendeela Recreation Area

Relax on the Kangaroo River

Bendeela is a popular camping and recreation area, about 150 kilometres south of Sydney. With its wide-open spaces and lush setting on the banks of the Kangaroo River, it's the perfect spot to relax and get back to nature. Popular activities include swimming, canoeing, fishing and wildlife spotting.

Booking information

Find more information on camping at Bendeela or the Lake Yarrunga remote camps, all campers must have a valid booking.

Book camping

Note: This campground may be closed during high rainfall – always check our website for an update before leaving home. We also recommend taking a screenshot of your booking reference number as there is limited phone reception on site.

Visitor code of conduct

Before visiting Bendeela, please read our site facts and visitor code of conduct. It includes important safety messages to ensure an enjoyable visit.

Please read


  • Open 24 hours (front camping area)
  • Rear camping area is open to vehicles for Christmas, Easter and Spring school holidays. Also open from Friday 12pm to Sunday 4pm, October to March


  • Wear a life jacket
  • Supervise your children
  • Look out for underwater hazards
  • Keep a safe distance when boating
  • Follow all algae alerts

Learn more about safety at our sites.


Please phone 1800 061 069

In an emergency call 000

We’re the people taking care of the state’s water at the source – capturing, storing, delivering. Learn more about WaterNSW.


Booking information

Bendeela Recreation Area

Bendeela camping area can have a maximum of 1000 campers per night. Each site booking can be up to six people for a maximum of seven consecutive days. Campers must have a booking. We recommend taking a screenshot of your booking reference number as there is limited phone reception on site.

  • The front area will be open to vehicles seven days per week including public holidays and school holidays
  • The back area will remain closed until the September/October school holidays
  • Visitors may walk in and picnic and camp in the back camping area at all times.

Book camping

About camping at Lake Yarrunga - Tallowa Dam

Lake Yarrunga is formed by Tallowa Dam at the junction of the Shoalhaven and Kangaroo Rivers.

The 2019-2020 bushfires resulted in significant damage to trees along the foreshores of Lake Yarrunga therefore camping is only permitted in designated remote area camps along the foreshore of the Lake. Camping outside of these designated camps is not permitted due to ongoing tree fall risk and to allow for natural regeneration.

The designated remote camps sites are managed by WaterNSW and The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). Bookings are required.

Tallowa Dam Picnic Area is a day use only area and camping is not permitted.

Lake Yarrunga - Remote camps

Lake Yarrunga remote camp sites is only available to a limited number of campers.

Campers must have a booking. Bookings can be made via the NPWS website.

The cost is $6 to cover administrative costs and is per booking not per person or per number of days. Each site booking will be up to four people for a maximum of two consecutive days. Camp sites can be booked three months in advance with a limit of two site bookings per person.

You must carry with you evidence of your booking (Booking Reference). Camping without a valid booking is in contravention of WaterNSW and National Parks and Wildlife Service regulations.

Mid-week School group bookings during non-school holiday periods can be made via NPWs on 1300 072 757.

Note: Online bookings are not required for camp sites south of Wirritin.

Safety Information

Tree safety and rectification works

WaterNSW and National Parks and Wildlife Service have undertaken tree safety and rectification works in some of the remote area campgrounds. Please follow the safety information provided and adhere to the following:

  • Avoid landing on burnt foreshores. Walking through burnt areas should be avoided due to the potential risk of falling tree limbs.
  • Camping outside of designated remote camps is not permitted
  • Obey all on site signage including restrictions on the numbers of campers permitted at each site
  • Do not camp in remote camps that are closed (signage is on site)

All conditions of the National Parks and Wildlife Service Commercial Tour Operator Licence (Eco pass) continue to apply.

Bendeela CCTV cameras

Please note CCTV cameras have been installed and the area is now under 24/7 surveillance for the safety of the campers, our staff and the environment.

Staying COVID-19 safe

WaterNSW encourages all visitors to remain COVID safe,  please read the latest advice from NSW Health.

Contact details

For more information about Lake Yarrunga camp sites contact us at:

WaterNSW - email or call 1300 662 077 or NPWS - email or call 1300 072 757


Site facts and visitor code of conduct


  • The Bendeela Recreation Area is open 24 hours a day, year-round.
  • You need to book if you want to camp overnight. Please read the booking information.
  • Picnic and camping sites are available on a ‘first-in, first-served’ basis and sites cannot be reserved.
  • Tents and caravans cannot be left unoccupied for more than 24 hours.
  • Please notify WaterNSW of groups larger than 50 people via the online notification form.


Bendeela Recreational Area and Tallowa Dam picnic area may be closed at times for operational or weather-related reasons. Please check our website for updates.

Layout of the site

Bendeela is managed as two separate areas:

  • Camping Area 1 is open all year round for vehicle-based camping
  • Camping Area 2 is closed to vehicle access by a locked gate during non-peak times. Visitors are welcome to walk in to picnic and camp in this area.

Visitor Use

To protect our water supply, it is important that visitors and WaterNSW work together to minimise any impacts on the river, lake and catchment. Appropriate behaviour will also ensure the safety and enjoyment of all visitors.

Camping rules – please follow these to ensure the comfort and safety of everyone

  • Camp inside designated areas
  • Do not camp under or near trees
  • Supervise children at all times
  • Drive slowly and beware of children playing and riding bikes
  • Consider other campers and ensure your behaviour does not impact negatively on other campers
  • Generators and music must be turned off between 9:00pm and 8:00am
  • Do not feed, disturb or harm any animal in the Recreation Area
  • You must carry with you evidence of your booking (Booking Reference).

Visitor cooking and heating

  • No fires are permitted, only gas barbecues are allowed.
  • During total fire bans (TOBANs) declared by Rural Fire Service, gas barbecues are NOT permitted.


  • Bendeela is a free recreation area and only offers basic facilities.
  • Tap water is treated to a drinking quality.
  • Please use the toilet facilities provided. This area is part of the water supply catchment for Sydney and the Shoalhaven. Do not use any part of the campgrounds or surrounds as a makeshift toilet.
  • Place all rubbish in the garbage bins provided. Do not place rubbish in a bin if it is full - please use another bin. Keep lids closed to stop rubbish blowing away or scavenging by birds and animals. Please consider taking your recycling home.

Portable toilet waste disposal

  • A portable toilet waste dump point is located near each toilet block.
  • Do not empty portable toilets in either of the toilet blocks.
  • Please keep the dump point clean for other users.
  • Note that this dump point is for small portable chemical toilets only and not to be used for emptying caravan blackwater holding tanks.

Mobile Phones

  • Mobile phone reception is limited. For better reception, try returning to either Jacks Corner Road or Bendeela Road.

Important Safety Messages

  • Trees may unpredictably shed branches that can land well beyond the tree canopy.
  • Camping under trees is not recommended.
  • Conditions in this natural waterway can vary over time. Swimmers should be aware of risks including submerged obstacles, variable water depths and fast flowing water.
  • Do not dive or jump into the water. The use of rope swings is prohibited.
  • Please consider weather conditions when planning for canoeing. The lake conditions can change quickly with storms making waters dangerous. Please use life jackets
  • If it has rained during the last few days, the water may be polluted. It is recommended that you avoid swimming during and up to three days (72 hours) after heavy rain due to the possibility of pollution from upstream areas.
  • During dry weather conditions, you should ensure the location is free of signs of pollution such as discoloured water, odour, oil or scum on the water or debris floating in the water.
  • Fish and other aquatic food caught from these waters should not be consumed unless adequately cleaned and fully cooked.
  • At times, levels of Blue Green algae may be above safe levels for recreational use of the water at Bendeela Recreation Area. WaterNSW in conjunction with the Regional Algae Co-ordinating Committee will provide notification by signage on site and warnings on the WaterNSW website.

Useful Contacts

General enquiries: 1300 722 468

Faults and incidents: 1800 061 069

Native Animals

Respect the native animals who call Bendeela home. Do not feed, disturb or harm any animal within the Recreation Area.


We hope you enjoy your visit, please check the Recreation Area map (PDF, 772.83 KB).

If you are intending on bringing a large group (schools, community clubs, scouts, etc) please fill out this form.



Canoe icon

Canoe launching point

Drinking water icon

Drinking water

Portable toilet dump point icon

Portable toilet dump point

Parking icon


Wombat Treatment Program

The Bendeela Recreation Area is home to a large Bare-nosed Wombat (Common Wombat) population. Some of the wombat population at Bendeela suffer sarcoptic mange; a condition which causes a wombat to lose fur and develop sores on their skin, eyes and ears and may result in sickness or death.

WaterNSW has been working with the University of Tasmania on the Bendeela Wombat Treatment Program to find a long- term and sustainable solution.

Learn more

Keeping wombats and people healthy


Since 2017, WaterNSW has been working closely with National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), the University of Tasmania (UTAS) and other stakeholders on the Bendeela Wombat Treatment Program to find a long- term and sustainable treatment solution.

Project update

The Bendeela Wombat Treatment Program is complete.

The program started in late 2020 and was completed in early 2023, following delays to the program caused by COVID and flooding.

An independent Final Report, written by Scott Carver, Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology UTAS, highlights the outcome of the program including the extent of sarcoptic mange at Bendeela and identifies recommendations and long-term treatment options for WaterNSW to implement into the future.

Wombat Treatment Program - Final Report - 2023 (PDF, 1710.2 KB)

Key findings from the six month treatment plan

UTAS carried out a monthly plan to treat mange between April 2022 and September 2022.

Key figures include:

  • The severity of mange in wombats in Bendeela reduced by more than 55%.
  • 761 wombat observations and health assessments were made.
  • 4% of wombat showed signs of mange.

Recommendations and next steps

  • WaterNSW will continue the treatment plan trialled during the Bendeela Wombat Treatment program. This will include carrying out surveys and treatment every three months, and treatment of any animal identified with mange as necessary. The frequency of survey and treatments will be reviewed and adapted, based on results.
  • WaterNSW field teams are now trained in wombat disease management, including identifying mange and applying Bravecto. We delivered the first survey and treatment session under supervision of Associate Professor Scott Carver in March 2023.
  • WaterNSW have applied for a Biodiversity Conservation Licence for ongoing treatment, to ensure ongoing treatment complies with best-practice and legislation.
  • WaterNSW has purchased jab sticks to allow for safe and effective application of Bravecto.
  • Increased public engagement at Bendeela about the local wombat population, sarcoptic mange, and disease management.
  • WaterNSW will continue to work with NPWS and other organisations to ensure our work supports the NSW Government’s Curb Wombat Mange program.
  • The treatment data will be recorded and made publicly available.

Project objectives

  • Survey bare-nosed wombats to understand the extent of mange disease affecting wombats.
  • Use leading research and findings from the survey to develop a sustainable management plan.
  • Consult with stakeholders on the findings and proposed plans.
  • Recommend strategies for the treatment of wombats into the future.

Community update - June 2023 ( PDF, 331.75 KB)

Community update - August 2022 (PDF, 191.82 KB)

Community update - March 2022 (PDF, 328.38 KB)

Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 197.91 KB)

For more information call the WaterNSW Helpdesk on 1300 662 077

Things to do

Camp overnight in the rustic grounds and get back to nature

With its wide-open spaces, lush grass, huge trees along the riverbank and a backdrop of rugged hills and forest, Bendeela is a popular spot for camping. After you pitch your tent or unhook your caravan, hit the water for a swim, or head out canoeing or fishing. At night, look up as the stars put on a brilliant show! The rear camping ground is only open to vehicles during busy holiday periods. For more information, see booking information above.

Swim, canoe and fish in Lake Yarrunga

This wide section of the Kangaroo River is part of the upper reaches of Lake Yarrunga, formed by nearby Tallowa Dam. It’s perfect for swimming and canoeing. There are several canoe launching areas along the river banks. Head downstream towards Tallowa Dam, or upstream towards Kangaroo Valley and beyond. The river is also a popular spot for fishing. Fishers can also try their luck at nearby Tallowa Dam and Fitzroy Falls Reservoir fishing area.

Look out for wombats!

Wombats are plentiful in the area, and often wander through the camping grounds. Known as the 'bulldozer of the night', wombats eat grass, roots, bark and fungus. When searching for food, they usually take a direct route - so be sure to secure your campsite belongings. Please do not feed, chase or touch the wombats - but a photograph is fine! As visitors of Bendeela, we need to take care of Bare-nosed wombats, more information above.

Spend the day and relax with a picnic

Throw down a rug and enjoy a picnic with family and friends in the scenic grounds. The river bank in the rear camping ground is for day use only (no camping), so there is plenty of space. Swim, canoe or fish, or just enjoy the fresh air and bush surroundings. Facilities include drinking water and toilets.

Visit nearby Tallowa Dam, Fitzroy Falls Reservoir, Morton National Park and Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre

Tallowa Dam is a 30 kilometre drive west from Bendeela Recreation Area and more fishing is available at Fitzroy Falls Reservoir fishing area, a 20 kilometre drive north. Head further south and explore the lush escarpment country of the Southern Highlands between Robertson and Nowra, including spectacular Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre and Morton National Park.

Visit nearby

Map and directions

Bendeela Recreation Area is about 150 kilometres drive from Sydney. From Sydney, follow the Hume Highway (M31) south towards Goulburn and take the Mittagong to Bowral turn-off. Take the Nowra Road towards Kangaroo Valley. As you approach Kangaroo Valley, just before Hampden Bridge turn right onto Bendeela Road and travel about seven kilometres to the camping grounds.


Restrictions are in place to protect our water supply and ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and safe visit - with penalties up to $44,000 applying:

Restriction icon

No smoking within 10 metres of children's playgrounds and four metres of shelters, toilets and public buildings

Restriction icon

No wood, charcoal or solid fuel barbecues. Penalties of up to $5,500 apply

Restriction icon

No firearms or archery

Restriction icon

No access allowed to restricted and Special Areas

Restriction icon

No camping on riverbanks (reserved for day use only)

Restriction icon

Keep to vehicle speed limits and be aware of pedestrians

Restriction icon

No model aircraft or drones

Restriction icon

No dogs, horses or other pets

Restriction icon

No portable gas barbecues during total fire bans

Restriction icon

No motorised watercraft

Recreation Areas at WaterNSW dams will be closed on ALL Total Fire Ban days.

Facts and History

Bendeela Recreation Area was established around the same time as nearby Tallowa Dam, as a site for camping and recreation. It lies on the northern shore of the Kangaroo River arm of Lake Yarrunga, formed by Tallowa Dam.

Find out more

Facts and History

Bendeela Recreation Area was established around the same time as nearby Tallowa Dam, as a site for camping and recreation. It lies on the northern shore of the Kangaroo River arm of Lake Yarrunga, formed by Tallowa Dam.

Bendeela Recreation Area is managed as two separate areas, depending on the number of vehicles and visitors.

  • The front camping area is open 24 hours a day, year-round, for vehicle-based camping.
  • The rear camping area is closed to vehicle access, by a locked gate, during non-peak periods.

Visitors may walk in and picnic and camp in the rear camping area at all times. The rear camping area is routinely opened to vehicles during peak periods.

Go to top

WaterNSW acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands and waters on which we work and pay our respects to all elders past, present and emerging. Learn more