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Bendeela Recreation Area Relax on the Kangaroo River

Status Open to Public
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Visit the Recreation Area


  • Camping
  • Canoe launching areas
  • Drinking water
  • Parking
  • Portable toilet dump point
  • Toilets

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. As visitors of Bendeela we need to take special care of Bare-nosed wombats, find out more in our Wombats of Bendeela brochure.

Before visiting Bendeela please read our Visit Code of Conduct, it includes important safety messages to ensure an enjoyable visit.

Keeping wombats and people healthy

Sarcoptic mange is a condition commonly spread in animals. 

Some of the wombats in Bendeela are currently sick and dying from this condition.

Mange will make the wombat scratch so much that they lose fur and develop sores to the skin, eyes and ears.  

If you do see a sick wombat, do not touch it or go near it, this condition is contagious to humans.

WaterNSW is actively monitoring this situation and is working with National Parks and Wildlife (NPWS) to manage the immediate issues with wombats with mange at Bendeela. 

WaterNSW is also liaising with other agencies and organisations to ensure we have the latest data and scientific findings from current trials being undertaken to treat manage.

WaterNSW is specifically awaiting the outcomes of the NPWS led trial into long-term effectiveness of chemical treatment still taking place at Bents Basin in NSW. The results of this study are due by the end of the year.

WaterNSW remains committed to working in partnership with NPWS to identify the best approach to wombats suffering from mange.

Note: This picnic area maybe closed during times of flooding or access to Lake Yarrunga is restricted when Tallowa Dam is spilling.

Things to do

Large Group notifictaion image and link

Opening hours

Open 24 hours a day, all year round (front camping ground).

Rear camping ground is only open to vehicles during busy holiday periods, see the opening and closing times.

Entry and camping is free.


View in Maps

Bendeela Recreation Area is about 150 kilometres drive from Sydney. From Sydney, follow the Hume Highway (F5) south towards Goulburn and take the Mittagong to Bowral turnoff. 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.


  • Camping
  • Canoe launching areas
  • Drinking water
  • Parking
  • Portable toilet dump point
  • Toilets



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:

  • No wood, charcoal or solid fuel barbeques. Penalties of up to $5,500 apply
  • Portable gas barbeques are permitted (except during total fire bans)
  • No camping on riverbanks (reserved for day use only)
  • No dogs, horses or other pets
  • No firearms
  • No motorised watercraft
  • No model aircraft or drones
  • No access allowed to restricted and Special Areas
  • No smoking within 10 metres of children's playgrounds and four metres of shelters, toilets and public buildings
  • Keep to vehicle speed limits and be aware of pedestrians

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

The Bendeela experience

Top 5 things to see and do

1. 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, see the opening and closing times.

2. 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 two 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 Fitzroy Falls Reservoir fishing area.

3. 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, find out more in our Wombats of Bendeela brochure.

4. 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.

5. 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.

Facts & 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.

Picnic and camping sites are available on a 'first in, first served' basis, and cannot be reserved.

The front camping area is open 24 hours a day, all year round for vehicle based camping.

Visitors can also walk in and picnic and camp in the rear camping area at all times.

The rear camping area is closed to vehicles by a locked gate during non-peak periods, and opened to vehicles during busy holiday periods.

Explore and learn more

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Rear camping area opening and closing times


Bendeela Recreation Area Masterplan

Bendeela sign
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Tuesday 22 May
1,841,964 ML
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Tuesday 22 May