The Gardens of Stone

A natural paradise near Sydney

Destination Pagoda the movie

Join Ian Brown, Haydn Washington, Yuri Bolotin, Aunty Helen and others in celebration of unique and internationally significant pagoda landcapes. These are the unprotected Gardens of Stone surrounding Lithgow. 

Produced by Tom Zubrycki.

Request that the Honourable Paul Toole conserve the Gardens of Stone

Destination Pagoda for a world-class reserve on Lithgow’s doorstep

Could you please write to Minister Paul Toole whose electorate covers the Gardens of Stone region asking that he support our detailed reserve establishment plan called Destination Pagoda (see form below). This reservation plan will make Lithgow a mecca for families who wish to experience a bit of real Blue Mountains’ bushland but are reluctant to step far from their car. 

Park experts estimate that the new reserve will generate over $10 million per year and more than 100 jobs in Lithgow. The new reserve, called the Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area, will complete Myles Dunphy’s visionary 1932 Blue Mountains National Park scheme.

A key design element of Destination Pagoda is the creation of low-key visitor opportunities close to Lithgow beside upgraded existing road access linked to the town. The gentle plateau terrain with its distinctive pagoda rocks contain many sites for a variety of family-suitable, low-key visitor facilities that combine to give Lithgow’s Gardens of Stone great potential to attract visitors interested in experiencing nature. 

The beauty of the Destination Pagoda scheme is that new visitor facilities can be established beside pagoda landscapes of great scenic beauty around Lithgow that are need of restoration and rehabilitation, while more remote, pristine landscapes are protected.

The forests next to Lithgow are amongst the most diverse in NSW and contain 84 threatened plant and animal species, including the Blue Mountains Water Skink and Giant Dragonfly, as well as 16 rare and threatened communities. They deserve effective conservation management by the NPWS.

By all means use any of the above points to modify the guide letter to Minister Toole provied below. The full Destination Pagoda report can be downloaded at

Thanks for your support,

Keith Muir, Colong Foundation for Wilderness

Protect the gardens of stone banner
In December 2018 conservationists and unionists gathered at Maiyingu Marragu Aboriginal Place to call for a 39,000 hectare a new Gardens of Stone state conservation area.

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Destination Pagoda Summary and Report

A new plan, created by the Colong Foundation, Blue Mountains Conservation Society and Lithgow Environment Group for the transition of state forests beside Lithgow to a state conservation area was launched on Monday April 8 at the Lithgow Workies. The summary and full report are below. The plan focuses on the tourism, economic and community benefits to Lithgow from the new reserve.





"the highest and best use of the area is for conservation purposes"
Planning Assessment Commission, 2014

Gardens of Stone - In Focus

From amazing landscapes with Aboriginal culture, secret places to visit, rare plants and animals,
and relics from the past, the Gardens of Stone region has it all. Watch the Video.

Visit The Gardens of Stone


THE GARDENS OF STONE STAGE TWO RESERVE PROPOSAL encompassing 39,000 hectares is located on the western edge of the Blue Mountains near Lithgow and adjoins the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. This landscape cradles many hidden secrets wich can be discovered by the average family on a relaxed weekend outing. It also provides significant challenges to attract the most ardent adventure seekers.

The Gardens of Stone Reserve proposal 

The Gardens of Stone is a paradise for bushwalkers, rock climbers and camping families who regularly visit to see:

  • Aboriginal sites and rock art dating back thousands of years; as well as
  • Incredible eroded rockscapes of pagodas, cliffs, natural arches, waterfalls, slot canyons, gorges and large caverns;
  • Rare vegetation communities, threatened plants and animals, some endemic to the area; and
  • Rare highland swamps and ancient wind-blown sand dunes.

Yet this landscape of unsurpassed beauty and unique plant and animal communities is under threat. Read more...

Visitors Map

The Gardens of Stone visitors map has been created to showcase the area and provide visitors with a guide to some of the more remarkable and accessible areas. Available for $10.

Gardens of Stone Heritage Report

The Gardens of Stone Heritage Report, commissioned by three NSW environment groups, was released this Saturday at Sydney University at an event to celebrate the unique heritage values of the Gardens of Stone. For the first time a report has taken stock of the cultural and natural assets of some 39,000 hectares of the Gardens of Stone region, near Lithgow.



The Gardens of Stone Alliance