It doesn’t take much research to discover the horrendous past about Belanglo State Forest. It’s where serial killer Ivan Milat buried his 7+ victims in the 80s and 90s. Despite its haunted history there’s some beauty and quiet to be find within the crisscrossing dirt roads.

The first radiata pines were planted in 1919. Rows upon rows of these pine trees fill the forest, which are logged every few decades and sustainably replanted for the next harvest. Belanglo isn’t far from Sydney and Canberra, lying about 1.5 hours inbetween the two cities. It’s not a place for the faint of hearted – I personally would never visit here at night. You’d be crazy to visit it in the dark.

Belanglo State Forest’s Dark Past

There have been about 10 confirmed bodies found in the past 25 years. At least 7 backpackers were murdered by Ivan Milat, known as the ‘Backpacker Murders’ case. In 2010, Ivan Milat’s teenage relative murdered a schoolmate in the same forest. There is also the case of  victims Karlie Pearce-Stevenson and her daughter, which you can read more about here.


If you’re game enough to visit Belanglo State Forest, to be careful. I didn’t spend much time here but you need to look out for logging trucks (best to pull over and let them pass if possible). I have photographer friends who have been here a few times and despite it’s history there will always be people visiting the forest.


Belanglo State Forest is a State Forest, meaning it’s open to the public at all times, besides when there is active logging or maintenance processes present. There is a signed turn off from the Hume Highway, about 1.5 hours from both Sydney and Canberra. Be careful at the turn off as you will need to indicate well ahead of time to be safe, and you will need to cross the highway to get to the turn off.