Discover Dharawal National Park (Top 5 Things to Do)

Last updated: May 13, 2024

Discover the five highlights in Dharawal National Park, a beautiful and unspoiled protected area just south of Sydney.

If you’re looking for a quiet alternative to the larger and more popular national parks in Greater Sydney, Dharawal National Park near Campbelltown deserves your attention.

In this article, we are going to introduce Dharawal National Park as your next outdoor adventure destination, with a list of five exciting highlights to explore.

About Dharawal National Park

Dharawal National Park is still a relatively unknown protected area in the Illawarra region of New South Wales.

The park is nestled between the Hume Motorway (M31) and Appin Road (B69) in the west and the Princes Motorway (M1) in the east.

Map of Dharawal National Park

The name Dharawal refers to the language group of the local Aboriginal people, who have continued to have a close relationship with the area for more than 15,000 years. Several Aboriginal sites, such as shelters and artwork, can still be found.

Dharawal National Park is characterised by an extensive network of creeks, swamp areas, and heath vegetation, and it is home to various cycling trails, walking tracks, waterfalls, and natural swimming holes.

These activities and natural sights make visiting Dharawal National Park a fantastic alternative to the larger national parks, such as the Blue Mountains and the Royal National Park.

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive Sydney and NSW related tips and ideas straight to your mailbox!

Top 5 Highlights

In no particular order, here are five fantastic walking tracks and sights to explore in Dharawal National Park.

1. Maddens Falls

Maddens Falls in Dharawal National Park
Maddens Falls in Dharawal National Park

Maddens Falls is a stunning cascade waterfall in the rural locality of Darkes Forest in the eastern section of Dharawal National Park.

An easy 1 km bushwalk through beautiful scenery brings visitors to a viewing platform from where you can soak in panoramic views of the waterfall and the surrounding area.

The walking track is mainly an elevated walkway designed to protect the vulnerable swamp vegetation. Once you’re at the platform, you can continue walking over the top of the waterfall to the other side for more scenic views.

To get to Maddens Falls, turn into Darkes Forest Road from the Princes Highway and continue for about 2.5 km until you see the 10Z management trail signpost.

Read more about Maddens Falls.

2. Minerva Pool Walking Track

Minerva Pool
Minerva Pool

The Minerva Pool is a large natural water hole in the northwestern section of Dharawal National Park, accessible via a relatively easy and scenic bush walking track.

A fenced lookout platform located towards the end of this walking track offers stunning views of Minerva Pool from above.

The 3 km return walk is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Good shoes are recommended because the surface is quite rough at times, and there is some rock scrambling required to get to the pool.

Read more about the Minerva Pool walking track.

3. Jingga Walking Track

Jingga Pool and waterfall
Jingga Pool and waterfall

The 2.5 km return Jingga Pool walking track starts from the same spot as the trail to Minerva Pool, and also leads to a natural waterhole. That means you might be able to visit two waterholes in one day!

The Jingga track is a bit more challenging, but the reward of swimming in the freshwater lagoon that is the Jingga Pool will make the effort worthwhile.

Read more about the Jingga Pool walking track.

4. O’Hares Creek Lookout

O'Hares Creek Lookout
O’Hares Creek Lookout

Yet another little hiking adventure in the Wedderburn part of Dharawal National Park is the short walking track to the O’Hares Creek Lookout.

This is a family-friendly 3 km return bush walking track that leads to a large lookout platform with spectacular views over O’Hares Creek and the surrounding area.

Park your car in the same car park on Victoria Road to get to the start of this easy and enjoyable walking track.

Read more about the O’Hares Creek Lookout.

5. 10B Cycling Trail

10B cycling trail in Dharawal National Park
10B cycling trail

The 10B Trail is an exciting cycling route that crosses the entire Dharawal National Park from north to south, with the northern entrance in Wedderburn and the southern entrance on Appin Road.

It’s essentially a 15 km long unsealed road from start to finish, suitable for mountain bikes, with a steep descent and ascent at Stokes Creek near the Wedderburn entrance.

Read more about the 10B cycling trail on the NSW National Parks website.


5 Best things to do in Dharawal National Park

Leave a comment