Discover Maddens Falls in Dharawal National Park

Last updated: March 5, 2022

Maddens Falls is a stunning cascade waterfall in the rural locality of Darkes Forest in Dharawal National Park, located approximately 50 km south of Sydney.

A short and easy 1 km bushwalk through upland swamp communities brings visitors to a scenic viewing platform which offers beautiful views of the waterfall.

Maddens Falls Walk
Distance: 2 km (return)
Duration: 45 minutes
Grade: Easy
Dogs: Not allowed
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How to Get There

From Helensburg, take the old Princess Highway heading south.

Turn right into Darkes Forest Road and continue for about 2.5 km until you see the management trail signpost on the left and the Appleshack signpost on the right side of the road (see map location).

You can park your car at the small car park next to the sign (see picture below).

If that car park is full, you can try parking on the other side of the road at the popular Appleshack, which is a great opportunity to buy a bag of fresh apples straight from the farm after visiting the waterfall.

10Z Management trail to Maddens Falls
10Z Management trail to Maddens Falls

About Maddens Falls

The beautiful waterfall that is Maddens Falls can be reached via a short and easy management trail.

The not so exciting name of this bush walk is 10Z Management Trail, and is clearly signposted at the small car park opposite the Appleshack.

Viewing platform at Maddens Falls
Viewing platform at Maddens Falls

The trail follows a narrow path through upland swamp communities, arriving at a man-made viewing platform that offers beautiful views of Madden Falls.

Most of the track consists of a raised walkway, designed to protect the sensitive swamp vegetation underneath the walking path.

The track is very easy and the walkway also makes it very suitable for young children, who will enjoy being outdoors in the bush.

Views of Maddens Falls from viewing platform
Views from the viewing platform

Keep an eye out for some of the local residents, such as swamp rats, tree frogs and wallabies, as you make your way to the viewing platform.

The waterfall cascades to the large sandstone boulders below, from where the creek continues its path until it connects with the Georges River, which in turn flows into Botany Bay.

Maddens Falls after a period of rainfall
Maddens Falls after a period of rainfall

For the adventure seekers, there is an opportunity to venture out to the other side of the creek. To do this, you’ll have to get your feet wet while crossing Maddens Creek on top of the waterfall.

The views of the waterfall from the other side of the creek are quite spectacular, as you stand closer to the water.

Be mindful though that this is not an official path, so make sure you bring decent shoes, and be cautious as there is some rock scrambling involved.

Maddens Falls in Dharawal National Park
Maddens Falls in Dharawal National Park
Keen to discover more waterfalls? Check out our list of the best waterfalls in and around Sydney for some great ideas.

Things to Do Nearby

Maddens Falls is located in the eastern section of Dharawal National Park, an unspoiled protected area in the Illawarra region just south of Sydney.

The park is characterised by an extensive network of creeks, swamp areas and heath vegetation, and is home to various walking tracks and natural sights.

Minerval Pool

One of the highlights in this national park is Minerval Pool, a beautiful natural waterhole that can be reached via a short bush walking track.

Minerva Pool
Minerva Pool

This walking track however, is located in Wedderburn, in the northwestern part of Dharawal National Park, and is rather difficult to drive to from the Maddens Falls location.

Have a look at our Minerva Pool article to read more about this beautiful spot and how best to get there. There are more tracks and sights to visit in that same area, so it’s definitely worthwhile driving there.

Appleshack at Glenbernie Orchard

A visit to Maddens Falls is not complete without a visit to the Appleshack at Glenbernie Orchard, a little farm shop where you can taste and buy fresh produce.

Appleshack in Darkes Forest
Appleshack in Darkes Forest

Open daily from 10am until 4:30pm, the Appleshack offers a wide range of apples and fruit products such as apple juice, apple cider vinegar and jam, plus various types of delicious honey.

The Appleshack is located on the opposite side of the road from where the start of the walk to Maddens Falls is located.

Map of Maddens Falls

Take the old Princess Highway From Helensburg heading south.

Turn into Darkes Forest Road and continue on this road for 2.5 km until you reach the Maddens Falls car park.

Map of Maddens Falls


Maddens Falls in Dharawal National Park


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