Discover Maddens Falls in Dharawal National Park

Last updated: February 8, 2024

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

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

In this article, we’ll explain how best to get there, where to park your car, and what other things you can do nearby.

Maddens Falls Walk
Distance: 2 km (return)
Duration: 1 hour
Grade: Easy
Wheel-friendly: No
Dogs: Not allowed

How to Get There

Maddens Falls is relatively easy to drive to. If you’re driving in from the north, take the old Princess Highway just south of Helensburgh.

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

You can park at the small car park next to the management trail signpost. If that’s full, you can try parking on the other side of the road at the Glenbernie Orchard.


Here is a map of the walking trail to Maddens Falls:

Map of Maddens Falls Walk

Maddens Falls Walk

The beautiful waterfall that is Maddens Falls can be reached via a short and easy management trail. The not-so-exciting name of this bushwalking trail is 10Z Management Trail.

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

The trail follows a narrow path through upland swamp communities, arriving at a 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.

Viewing platform at Maddens Falls
Viewing platform at Maddens Falls

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

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.

Views of Maddens Falls from viewing platform
Views from 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 ultimately flows into Botany Bay.

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.

Maddens Falls after rainfall
Maddens Falls after rainfall

The views of the waterfall from the other side of the creek are pretty 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, as there is some rock scrambling required.

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

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 it is home to various walking tracks and natural sights.

Minerva Pool

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

Minerva Pool and Waterfall
Minerva Pool and Waterfall

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

Read our Minerva Pool article to learn more about this beautiful spot and how best to get there. There are more tracks and sights to visit in that area, so driving there is certainly worthwhile.

Glenbernie Orchard

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

The shop is open seven days per week from 10 am until 4:30 pm, and offers a wide range of apples and fruit products such as apple juice, apple cider vinegar, jam, and various types of delicious honey.

Glenbernie Orchard in Darkes Forest
Glenbernie Orchard in Darkes Forest

In addition to the little shop, you can also do guided tours and fruit-picking sessions, but you’ll need to book that in beforehand.

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


Maddens Falls in Dharawal National Park

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