Discover Maddens Falls in Dharawal National Park

Last updated: February 23, 2023

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 viewing platform that offers beautiful views of the waterfall.

Keep reading to find out where best to park your car and what other things you can do nearby.

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 management trail signpost. If that’s full, you can try parking on the other side of the road at the popular Appleshack, which is a good opportunity to buy a bag of fresh apples straight from the farm after visiting the waterfall.

Map of Maddens Falls

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 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.

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 in turn 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 a period of rainfall
Maddens Falls after a period of 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 involved.

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.

Minerval Pool

One of the highlights of 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 a bit challenging 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 area, so driving there is certainly worthwhile.

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 10 am until 4:30 pm, the Appleshack offers a wide range of apples and fruit products such as apple juice, apple cider vinegar, jam, and 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.

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

Maddens Falls in Dharawal National Park


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