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)|
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.