Discover Maddens Falls in Dharawal National Park

Last updated: August 3, 2020

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

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

Maddens Falls Walk
Distance:2 km (return)
Duration:45 minutes
Dogs:Not allowed

How to Get There

From Helensburg, take the old Princess Highway heading south.

Turn right into Darkes Forest Road and continue along 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.

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

You can park your car at the little car park next to the sign (see above).

If that’s full, you can try parking opposite the road at the famous Appleshack, which is a great opportunity to buy a bag of fresh apples straight from the farm!

Maddens Falls

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

The exciting name of this easy bushwalk is 10Z Management Trail and is clearly signposted next to the little car park opposite the Appleshack.

Maddens Falls viewing platform
The viewing platform

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

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

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

The track is very 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 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 will continue its path until it connects with the Georges River which flows into Botany Bay.

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.

Top of Maddens Falls
Top of Maddens Falls

The views of the waterfall from the other side of the creek are pretty spectacular.

Be mindful though that this is not an official path, so make sure you bring good footwear and be careful, as there is a bit of rock scrambling involved.

Dharawal National Park

Maddens Falls is located in the eastern part of Dharawal National Park, a relatively unknown protected national park in the Illawarra region of New South Wales near Helensburgh. The park is characterised by an extensive network of creeks, swamp areas and heath vegetation.

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 can still be found, such as shelters and art work.

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

One of the highlights in Dharawal National Park is the Jingga Walking Track, a short but challenging walk to a waterhole, with great picnic and bird watching opportunities.

The park is also a great destination for cyclists, with bicycle riding permitted along several management trails. These management trails also provide access to several natural swimming holes.

>> Check out our list of best waterfalls in and around Sydney!

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 test and purchase fresh produce.

Appleshack in Darkes Forest
Appleshack in Darkes Forest

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

Map of Maddens Falls

Take the old Princess Highway From Helensburg heading south.

Turn into Darkes Forest Road and continue along for about 2.5 km until you reach the Maddens Falls car park.

Map of Maddens Falls
Map of Maddens Falls

Maddens Falls in Dharawal National Park

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