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Dharug National Park

"Explore the World Heritage-listed Old Great North Road, go camping, mountain biking or canoeing at Dharug National Park near Wisemans Ferry, northwest of Sydney."

Dharug National Park covers rugged bushland just north of the Hawkesbury river, with dramatic sandstone cliffs and a variety of natural habitats. It’s the perfect place to escape to on a daytrip or for a weekend getaway.

There is loads to explore; take a walk, mountain bike or guided tour into history along the Old Great North Road - World Heritage walk; built by up to 720 convicts between 1826 and 1836. Download the Convict Road app before heading out to accompany you along the track. Take a canoe or kayak out to explore the Hawkesbury river or camp out under the stars at Mill creek or Ten Mile Hollow campground.

The park is bursting with bird and animal life, you’re likely to see gang-gang cockatoos, satin bowerbirds and green catbirds on the mountain slopes and, if you’re camping overnight, be sure to take a torch to look for yellow-bellied and greater gliders and sugar gliders. If you can’t see the yellow-bellied glider, you may well hear their loud shrieking and gurgling calls.

Highlights
 

Why you should visit

Dharug National Park is a special place, here are just some of the reasons why:

Aboriginal heritage
Dharug National Park is the traditional Country of the Dharug Aboriginal people. Abundant in animal, plant and bird life, the area was a rich source of food, medicines and shelter. The park’s landscape and all that it contains feature in all aspects of Aboriginal culture and are associated with Dreaming stories and cultural learning that is still passed on today.

Step into Australia’s past
Dharug National Park contains the Old Great North Road, part of the Convict Sites of Australia World Heritage Area. It’s a spectacular example of early colonial engineering and demonstrates the use of convict labour; up to 720 convicts – some in chains – worked on the road, which spanned 264km, connecting Sydney to the settlements of the Hunter Valley. Only 43km of the road remains relatively intact, running from Wisemans Ferry in the south to Mount Manning in the north and includes the oldest surviving stone bridges in mainland Australia. It makes a great walk to explore over two or three days or an exhilarating day’s cycle.

Rugged beauty
From the rugged bushland containing gang-gang cockatoos, satin bowerbirds and Lewin's honeyeaters to the sparkling waters of the creeks and the rich colours of the sandstone cliffs and formations, Dharug National Park offers a diverse range of landscapes. Bring your bike, bushwalk, camp by the creek, canoe on the Hawkesbury or make the most of the backdrop with your camera, there is so much to explore.

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Getting there

 Car

From Sydney take Galston Road from Hornsby or the Old Northern Road from Castle Hill or Dural, these roads join at Middle Dural to become the Old Northern Road. This takes you north to Wisemans Ferry, where you can take your car across the Hawkesbury river on the car ferry or leave it on the south side and cross as a pedestrian to enter the park. From Gosford and the Central Coast take Peats Ridge Road off the F3 and then Wisemans Ferry Road from Central Mangrove to the Mill Creek campground and picnic area.

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 Opening times

Dharug National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

 Close to

Dharug National Park is close to:

  • Wisemans Ferry (1km)
  • Windsor (40km)
  • Sydney (75km)

 Bike

Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

Weather and climate

 Visiting through the seasons

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Dharug National Park. Here are some of the highlights:

 

Spring (Sept, Oct, Nov)

  • The spring months are perfect for enjoying more strenuous activities in the park, like the longer walks and mountain bike riding. It’s also the perfect time to see wildflowers.

 

Autumn  (Mar, Apr, May)

  • The water has warmed up nicely by late summer so autumn is great for kayaking and canoeing along the Hawkesbury river

 

Winter (Jun, Jul, Aug)

  • The park is still stunning in winter and walking on sunny days is very pleasant. It can be cold at night so bring warm gear if you’re camping.

 Temperature

Summer

  • The average temperature ranges between 13°C and  27°C
  • The area’s highest recorded temperature in summer is 42.9°C

Winter ­

  • The average temperature ranges between 8°C and 18°C
  • The area’s lowest recorded temperature in winter is -0.1°C

 Rainfall

  • The wettest months on average are February and March, the driest month on average is September
  • The area’s highest recorded rainfall is 230.2mm in one day

Safety

Central Coast

Phone: 02 4320 4200 (general enquiries), 02 4320 4203 (camping enquiries)
Email: central.coast@environment.nsw.gov.au
Street address: Suites 36-38, 207 Albany Street North, Gosford NSW
Opening hours: 8:30 am-4:30 pm, Monday-Friday

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Man walking on the 11km walking track. Photo: John Yurasek