Mount Olive trail

Popran National Park

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Overview

Whether you love horse riding or mountain biking, Mount Olive trail in Popran National Park on the NSW central coast is a wonderful place to experience magnificent views of the Glenworth Valley.

Where
Popran National Park
Distance
4km one-way
Time suggested
1hr 30min
Grade
Medium
Price
Free
Please note
  • If you're mountain biking and you need to cross over a walking track, please dismount and carry your bicycle or leave it and continue on foot.
  • Mount Olive trail starts at Ironbark picnic area at the end of Ironbark Road. This area has a small dirt carpark and it's not recommended for low-clearance 2WD vehicles.
  • You’ll need to bring drinking water as Ironbark picnic area only has tank water for washing hands.

Starting at Ironbark picnic area, Mount Olive trail is the ideal way to see magnificent views of Glenworth Valley and Popran National Park. Whether you're walking, mountain biking or horse riding, the songs of kookaburras and black cockatoos will encourage you along the way.

Once you're on the trail, you can take a short detour to Mount Olive lookout - although this is not a long walk, it's a steep climb as you approach the summit. But once you're there, take a deep breath, and enjoy the superb views over surrounding forests and distant ridgelines. The trail continues past Mount Olive for 3.5 km for more spectacular views over Hawkesbury River.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/horse-riding-trails/mount-olive-trail/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Mount Olive trail.

Getting there and parking

From Sydney, take the F3 Sydney-Newcastle Freeway and exit at Calga onto Peats Ridge Road. After 13km, turn left onto Wisemans Ferry Road and after 8km, turn left onto Ironbark Road.

From Newcastle, take the F3 Sydney-Newcastle Freeway and exit at Peats Ridge Road. After 10km, turn right onto George Downs Drive and turn left onto Wisemans Ferry Road. After a further 8km, turn left onto Ironbark Road.

Parking

Parking is available at Ironbark picnic area. 

Best times to visit

Weather conditions are usually quite moderate in Popran National Park. In summer, however, in summer the temperature can climb above 30C. With its pleasant climate and year-round beauty, any time is a good time to visit Popran National Park.

Spring

Go walking along the Emerald Pool Loop to see fantastic wildflower displays.

Summer

Enjoy a relaxing day exploring the edges of the southern section of the park by boat, canoe or kayak to discover hidden fishing spots.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

23°C and 27°C

Highest recorded

42.9°C

Winter temperature

Average

17°C and 22°C

Lowest recorded

0.1°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

February and March

Driest month

June and July

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

230.2mm

Facilities

Toilets

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Horse riding safety

Before you hop on your horse, learn how to keep you and your riding group safe.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

Permitted

Horses

  • Horses are allowed on multi-use trails, such as 248 trail and Mount Olive trail.
  • There are tethering posts for horses.

Prohibited

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Nearby towns

Gosford (27 km)

Gosford is a great destination for a family day trip or holiday. It's situated on Brisbane Water National Park and surrounded by state forests, lakes and beaches.

www.visitnsw.com

Parramatta (55 km)

Parramatta offers a fascinating insight into early colonial life in Australia. Don't miss a visit to Old Government House, now one of 11 Australian Convict Sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

www.sydney.com

Peats Ridge (19 km)

Located on the NSW Central Coast, just north of Hawkesbury River, Peats Ridge is close to Popran National Park, where you can enjoy a spot of bushwalking, cycling, river fishing and paddling, and explore the Aboriginal history of the area.

www.gosford.nsw.gov.au

Learn more

Mount Olive trail is in Popran National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A haven for wildlife

Rocky outcrop in the forest, Popran National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

The increasingly rare, untouched freshwater streams and mangroves of the Hawkesbury river are a sanctuary for the many animals that live there. If you're an avid birdwatcher, you might catch glimpses of glossy black cockatoos and masked owls in the park's tall forests and wet gullies. You are unlikely to see the nocturnal yellow-bellied glider during the day, but you might be lucky to hear their distinctive growling call, it's been recorded to have been heard up to 500m away.

  • 248 trail 248 trail is a popular horse riding and mountain biking track which meanders through Popran National Park in the NSW Central Coast hinterland.

Outdoor adventurer's playground

A person enjoying the view from a lookout, Popran National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

Popran National Park offers an immense range of opportunities for recreation in a beautiful Australian bushland and river setting. Offering visitors expansive landscapes and gorgeous water views, it is one of only a few parks on the Central Coast that caters for horse riding and mountain biking. Both the 248 trail and the Mount Olive trail can be explored by horse or by bike, and you can enjoy a picnic or swim to relax after your efforts.

  • 248 trail 248 trail is a popular horse riding and mountain biking track which meanders through Popran National Park in the NSW Central Coast hinterland.
  • Mount Olive lookout Mount Olive Lookout is only a short walk from Ironbark picnic area in Popran National Park on the central coast and offers scenic views over Popran Creek.

Rich Aboriginal heritage

A view through the trees and over the mountains, Popran National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

When you visit Popran National Park, you'll see evidence of 11,000 years of rich Aboriginal heritage. From the earth to the waterways, animals and plants, each of these holds a special place in the hearts of the custodians of this land, and the park proudly protects these significant places so we can celebrate Aboriginal culture for generations to come. The park protects a number of Aboriginal sites, like rock engravings, sandstone shelters and foreshore middens. If you find an axe grinding groove in the sandstone, you might be able to imagine how you'd sharpen your tool to catch a meal for your family.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Sugar glider. Photo: Jeff Betteridge

    Sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps)

    The sugar glider is a tree-dwelling Australian native marsupial, found in tall eucalypt forests and woodlands along eastern NSW. The nocturnal sugar glider feeds on insects and birds, and satisfies its sweet tooth with nectar and pollens.

  • Yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Photo: Peter Sherratt

    Yellow-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus)

    The yellow-tailed black cockatoo is one of the largest species of parrot. With dusty-black plumage, they have a yellow tail and cheek patch. They’re easily spotted while bird watching, as they feed on seeds in native forests and pine plantations.

Plants

  • Gymea lily. Photo: Simone Cottrell

    Gymea lily (Doryanthes excelsa)

    The magnificent Gymea lily is one of the most unusual Australian native plants, found only along the coast and surrounding bushland of the Sydney Basin, from Newcastle to Wollongong. In spring this giant lily shoots out spectacular red flowers that can reach heights of 2-4m.

  • Smooth-barked apple. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    Smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata)

    Smooth-barked apple gums, also known as Sydney red gum or rusty gum trees, are Australian native plants found along the NSW coast, and in the Sydney basin and parts of Queensland. Growing to heights of 15-30m, the russet-coloured angophoras shed their bark in spring to reveal spectacular new salmon-coloured bark.

  • Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

    Grass tree (Xanthorrea spp.)

    An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)