Maddens Falls

Dharawal National Park

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Overview

Enjoy scenic waterfall views at Maddens Falls lookout near Helensburgh, a great reward after a long bushwalk and the perfect place for birdwatching and photography.

Type
Lookouts
Where
Dharawal National Park
Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen

Take the easy Maddens Falls walk to the lookout for a view of the waterfall dropping from Maddens Creek to the pools below.

The short and easy walking track is a great one for walking with children. It's also ideal for birdwatchers so don't forget your binoculars - look for local residents like honeyeaters, red wattlebirds and golden whistlers. Tree frogs, brown froglets and banjo frogs are often heard too, walk quietly to increase your chances of spotting wildlife.

When you reach the falls, admire picturesque vegetation at the falls’ base. Colourful with acacias, native river roses and lush, sprawling ferns, it’s a pretty place to visit during spring when the flowers are out or in April when the falls will be at their fullest. See if you can spot the rare fern-leaf grevillea with its red ‘toothbrush-like’ flowers.

When you’re done gazing at the falls, head back along the track to the picnic table for a tasty lunch or afternoon tea.

Take a virtual tour of Maddens Falls captured with Google Street View Trekker.

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/lookouts/maddens-falls/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Maddens Falls.

Getting there and parking

The Maddens Falls is in the eastern precinct of Dharawal National Park. To get there:

  • Take the Old Princes Highway south from Helensburgh
  • Turn right onto Darkes Forest Road and continue along for 2.5km to Maddens Falls carpark
  • Carpark is located on the southern side of the road opposite the Apple Shack Glenbernie Orchard, 259 Darkes Rd.
  • From the carpark follow the signs for 750m along the walking track to Maddens Falls.

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at Maddens Falls.

Best times to visit

Dharawal National Park is a great place to visit all year round. Head to the park for a refreshing dip during summer, a weekend picnic in the winter sun, some wildflower spotting during spring or an autumn walk or bike ride.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

17°C and 26°C

Highest recorded

42°C

Winter temperature

Average

6°C and 16°C

Lowest recorded

-0.6°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

March

Driest month

September

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

254.5mm

Facilities

Picnic tables

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus 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).

River and lake safety

The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

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

Campbelltown (50 km)

For nature lovers, the Macarthur region has plenty of natural attractions. Explore nature reserves and wildlife trails or see spectacular native flora and fauna at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, the largest botanic garden in Australia.

www.sydney.com

Stanwell Park (22 km)

Stanwell Park is a small coastal town with a glorious surf beach. It's set dramatically against the steep, forested escarpment cliffs.

www.visitnsw.com

Wollongong (47 km)

There are plenty of opportunities for adventure activities in and around Wollongong ranging from surfing and swimming to sailing, hang gliding, paragliding, cycling and abseiling. Wollongong is the only place in NSW where you can skydive onto the beach.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Maddens Falls is in Dharawal National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A crucial catchment

10B Management trail, Dharawal National Park. Photo: Nick Cubbin

O'Hares Creek catchment, on the Register of the National Estate is home to 17 vulnerable, rare or threatened species, and feeds the park's eucalypt forest, woodland, heathland, and sedgeland habitats. More than 500 plant species occur within the park, providing a home to a wide range of animals, including koalas and long-nosed potoroos, swamp wallabies, eastern wallaroos, New Holland honeyeaters and countless birds.

  • Maddens Falls Enjoy scenic waterfall views at Maddens Falls lookout near Helensburgh, a great reward after a long bushwalk and the perfect place for birdwatching and photography.
  • O’Hares Creek lookout walking track Gather the family and head to O’Hares Creek lookout walking track in Dharawal National Park, south of Campbelltown and near Appin. It’s a great getaway with scenic views and birdwatching.

Ancient landscapes

Iluka Creek, Dharawal National Park. Photo: Lucas Boyd

Dharawal National Park is the traditional land of the Dharawal Aboriginal people. Their long connection with this Country; the land and waterways, and the plants and animals that live in it feature in all facets of Aboriginal culture and are associated with Dreaming stories and cultural learning that is passed on today. The park protects several ancient Aboriginal sites, including drawings and axe-grinding grooves.

  • Jingga walking track Jingga walking track, in Dharawal National Park, is a short yet challenging walk to a waterhole, offering picnic and birdwatching opportunities.
  • Minerva Pool walking track Minerva Pool walking track winds through the traditional country of the Aboriginal Dharawal People. Enjoy a short bushwalk and then picnic at Minerva Pool, in Dharawal National Park, near Campbelltown.

Inspiring scenery

Maddens Falls, Dharawal National Park. Photo: Lucas Boyd

Prepare to be awed by the beautiful dense vegetation and rugged Hawkesbury sandstone that dominates the park's landscape. Set off on a bushwalk to discover eucalypt and shale forests, stunted woodlands and windswept heath. Explore further to find patches of rainforest and extensive sedgeland amongst the scenic terrain.

  • 10B cycling trail 10B cycling trail in Dharawal National Park offers excellent easy cycling for enthusiastic bike riders, with a picturesque picnic spot along the way.
  • Minerva Pool walking track Minerva Pool walking track winds through the traditional country of the Aboriginal Dharawal People. Enjoy a short bushwalk and then picnic at Minerva Pool, in Dharawal National Park, near Campbelltown.
  • O'Hares Creek lookout For great gorge views near Campbelltown and Wollongong in southern Sydney, O'Hares Creek lookout in Dharawal National Park offers breathtaking scenery and birdwatching along a family-friendly walking track.

Park history

Maddens Falls, Dharawal National Park. Photo: Lucas Boyd

Dharawal was proclaimed a national park in 2012 following significant community involvement. Previously, it operated as a state conservation area and, before this, a water catchment area managed by Sydney Water. Seventy years of restricted public access has kept the area largely undisturbed, so pristine surroundings await you on your visit.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Swamp wallaby in Murramarang National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor)

    The swamp wallaby, also known as the black wallaby or black pademelon, lives in the dense understorey of rainforests, woodlands and dry sclerophyll forest along eastern Australia. This unique Australian macropod has a dark black-grey coat with a distinctive light-coloured cheek stripe.

  • Peron's tree frog. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    Peron's tree frog (Litoria peroni)

    Peron’s tree frog is found right across NSW. These tree-climbing and ground-dwelling Australian animals can quickly change colour, ranging from pale green-grey by day, to a reddish brown with emerald green flecks at night. The male frog has a drill-like call, which has been described as a 'maniacal cackle’.

  • 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.

  • Southern boobook. Photo: David Cook

    Southern boobook (Ninox novaeseelandiae)

    The southern boobook, also known as the mopoke, is the smallest and most common native owl in Australia. With a musical 'boo-book' call that echoes through forests and woodlands, the southern boobook is a great one to look out for while bird watching.

  • Eastern water dragon. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    Eastern water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii lesueurii)

    The eastern water dragon is a subaquatic lizard found in healthy waterways along eastern NSW, from Nowra to halfway up the Cape York Pensinsula. It’s believed to be one of the oldest of Australian reptiles, remaining virtually unchanged for over 20 million years.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)