Double Wharf picnic area

Karuah National Park

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Take a day trip from Newcastle and spend the day picnicking, bushwalking, fishing, paddling and boating on the river at Double Wharf picnic area in Karuah National Park.

Picnic areas
Karuah National Park in North Coast
What to
Hat, drinking water, sunscreen
Please note

There is limited mobile reception in this park.

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle for the day, you couldn’t find a more peaceful picnic spot than Double Wharf picnic area. On the banks of Karuah River, it’s a picturesque spot to just sit back and relax – yet there’s also plenty to see and do.

With easy access to the river, it’s a great place to launch your kayak or canoe and head off paddling up the river. The mangroves areas along Deep Creek, Limeburners Creek and Karuah River make this area an important fish habitat and a popular fishing destination, so don’t forget your fishing tackle.

Keen birdwatchers will find plenty to feast their eyes on with the abundance of birdlife in the area. Watch the magnificent yellow-tailed black cockatoos going about their early morning feeding routines in the casuarinas along the river’s edge, or go for a short bushwalk and see if you can see one of the local koalas in the eucalypts.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info


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Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

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Park info

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Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about the Double Wharf picnic area.

Getting there and parking

Double Wharf picnic area is in Karuah National Park. To get there:

  • Turn onto Bucketts Way from Pacific Highway
  • Continue for approximately 9km then turn right onto Hobarts Road, just past Limeburners Creek.
  • Continue until you reach Double Wharf picnic area at the end

Road quality

Check the weather before you set out as the road to Double Wharf picnic area can become boggy when it rains.

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • All roads require 4WD vehicle

Weather restrictions

  • 4WD required in wet weather


Parking is available at Double Wharf picnic area

Best times to visit

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


Pack your fishing gear and head to the river at this popular fishing spot.


See how the wildflowers bring the bush to life in spring.


Launch your kayak, canoe or boat and explore the reserve by water.


Get cosy around the campfires on those cold winter nights.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature


12°C to 28°C

Highest recorded


Winter temperature


3°C to 18°C

Lowest recorded



Wettest month


Driest month


The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day



Drinking water not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

This park is in a remote location, so please ensure you’re well-prepared, bring appropriate clothing and equipment and advise a family member or friend of your travel plans.

Fishing safety

Fishing from a boat, the beach or by the river is a popular activity for many national park visitors. If you’re planning a day out fishing, check out these fishing safety tips.

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).

Paddling safety

To make your paddling or kayaking adventure safer and more enjoyable, check out these paddling safety tips.

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.


Disability access level - hard

Wheelchairs can access this area with some difficulty.



A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.



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.


NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Learn more

Double Wharf picnic area is in Karuah National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Ancient connections

Karuah River, Karuah Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

Karuah National Park is part of the traditional lands of the Worimi Nation. Before European settlement, the Worimi People lived in an area from Port Stephens to Forster and as far west as Gloucester. There are a number of recorded Aboriginal sites in the reserve, particularly along Karuah River, such as modified trees, artefacts, earth mounds, shell middens and a burial site. The Worimi people continue to have a strong connection with the animals, land and waterways of Karuah.

Bird watching retreat

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), Karuah Nature Reserve. Photo: Lucy Morrell

You'll find an abundance of birdlife to watch at Karuah. Vulnerable species such as the square-tailed kite, swift parrot and masked owl find their home in eucalyptus woodlands. Glossy black cockatoos can be seen feeding on the casuarina stands along the river's edge. You might also see one of the 8 vulnerable bat species found here, including little bent-wing bats and greater broad-nosed bats. Karuah is also home to plenty of native animals. You'll most likely share your camping spot with locals like bandicoots and ring-tailed and brush-tailed possums. There's also a local koala population at Karuah, so keep your eyes peeled when you're walking through the eucalypt forest.

  • Double Wharf picnic area Take a day trip from Newcastle and spend the day picnicking, bushwalking, fishing, paddling and boating on the river at Double Wharf picnic area in Karuah National Park.

Rich in heritage sites

Karuah Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

As well as being a place of natural beauty and tranquillity, Karuah has many historic sites to remind you of the forestry industry that once thrived in this region. Driving through the forest, you'll be driving along a road network built by the timber industry and see timber loading ramps on the banks of the river at Double Wharf. Other historic sites to discover are a set of yards at Witt Road and the Hunter Jetty on Claybank Road.

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