Watagan weeders

Watagans National Park

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Get involved in this new volunteer initiative to restore native bushland on the picturesque NSW Central Coast. Just 1hr from Newcastle, we’ll work to stop weeds from invading Watagans National Park.

Bush regeneration, weed and pest management

Group meets once a quarter

Join up

Put your green thumb to good use and volunteer with Watagans bushcare. This newly-formed group has already made a large impact on protecting the rainforest within Watagans National Park. They've cleared over 2ha of lantana from the NSW Central Coast in their first outing.

Take this chance to engage with your local community and continue this rewarding work alongside like-minded people. By helping keep the weeds out, you'll be protecting the towering canopies of red cedar and Illawarra flame trees that call Watagans National Park home. You'll also be preserving the habitat for the local lyrebirds and kookaburras commonly spotted in this park.

The group meets quarterly, all year round, except in the middle of summer. It's a great activity if you're passionate about preserving the natural environment and have some gardening knowledge. If you're not an experienced gardener, training is provided by the group convenor or national park staff.

Wear closed-in shoes, long-sleeve clothing, sunscreen and a hat. You'll also need to bring drinking water, a raincoat, lunch and snacks, gardening gloves and insect repellent (optional).

Tools and a hardhat are supplied.

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/volunteer-activities/watagan-weeders/local-alerts

Park info

  • in Watagans National Park in the North Coast region
  • Watagans National Park is always open, but may have to close at times due to poor weather, roads closures or high fire danger.

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Watagan weeders.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Newcastle:

    • Travel south along the F3 Expressway and take the Awaba exit at Ryhope
    • Turn right onto Cessnock Road and then left onto Freemans Drive at Freemans Waterhole
    • Turn right onto Mount Faulk Road from Freemans Drive just after crossing over the F3 expressway for the second time
    • Follow Mount Faulk Road uphill into the park

    From Gosford:

    • Travel north along the F3 Expressway and take the Morriset/Coorangbong exit near Freemans Waterhole
    • Turn left into Freemans Drive, and travel south to Martinsville Road on the left.
    • Follow Martinville Road to Watagan Road on the left and follow uphill to Watagan Forest Road
    • Turn right and follow approximately 6km to the park

    From Cessnock:

    • Travel from Cessnock to Kitchener and Quorrobolong via Quorrobolong Road
    • Turn left into Sandy Creek Road and travel east for 5km
    • Turn right into Heaton Road then onto Watagan Road (unsealed) which will bring you to the northern end of the Watagans


    Details given on booking.

    Maps and downloads


    Disability access level - medium

    Learn more

    Watagan weeders is in Watagans National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Blossoming rainforest

    Boarding House Dam, Watagans National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    The area is rich in plant life, producing moist forests and a wealth of plant species. Mountain blue gums and blackbutt trees shelter the smaller brush cherry, climbing vines and tree ferns. Across late winter and into early spring, colourful orange-coloured banksias, brilliant purple happy wanderers, and the many hues of yellow wattle trees all flower in bright abundance.

    • Circuit walking track Circuit walking track is a short walk near Newcastle. Plunging into rainforest, following the creek as it passes a dramatic moss-covered rock wall, this is a great place to visit.
    • Great North walk - Watagans National Park The section of Great North walk in Watagans National Park features great scenic lookouts and wonderful birdwatching. It is best suited to experienced bushwalkers.
    • Monkey Face lookout Monkey Face lookout provides excellent scenic views over the Martinsville Valley, with space for a picnic.
    • The Narrow Place lookout For scenic views of Hunter Valley, you can't go past The Narrow Place lookout in Watagans National Park. Visit this historic lookout, near Cessnock, to go sightseeing or birdwatching.

    Breathtaking views

    Great North Walk, Watagans National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    From Monkey Face lookout, there are spectacular views down over Martinsville Valley, and 6km along Georges Road to the north, Narrow Place lookout provides a 180-degree panorama toward Cessnock, Hunter Valley and beyond the Barrington Ranges. There are so many ways to enjoy the scenery, whether by horse riding, 4WD touring in the wetter months, mountain bike riding or pulling into a shaded picnic area to cool down after a walk.

    • Boarding House Dam picnic area A popular picnic spot with daytrippers in summer, Boarding House Dam picnic area offers all the amenities, as well as local history, paddling, and hiking opportunities.

    Building a nation

    Turners walking track, Watagans National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Log chutes and old saw mill sites used during past forestry operations still stand among the plants as a testament to the region's rich settlement history. By the 1820s, a fertile timber industry had established itself, providing cedar and hardwood from the area to the building and growing coal mining industries. Increased timber production provided employment and wealth to the region, and you can still see relics from these operations throughout the park.

    • Boarding House Dam picnic area A popular picnic spot with daytrippers in summer, Boarding House Dam picnic area offers all the amenities, as well as local history, paddling, and hiking opportunities.
    • Turners walking track Steep and challenging, Turners walking track in Watagans National Park, near Cessnock, boasts rainforest views, historic heritage and superb birdwatching.

    Fascinating Aboriginal landscapes

    A man enjoys the forest, Watagans National Park. Photo: OEH

    The park is of great importance to the Awabakal and Darkinjung People, and rare insights into art and engraving techniques have been found at over 40 recorded locations in the Watagan Range and surrounding lands. Given that there are only six known Aboriginal engraving sites in the wider Sydney region, this one is particularly noteworthy for its display of more than 100 abstract motifs carved into walls throughout the park.

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