Old Great North Road - World Heritage walk

Dharug National Park

Overview

Old Great North Road – World Heritage walk highlights a historic convict-built road with scenic river views, via Finchs Line, in Dharug National Park.

Where
Dharug National Park
Distance
9km loop
Time suggested
3hrs 30min - 4hrs 30min
Grade
Grade 4
Trip Intention Form

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Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note
  • The weather in this area can be extreme and unpredictable, so please ensure you’re well-prepared for your visit.
  • Bikes need to be walked down Devines Hill and the walking track section of Finchs Line.

Old Great North Road - World Heritage walk features a historic convict-built, some in chains, road overlooking the Hawkesbury River, in Dharug National Park. Returning via Finchs Line, this moderately steep track is popular with families and history buffs with some bushwalking experience.

Starting on Devines Hill loop, you’ll pass the quarry, with historic graffiti carved in the rocks by convicts long gone. You can almost hear the sound of picks striking the blocks and the clinking of leg irons. Marvel at the craftsmanship of the beautifully preserved stonework that includes towering stone buttresses, culverts and even a curved wall. Unpack a picnic along the way and soak up the tranquil bush setting with scenic river views. Round off your day with a night under the stars at Mill Creek campground, only a short drive away.

Download the Convict Road app to learn about the hardships of the convicts who constructed the road. The app features two walks, short films about the convict experience, and expert commentary. Learn more about the World Heritage listing of Old Great North Road.

Take a virtual tour of Old Great North Road - World Heritage walk 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/walking-tracks/old-great-north-road-world-heritage-walk/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Old Great North Road - World Heritage walk.

Track grading

Grade 4

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    3hrs 30min - 4hrs 30min

  • Quality of markings

    Limited signage

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    9km loop

  • Steps

    Many steps

  • Quality of path

    Rough track, many obstacles

  • Experience required

    Some bushwalking experience recommended

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Old Great North Road - World Heritage walk starts at Devines Hill, 500m west of Wisemans Ferry, in Dharug National Park. To get there:

    From Gosford

    • Follow the signs to Wisemans Ferry
    • Drive along Wisemans Ferry Road
    • Pass the ferry crossing and drive approximately 500m to the bottom of Devines Hill

    From Sydney

    • Follow the signs to Wisemans Ferry
    • Driving along Old Northern Road
    • Drive through the town of Wisemans Ferry and cross the Hawkesbury River on the Wisemans Ferry
    • Turn left and drive approximately 500m to the bottom of Devines Hill or alternatively, park on the southern side and take the ferry over on foot.

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Parking is limited near Devines Hill and Finchs Line, especially on weekends. It’s recommended to park at Wisemans Ferry and travel across the ferry as a pedestrian.

    Best times to visit

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

    Autumn

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

    Spring

    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.

    Winter

    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.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    13°C and 27°C

    Highest recorded

    42.9°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    8°C and 18°C

    Lowest recorded

    -0.1°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    February and March

    Driest month

    September

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    230.2mm

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    Bushwalking safety

    If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

    If you’re bushwalking in this park, it’s a good idea to bring a topographic map and compass, or GPS.

    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).

    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

    Broken Hill (58 km)

    About 10 km from Broken Hill, in the middle of the Living Desert Reserve, is Sundown Hill, the site of the Living Desert Sculptures. Follow the easy walking trail that takes you past these beautiful sandstone sculptures, even more striking in this desert setting.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Hawkesbury area (7 km)

    Explore the beautiful Hawkesbury River with Australia's Last River Boat Postman, or sample fresh oysters at a casual riverside cafe. Start your Hawkesbury adventure with a seaplane flight from Sydney to a local restaurant by the river.

    www.sydney.com

    Wilcannia (61 km)

    The small historic town of Wilcannia is located on the famous Darling River in the NSW outback. The nearby remote Mutawintji National Park offers a uniquely Australian experience, with its historic Aboriginal sites and captivating rugged desert terrain.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Old Great North Road - World Heritage walk is in Dharug National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Aboriginal heritage

    Devines Hill, Dharug National Park. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    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 diverse landscapes and all they contain feature in all aspects of Aboriginal culture and are associated with Dreaming stories and cultural learning that is still passed on today.

    Rugged beauty

    Devines Hill loop, Dharug National Park. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    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.

    Step into Australia’s past

    The Old Great North Road walk, Dharug National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    Dharug National Park contains the Old Great North Road, one of 11 historic sites which form the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage property. 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.

    • Devines Hill loop Head to Devines Hill loop in Dharug National Park, near Wisemans Ferry this weekend for a bike ride or walk along the historic World Heritage-listed Devines Hill loop.
    • Old Great North Road - World Heritage walk Old Great North Road – World Heritage walk highlights a historic convict-built road with scenic river views, via Finchs Line, in Dharug National Park.

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    •  Superb lyrebird, Minnamurra Rainforest, Budderoo National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

      Superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)

      With a complex mimicking call and an elaborate courtship dance to match, the superb lyrebird is one of the most spectacular Australian animals. A bird watching must-see, the superb lyrebird can be found in rainforests and wet woodlands across eastern NSW and Victoria.

    • Australian brush turkey, Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

      Australian brush turkey (Alectura lathami)

      The Australian brush turkey, also known as bush or scrub turkey, can be found in rainforests along eastern NSW. With a striking red head, blue-black plumage and booming call, these distinctive Australian birds are easy to spot while bird watching in several NSW national parks.

    • Common wombat. Photo: Ingo Oeland

      Common wombat (Vombatus ursinus)

      A large, squat marsupial, the Australian common wombat is a burrowing mammal found in coastal forests and mountain ranges across NSW and Victoria. The only other remaining species of wombat in NSW, the endangered southern hairy-nosed wombat, was considered extinct until relatively recently.

    • Lace monitor, Daleys Point walking track, Bouddi National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

      Lace monitor (Varanus varius)

      One of Australia’s largest lizards, the carnivorous tree-dwelling lace monitor, or tree goanna, can grow to 2m in length and is found in forests and coastal tablelands across eastern Australia. These Australian animals are typically dark blue in colour with whitish spots or blotches.

    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.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    Old Great North Road Walking Track, Dharug National Park. Photo: Simone Cottrell/NSW Government