Old Great North Road - World Heritage walk
Dharug National Park
Old Great North Road – World Heritage walk highlights a historic convict-built road with scenic river views, via Finchs Line, in Dharug National Park.
- Dharug National Park
- 9km loop
- Time suggested
- 3hrs 30min - 4hrs 30min
- Grade 4
- Trip Intention Form
It's a good idea to let someone know where you're going. Fill in a trip intention form to send important details about your trip to your emergency contact.
- What to
- 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 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
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- in Dharug National Park in the Sydney and surrounds region
Dharug National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
All the practical information you need to know about Old Great North Road - World Heritage walk.
Grade 4Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
3hrs 30min - 4hrs 30min
Quality of markings
Short steep hills
Quality of path
Rough track, many obstacles
Some bushwalking experience recommended
Getting there and parking
Get driving directions
Old Great North Road - World Heritage walk starts at Devines Hill, 500m west of Wisemans Ferry, in Dharug National Park. To get there:
- 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
- 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
- Devines Hill loop trackhead See on map
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.
The water has warmed up nicely by late summer so autumn is great for kayaking and canoeing along the Hawkesbury river.
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.
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
13°C and 27°C
8°C and 18°C
February and March
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
Maps and downloads
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.
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.
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.
Old Great North Road - World Heritage walk is in Dharug National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
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.
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
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
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 (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 (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 (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.
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.