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Popran National Park

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Learn more about why this park is special

Popran National Park is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

Rich Aboriginal heritage

A view through the trees and over the mountains, Popran National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

The land of Popran National Park was home to the Dharug and Guringai People, and when you visit, you'll see evidence of 11,000 years of rich Aboriginal heritage. From the earth to the waterways, animals and plants, each of these holds a special place in the hearts of the custodians of this land, and the park proudly protects these significant places so we can celebrate Aboriginal culture for generations to come. The park protects a number of Aboriginal sites, like rock engravings, sandstone shelters and foreshore middens. If you find an axe grinding groove in the sandstone, you might be able to imagine how you'd sharpen your tool to catch a meal for your family.

What we're doing for Aboriginal culture in this park

Outdoor adventurer's playground

A person enjoying the view from a lookout, Popran National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

Popran National Park offers an immense range of opportunities for recreation in a beautiful Australian bushland and river setting. Offering visitors expansive landscapes and gorgeous water views, it is one of only a few parks on the Central Coast that caters for horse riding and mountain biking. Both the 248 trail and the Mount Olive trail can be explored by horse or by bike, and you can enjoy a picnic or swim to relax after your efforts.

  • 248 trail 248 trail is a popular horse riding and mountain biking track which meanders through Popran National Park in the NSW Central Coast hinterland.
  • Mount Olive lookout Mount Olive Lookout is only a short walk from Ironbark picnic area in Popran National Park on the central coast and offers scenic views over Popran Creek.

What we're doing for Visitor facilities and experiences in this park

A haven for wildlife

Rocky outcrop in the forest, Popran National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

The increasingly rare, untouched freshwater streams and mangroves of the Hawkesbury river are a sanctuary for the many animals that live there. If you're an avid birdwatcher, you might catch glimpses of glossy black cockatoos and masked owls in the park's tall forests and wet gullies. You are unlikely to see the nocturnal yellow-bellied glider during the day, but you might be lucky to hear their distinctive growling call, it's been recorded to have been heard up to 500m away.

  • 248 trail 248 trail is a popular horse riding and mountain biking track which meanders through Popran National Park in the NSW Central Coast hinterland.

What we're doing for Biodiversity in this park

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • 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.

  • Yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Photo: Peter Sherratt

    Yellow-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus)

    The yellow-tailed black cockatoo is one of the largest species of parrot. With dusty-black plumage, they have a yellow tail and cheek patch. They’re easily spotted while bird watching, as they feed on seeds in native forests and pine plantations.

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.

  • Smooth-barked apple. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    Smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata)

    Smooth-barked apple gums, also known as Sydney red gum or rusty gum trees, are Australian native plants found along the NSW coast, and in the Sydney basin and parts of Queensland. Growing to heights of 15-30m, the russet-coloured angophoras shed their bark in spring to reveal spectacular new salmon-coloured bark.

  • Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

    Grass tree (Xanthorrea spp.)

    An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.

Look out for...

Smooth-barked apple

Angophora costata

Smooth-barked apple. Photo: Jaime Plaza

Smooth-barked apple gums, also known as Sydney red gum or rusty gum trees, are Australian native plants found along the NSW coast, and in the Sydney basin and parts of Queensland. Growing to heights of 15-30m, the russet-coloured angophoras shed their bark in spring to reveal spectacular new salmon-coloured bark.

Environments in this park

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Man standing on a lookout, Popran National Park. Photo: John Yurasek