Cattai National Park
At Cattai National Park, traditional parkland and dense natural bush provide ample opportunity for walking, picnicking and peaceful camping within easy reach of Sydney. The park is in two sections, the historic main section on a sweep of the Hawkesbury River and the Mitchell Park section, about 2.5 kilometres upstream, bordered by Cattai Creek.
The park has a rich Aboriginal and European history. The Darruk people were displaced by white settlement by the 1820s, but rock engravings provide evidence of their occupation of this land. Part of the park was a First Fleet land grant to surgeon Thomas Arndell, and the ruins of his c. 1799 cottage (destroyed by ﬁre), an 1821 two-storey, sandstock Georgian cottage, historic grain silos, ruins of a windmill (thought to be the oldest industrial building in the state) and convict-built stone walls remain. The Arndell family occupied the land for seven generations. The National Trust-listed homestead is open on Sunday afternoons and public holidays (ask the NPWS about guided tours).
The Mitchell park section is important for its forest, wetlands and remnant rainforest, which provide refuge for threatened species such as powerful owls and yellow-bellied gliders. The Mitchell Park Loop walk (5-km circuit, 2–3 hours) winds through the park, offering the chance to see a range of bird species, from noisy butcherbirds and cockatoos to plump crested pigeons and ﬁnches.
Cattai National Park is popular with families, with a children’s playground, grassy areas, pleasant picnic and barbecue areas and camping sites. It is possible to canoe on the river, but swimming is not advised.
Car-based camping; bookings essential; fees apply
Location and access
45 km north-west of Sydney, 12 km north of Windsor and 6 km north of Pitt Town via Wisemans Ferry Rd then turn off 300 metres north of Cattai Creek Bridge
- NSWNPWS 1300 361 967
- NPWS Windsor (02) 4572 3100
Windsor (02) 4578 0233, 1300 362 874