Dharug National Park

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Dharug National Park, Australian Geographic

Introduction

Dharug National Park, north of Sydney, is of cultural significance to the Dharug people, but it is also outstanding for the convict-built Old Great North Road that passes through it. In the 1800s, convicts laboured to cut and move massive sandstone blocks, building 12-metre-high buttress walls, culverts and impressive bridges in this engineering feat.

Dharug’s natural environment is one of impressive sandstone cliffs and ridges, with tributaries running off the magnificent, winding Hawkesbury River. Eucalypt forests and verdant rainforest gullies support more than 40 species of mammal including swamp wallabies, wallaroos, wombats and possums, and the many weathered rock shelters contain numerous species of bats. Reptiles such as diamond pythons, red-bellied black snakes and lace monitors also inhabit the park. Bird species include glossy black-cockatoos, brush-turkeys, superb lyrebirds, kookaburras and the whipbird, whose distinctive call often breaks the silence.

Bushwalkers wishing to see the most spectacular section of the Old Great North Road can depart from just west of the ferry on the northern bank of the Hawkesbury then head up Devines Hill (2 hours return). Those seeking a serious challenge should tackle the Old Great North Road from Wisemans Ferry to Mount Manning (43 km, 2–3 days); be well prepared and carry plenty of drinking water. Mountain-bike riders can also take this and other routes in the park. Mill Creek camping area is in a wonderful setting of sandstone escarpments and eucalypt forest; Ten Mile Hollow is more remote. Hazel Dell is a popular picnic spot. Park rangers run Discovery walks, talks and tours all year.

Fact file

Camping

Mill Creek, fees apply; Ten Mile Hollow, no fees; bush camping (take fuel stove); take water to all sites

Location and access

75 km north-east of Sydney via Wisemans Ferry and across the Hawkesbury River; Mill Creek is 5.5 km east of Wisemans Ferry via Wisemans Ferry Rd

Park information

  • NSWNPWS 1300 361 967
  • NPWS Central Coast (02) 4320 4200
  • Camp bookings (02) 4320 4203

Size

14 850 ha

Visitor information

Gosford/Windsor/Wisemans Ferry

Tourism Hawkesbury 1300 362 874

www.hawkesburytourism.com.au

Campsites

Mill Creek camping area

One of the great drawcards of this camping ground is its wombat community. Sit quietly at dusk or dawn by one of the many freshly dug tunnels in the area, and you should be rewarded with a view of this enigmatic,... Find out more


Ten Mile Hollow camping area (walk-in camping)

This is a walk-in site and you’ll only find wood fireplaces here, so you need to be self-sufficient with a gas/fuel stove and drinking water. You can reach the campground via the 2-day Great North Walk between... Find out more


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