Dharug National Park
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.
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
- NSWNPWS 1300 361 967
- NPWS Central Coast (02) 4320 4200
- Camp bookings (02) 4320 4203
14 850 ha
Tourism Hawkesbury 1300 362 874
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