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DHARAWAL: MEET SYDNEY’S NEWEST NATIONAL PARK

Sydney as a city is bounded by beautiful national parks. There’s moody Ku-ring-gai National Park in the north, the romantic Blue Mountain to the west and the coastal Royal National Park to the south. And now we can add Sydney’s newest National Park to the list: Dharawal National Park, 15mins from Campbelltown and about an hour and a half from the CBD.

“Dharawal” or “Tharawal” refers to the original owners of the land  from around Port Hacking in the north, Nowra in the south and all the way in land to Camden and Campbelltown. This new national park is of particular significance to the local indigenous community and it holds many sacred sites.

Luckily for visitors there is a small number of well-established trails including child-friendly easy walks to look outs and swimming areas, as well as a great cycling trail. We recommend a day trip, with a packed lunch (there are no cafes here), to really explore the area. Our pick of the best places to trek are these three below!

Dharawal National Park 900 x 600
O’Hares Creek lookout walking track
 A short walk along a fire trail for about 15mins from the car park, takes you to the turn off and paved path to the look out. The whole walk will only take about 40 minutes form where you parked your car, but the views across the valley and the creek below are stunning. Difficulty: Easy

Jingga walking track
Accessed via the same fire trail as the look out, the Jingga track trails off a little earlier. The paved path soon leads to a rocky dirt one as you start to travel down hill. There are parks of this 2.8km track that will challenge your knees on the way down and burn your thighs on the way up, but all up you can complete it about an hour to an hour and a half. In the local language “Jingga” means “nice and sweet” and that’s how you’ll describe the watering hole when you reach it, especially on a hot day. Don’t forget your swimmers. Difficulty: Medium/ Hard

Minerva Pool track (also known as 10T Management Trail)
A similar distance to the Jingga walking track, this 2.4km trail leads along a rocky path to a lookout over a beautiful watering hole with an island in the middle. There’s a great spot to have lunch at the lookout, or you can retrace your steps back to the fork in the road and make your way down to the pool. It’s a little challenging and slippery but the water will be cool and deep.  Difficulty: Medium

Plus, if you’re a cyclist, check out the 10B Cycle Trail, Appin. It’s a 15km (one way) trail that starts near Appin and travels along unsealed roads to the park entry at Wedderburn. It’s mainly a pretty easy ride, but look out for the last few kilometres which are a bit more challenging. Difficulty: Easy

 

For more info on hikes in Sydney’s national parks, check out our Explore Sydney section!