Dharawal was declared a national park in 2012 after a grass roots movement to protect the rugged and diverse habitat. Previously, the national park was managed as a state conservation area by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and before that the land was managed as a water catchment by Sydney Water. Over seventy years of restricted public access has kept the area largely undisturbed, so pristine surroundings await you on your visit.
Dharawal National Park is the traditional land of the Dharawal or Tharawal Aboriginal people. Their long connection with this country; the land and waterways, and the plants and animals that live in it feature in all facets of Aboriginal culture and are associated with Dreaming stories and cultural learning that is passed on today. The park protects several ancient Aboriginal sites, including drawings and axe-grinding grooves.
Prepare to be awed by the beautiful dense vegetation and rugged Hawkesbury sandstone that dominates the park’s landscape. Set off on a bushwalk to discover eucalypt and shale forests, stunted woodlands and windswept heath. Explore further to find patches of rainforest and extensive sedgeland amongst the scenic terrain.
Guided Indigenous Walks
NSW National Parks conduct Guided Indigenous Walks in Dharawal National Park. One walk takes the trail to O’Hare’s Creek Lookout while the other ventures down the management trail to a sacred Indigenous waterhole called Minerva Pool.
O’Hare’s Creek catchment, on the Register of the National Estate is home to 17 vulnerable, rare or threatened species, and feeds the park’s eucalypt forest, woodland, heathland, and sedgeland habitats. More than 500 plant species occur within the park, providing a home to a wide range of animals, including koalas and long-nosed potoroos, swamp wallabies, eastern wallaroos, New Holland honeyeaters and countless birds.
Dharawal National Park is the perfect antidote to city living. At 6,500ha, the park supports a huge range of birds and animals, superb plant life and features tracks to walk or ride and scenic spots to relax.
Click here for a NSW National Parks trail map.