Dharug National Park
Steeped in history and abounding in natural wonders, Dharug National Park’s multi-coloured sandstone landscape protects vital clear-water tributaries. The historic Old Great North Road is an intact and spectacular example of early 19th century road-building as well as a lesson in planning gone wrong. Abandoned even before it was finished, it took the toil and sweat of convicts to quarry, dress and shift the huge sandstone blocks that form the road’s striking retaining walls and bridges. You can also experience the park’s natural beauty on one of its many great walking tracks.
Popran National Park
Popran National Park conserves spectacular sandstone cliffs and gullies and many Aboriginal sites. It includes four kilometres of Hawkesbury River foreshore to the east and north of Milson Island and contains a number of undisturbed small creek catchments. These completely natural fresh running water tributaries to the Hawkesbury River are becoming scarce and so the park is important for their conservation and the protection of the animals and plants that depend on them. The park provides remote walking routes, secluded rock pools and exceptional displays of spring wildflowers.
Yengo National Park
Stretching over 70 km from Wisemans Ferry to the Hunter Valley, Yengo National Park is a wild area of steep gorges and rocky ridges, forming part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area. Mt Yengo is of cultural significance to local Aboriginal communities and the historic Old Great North Road, an intact example of early 19th century convict road-building, follows the south-east boundary of the park.
Brisbane Water National Park
Bordering the Hawkesbury River, just to the north of Sydney, this is a park of rugged sandstone country. It’s a great place to see wildflowers and Aboriginal engravings. Go bushwalking, birdwatching and sightseeing.
Ourimbah State Forest
Locatedt to the East of Central Mangrove, the Ourimbah state forest is littered with a maze of flowing singletrack mountain bike trails, heavy 4wd trails and huge hills.
Heading north along the Newcastle freeway take the Wyong exit ( 3nrd left after Gosford ) The immediate left again onto Old Maitland Rd. ( right to Maccas and Westfeild ) After the S bends turn left again onto Yarramalong Rd. Follow this some 2km through the small cluster of houses then at the bottom of a small hill take the left turn in Red Hill road – Ourimbah State forest.
There is reasonable parking about 250 metres up the hill at the intersection with a left hand 4wd track – this is where the XC course starts. Used for the Coastie 6 hour and numerous State series events this is one of the most fun singletrack race courses. Although only 45 mins if done fast connected with the DH track and other roads in the area can make for a very, very long day in the saddle. More details here.
There is also a Tree Top Adventure Park, a new and original way to move from tree to tree through a network of rope bridges, flying foxes, trapezes and Tarzan jumps, stretching through the tree canopy. These high-wire activities are of progressive difficulty and are designed to allow everybody to complete the whole course. More details here.