Full write up featured on We Are Explorers

New South Wales is home to a vast network of National Parks, providing an endless list of places for outdoor enthusiasts to explore. When heading South of Sydney, Royal National Park has attracted the masses due to its proximity to Sydney, its diverse landscapes and its famous “Instagrammable” locations.

However, just a little further past here is the national park you’ve never heard of offering all those things and more – Dharawal National Park.

Dharawal National Park was declared a National Park in 2012 and is the traditional land of the Dharawal Aboriginal people. Their longstanding connection with the every facet of the land on which the park stands is still preserved today, with the park protecting several ancient Aboriginal sites, including drawings and axe-grinding grooves. Due to 70 years of restricted public access the area has been largely undisturbed, meaning that extensive pristine parklands await your arrival.

Just a stone’s throw South of Sydney in Campbelltown, this national park has a touch of everything to meet any of your outdoor needs. With picnic and toilet facilities as well as infrastructure tailored to accommodate every type of explorer, it’s the perfect place for a little escape. Here are a few ideas for you and your crew, so that you can experience the region like you never have before.

Jingga Falls Track (Distance: 2.8km return walk)

Has the summer got you feeling like you need to cool off but Kmart is sold out of pedestal fans? Jingga Falls is the perfect solution.

In the language of the Dharawal, in relation to water, ‘jingga’ means ‘nice and sweet’ and this little known paradise delivers exactly that.

Following the trail from the park’s northwestern entry through Campbelltown, a fire trail leading off to the right marks the beginning of your walk to Jingga Falls. Begin your walk here down a steep track, though it may look a little intimidating it’s worth the walk!

Follow the track as it snakes down towards your destination, but don’t forget to look up to enjoy the eucalyptus and the dramatic sandstone formations that surround you. As you reach the last bend in the track you’ll be greeted with your reward, a beautiful freshwater watering hole beckoning you on the horizon.

Take a dip under the falls and swim downstream to explore the O’Hares Creek in all its glory. Find a spot by the creek to sunbathe or have a picnic and be sure to keep your eyes peeled some of the local fauna stopping by for a swim!

Jonathan Tan