Gap Creek Camping Area. Pic: Susan Davis/

The Watagans National Park is located on the New South Wales central coast and is an eternally popular spot for Sydneysiders with a hankering to get the wheels dirty.

Located less than 150 clicks up the Pacific Highway from the big smoke, it’s little wonder that The Watagans hold such a special place in the hearts of so many city-bound 4WDers.

Overnight offroad adventures are easy to plan for, and even daytrips possible for the super keen.

The park is located just inland from Ourimbah and is popular for its challenging tracks and gorgeous rainforest backdrop.

There are also some lovely bushwalking and mountain biking trails located within the park, so there’s bound to be plenty to keep the whole family occupied for a couple of days.


4WDING: The main roads within the park are accessible for all 4WD vehicles, although as conditions are known to deteriorate quickly in the wet.

There are plenty of challenging tracks leading off from the main roads just waiting to be explored.

If you’ve got the time, there are plenty more tracks to be explored in the nearby Watagan and Awaba State Forests.

HIKING: The track from the Gap Creek camping area through to Gap Creek Falls is certainly worth a visit if you’ve got a spare morning or afternoon.

Although it is less than a kilometre long, allow at least an hour or two as it is pretty steep and you’ll want to stop and snap plenty of pics along the way.


LOCATION: 145km north of Sydney and 60km inland from Newcastle.

CAMPING: Free camping is available at the Bangalow and Gap Creek campgrounds. Both campgrounds provide barbeques, fire rings and pit toilets.

Bookings are not necessary but you must bring your own firewood and drinking water.

FUEL is available at Sydney and Cessnock.

MORE INFO is available at

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