Only two hours drive from Sydney or Newcastle, yet remarkably secluded, Yengo National Park offers spectacular views, remote wilderness and Aboriginal cultural heritage.
Yengo National Park is a wild area of steep gorges and rocky ridges. It forms part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area, and well as its natural beauty the Old Great North Road (or Convict Trail) follows the south-east boundary of the park.
Only 85km north of Sydney, Yengo National Park feels a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
From Cessnock, head straight to Finchley lookout in the Finchley precinct for spectacular views of Mount Yengo and beyond. Be amazed by nearby Aboriginal rock carvings.
Base yourself at Big Yango Homestead for the weekend and enjoy a cosy fireplace at night. Or cook up some tasty bush tucker on the campfire at the tranquil Blue Gum campground and rest up after your mountain bike adventures on the Mount Yengo loop trail.
Finchley Cultural Walk
An easy walk that can be enjoyed by pretty much everyone, the Finchley cultural walk gives people a real understanding and respect for one of the best Aboriginal sites in Australia, the Finchley Aboriginal engravings.
It’s a short walk with informative signs along the way giving insight into the Aboriginal culture of the area.
Circuit Flat Walking Track
Starting from Mogo campground, Circuit Flat walking track undulates steadily through coastal heath and dry sclerophyll forest, with the distinctive turquoise parrots foraging in the trees overhead.
Turning left at Old Great North Road, the scribbly gums part and you arrive at Circuit Flat Bridge, the second-oldest bridge in Australia, built in 1831 by convict gangs under the direction of overseer William Barratt. It once linked Sydney to farmlands in Hunter Valley. Though the area fell into disuse, a large amount of the impressive bridge remains, as a reminder of earlier times.
To return to the campground, either retrace your steps or continue north along Old Great North Road to Mogo Creek Road and turn left there. For truly adventurous hikers, Old Great North Road extends 42km between Wisemans Ferry and Mount Manning.
Yango Walking Trail
Following a former logging trail, Yango walking track travels for 6km through some of the most pristine and picturesque wilderness in Yengo National Park. In parts, the track can be a little rough and there are some steep sections, but tackling them ensures ample rewards, including magnificent, uninterrupted views of Yengo and Wollemi wilderness areas from Mount Yengo lookout.
Along the way, you’ll be able to see the rare velvet wattle, which flourishes in this part of the world. On the sheltered southern side of Mount Yengo, you’ll also pass through a small section of rainforest, with red cedars and giant stinging trees.
The best time to tackle the walk is in autumn or spring when conditions are mild. Don’t forget to bring your camera or binoculars – there’ll be plenty of opportunities for photography or birdwatching along the way.
Mount Yengo Lookout
Uninterrupted views of Yengo and Wollemi wilderness areas are the reward for the short, steep climb to Mount Yengo lookout. Start at the beginning of Yango walking track, where the track will lead you 1km to the lookout. It takes about 15 minutes to hike the path, but you’ll be able to stare out and imagine what this part of the country looked like hundreds of years ago. There’s no sign of development in any direction, no crowds, and no noise. If you like to capture nature at its best, don’t forget to bring your camera.
Access to this attraction is available to visitors who are camping or staying at Big Yango Homestead.
Old Great North Road bike ride 43km one-way
Mountain bike or walk the Old Great North Road. It’s an important piece of Australia’s history and part of the Convict Sites of Australia World Heritage Area.
If you’re riding a mountain bike along the road, please keep to the Old Great North Road, consider walkers, and walk your bike down Devine’s Hill. The trailhead for the Old Great North Road is about 500m to the west of the Wisemans Ferry crossing, on the north side of the Hawkesbury river in Dharug National Park. You can park on the southern side and take the ferry across. For enjoyment and safety, you need a clean, well maintained bike, and always wear a helmet. Caring for the environment brings joy to everyone, and for cyclists this involves avoiding skidding, riding in the wet or forming new trails.
BUSH WALKERS KEEP IN MIND:
It’s a good idea to put sunscreen on before you set out and remember to take a hat and drinking water
Remember to take your binoculars if you want to birdwatch
Drinking water is not available in this area so it’s a good idea to bring your own
There is limited/no mobile reception in this park
Big Yango Loop Trail – 4WD or Mountain Bike
The Big Yango loop trail is a great activity for 4WD touring and mountain biking when staying at Blue Gums campground or Big Yango Homestead in Yengo National Park.
Whether you’re in a 4WD or on a mountain bike, it’s an excellent way to experience the remoteness of Yengo for yourself.
Not for the faint-hearted, the 22km trail includes some steep climbs and descents, as well as a few tight switchbacks.
Take in spectacular views of the vast landscape, which extends west over the Yengo and Wollemi wilderness areas, out as far west as Newnes and Rylstone. Watch out for wombats, wallabies and even goannas. And, if visiting in spring, be sure to stop to enjoy the wonderful display of wildflowers.
A key/permit is required to access this area. To get there:
Turn right onto the start of Big Yango loop trail at the display shelter near Big Yango Homestead
Follow the trail past Blue Gums campground and Yango walking track
Continue in an anti-clockwise direction around the back of Mount Yengo.