Great Outdoors

Deua National Park

Looking for your next national park adventure? Whether you’re visiting from the Canberra region or the South Coast, Deua National Park is only a short drive away, offering a plethora of experiences. Deua is best explored with a big group of friends or family to join in on the fun, so load up the car with camping gear, a topographic map and plenty of food, snacks and drinks to keep you going, and get on the road for a weekend getaway to remember.

Deua is one of the region’s largest national parks with vast landscapes varying from grassy woodlands to peatlands and swamps. You’ll find valleys dissected by rivers, rugged mountains, deep gorges, dry ridges, steep escarpments, limestone karst and high plateaus. This diversity means there’s not much you can’t do in this beautiful national park. From hiking, 4WD’ing, camping and picnicing to swimming, liloing, canoeing, caving or birdwatching, there’s plenty to do.

Please note that due to the 19/20 bushfires and COVID-19, you should always check the NSW National Parks website for the latest information on campground and track closures.

Directions

When driving from Canberra and surrounds, you can either drive through Captains Flat or Kings Highway to get to Deua National Park. The directions below are for driving to the national park’s three different campgrounds from Braidwood.

To Berlang campground

  • From Braidwood, drive south along Cooma Road for about 30 minutes. Turn left at the sign to Berlang and The Big Hole. Drive 700m down the road to Berlang campground carpark. As this campground is accessible by 2WD vehicles, it’s a very popular campground in high season, so get in early if you’d like to spend the night.

To Bendethera Valley campground

  • From Braidwood, drive south on Cooma Road. Continue on to Krawarree Road, turning left on to Minuma Range fire trail at the end of the road. Then, turn onto Dampier Mountain fire trail and finally the Bendethera Camp Trail to reach the campground. Please note that Bendethera Valley requires a 4WD vehicle.

To Deua River campgrounds

  • Positioned on the eastern side of Deua National Park, the Deua River campgrounds are easily accessed from Braidwood as well as Moruya by following Araluen Road. Although the Deua River campgrounds are 2WD accessible, you will need a 4WD if travelling in wet weather.

Facilities at Deua National Park’s campgrounds:

  • Camp sites
  • Toilets
  • Picnic tables
  • BBQ facilities
  • Car park (Berlang and Deua River campgrounds)
  • Please note that camping fees apply on all campgrounds

Highlights

  • The Big Hole is the region’s major natural attraction. It is thought to have been an underground cave until the ceiling collapsed. Today, it is a 96m deep and 50m wide pit, which can be observed from a lookout in Deua National Park. The Big Hole is a rather short, 3.5km return walk from the Berlang campground car park, making it the most popular walking track in the national park.
  • For more experienced bushwalkers, the 11km Marble Arch track is one you shouldn’t miss. Continuing on from the Big Hole track, the walk takes you to a cave with a car sized boulder over its entrance.
  • If you’re staying at Bendethera campground, head northwest for the Bendethera Cave track. It’s a decent hike but recommended as access to Bendethera Cave is one of the easiest of all the caves known in the area, rest of which require a permit. However, access through the cave can be wet and slippery so make sure you wear appropriate shoes and protect yourself. Don’t forget to take your torch to make the most out of your 250m long exploration through the large caverns with massive formations.
  • Deua National Park has plenty of space for camping enthusiasts to explore. Take your pick from multiple different campgrounds and set up camp for the weekend whether you’re travelling with mates, family or on your own.

 

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Recommendations

The best times to visit are in spring and summer. Spring is perfect time for taking in the beauty of the wildflowers and doing a spot of bird watching, while the warm summer is great for water activities in the Shoalhaven and Deua Rivers.

Always take enough drinking water with you when coming to stay at Deua National Park. There’s no drinking water available in the park, so visitors need to be prepared. Additionally, firewood is not provided and may not be collected from the park, so come prepared. You should also take any rubbish with you after your stay, so others can enjoy the national park in all its glory, too.

As mentioned above, if you’re travelling in a 2WD vehicle, your best bet would be staying at Berlang campground. Alternatively, you can opt for one of the Deua River campgrounds but please take note of the weather conditions throughout the time of your travel as a 4WD is required in wet weather. You should also take note that the Bendethera Valley campground can only be accessed with a 4WD and in dry weather. If you’re travelling with a trailer, please be aware that some of the trails in the national park are not suitable for trailers. These trails include Dampier Mountain, Oulla Creek, Minuma Range, Merricumbene, Mongamula and Dry Creek trails, meaning that the Bendethera Valley campground can only be accessed with a trailer via the Moruya way.

During bushfire season, people planning a visit to NSW national parks and reserves are encouraged to check for closures and fire bans before heading out to avoid disappointment.

If you’re out exploring Deua, or any other hidden gems of Queanbeyan-Palerang, don’t forget to share your experience by tagging us with #visitqueanbeyanpalerang and #foundmytreasure.

 

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