Olney State Forest
Olney State Forest is a popular recreation area. Located west of Lake Macquarie, Olney is bordered by Wyong State Forest, Watagan State Forest and Watagans National Park.
Forests in this area have been harvested for timber for many decades – some for over 150 years. The forests you see today are regrowth forests which means they have been harvested many times over and grown back. Today's forest management practices protect biodiversity, soil and water quality and cultural heritage sites while also allowing for sustainable timber production. Forest management in NSW is sustainable – here today, here tomorrow. Find out more about sustainable forest management.
The State Forests of the Watagan Mountains (Awaba, Heaton, Olney, Ourimbah, Watagan and Wyong State forests) have won the Gold Award for Adventure Tourism in the Hunter Central Coast Tourism Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2014, earning their place in the Tourism Hall of Fame. They also received a bronze award in the tourist attraction category in 2011, won the silver award for adventure tourism at the NSW Tourism Awards in 2013 and are finalists for the 2014 NSW Tourism Awards.
Starting from the Pines Picnic Area, the Abbotts Falls Trail starts in dry eucalypt forest and winds its way downhill through moist gullies of bluegum and rainforest, to Abbotts Falls Lookout before climbing out again into the drier forests around the Pines Picnic Area. Returns via German Point Road. Please note that this track receives minimal maintenance.
Set amongst forest oaks and a variety of eucalypts, the Casuarina Camping Area can accommodate caravans and trailers as well as individual camps. Just a five minute walk from the Pines Forest Park and walking trails.
Starting from the Basin Camping area, the Rock Lily Trail is a delightful walk featuring rock lilies, geebungs and ferns. The walk starts in a deep rainforest gully and passes by numerous rock overhangs as it climbs into dry eucalypt forest, then follows a short section of the Great North Walk back to the start. Please note that this trail receives minimal maintenance.
Open grassy campsites with easy access and a flowing creek nearby are the attractions of the Basin Camping Area. Located away from the more popular areas, the Basin is suitable for large groups. Nearby creeks can be used for swimming in the warmer months. The Great North Walk passes by this camping and picnic area.
The Pines Camping Area
The Pines Camping Area is positioned under large slash pine trees, providing excellent shade. The trees are remnants of trial plantings of different pine species established in the 1920s and 1930s. There is also access to three walking trails via a short walk to The Pines Picnic Area.
The Pines Walking Trail
Starting from The Pines Picnic Area, the Pines Trail follows Dora Creek with areas of moist eucalypt forests and rainforest, and a lovely rock pool.
The Pines Picnic Area
The most popular site in the Watagans, located in remnant slash pine planted in the 1920s and 1930s. There are picnic tables and wood barbecues scattered throughout this gorgeous area, while a covered shelter is also available and can be hired for exclusive use. The picnic area is also the start of three walking trails, The Wildflower Trail, The Pines Trail and Abbotts Falls Trail. The Pines Trail leads to a small swimming hole along the creek, popular in the summer.
Turpentine camping area provides many sheltered sites amongst turpentine trees. It is an ideal spot for smaller groups or families. Toilet facilities are located in the nearby Pines Camping or Casuarina Camping Areas.
Old Mill Picnic Area
Set alongside Watagan Forest Road, the Old Mill Picnic Area is a great place for family sport, with a wide and flat grassed area surrounded by forest. Please note that this site is for day use only, with no camping allowed.
Set alongside Watagan Forest Road, Olney Headquarters is a great spot to have a quick rest and bite to eat, or set-up camp for the night.
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Changes to authorised hunting
Some State forests are declared for authorised hunting. For more information about authorised hunting in State forests, including licensing and applying for permits, visit:
- Important information when visiting state forests
- Call '000' in a bushfire emergency (www.rfs.nsw.gov.au)
- Total Fire Ban and Current Fire Danger Map (www.rfs.nsw.gov.au)
This area is designated as ‘high public usage’ under Forestry Corporation of NSW’s Pesticide Use Notification Plan [PDF 3.83 MB].
Signs in State forests For your safety, you should pay attention to all signs in State forests. For a guide to common signs in State forests, visit: