Exploring the Minerva Pool Walking Track is one of the highlights of visiting the Dharawal National Park. At the end of the walking track, you’ll arrive at the immensely beautiful Minerva Pool, which is a large emerald-coloured waterhole featuring a small cascade waterfall. It’s also a sacred site for the Dharawal People and a significant part of Aboriginal culture.
In this guide, we’ll tell you all about the Minerva Pool Walking Track in the Dharawal National Park. Other than detailing the walking track itself, we’ll talk about the wishes of the Tharawal Local Aboriginal Land Council, which will affect what you can and can’t do during a visit.
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Minerva Pool Walking Track Overview
Alongside Maddens Falls, Minerva Pool is the most popular place to visit in the Dharawal National Park. The incredible rockpool, hidden amongst bushland, is one of the best natural attractions in Sydney.
And, to see Minerva Pool, you’re going to have to complete the serene Minerva Pool Walking Track. Overall, the trail is straightforward to do. For sure, reaching the gorgeous natural pool is a huge reward for fairly minimal effort.
But, Minerva Pool is more than just a beautiful swimming hole. Regarding Minerva Pool’s history, it’s an area sacred to Aboriginal Dharawal women. As a result, the Tharawal Local Aboriginal Land Council kindly ask that only women and children swim in Minerva Pool.
Of course, everyone is welcome to enjoy the Minerva Pool Walking Track. So, let’s look at some more details about this tranquil walk.
Minerva Pool, Dharawal National Park: Map
The Minerva Pool Walking Track is located in Wedderburn in the Dharawal National Park, near Campbelltown in New South Wales. Below, you’ll find a map of the Minerva Pool Walking Track. Thankfully, it’s a simple trail to navigate. But, if you’re visiting for the first time, it’s definitely helpful to have a map.
Minerva Pool Walking Track Details
- Type: Out & Back
- Distance: 3.1km
- Time: 1 hour
- Accumulated elevation gain: 80 metres
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead: Victoria Road Car Park
These are the trail specs for the Minerva Pool Walking Track.
There are actually some other swimming holes located near Minerva Pool to explore as well. These include The Weir and Jingga Pool. By visiting these other places, the walk will naturally become longer.
Minerva Pool Walking Track Highlights
Below, we’ll provide some more details about the Minerva Pool Walking Track. Then, we’ll cover some details about the other swimming holes nearby.
Victoria Road Trail
From the car park at the end of Victoria Road, you’ll briefly join Victoria Road Trail. After 100 metres or so, you’ll arrive at the turnoff to follow the 10B Management Trail, which is part of the Minerva Pool Walking Track. At this turnoff, you’ll find informative signage about walks in the area.
If you’re lucky enough, you might even see an echidna! We were shocked to see such amazing wildlife so soon after starting the Minerva Pool Walking Track. But, it’s a testament to the glorious natural havens such as Dharawal National Park, which are just on Sydney’s doorstep.
Admittedly, this prickly creature was a little shy and scurried away before we could get a good look! Funnily enough, only a few weeks later, we’d meet a not-so-shy echidna happy to be photographed along the Tomaree Coastal Walk.
10B Management Trail
Anyway, from the Victoria Road Trail, you’ll join the 10B Management Trail, heading towards Minerva Pool. It’s a wide and mostly flat trail weaving and winding through dense bushland. Along the way, you’re sure to see swamp wallabies or hear yellow-tailed black cockatoos.
Soon enough, the trail narrows and you’ll arrive at an intersecting wide trail called the 10T Management Trail. Simply cross this trail and continue along the narrower trail heading down towards Stokes Creek. After crossing the creek, the trail continues to descend towards Minerva Pool.
Minerva Pool Lookout
Near the end of the walking track, you’ll reach a turnoff for the Minerva Pool Lookout. The lookout is only around 100 metres off the main track and is worth checking out. Although, admittedly, our views were impeded by the surrounding bushland. But, you’ll still enjoy a decent perspective of the pool and its cascade waterfall from the viewpoint.
From the lookout, simply retrace your steps back to the main track. You’ll then continue to the end of the track, where you’ll arrive at some rocks near the top of the waterhole.
At the end of the Minerva Pool Walking Track, you’ll enjoy sensational views overlooking the natural pool. By accessing the large rock platforms above the waterhole, you’ll get to see all the way down the pool. From this vantage point, you’ll also catch a glimpse of the cascade flowing into the pool, which is fed by Stokes Creek.
To get a better look at the waterfall, you’ll need to scramble down some rocks to get to the edge of the pool. You’ll also need to do this if you want to go for a swim.
Swimming in Minerva Pool
Before scrambling down the rocks to access the pool, you’ll pass a sign. It reiterates the wishes of the Tharawal Local Aboriginal Land Council, asking that ”only women and children… enter the waters”.
Whether you can go for a swim or not, we recommend heading down to the edge of the pool. As mentioned, from the base of the pool, you can get a better look at the gorgeous cascade flowing into the pool. You can also walk around the edge of the pool, exploring more of the serene area.
If your main goal is to visit Minerva Pool, then you can simply retrace your steps along the walking track to head back to the car park. Otherwise, if you’re keen to visit other natural gems in the Dharawal National Park, read on.
How to Find Nearby Natural Pools
After you’ve scoped out Minerva Pools, you have the option of exploring other nearby swimming holes too. These include The Weir and Jingga Pool. It’s worth knowing that there aren’t any cultural restrictions for swimming in these other natural pools. The Weir is located quite close to Minerva Pool, so let’s start there.
10T Management Trail to The Weir
To get to The Weir, you’ll simply retrace your steps along the walking track to arrive at the intersecting 10T Management Trail. You’ll then turn right, following the 10T Management Trail down to The Weir.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to visit The Weir. But, we’ve heard it’s a decent option for wild swimming. No, it isn’t as nice as Minerva Pool or Jingga Pool. But, if the other swimming holes are busy, The Weir is a good choice for a dip. Plus, as mentioned, there aren’t any cultural restrictions for swimming at The Weir.
Location: Google Maps
The Jingga Track (AKA the Jingga Walking Track) is another excellent bush walk in the Dharawal National Park. This walking track also starts from Victoria Road Trail and steeply descends towards Stokes Creek before following O’Hares Creek towards Jingga Pool.
Jingga Pool is another excellent swimming hole and wild swimming spot in the Dharawal National Park. But, Jingga Pool is far less known compared with Minerva Pool. At Jingga Pool, you’ll find a whole bunch of breathtaking cascades and waterfalls.
For more information about visiting Jingga Pool, read our Jingga Pool Guide. Yes, we enjoyed visiting this pool so much, that we wrote a whole guide about it!
How to Get to the Minerva Pool Walking Track
The only way to get to the walking track is by driving there. You’ll simply park at this car park, which is located at the end of Victoria Road in Wedderburn. There are enough roadside parking spots for around 15 vehicles or so. You can park there for free.
If you don’t have a car and want to visit Dharawal National Park, we recommend hiring one for the day.
If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.
It isn’t possible to use public transport to get to the Minerva Pool Walking Track. Unfortunately, Dharawal National Park isn’t serviced by any public transport.
Minerva Pool Walking Track: Facilities
There are some basic facilities at the Minerva Pool Walking Track, which are serviced and maintained by NSW National Parks. Near the start of the track, you’ll find a drop toilet near the picnic area. Other than an information board at the car park, there are no other facilities or amenities.
What to Pack
Make sure to pack plenty of water and snacks. Of course, you’ll want to pack your swimmers and a towel too. We also recommend wearing a hat, long sleeves, sunglasses and sunscreen. Otherwise, here are some of our hiking gear essentials.
Osprey Skarab 30
The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.
Osprey Ultralight Raincover
A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.
BUFF Original Ecostretch
The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.
To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.
Minerva Pool Walking Track FAQs
Below, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about the Minerva Pool Walking Track in Dharawal National Park.
Can You Swim in Dharawal National Park?
Yes, it’s possible to swim at Minerva Pool, The Weir and Jingga Pool. But, only women and children can swim in Minerva Pool.
Can Men Swim in Minerva Pools?
No, at the request of the Tharawal Local Aboriginal Land Council.
Why Is Minerva Pool Sacred?
It’s an area of importance to the Aboriginal culture.
How Hard Is the Minerva Pool Walking Track?
One-way, the Minerva Pool Walking Track length is only around 1.5km, so the walk isn’t too long or physically demanding. Given the distance, elevation and profile of the track, the walking track is considered easy.
We acknowledge and respect the First Nations people as the Traditional Custodians of the land/water that we visited and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.