Deua National Park
A rugged, scenic area of mountain ranges, bisected plateaus and both wild and gentle rivers, much of which is listed as wilderness. Deua's rivers are popular for canoeing trips and its limestone belt attracts caving enthusiasts.
Deua National Park features some of the best walking tracks like the Big Hole and Marble Arch, the Bendethera Caves, and incredible camping at Bendethera Valley and Deua River campgrounds.
The lower eastern slopes of Deua Valley are forested with a variety of eucalypts, stretching upward where they are dissected by wild rivers, rugged mountains, deep gorges, dry ridges, steep escarpments, limestone karst and high plateaus. These are just some of the diverse landforms you'll find in the Deua.
The Big Hole may have once been a cave until the ceiling collapsed and now is a 96m deep and 50m wide pit. Marble Arch has a car-sized boulder over its entrance and inside this cave are animal remains believed to be thousands of years old. Bendethera Cave reaches over 250m into the mountain side. It's up to 320m wide ceilings up to 15m high, containing impressive limestone formations in its dark caverns.
The unique geology and foundations of the park support unusual and rare species of gum trees, like the woila and jilliga ash. The limestone that forms the slopes of the Bendethera Valley is the only known habitat of Bendethera wattle; a magnificent sight when they display their spring blossoms. Drier and cooler climes allow pinkwoods and soft tree ferns to flourish in the higher altitudes of the eastern escarpments. Grey myrtle, lilly pilli and mock olives line the small creeks and gullies throughout the park.
Deua is home to over 106 species of birds with a particularly high diversity of birds of prey including the powerful owl and the peregrine falcon. The powerful owl is Australia's largest owl and the peregrine falcon is the fastest creature in the animal kingdom, reaching up to 300km/hr in high-speed dives hunting its prey.
For more information about the park visit NSW National Parks website.
Below: Creek crossing in the Deua forest.