Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Needles - Engadine

The Needles is a spot where there is a causeway across the Woronora River between Engadine and Barden Ridge. You can get to it from either the Barden Ridge side or the Engadine side. It is one of our favourite places to go with our dogs, because it's not far to walk, the road is sealed most of the way on the Engadine side, so it's pretty easy going aside from being a massive hill, and the river is lovely. Dogs should be on leash only, but one side of the causeway is deep and the other is shallow, so every dog can have the water how they like it. It also a popular swimming spot for people, so you can swim with your dog if that's how you roll.

If you're coming from the Engadine side, the most direct route is to park where Mt Carmel Pl comes off Woronora Rd. There is a gate here to prevent vehicle traffic. The orange dot on the map below is where you can park. If you're coming from the Barden Ridge side, you can park somewhere on Thomas Mitchell Dr and find your way to the fire trail. It's not as obvious where it is from this side, but you'll find it.

For a longer walk, you can come to it from Waterboard Rd, which follows the Woronora pipeline. Park in Kelton St in Woronora Heights where there is another gate and the road down is steep and sealed. I'm not sure where you can access Waterboard Rd from Engadine, as I think there are a few places.

The Needles is where the causeway crosses the Woronora River between Woronora Rd and Old Illawarra Rd.


It can be as short as about a 700m walk down from Woronora Rd to the causeway, or it can be a lengthy hike, depending on what you feel up to, as there are several fire trails and smaller walking trails in the area. The fire trails you can usually see on Google Maps or similar, but the smaller walking trails are harder to find and may take a bit of exploring. You may end up with wet feet, or a bit of bush bashing, or navigating a rock wall. That is the joy of this region!


It is bushy and so comes with all the usual related hazards. We have seen Brown Snakes on the side of the road, a python, and been warned about Red-bellied Black Snakes by the river. There may be ticks in the area, so make sure your dog has a tick collar and check them afterwards to be safe, particularly in spring and summer. There are also dirt bikes sometimes. The council appears to be trying to keep them out, but they often find a way. Most bikers only go as far as the causeway from the Barden Ridge side, then turn around and go back. The Engadine side is usually clear. 

Kivi and Erik sitting on the causeway after a paddle in the river.

Other dogs and owners

It is moderately common to see another dog on the road or down at The Needles, although sometimes you can have the place to yourselves. It is less common to see other dogs on the surrounding trails, but often those you do see are not entirely friendly and may be off leash. We have never had any particularly scary moments, but it pays to be alert. 

Further notes

There is a fair bit of wildlife around. Apart from the snakes, we have also seen a Lace Monitor, and turtles and water dragons down by the river. If you're into birds, this is a pretty good spot. It's not unusual to see Rock Warblers down at the river if it's quiet, and there are Lyrebirds in the gullies. Please be careful with your dogs and don't let them chase the wildlife. 

Rock Warblers can be found around the river. Image source.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing! We took our dogs down today and they loved it.