NOTE: As at 30-12-2019 the dams are currently closed due to fire danger. Please check
http://www.darganscreekreserve.org.au/ for updates prior to visiting
Walk in: Easy 5min Photos from a visit on 11/12/17
Popularity: Very. Weekends and public holidays can get very busy, though if it’s crowded the upper dam is far less visited but still good for a swim and the jump is far more intimadating.
Jumps: Any thing from 0.5m up to 10m
Drive: some dirt can get a bit corrugated and pot holed
One of our favourite places for an afternoon dip the Dargan Crk Railway dams, more popularly known as Clarence Dam, are just off the Bells Line of Road near Clarence. There are exposed cliff lines so care needs to be taken with kids and pets.
A popular climbing area, the dam cliffs, it is good for everything from a lazy float on a lilo to heart stopping leaps into the deep water.
I’m always cautious of jumping off the top ledge to far to the right as I do know people who have bottomed out there but the majority of jumps are into very deep water.
Rope swings abound. If liloing or floating around on a donut (or wanting a bit of a longer swim) the paddle up to the upper dam wall is interesting.
The water tends to be cold but I always find it less so early in the season. My theory is the more people there jumping the more the cold water from the bottom is stirred up.
Getting there: From Lithgow, drive up through Clarence, pass the turn off to Clarence Colliery on the left and then turn off to the right after crossing the bridge over the rail railway…
From Bell take the Bells Line (Chifley rd) toward Clarence. After about 6km turn left just before a small bridge over the rail way…
Now follow tar around corner down to the locked gate and go left onto dirt. Go right at the T intersection and the road parallels the rail access road. About 700m on veer R at the 3 way intersection (Straight goes down to the top dam)
You will come to a big clearing with the rail fence on the right, you can park here and in peak times you may have to. Take the left down to the main car park then follow the road down to the right on foot.
The canyon down stream is also worth checking out if you have the right gear. It has some down climbs where a rope maybe handy and the climb out is a little exposed but it is a very pretty canyon and if you are good at scrambling it can be reversed up instead of doing the climb out. Wetsuits are recommended as the water is cool and there isn’t much sun in the constriction