Nightcap National Park

Landscape and Geology

This World Heritage national park, with its spectacular massif of peaks, ridges and gullies, delineates the southern edge of the 20 million year-old Mount Warning shield volcano.

Where to see some of the park's landscapes and features

Minyon Falls lookout

Wheelchair access: easy

This area is fully wheelchair accessible

  • The lookout is accessible, as are the picnic area and toilets

The view from Minyon Falls in Nightcap National Park (Image: J Miller/DECCW)The view from Minyon Falls lookout is simply stunning; not only of the falls themselves, but on a clear day you might be lucky to see all the way out to the coast.

From the lookout, watch as the flow cascades over Minyon Falls to a deep palm-shaded gorge roughly 100m below. The tops of the cliffs are forested with Australian eucalypts, like blackbutt and scribbly gum and at the base is a beautiful natural pool that was made for swimming.

Minyon Falls is a great place for a quick stop, but if you’d like to spend longer at this pretty place, there's a picnic area with plenty of shady trees, barbecues and picnic tables. There are also a couple of bushwalks that leave from the picnic area, including  Boggy Creek walk, which takes you to Rummery Park campground, and Minyon Falls loop walk, which takes you down to the base of the falls.

Activities: picnics and barbecues, walking

Location:  shown on Minyon Falls map

Getting there: Minyon Falls lookout is in the eastern precinct of Nightcap National Park. To get there:

From the eastern park entrance (via Rosebank):

  • Follow Minyon Drive to Minyon Falls picnic area
  • It is a short walk from the carpark to the lookout

From the southern park entrance on Nightcap Range Road (via Dunoon):

  • Follow Nightcap Range Road north up to the top of the range, following the signs to Rummery Park campground.
  • Continue on Minyon Drive past Peates Mountain Road, crossing the causeway to Minyon Falls picnic area.
  • It is a short walk from the carpark to the lookout

Road access: Unsealed road/trail - 2WD vehicles.

Facilities: picnic tables, gas/electric barbecues, non-flush toilets, lookout, carpark, trackhead/access point

Minyon Grass picnic area

Minyon Grass picnic area, Nightcap National Park (Image: L Walker/OEH)On the eastern edge of Nightcap National Park, near Lismore, Minyon Grass picnic area has beautiful views of the cascading falls and the surrounding forest. It’s a little quieter than popular Minyon Falls lookout, making it ideal for wildlife and birdwatching enthusiasts.

Take advantage of the free gas barbecues, as well as picnic tables, and enjoy a leisurely lunch on the edge of the rainforest. Look skywards for soaring peregrine falcons, or to the forest floor for brush turkeys and Albert’s lyrebird. Male Albert's lyrebirds have long, ribbon-like tail plumes. You might even hear the call of the threatened Fleay’s barred frog.

If you feel like a walk, head along Minyon loop and enjoy the invigorating waterfalls close up. The pools at the base of Minyon Falls are a great spot for a refreshing swim on a hot summer day.

Activities: walking, mountain biking, motor vehicle use, swimming, birdwatching, picnics and barbecues

Location:  shown on Minyon Falls map

Getting there: Minyon Grass picnic area is in the eastern precinct of Nightcap National Park. To get there:

From Bangalow

  • Follow Bangalow–Lismore Road to Clunes. Turn right onto James Gibson Road, right onto Mackie Road, and then right onto Rosebank Road.
  • Drive through Rosebank village and follow Repentance Creek Road, turn left onto Upper Coopers Creek Road, and then left onto Minyon Falls Road.
  • Continue on this road until you reach the park entrance and Minyon Grass picnic area is on the left. 

From Lismore

  • Head north on Dunoon Road through the villages of Modanville, Dunoon and Doroughby.
  • Just past Dorroughby Hall, turn left onto Nightcap Range Road and follow through to Whian Whian State Conservation Area entrance.
  • Continue until you reach the Peates Mountain Road intersection, where you’ll pass Minyon Falls picnic area. Minyon Grass picnic area is a further 1.7km. 

From the north

  • Turn right onto Coolamon Scenic Drive, off Pacific Highway. At the village of Federal, continue north along Federal Road then turn left onto Repentance Creek Road.
  • After Coopers Creek crossing, turn right onto Upper Coopers Creek Road then left onto Minyon Falls Road.
  • Continue on this road until you reach the national park entrance. Minyon Grass picnic area is at the top of the hill on the left. 

Road access: Unsealed road/trail - 2WD vehicles.

Facilities: picnic tables, amenities block, lookout, gas/electric barbecues (free), carpark, trackhead/access point

Mount Nardi picnic area

It’s a long and winding road through lush rainforest to get to Mount Nardi picnic area, but on arrival you’ll know it is well worth it. This picnic area is the highest point in Nightcap National Park, and the view through the clearings of the Northern Rivers district, taking in Lismore and Nimbin, is superb.

The cleared, grassy picnic area is surrounded by tall trees, including towering booyong, also known as tulip oak, as well as maiden’s blush, with its cream flowers that appear in October and November. It’s also the starting point for a range of hikes including Mount Matheson loop, Pholis Gap and Nightcap walking tracks.

You might see some rainforest locals as you’re having lunch as brightly coloured rainforest pigeons are common, as is the tiny eastern yellow robin. Small marsupials like potoroos and pademelons also live in the surrounding forest.

Activities: walking, mountain biking, road cycling, motor vehicle use, birdwatching, picnics and barbecues

Location:  shown on park map

Getting there: Mount Nardi picnic area is in the north-east of Nightcap National Park. To get there:

  • From Nimbin, take Sibley Street past the bowling club (the street turns into Gungas Street).
  • Turn right onto Tuntable Falls Road (signposted 'Mount Nardi').
  • Travel straight along Tuntable Falls Road, which turns onto Newton Drive.
  • The park entrance is about 5km along Newton Drive, and the carpark for Mount Nardi picnic area is about another kilometre at the summit.
  • Although sealed, Newton Drive is narrow, can become slippery when wet and fog can also affect visibility.

Road access: Sealed road - 2WD vehicles.

Facilities: picnic tables, carpark, trackhead/access point

Rummery Park campground

Wheelchair access: easy

The area is fully wheelchair accessible. There are disabled-friendly toilets and there is bridge access across Boggy Creek in the central area of the campground.

Camp in the rainforest at Rummery Park camping area in Whian Whian State Conservation Area (Image: B. McLachlan/DECCW)Rummery Park campground is a small but well-equipped spot for camping near Lismore.

This campground, ideal for families, is the perfect place to base yourself if you want to enjoy the many fantastic trails within Whian Whian State Conservation Area and Nightcap National Park. From here, you can take a short walk along Boggy Creek track to the beautiful Minyon Falls lookout. You can also go car touring or birdwatching, or just sit back and enjoy a peaceful, relaxing camping experience.

Make friends with the kookaburras resting in the surrounding gum, pine and kauri trees – you might even spot a koala while you’re looking. Other animals that visit the campground include goannas, lorikeets, and possums. When you’re hungry, strike up one of the gas barbecues at Rummery Park campground.

Find out more about Nightcap National Park.

Activities: walking, mountain biking, motor vehicle use, horse riding, birdwatching, picnics and barbecues, swimming

Location:  shown on Minyon Falls map

Getting there: Rummery Park campground is in the eastern precinct of Whian Whian State Conservation Area. To get there:

From the eastern park entrance (via Rosebank):

  • Take Minyon Drive, past Minyon Falls picnic area, over the causeway.
  • Continue along Minyon Drive until you reach the Peates Mountain Road intersection
  • Turn right into Peates Mountain Road and the campground is approximately 100m to the north (approximately 4km).

From the southern park entrance on Nightcap Range Road (via Dunoon):

  • Continue north up Nightcap Range Road to the top of the range
  • Turn left into Peates Mountain Road and the campground is approximately 100m north (approximately 5km).
  • Please note that the Peates Mountain Road link to Gibbergunyah Range Road is not suitable for caravan or camper trailer access

Both entrances have directional signposting to the campground.

Road access: Unsealed road/trail - 2WD (no long vehicle access).

Facilities: picnic tables, wood barbecues (bring your own firewood), fire rings (bring your own firewood), gas/electric barbecues (free), non-flush toilets, amenities block, lookout, carpark, trackhead/access point

Water supply: bringing your own water is recommended. The campground has a rainwater tank but water, if available, is not suitable for drinking.

Camping fees: $10 per adult per night. $5 per child per night.

Bookings: Bookings are not available for this campground.