Barrington Tops National Park

Walking

 

Walking in Barrington Tops National Park is a wonderful experience for both beginners and highly experienced walkers.

Walking tracks

Devils Hole lookout walk and picnic area

Wheelchair access: medium

Assistance may be required to access this area. The paved track is suitable for wheelchairs, and one picnic table is specifically designed for wheelchair access.

You’ll feel like you’re on the edge of the known world while standing on Devils Hole lookout in Barrington Tops National Park. Suitable for wheelchairs, the easy, paved track winds from Devils Hole campground and picnic area to a lookout platform with magnificent views over the vast World Heritage-listed wilderness. Between Scone and Gloucester, it’s a brilliant leg stretcher and picnic spot on a car tour of this unique region.

From the lookout, you’ll be standing where the mountains touch the sky. The snow-grassed montane woodland of the gentle Barrington plateau stretches behind, while dense forests, wild gorges, and ridges of the Barrington wilderness lie below. On a clear day, the view extends to the coast, over 90km to the east.

If the clear mountain air has kickstarted your appetite, stroll back and unpack the hamper at the picnic area. If you’re hungry for more scenery, try nearby Thunderbolts lookout.

Plant communities: dry eucalypt forests, grassy woodlands

Burraga Swamp walking track

Burraga Swamp walking track is a beautiful stroll to an intriguing natural wonder in Barrington Tops National Park, near Chichester State Forest. It’s well worth the effort for dedicated nature enthusiasts to take a tour of this remote wilderness area. Thousands of years ago, a massive landslip occurred off the steep western side of Mount Lumeah. Over the years, the ledge that was formed has filled with sediment, creating a hanging swamp - Burraga.

Today, the delicate grasses and sedges of Burraga Swamp are in sharp contrast to the ancient rainforest of Antarctic beech around it. The organic matter left here over centuries is valuable historical evidence to help us understand and learn about past climate and vegetation.

The walking track itself climbs gently through the beech forest, across a small saddle, and down to the southern edge of the swamp. It’s a great spot for a secluded picnic and some serious photography. Retrace your steps and explore the nearby Williams River region and Williams River picnic area.

Plant communities: rainforests, dry eucalypt forests

Location:  shown on park map

Honeysuckle Forest track

Short and sweet Honeysuckle Forest walking track is a delightful amble taking in the ancient rainforest in the northern section of Barrington Tops National Park, west of Gloucester. A perfect introduction to the plateau region, this easy walk from Honeysuckle picnic area is ideal, whether you’re into high mountain adventuring or taking a leisurely car tour on the plateau.

Passing through magnificent Antarctic beech forest with thickets of soft tree ferns, have a look for the beech orchid that grows in its upper branches. The moss covered trunks are a spectacular sight in the misty rain. Rainforest gives way to open forests of brown barrel with an understory of tall mountain banksia, also known as honeysuckle.

The crisp mountain air might stimulate your appetite, so unpack a picnic hamper and enjoy a relaxing lunch. If you’re hungry for scenic views, try Thunderbolts lookout and Devils Hole lookout walk and picnic area.

Plant communities: rainforests, dry eucalypt forests

Location:  shown on Polblue, Devils Hole map

Gloucester Falls walking track

When you’re hankering to get out of town, Gloucester Falls walking track is a perfect family day trip to the magnificent Gloucester Tops area in Barrington Tops National Park, near Gloucester. The kids will love the change of scenery with wonderful views of spectacular forests, mountains, and waterfalls on this short and easy walk.

From Gloucester Falls picnic area, the track leads through sub-alpine woodlands of snow gums to Andrew Laurie lookout where you can gaze across Gloucester River, and rugged tree-lined gorges to the Mountaineer peak in the east. A second lookout offers scenic vistas of the picturesque Gloucester Falls where the river plunges over the plateau to the valley below. The twin drops are breathtaking after rain.

If you’re still keen to explore the wild and beautiful Tops region, try nearby Antarctic Beech Forest walking track or combine all the routes on Gloucester Tops circuit.

Plant communities: rainforests, dry eucalypt forests, grassy woodlands

Location:  shown on Gloucester Tops map

Jerusalem Creek trail

For a revitalising walk through one of the largest sections of protected temperate and subtropical rainforest in Australia, try Jerusalem Creek trail World Heritage-listed Barrington Tops National Park, near Dungog. A medium track passing waterfalls and creeks, it’s a perfect nature break and excellent for birdwatching.

From Jerusalem Creek picnic area, head downhill through subtropical rainforest of towering tallowwoods and majestic Sydney blue gums. Listen out for the piping whistle of the eastern yellow robin and the call of the wompoo fruit-dove echoing through the canopy.

At picturesque Jerusalem Creek Falls, enjoy the scenic views from the lookout before retracing your steps or walking back via the road. Round off your walk with a hearty barbecue lunch on the shady tables at the picnic area.

Plant communities: rainforests, dry eucalypt forests

Location:  shown on park map

Antarctic Beech Forest walking track

Step through a portal into the other-worldly charms of Antarctic Beech Forest walking track near Gloucester Tops in Barrington Tops National Park. You’ll wander the lush landscape of the prehistoric Gondwana era on this medium walk near Gloucester, offering some spectacular birdwatching and scenic views.

Forming part of Gloucester Tops circuit, this medium track leads through airy sub-alpine woodlands of snow gums, before entering the shaded world of cool, temperate rainforest. The dense canopy of Antarctic beech is high above, vibrant moss carpets the ground, and the sharp smell of humus fills the air. Tree ferns crowd the track leading to some delightful, mossy cascades.

Dipping between forests of beech and eucalypt, this section is a favourite haunt of the rufous scrub-bird, one of Australia's rarest birds. Descending into a rocky gorge you’ll see wild white water crashing over dramatic black rocks. After a steep climb out, you’ll be ready to enjoy a bite at Gloucester Tops picnic area or Gloucester Falls picnic area.

Plant communities: rainforests, dry eucalypt forests, grassy woodlands

Location:  shown on Gloucester Tops map

Gloucester River walking track

This easy track is an ideal walk for a family getaway, and the rich nature wonderland is perfect for budding David Attenboroughs. Starting at Gloucester River campground, this walking track takes in the scenic river and nearby gullies, with great views, and plenty of chances for birdwatching and wildlife spotting.

Crossing the river, look for the shy platypus and long-necked tortoise before climbing uphill through paperbarks and towering Sydney blue gums. The cries of yellow-tailed black-cockatoos above the canopy often mingle with the ever-present sound of rushing rapids from below. You may hear the piping shrill of lyrebirds, and see the tell-tale signs of a satin bower bird nest.

Round off your walk with a swim and a riverside picnic and, if you’re hooked, make a weekend of it by camping overnight at Gloucester River campground and in the morning set out along Sharpes Creek walking track.

Plant communities: rainforests, dry eucalypt forests

Location:  shown on Gloucester River map

River walking track

River walking track is sure to delight the whole family on a nature escape in Barrington Tops National Park, a short drive from Gloucester. The easy track heads west into a shallow valley from Antarctic Beech Forest walking track to Gloucester Tops picnic area, in Gloucester Tops. The kids will love the chance to see wombats, while joining you in a spot of birdwatching.

Snow and mountain gums rise up from a carpet of snow grass and lomandra, while crimson rosellas often flit through the trees. In spring, the valley erupts with a colourful display of wildflowers, such as triggerplants, billy buttons, bluebells, and rice flowers. Crossing a creek, the track meets the quiet flowing Gloucester River. Stop here for a break and you might see wombats, grey kangaroos, and red-necked wallabies.

Stop for a picnic at Gloucester Tops picnic area before returning to your car via the road (0.8km). If you’re ready for more, join the nearby Gloucester Falls walking track to watch the river pour into the valley below.

Plant communities: grassy woodlands

Location:  shown on Gloucester Tops map

Polblue Swamp track

The Polblue Swamp track will take you on a short journey through the wetlands and high altitude forests of the Barrington Tops Plateau. You’ll see the smooth dark trunks of black sally, snow gums with scribbles on their bark and be dwarfed by the towering mountain gums.

From the forest edge, watch as grasses give way to a dense growth of sedges crowding the moss of the swamp. If you’re walking in spring or summer, you may see rare ground orchids along the track and it’s a good walk for spotting wombats and kangaroos.

You can start this easy walk from Polblue campground and picnic area.

Plant communities: dry eucalypt forests, grassy woodlands, grasslands, freshwater wetlands

Location:  shown on Polblue, Devils Hole map


Events, activities and alerts at this location
Commercial activity

Dam It Getaway Accommodation and Tours

Dam It Getaway Tours is a small, privately owned company offering tours into Barrington Tops National Park (including Gloucester Tops). We can run small tours for four people (minimum 2) in our 4WD, or up to 20 people in our bus. A package can be worked out to suit your needs; please contact us for more details.

More info: Dam It Getaway Accommodation & Tours, Phone: 02 6558 4272 (international +612 6558 4272)

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Blue Gum loop trail

This delightful track offers a soothing riverside walk through patches of untouched forest in Barrington Tops National Park. From Williams River picnic area, Blue Gum loop trail crosses the magnificent Williams River, winding past cascades, eucalypts, and rainforest before joining the southern end of Rocky Crossing walk.

While crossing a high steel span bridge, stop to take in the beautiful views of the river. Passing through vigorous young Sydney blue gums, you’ll see signs of past logging along the track. Further on, a short detour leads to scenic Fern Creek cascades, where you might be tempted to unroll the picnic blanket.

Back across the river, the track enters an enchanting patch of ancient rainforest. Be sure to look high in the moss-covered branches for birds nest ferns and orchids. Nearing the end of the path, huge Sydney blue gums soar above, with several short detours leading to secluded river spots, such as Crystal Pools. Round off your walk with a refreshing swim.

Directions: From the Williams River day use area, follow the paved track down to a high steel-span bridge over the river. This part of the track and the bridge itself are accessible to wheelchairs, and the bridge gives a fine view along the stream.

The track then climbs gently onto the valley slope and winds upstream around the hillside, dipping in and out of small gullies high above the river. Much of the vegetation is young wet eucalypt forest and subtropical rainforest.

Plant communities: rainforests, dry eucalypt forests

Location:  shown on Lagoon Pinch to Williams River map

Sharpes Creek walking track

An invigorating walk to enliven the senses, moderate Sharpes Creek walking track combines an environment of river, rainforest and gums with excellent wildlife and birdwatching. It's truly a great adventure for friends or family on a camping holiday, in the river country of Barrington Tops National Park near Gloucester River campground.

You’ll cross the creek several times, so keep an eye out for platypus and eastern water dragons. Smooth dark lumps of basalt stand out in the creek bed, carried down from the slopes above, creating an eye catching hump in the river. The track winds up through the valley as lush rainforest gives way to drier eucalypt forest.

Soak in the scenic views of the canopy and beyond as Sydney blue gums soar overhead. You may see rare rufous fantails or golden whistlers flitting among the trees. Retrace your steps or opt for the steep climb up to the road, lined with huge grass trees. For a longer loop add in the Gloucester River walking track then round off your day with a refreshing swim and a hearty barbecue beside the river.

Plant communities: rainforests, dry eucalypt forests

Location:  shown on Gloucester River map

Aeroplane Hill walking track

At an altitude of 1,500m, you’ll have your head in the clouds on this high country track that captures the rare beauty of the plateau region of Barrington Tops National Park, between Scone and Gloucester. From Junction Pools campground, Aeroplane Hill walking track takes in scenic woodlands and wetlands linking with spectacular Careys Peak lookout, where you can gaze out at views to the coast.

Crossing Barrington River, you’ll pass through snow grass studded with snow and mountain gums. Approaching Black Swamp campground, notice how the landscape changes, giving way to sedges. This unique sub-alpine area is a hotbed for rare and threatened species of plants and wildlife, with some only found in this region, such as the broad-toothed rat and several rare ground orchids.

Pitch your tent at walk-in Wombat Creek campground and enjoy a night under the stars, or retrace your steps to your car.

Plant communities: dry eucalypt forests, grassy woodlands, grasslands, freshwater wetlands

Location:  shown on Mount Barrington map

Careys Peak walking track

For an invigorating walk in the spectacular high country of Barrington Tops National Park, between Scone and Gloucester, you can’t miss Careys Peak walking track. The walk leads from Mount Barrington picnic area, along the eastern rim of the escarpment, to Careys Peak lookout.

This track winds through the wooded plateau country of majestic snow and mountain gums. Antarctic beech trees and remnants of the ancient Gondwana rainforests emerge over the edge of the cliff tops in several spots. Be sure to check out historic Careys Peak hut on your way to the summit.

Unpack a picnic lunch at the lookout and enjoy priceless views across the Barrington wilderness and Hunter Valley. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a wedge-tailed eagle surfing the thermals above the valley.

Plant communities: dry eucalypt forests, grassy woodlands

Location:  shown on Mount Barrington map

Gloucester Tops circuit

The Gloucester Tops circuit combines three popular and scenic walks in Barrington Tops National Park into a longer 7km circuit. It’s an excellent option for a shorter day walk and a great walk to get a sense of the astonishing diversity within the Gloucester Tops precinct of the park.

Setting out from Gloucester Falls picnic area along Gloucester Falls walking track you’ll walk through open snow gum woodland to Andrew Laurie lookout on the edge of the escarpment and on to Gloucester Falls lookout. Taking the River walking track, you’ll wander amid sub-alpine woodland. Look out for swamp wallabies and grey kangaroos along this walk, and in summer, the bluebells, rice flowers and billy buttons are an extra treat. The Antarctic Beech Forest walking track features cool temperate rainforest with the canopy of Antarctic beech towering above the tree ferns and damp carpet of moss on the forest floor.

As you walk each track together or individually, keep in mind that you are walking through part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. This landscape is millions of years old and plays a critical role in protecting rare and threatened species and sustaining vital resources.

See the track notes against each walk:

Plant communities: rainforests, dry eucalypt forests, grassy woodlands, grasslands, freshwater wetlands

Location:  shown on Gloucester Tops map

Rocky Crossing walk

This easy yet lengthy walking track offers subtropical delights as it winds through scenic Williams River valley from Williams River picnic area, with magnificent rainforest views. Take your time and experience a natural wonderland brimming with chances for wildlife spotting and birdwatching in the lush southern reaches of Barrington Tops National Park, near Dungog.

Setting out along Blue Gum loop trail, you will pass through a dense forest of sassafras, red cedar, and giant stinging trees, while listening for lyrebirds and eastern whipbirds. Notice the regeneration of young Sydney blue gums growing up among the older trees, evidence of past logging and fires.

Further along the scenic path, old gums soar above, reaching far beyond the canopy. The track descends to Rocky Crossing with its beautiful mudstone terraces, where Eastern water dragons are often seen. Picnic by the river or head up to Lagoon Pinch picnic area for a hearty lunch before retracing your steps.

Plant communities: rainforests, dry eucalypt forests

Location:  shown on Lagoon Pinch to Williams River map

Corker trail

It’s not called Corker trail for nothing. This is a high altitude, high-octane adventure walk for fit and experienced bushwalkers in the rugged mountain country of Barrington Tops National Park. This challenging track follows the ridgeline from Lagoon Pinch picnic area to Careys Peak on the Barrington Plateau. It won’t just be the scenery that will take your breath away.

Winding through a variety of vegetation, from tall open woodlands to lush rainforest and cool temperate stands of Antarctic beech, your vigorous effort will be rewarded with brilliant views near Corker Mountain. After that, the expansive snow gum woodlands, grassy plains, and swamps of the Barrington Tops plateau will roll out before you.

Why not pitch the tent at Wombat Creek campground, before taking in the inspiring views at Careys Peak lookout? Spend a night under the stars before heading back, or explore the plateau via a network of linked walks.

Plant communities: rainforests, dry eucalypt forests

Location:  shown on Mount Barrington map

Barrington trail

Fire/closure alerts currently apply to this location. See details below.

Barrington trail is a great drive or mountain bike, and there are spectacular views, an amazing array of forest habitats and clear mountain air to enjoy. Make sure you load your boot up with all your camping, walking and fishing gear to make the most of your visit to the park.

From October through to May every year the Barrington trail opens up to provide four-wheelers access to Little Murray campground (5km), Junction Pools campground (12.5km) and Mount Barrington picnic area (15km).

Stretch your legs along either Aeroplane Hill walking track or Careys Peak walking track. If you’re a keen photographer, bring your equipment along to capture misty forests, scenic streams and wonderfully varied bird and animal life.


Events, activities and alerts at this location
Closure

Annual winter 4WD trail closures in Barrington Tops

With the arrival of winter, a number of 4WD trails will be temporarily closed from 1 June until 1 October 2014. This includes the Barrington Trail (north and south), Paddys Ridge Trail, Butchers Swamp Trail, Thunderbolts Trail, Tugalow Trail and Bullock Brush Trail. The trails are closed annually during winter to protect them from damage and for visitor safety, given the likelihood of extreme weather over this time.

The temporary closures mean that there is no vehicle access to Little Murray, Junction Pools and Gummi Falls Camping Areas, during the winter. 

Winter is a fabulous time to visit Barrington Tops, and many popular areas are still open for exploring. 

For more information about the temporary trail closures, or visiting the park call NPWS at Gloucester on 6538 5300, or NPWS at Scone on 6540 2300.

Ends Wednesday 1 October, 8:00AM

Mountaineer-Glowang trail

Pining to get outdoors? If you love a challenging walk with spectacular views across pristine wilderness, then look no further than Mountaineer-Glowang trail. This day-long walk, from Wangat Road, winds through a spectacular array of landscapes, highlighting the best on offer in the southern region of Barrington Tops National Park.

It’s all mountain peaks and majestic views as you follow a rippling ridgeline. You’ll climb several peaks along this track, including The Mountaineer, with plenty of inspiring views across the vast wilderness region. Passing through blue gum, messmate, and Antarctic beech forests, you’ll notice how the vegetation changes dramatically with altitude.

After joining the Glowang trail, you’ll enter rainforests of coachwood and sassafrass, before climbing steeply with more spectacular views over the deep Gloucester River gorge. At Mount Nelson, the track descends, giving way to open woodlands before arriving at Gloucester Tops picnic area for a well-earned break.

Plant communities: rainforests, dry eucalypt forests, grassy woodlands

Location maps

Link Trail - Gloucester Tops to Careys Peak

When it’s time to get out of town and embrace the great outdoors, this spectacular walk in Barrington Tops National Park will have you singing its praises. Link trail – Gloucester Tops to Careys Peak connects famous Gloucester Tops with Barrington plateau, and is popular with experienced bushwalkers and mountain bikers alike.

Following a narrow tree-lined ridge that divides Kerrepit and Chichester Rivers, the moderate track passes several unique hanging swamps and forests of towering messmate and Antarctic beech. As you climb up towards the plateau, forests give way to sub-alpine snow gums. The steep climb to Careys Peak lookout rewards you with some of the most superb panoramic views in the park.

Perhaps you’ll want to rest those legs afterwards and stay overnight at Wombat Creek campground before heading back to rest at Gloucester Falls picnic area. Alternatively, a network of scenic walks offers the chance to explore the pristine high country.

Plant communities: rainforests, dry eucalypt forests, grassy woodlands

Location:  shown on park map

Walking: events and activities

Commercial activity

Auswalk

Auswalk offers quality accommodated walking holiday packages in many destinations.

Self-guided inn-to-inn walking holidays in the Blue Mountains and Snowy Mountains. Walk from one comfortable accommodation to the next through the national park. We move your luggage ahead for you. Follow our detailed walk notes and marked maps. Start any day of the year in season.

Group guided walking holidays in the Snowy Mountains. Join a group with two knowledgeable guides and hike through the area, staying in comfortable accommodation at night. We also have a spring snowshoeing trip in the Snowy Mountains.

Privately guided trips ranging from 1 to 5 days in the Sydney Harbour area and Blue Mountains.

More info: Auswalk, Phone: 03 5356 4971 (international +613 5356 4971)

As required
Commercial activity

Barrington Outdoor Adventure Centre

You'll be surrounded by mountain peaks and ranges shrouded in mist and hear the calls of bellbirds ringing across ridges. You'll ride rushing rapids through scenic gorges, go with the flow in slow streams, or follow little known trails carved through an old growth forest. Breathe deeply; you're filling your lungs with cool, fresh air and clearing your mind of clutter. You're in the Barringtons, just 3 hours north of Sydney, and with us you've finally found an experience worth having.

The Barrington Outdoor Adventure Centre offers you a range of exciting white water kayaking, canoeing and downhill mountain biking adventures that are easy for anyone to do. We provide a high quality outdoor experience with a friendly, personal and flexible service.

Please feel free to contact us for further information or to discuss your individual requirements.

More info: Barrington Outdoor Adventure Centre, Phone: 02 6558 2093 (international +612 6558 2093)

As required.
Commercial activity

Dam It Getaway Accommodation and Tours

Dam It Getaway Tours is a small, privately owned company offering tours into Barrington Tops National Park (including Gloucester Tops). We can run small tours for four people (minimum 2) in our 4WD, or up to 20 people in our bus. A package can be worked out to suit your needs; please contact us for more details.

More info: Dam It Getaway Accommodation & Tours, Phone: 02 6558 4272 (international +612 6558 4272)

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Commercial activity

Getabout Adventures

Experience natureJoin Getabout Adventures for a tour or training, and experience our award winning service. As the first nationally accredited tour operator in NSW, our tours are informative, fun and educational.

Our instructors and guides are committed to providing an enjoyable and safe experience. You can tag along in your own vehicle or join as a passenger in our luxury vehicles. Getabout with us and get an adventure of a lifetime!

More info: Getabout Adventures, Phone: 1300 660 320

As required
Commercial activity

Spirit Safaris

Outback & Wilderness ToursAustralian Outback & Wilderness Tours

One-day and extended small group tours in 4WD vehicles.

Private eco tours visit remote wilderness, Aboriginal rock art sites and wild nature.

More info: Spirit Safaris, Phone: 1300 763 188 (International +61417244600)

As requested