The park was reserved as part of the New South Wales Government’s forest reforms, which aim to establish a comprehensive, adequate and representative reserve system in NSW. Other parks in the region established under the same reforms are Chaelundi, Nymboi-Binderay and Dunggir National Parks.
Bellinger River National Park forms a continuous forested link between Dorrigo and New England National Parks, both of which are included as part of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves of Australia World Heritage Area. Bellinger River National Park is being considered for addition to this World Heritage property.
The natural floral diversity of the park includes subtropical, gully and dry rainforests, creating habitat for many species of fauna. At least ten animal species and one plant species listed as endangered or vulnerable on the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 are known to occur within the park. Six plant species listed nationally as rare or threatened also occur within the park.
The emphasis of management of the park is to protect and restore the natural and biophysical characteristics of the park, to provide a wildlife link between the adjoining Dorrigo and New England National Parks, and to manage the park as part of the regional system of reserves on the Great Escarpment.