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Barrington Tops National Park

Important information

Alerts for Barrington Tops National Park: closed areas

Details

Updated: 21/07/2014 11:18 AM

“I love escaping to the dramatic landscape of Barrington Tops, the rainforests totally immerse you."

The rainforests of Barrington Tops National Park are of international significance; forming part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. Carved out of ancient volcanic flows, the park rises from near sea level to over 1500m and protects one of the largest temperate rainforests in mainland Australia, along with a host of diverse habitats and wide range of birds and animals.

The park is a bushwalker’s paradise, with an excellent walking track network that includes short and easy walks to more difficult overnight hikes, with plenty of sites to set up a bush camp for the evening.

For those visiting for the day, there are lots of picnic and barbecue areas to enjoy, cycling trails to be explored and views from the park’s lookouts that need to be seen to be believed. Fishing is a popular activity in the park between October and May; you might catch a rainbow or brown trout.

Highlights
 

Why you should visit

Barrington Tops National Park is a special place, here are just some of the reasons why:

An ancient landscape
Barrington Tops National Park and the adjoining State Conservation Area are the traditional land of several Aboriginal groups, including the Worimi and Biripi people, the Gringai clan of the Worimi people and Wonnarua people. The rainforests of Barrington Tops offered a wealth of resources for Aboriginal people, including many edible fruits, like the native cherry, lillypilly and figs. Today, the history of Aboriginal people in Barrington Tops is recorded in oral history and in the presence of Aboriginal sites. Barrington Tops National Park protects ancient campsites, scarred trees and sacred ceremonial places.

World Heritage-listed rainforests
The rainforests in Barrington Tops National Park are part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area; the most extensive strip of diverse rainforest anywhere on earth. The World Heritage Area is a direct window into the past and the future, providing a link to the ancient pre-human world and a stunning and irreplaceable record of life on our planet. You can explore the rainforest on one of the park’s many walking tracks, like the Honeysuckle Forest track, the Rocky Crossing walk or the Antarctic Beech Forest track. Listen out for the lyrebird whose mimicking calls ring out through the rainforest.

A dramatic wilderness
Most of Barrington Tops National Park is declared wilderness; large, natural areas of land that, together with their native plants and animal communities, remain essentially unchanged by modern human activity. Wilderness areas in NSW represent the largest, most pristine natural areas within NSW – the last of Australia’s wild and untamed places. The wilderness areas of Barrington Tops are easily accessible; some of the most spectacular views in the park are from Careys Peak and Devils Hole and Thunderbolts lookouts. You’ll notice the varied textures of the forest below you, with the ranges of the Barrington Wilderness running south from the plateau like the fingers of an outstretched hand.

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Alerts

closed areas

Annual winter 4WD trail closures in Barrington Tops (Ends Wednesday 1 October)

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.
Locations affected: Junction Pools campground, Little Murray campground, Gummi Falls campground, Barrington trail
Gloucester Falls walk partially closed
Due to severe damage from an uprooted tree, the loop walk at Gloucester Falls in Barrington Tops National Park remains temporarily closed. Visitors can still access the lookouts.
For more information contact the NPWS Gloucester office on 6538 5300.
Winter Road Conditions
Visitors are advised to be prepared for extreme weather and driving conditions when visiting Barrington Tops over the winter months.  As a bare minimum people should take with them:
  • Additional warm clothing
  • Food and water sufficient for all members of the party for the duration of the stay – with some reserve for unforseen circumstances
  • 3G or equivalent telephone capable of transmitting from remote areas (be aware that phone reception is extremely unreliable in most areas of the Barrington wilderness)
 Additionally, walkers are advised only to attempt trips within the capability of their equipment and experience and to carry:
  • Up to date maps
  • Compass and/or hand held GPS
  • Suitable footwear
All people entering remote areas, whether by vehicle or on foot, should inform a family member or other responsible person of their travel plans and expected date and time of return.
 Visitors are also reminded that condition of the roads in Barrington Tops National Park can vary, depending on weather and level of use. This includes Barrington Tops Forest Road, which at times can be corrugated with potholes. Motorists are advised to be prepared for variable road conditions at all times, and to drive carefully according to conditions,  includes reducing speed.
For more information contact Gloucester Visitor Information Centre on (02) 6558 1408, the Scone Visitor Information Centre on (02) 6540 1300, or call National Parks and Wildlife at Gloucester on (02) 6538 5300 / Scone on (02) 6540 2300.

Getting there

 Car

Southern Barrington Tops:

From Dungog, take Chichester Dam Road for about 10km before turning left on Salisbury Road. After about 27km, you'll reach the Lagoon Pinch to Williams River precinct of the park.

Eastern Barrington Tops:

From Gloucester, take Bucketts Way before turning right onto Gloucester Tops Road. After about 30km, you’ll reach the Gloucester River precinct of the park, and further on you’ll find the Gloucester Tops precinct.

Northern Barrington Tops:

From Gloucester, take Thunderbolts Way, which becomes Scone Road and Barrington Tops Road. After about 45km, you'll reach Cobark picnic area. Continue on for other sites within Polblue and Devils Hole precinct of the park.

From Scone, take Barrington Tops Forest Road. You can reach the Barrington Tops precinct by turning left onto Barrington trail from Barrington Tops Forest Road.

Please note: Visitors are advised the condition of the gravel roads in Barrington Tops National Park can vary, depending on weather and level of use. This includes Barrington Tops Forest Road, which at times can be corrugated with potholes. Motorists are advised to be prepared for variable road conditions at all times, and to drive carefully according to conditions (this includes reducing speed). For more information about road conditions in the area, contact Gloucester Visitor Information Centre on (02) 6558 1408, NPWS at Gloucester on (02) 6538 5300, Scone Visitor Information Centre on (02) 6540 1300, or NPWS at Scone on (02) 6540 2300.

Get driving directions

Go

 Opening times

Barrington Tops National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

 Close to

Barrington Tops National Park is close to:

  • Dungog (37km)
  • Gloucester (42km)
  • Scone (70km)
  • Sydney (320km)

 Public Transport

For information about public transport options, visit the NSW Country Transport website.

 Bike

Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

Weather and climate

 Visiting through the seasons

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Barrington Tops National Park. Here are some of the highlights:

Spring (Sept, Oct, Nov)

  • Look out for ground orchids and other wildflowers along the Polblue Swamp walking track

Summer (Dec, Jan, Feb)

  • Look out for the eastern water dragon basking on rocks around the streams

Autumn (Mar, Apr, May)

  • Take to the park’s walking tracks to make the most of cooler and drier daytime weather

 Temperature

Summer

  • The average temperature ranges between 17°C and  26°C

Winter ­

  • The average temperature ranges between 7°C and 12°C

Note: The Barrington Tops plateau is at high altitude, and can experience cold weather at any time of year, and very cold weather and snowfalls during the cooler months.

 Rainfall

  • The wettest month on average is February, the driest month on average is July
  • The area's highest recorded rainfall is 261.6mm in one day

Safety

Gloucester

Phone: 02 6538 5300
Street address: 59 Church Street, Gloucester NSW
Opening hours: 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday


Nelson Bay

Phone: 02 4984 8200
Street address: Level 1, 12B Teramby Road, Nelson Bay NSW
Opening hours: 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday


Scone

Phone: 02 6540 2300
Street address: 137 Kelly Street, Scone NSW 2337
Opening hours: 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday

Close
 
 
View from Thunderbolt's lookout, Barrington Tops National Park. Photo: Hamilton Lund