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Gibraltar Range National Park

“This park offers great hiking and loads of mountain biking opportunities. Best of all are the places to kick back afterwards and enjoy the gorgeous setting over a barbecue.”

Gibraltar Range has so many plants and animals descended from the dinosaur age, that it’s part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, a series of parks and reserves stretching from Barrington Tops to southern Queensland. That’s only the start of what makes this a remarkable place.

Strike out on a mountain biking track past huge granite outcroppings that oversee ancient rainforest. Swim in creeks surrounded by signs of early colonial history. Camp in fragrant woodlands and listen to giant barred frogs during their nightly chorus. Take a morning walk for the waratahs and Christmas bells, or stock the backpack and embark on a rugged adventure for many days. There are sweeping lookouts and swooping yellow-belled gliders, a comfortable homestead for hire and plenty of picnic spots to settle down with the family on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Gibraltar Range National Park is a rarity; historic and appealing to a modern audience, a treasure for heritage buffs, naturalists, adventure junkies, and people just looking for a quiet place to appreciate the wonders of the state.

Highlights
 

Why you should visit

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

Years in the making
Long stewarded through history by Aboriginal people in the area, the Gibraltar Range continues to hold significance for contemporary descendants. The Range is rich in cultural sites and sacred places, with Aboriginal groups having moved regularly between the tablelands and coastal plains, conducting ceremonies and gathering food along the way.

Lands of plenty
The European heritage of the park may be shorter, but look around and you’ll find its traces clearly etched in the natural environment. Living around the range are direct descendants of graziers, lumberers and miners who made their livings here. Bullock teams and horses once struggled through the bush and granite tors, attempting to tame a landscape that today inspires for its wild ruggedness. Evidence of their work can be glimpsed at Mulligans campground, where an aborted hydro-electric scheme from the 1900s is memoralised by a remaining hut and several weirs. Hikers on the wide-reaching Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk might also notice relics of pre-WWII tin and gold-mining operations in the Grassy Creek area.

World Heritage Area
Part of the Gondwana Rainforests Reserves of Australia, Gibraltar Range is listed on the World Heritage register for rainforest plants that have existed since Australia was part of the Gondwana super-continent. Gibraltar Range National Park is home to several threatened species of animal: the endangered giant barred frog, which can grow to the size of a small adult’s hand; and glossy black cockatoos, under threat from a loss of breeding habitat. Feeding locations are very important to the continuing survival of the cockatoo.

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Getting there

 Car

From Glen Innes:

  • If travelling along the New England Highway, the park is best accessed via the Gwydir Highway, turning east at the roundabout in the middle of town and follow the signs towards Grafton.

From Grafton

  • If travelling via the Pacific Highway, turn west onto the Gwydir Highway in Grafton and follow the signs to Glen Innes. You will cross the Mann River at Jackadgery; follow it for a while before climbing up the escarpment to the tablelands.

 Opening times

Gibraltar Range National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather, road damage, or high fire danger.

 Fees

Vehicle entry fees

In this park, vehicle entry fees are $7 per vehicle per day. The park uses a self-registration system where you will need to put fees into an envelope and display your receipt, so please bring enough notes and coins.

 Close to

Gibraltar Range National Park is close to:

  • Glen Innes (68km)
  • Grafton (92km)

 Public transport

Gibraltar Range National Park is accessible by bus from Glen Innes or Grafton. For information about public transport options, visit the NSW country transport info 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 Gibraltar Range National Park. Here are some of the highlights:

Spring (Sept, Oct, Nov)

  • The most popular time of the year to visit, spring sees the park erupt into a vibrant display of wildflowers, including the Gibraltar waratah.

Summer (Dec, Jan, Feb)

  • Take in an early morning bushwalk before the day heats up, then cool down in one of the many waterways, like the Little Dandahra Creek.

Winter (Jun, Jul, Aug)

  • It can be below freezing at night, but the daytime temperatures make this the best time of the year to take in some of the longer treks like the Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk.

 Temperature

Summer

  • The average temperature ranges between 13°C and  24.1°C
  • The area's highest recorded temperature in summer is 35°C

Winter ­

  • The average temperature ranges between 1°C and 13.2°C
  • The area’s lowest recorded temperature in winter is -8.9°C

 Rainfall

  • The wettest month on average is January, the driest is August.
  • The area's highest recorded rainfall is 258.4mm in one day

Safety

Glen Innes

Phone: 02 6739 0700
Street address: 68 Church Street, Glen Innes NSW
Opening hours: 8:30 am-4:30 pm, Monday-Friday

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Dandahra Crags, Gibraltar Range National Park. Photo: seenaustralia.com.au