Rocky Crossing walk

Barrington Tops National Park

Overview

Rocky Crossing walk along Williams River offers scenic rainforest views, wildlife and birdwatching on a long easy track in Barrington Tops National Park, near Dungog.

Where
Barrington Tops National Park
Distance
16km return
Time suggested
6 - 8hrs
Grade
Grade 4
Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note

This challenging 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.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/rocky-crossing-walk/local-alerts

Park info

  • in Barrington Tops National Park in the North Coast and Country NSW regions
  • Barrington Tops National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

    • Gloucester
      (02) 6538 5300
      Contact hours: 8.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday
    • 59 Church Street, Gloucester NSW
    • Fax: (02) 6558 2476
    More
    • Nelson Bay
      (02) 4984 8200
      Contact hours: 8.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday
    • Level 1, 12B Teramby Road, Nelson Bay NSW
    • Fax: (02) 4981 5918
    More
    • Scone
      (02) 6545 1128
      Contact hours: 8.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday
    • 20 Hayes Street, Scone NSW 2337
    • Fax: (02) 6545 1912
    More
See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Rocky Crossing walk.

Track grading

Grade 4

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    6 - 8hrs

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Very steep

  • Distance

    16km return

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Rough track, many obstacles

  • Experience required

    Some bushwalking experience recommended

Getting there and parking

Rocky Crossing walk starts from Williams River picnic area in the Lagoon Pinch to Williams River precinct of Barrington Tops National Park. To get there:

  • Take Chichester Dam Road from Dungog for approximately 10km
  • Turn left into Salisbury Road
  • Continue on for approximately 30km and look for the signs to the picnic area

Alternatively, if starting from Lagoon Pinch picnic area:

  • Take Chichester Dam Road from Dungog for approximately 10km
  • Turn left into Salisbury Road
  • Continue on for approximately 40km, taking Williams Top Road, and follow the signs to the picnic area.

Parking

Parking is available at Williams River picnic area, including a designated disabled spot.

Best times to visit

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

Autumn

Take to the park's walking tracks to make the most of cooler and drier daytime weather.

Spring

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

Summer

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

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Bushwalking safety

If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

River and lake safety

The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

Strong currents may be present along Williams River – take care in the water and please supervise children at all times.
All sites on the river are very slippery with deep pools and rapids, so take great care, especially with children.

Prohibited

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the OEH pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Learn more

Rocky Crossing walk is in Barrington Tops National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

World Heritage-listed rainforests

Rocky crossing, Barrington Tops National Park. Photo: John Spencer

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.

  • Antarctic Beech Forest walking track Antarctic Beech Forest walking track offers rainforest, cascades, scenic views, and birdwatching in Barrington Tops National Park, near Gloucester.
  • Careys Peak walking track Easy Careys Peak walking track offers picnicking, scenic views, birdwatching, and historic heritage in the sub-alpine region of Barrington National Park, near Scone.

An ancient landscape

Thunderbolts lookout, Barrington Tops National Park. Photo: John Spencer

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, lilly pilly 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.

A dramatic wilderness

Barrington Tops National Park. Photo: John Spencer

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 edges of the wilderness area 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 east and south from the plateau like the fingers of an outstretched hand.

  • Barrington trail Take the challenge of the Barrington Trail, a 4WD trail in Barrington Tops National Park. Open between October and May every year, plan your 4WD camping holiday now.
  • Gloucester Tops circuit Walk through snow gum woodland and ancient rainforest to lookouts and waterfalls, along the Gloucester Tops circuit. This 8km loop combines 3 popular and scenic walks in Barrington Tops National Park.
  • Rocky Crossing walk Rocky Crossing walk along Williams River offers scenic rainforest views, wildlife and birdwatching on a long easy track in Barrington Tops National Park, near Dungog.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  •  Superb lyrebird, Minnamurra Rainforest, Budderoo National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)

    With a complex mimicking call and an elaborate courtship dance to match, the superb lyrebird is one of the most spectacular Australian animals. A bird watching must-see, the superb lyrebird can be found in rainforests and wet woodlands across eastern NSW and Victoria.

  • Swamp wallaby, Murramarang National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor)

    The swamp wallaby, also known as the black wallaby or black pademelon, lives in the dense understorey of rainforests, woodlands and dry sclerophyll forest along eastern Australia. This unique Australian macropod has a dark black-grey coat with a distinctive light-coloured cheek stripe.

  • Common wombat. Photo: Ingo Oeland

    Common wombat (Vombatus ursinus)

    A large, squat marsupial, the Australian common wombat is a burrowing mammal found in coastal forests and mountain ranges across NSW and Victoria. The only other remaining species of wombat in NSW, the endangered southern hairy-nosed wombat, was considered extinct until relatively recently.

  • Australian brush turkey, Sea Acres National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Australian brush turkey (Alectura lathami)

    The Australian brush turkey, also known as bush or scrub turkey, can be found in rainforests along eastern NSW. With a striking red head, blue-black plumage and booming call, these distinctive Australian birds are easy to spot while bird watching in several NSW national parks.

  • Eastern common ringtail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)

    Commonly found in forests, woodlands and leafy gardens across eastern NSW, the Australian ringtail possum is a tree-dwelling marsupial. With a powerful tail perfectly adapted to grasp objects, it forages in trees for eucalypt leaves, flowers and fruit.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

Rocky Crossing, Barrington Tops National Park. Photo: John Spencer/NSW Government