Barrington Tops National Park

Overview

Immerse yourself in the World Heritage-listed rainforests of Barrington Tops National Park. Easy walks, overnight hikes, great picnic, fishing and camping spots await.

Read more about Barrington Tops National Park

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.

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/visit-a-park/parks/barrington-tops-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

  • 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
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    • 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
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    • Scone
      (02) 6545 1128
      Contact hours: 8.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday
    • 20 Hayes Street, Scone NSW 2337
    • Fax: (02) 6545 1912
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See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Barrington Tops National Park.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions
    • 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 Forest 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) 6538 5252, NPWS at Gloucester on (02) 6538 5300, Scone Visitor Information Centre on (02) 6540 1300, or NPWS at Scone on (02) 6540 2300.

    Park entry points

    Parking Show more

    By bike

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

    By public transport

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

    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.

    Facilities

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

    Alpine safety

    If you're planning on heading to Barrington Tops National Park in winter, check out our Alpine safety tips.

    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, you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    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.

    Nearby towns

    Dungog (20 km)

    Dungog is a country town with character, backed by magnificent rolling hills, national parks and state forests. It's in the heart of dairy and beef cattle country.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Gloucester (39 km)

    Famous for gold deposits and the bushranger Captain Thunderbolt, Gloucester is located in the north Hunter region, east of Barrington Tops. The nearby state forests and national parks are ideal for walking, camping and outdoor adventure sports.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Scone (72 km)

    Nestled in the picturesque Upper Hunter, Scone is known as the horse capital of Australia.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

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

    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)

    What we're doing

    Barrington Tops National Park has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents. Here is just some of the work we’re doing to conserve these values:

    Managing weeds, pest animals and other threats

    Pests and weeds have a significant impact to the ecosystems within Barrington Tops National Park. Risk assessments for new and emerging weeds are carried out as an ongoing initiative within the park. Phytophthora cinnamomi is a root-rot water mould which is a major threat to park biodiversity which is being managed with the establishment of a quarantine zone to prevent further spread. Pest management of foxes and wild dogs is an important part of the work NPWS does to protect the integrity of biodiversity which exists within Barrington Tops National Park, as well as adjoining agricultural enterprises.

    Conservation program

    Wild dog control program

    Wild dogs can have significant impacts on other animals and are regarded as pests. Our wild dog control program operates in many NSW national parks and reserves. When carrying out such pest control, we aim to minimise the wild dogs’ effects on livestock and wildlife, while still maintaining dingo conservation in key areas.

    Exploring World Heritage

    An important part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, the rainforests of Barrington Tops National Park are of international significance. Signage updates, both directional and designating the park’s World Heritage status, are ongoing. NPWS works alongside local Aboriginal communities in interpreting the park’s Aboriginal cultural heritage, and engages park neighbours and the wider community wherever possible.

    Managing fire

    NSW is one of the most bushfire prone areas in the world as a result of our climate, weather systems, vegetation and the rugged terrain. NPWS is committed to maintaining natural and cultural heritage values and minimising the likelihood and impact of bushfires via a strategic program of fire research, fire planning, hazard reduction, highly trained rapid response firefighting crews and community alerts.

    Conservation program

    Hazard reduction program

    Managing fire-prone NSW national parks requires a three-pronged approach, including fire planning, community education, and fuel management. When it comes to fuel like dead wood, NPWS conducts planned hazard reduction activities like mowing and controlled burning to assist in the protection of life, property and community.

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