Mount Kaputar National Park

Overview

With camping, cycling, walking, horse riding and bird watching waiting for you on this scenic mountain range, Mount Kaputar is a fantastic wilderness escape in NSW.

Read more about Mount Kaputar National Park

Be awed by towering forests, breathtaking rock formations and stunning scenery at Mount Kaputar National Park. Roughly one hours drive from Narrabri in northern NSW, Mount Kaputar is an explorer’s paradise.

Take in the views from the park’s lookouts, have a relaxing picnic or barbecue, or stay overnight in a picturesque campground or cabin accommodation.  Bring your binoculars to enjoy bird watching, or to search for possums and greater gliders after dark. Or for a more adventurous trip; walk one of the park's many tracks, or go for a mountain bike or horse ride through the spectacular landscape.

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/mount-kaputar-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

  • in the Country NSW region
  • Mount Kaputar National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

    • Narrabri
      (02) 6792 7300
      (02) 6792 4680 After hours emergency
      Contact hours: 8.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday
    • 1/100 Maitland Street, Narrabri NSW. (Accessible via Dewhurst Street)
    • Fax: (02) 6792 1133
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See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Mount Kaputar National Park.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    For Kaputar Plateau:

    • Drive south along the Old Gunnedah Road from Narrabri, then turn left onto Kaputar Road
    • The park entrance is a further 27km
    • From here the road up to the plateau is steep and winding, with sections of gravel road
    • No caravans are permitted beyond this point

    For Sawn Rocks: 

    • Travel north along the Newell Highway from Narrabri for about 3km
    • Turn right onto Bingara Road (Killarney Gap Road)
    • After about 35km you'll see the turn-off to Sawn Rocks on the right

    For Waa Gorge from Narrabri:

    • Travel north on the Newell Highway for 3km
    • Turn right onto Killarney Gap Rd (Bingara Road)
    • Head along this road for about 21km and turn left at the turn-off to Terry Hie Hie (Melburra Road SR3)
    • After approximately 30km you’ll reach a T junction. Turn right on Allambie Rd to Waa Gorge.
    • The last 8km is dry weather access only and passes through private property. Please respect landholders by leaving gates as you find them, slowing for stock and staying off wet roads.
    • Travel 6.5km to the park entrance, making sure to close the gate. The Waa Gorge car park and picnic area is a further 1.5km.

    From Moree:

    • Travel east on Gwydir Highway towards Warialda
    • After 6.2km, turn right towards Terry Hie Hie and continue south through the village of Terry Hie Hie.
    • At the cross roads near Berrygill Creek tennis courts, take the left fork on the gravel road. Continue through Berrygill Aboriginal Area past Clifton property.
    • Turn left on Allambie Road to Waa Gorge. The last 8km is dry weather access only and passes through private property. Please respect landholders by leaving gates as you find them, slowing for stock and staying off wet roads.
    • Travel 6.5km to the park entrance, ensuring you close the gate. The Waa Gorge carpark and picnic area is a further 1.5km.

    Park entry points Show more

    Parking Show more

    By bike

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

    Best times to visit

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

    Autumn

    This is one of the best times of year to visit the park, with ideal temperatures for bush walking, cycling and camping.

    Spring

    A beautiful time of year to enjoy the abundant wildflowers and birds.

    Summer

    Escape the heat of the plains by heading up into the park. The mountains can be up to 10°C cooler than the surrounding towns and provide a relaxing refuge from the heat. Bring a book and relax under the shade of a towering snow gum.

    Winter

    Experience the mist surrounding the high plateau area and enjoy the beauty of the occasional blanketing of snow. The clear, sunny winter days are a great time to explore Sawn Rocks and Waa Gorge.

    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.

    Water

    Untreated water is provided at Dawsons Spring, at Bark Hut, Sawn Rocks and John Perry picnic areas.

    None of the watercourses in the park provide reliable year-round water - you must take your own with you when walking.

    Weather 

    Weather in Mount Kaputar National Park can deteriorate quickly.

    • Do not use walking tracks during high winds
    • If severe weather is predicted it is advised that you leave the park
    • If caught in severe weather move into open areas
    • Be prepared that temperatures on the plateau can be about 10 degrees cooler than in the nearby town of Narrabri

    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).

    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

    Narrabri (31 km)

    Explore Pilliga Forest to see salt caves, native flora and fauna, and bore baths, or enjoy camping and bushwalking in Mt Kaputar National Park. Mt Kaputar's summit offers magnificent panoramic views, and there's excellent cabin accommodation within the park.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Moree (85 km)

    Join a Heritage and Art Deco Guided Walk to uncover Moree's outstanding collection of period architecture. Wander along the main street of Moree which showcases heritage-listed buildings influenced by American, Egyptian, Greek and Spanish design practices. 

    www.visitnsw.com

    Barraba (126 km)

    Barraba is a birdwatcher's paradise - spot the rare Regent Honeyeater on one of the region's 14 bird routes, which have fine tree cover and good public access. There are plenty of great spots for bushwalking, such as through remnant rainforest in Mount Kaputar National Park.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

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

    Over 20 million years in the making

    Mount Kaputar, Mount Kaputar National Park. Photo: Ian Brown

    Two volcanos pushed Mount Kaputar high above the plains, and millions of years of erosion have carved a dramatic landscape of narrow valleys and steep ridges. Many of the mountains are ancient lava terraces. Experience ancient history for yourself by standing on Lindsay Rock Tops - an excellent example of a lava terrace. Or visit Sawn Rocks to see one of Australia's best examples of a spectacular rock formation called organ-piping - it really does look like a wall of giant organ pipes.

    • Bundabulla circuit walking track Bundabulla circuit walking track connects Lindsay Rock Tops walk and Eckford lookout walk, with places to picnic and terrific views of Mount Kaputar and surrounds.
    • Doug Sky lookout Doug Sky lookout in Mount Kaputar National Park offers scenic views over north-west NSW and Warrumbungles.
    • Governor lookout walking track Enjoy scenic mountain views over Grattai wilderness area from Governor lookout walking track.
    • Kaputar scenic drive Kaputar scenic drive is a 20km driving route through dramatic landscapes, with access to lookouts, picnic spots and walking tracks.

    Enjoy a cycling adventure

    Barraba track, Mount Kaputar National Park. Photo: OEH

    Test yourself by riding your mountain bike up the steep Mount Kaputar road to the Kaputar Plateau. Rest and admire the amazing views at the lookouts on the way up. Another challenging mountain bike trail take is the Barraba track from the Kaputar Plateau to the eastern boundary of the park.

    • Sawn Rocks picnic area Sawn Rocks picnic area is located at the start of Sawn Rocks walking track in Mount Kaputar National Park. It’s ideal for barbecues and picnics with scenic views of North West NSW.
    • Waa Gorge picnic area Waa Gorge is one of Mount Kaputar National Park’s most stunning attractions, and this picnic area offers enough sights to enjoy the show over a long lunch.

    Colourful locals

    Pink Slug (Triboniophorus aff. graeffei), Mount Kaputar National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    Mount Kaputar is famous for a very unusual, colourful local - a bright pink slug. It can be seen after rain on rocks, trees and amongst the leaf litter. With birds from both the east and west meeting together at Mount Kaputar, the park is also a wonderful place to go bird watching. More than 185 bird species live in the park, so don't forget your binoculars. A torch will also come in handy for seeing some of the other locals that come out at night, including possums and greater gliders. And watch out for the many kangaroos and wallabies, too.

    • Euglah Rock walking track Ideal for walking with kids, Euglah Rock walking track in Mount Kaputar National Park leads to a lookout offering stunning scenic views of Euglah Rock and beyond.

    An ancient heritage

    Views from Eckfords lookout, Mount Kaputar National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    Mount Kaputar National Park is the traditional Country of the Gamilaroi Aboriginal people. The park provided a rich resource for food, medicines, shelter and weapons and the landscape is part of Dreaming stories. Reminders of the Gamilaroi's connection to this ancient landscape are evident in Aboriginal rock carvings, campsites, marks on trees and axe grinding grooves throughout the park.

    A harsh lifestyle

    Scutts Hutt, Mount Kaputar National Park. Photo: Ian Brown

    Several pioneering families lived in the Mount Kaputar area in extremely harsh conditions. Stockmen looked after sheep and cattle on the Kaputar Plateau, often going for months without seeing another person. Enjoy a walk to the historic Scutts Hut to experience the pioneers' harsh lifestyle. The Scutt family lived in the hut in the 1940s and 50s, and it has been carefully restored to its original condition. Most of the materials to build the hut and furniture were brought in by horse - even the rainwater tank.

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    • Southern boobook. Photo: David Cook

      Southern boobook (Ninox novaeseelandiae)

      The southern boobook, also known as the mopoke, is the smallest and most common native owl in Australia. With a musical 'boo-book' call that echoes through forests and woodlands, the southern boobook is a great one to look out for while bird watching.

    • Wedge-tailed eagle. Photo: Kelly Nowak

      Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax)

      With a wingspan of up to 2.5m, the wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey. These Australian animals are found in woodlands across NSW, and have the ability to soar to heights of over 2km. If you’re bird watching, look out for the distinctive diamond-shaped tail of the eagle.

    • Kookaburra. Photo: OEH

      Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

      Of the 2 species of kookaburra found in Australia, the laughing kookaburra is the best-known and the largest of the native kingfishers. With its distinctive riotous call, the laughing kookaburra is commonly heard in open woodlands and forests throughout NSW national parks, making these ideal spots for bird watching.

    Plants

    • Wonga Wonga vine. Photo: Barry Collier

      Wonga wonga vine (Pandorea pandorana)

      The wonga wonga vine is a widespread vigorous climber usually found along eastern Australia. A variation of the plant occurs in the central desert, where it resembles a sprawling shrub. One of the more common Australian native plants, the wonga wonga vine produces bell-shaped white or yellow flowers in the spring, followed by a large oblong-shaped seed pod.

    • Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

      Grass tree (Xanthorrea spp.)

      An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Mount Kaputar 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 ecosystems within Mount Kaputar National Park. Pest reduction of threats, such as goats, pigs and foxes, as well as ongoing risk assessments for new and emerging weeds, is an important part of the work NPWS does to protect the biodiversity values of this park.

    Conservation program

    Feral Animal Aerial Shooting Team (FAAST) training

    The NSW government has an obligation to control feral animal populations in NSW national parks. One of the most effective and humane techniques for achieving this is aerial shooting, carried out by experts who have been accredited by the Feral Animal Aerial Shooting Team (FAAST) training program.

    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 across landscape of Mount Kaputar National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary