Black Swamp campground

Barrington Tops National Park

Overview

Remote Black Swamp campground offers walking and wildlife-spotting in the sub-alpine wilderness of Barrington Tops National Park, between Scone and Gloucester.

Accommodation Details
Number of campsites 5
Camping type Tent, Remote/backpack camping
Opening times

Barrington trail is open to vehicles from October 1 – May 31.

Price Free.
Please note
  • Check the weather or contact Gloucester NPWS office on (02) 6538 5300 before you set out, as access via Barrington trail, to Black Swamp campground, may be closed at other times of year due to snow, ice, and rain.
  • A water-based mould (Phytophthora cinnamomi) is prevalent in this area. The mould attacks the roots of plants causing them to rot, causing a dieback of trees and plants. Efforts are in place to contain the area of contamination north of Black Swamp. You can assist the long-term containment of the mould by cleaning your shoes and mountain bike tyres before and after entering this region.
  • Help protect the fragile ecosystems of the region by avoiding using soap, shampoo, and detergents in waterways and taking all rubbish home with you.

This small and secluded camping spot is perfect for adventurous campers who love the opportunity to experience the remote and wild regions. Black Swamp campground, accessed via Aeroplane Hill walking track orCareys Peak walking track, is perched on the edge of a unique sub-alpine wetland, providing habitat for many unique plants and wildlife.

The swamps of the high plateau of Barrington Tops National Park have been declared an endangered ecological community and protect many threatened species including the broad-toothed rat and the glandular frog.

After a day of walking the trails of the high country, cook up a hearty meal, and enjoy a night in the pristine wilderness with the light of the stars and moon above. As you drift off to sleep, you might hear the call of the powerful owl ringing through the snowgums into your dreams.

Take a virtual tour of Black Swamp campground captured with Google Street View Trekker.

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 https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/camping-and-accommodation/campgrounds/black-swamp-campground/local-alerts

Operated by

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Black Swamp campground.

Getting there and parking

Black Swamp campground is in the Barrington Tops precinct of Barrington Tops National Park. The campground can only be accessed by foot. To get there:

  • From Gloucester take Thunderbolts Way; this road becomes Scone Road and Barrington Tops Forest Road.
  • Turn left into Barrington trail at Barrington trail picnic area located on the left after passing Devils Hole
  • Follow Barrington trail for approximately 12.5km to Junction Pools campground
  • Barrington trail is only open to vehicles from October 1 – May 31
  • From Junction Pools campground follow Aeroplane Hill walking track for approximately 4km to the campground

Alternatively, if starting from Mount Barrington picnic area:

  • Follow Barrington trail for approximately 15km to Mount Barrington picnic area
  • From Mount Barrington picnic area follow Careys Peak walking track for approximately 10km to the campground

Road quality

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • All roads require 4WD vehicle

Weather restrictions

  • Dry weather only

Parking

Parking is available at Junction Pools campground and Mount Barrington picnic area.

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

Non-flush toilets are located at Wombat Creek campground.

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    Bushwalking safety

    If you're bushwalking in this park, it's a good idea to bring a topographic map, compass and GPS.

    Camping safety

    Whether you're pitching your tent on the coast or up on the mountains, there are many things to consider when camping in NSW national parks. Find out how to stay safe when camping.

    Fishing safety

    Fishing from a boat, the beach or by the river is a popular activity for many national park visitors. If you’re planning a day out fishing, check out these fishing 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 and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    Permitted

    Camp fires and solid fuel burners

    Keep campfires small or use a camp stove instead.

    Fishing

    A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.

    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 pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Nearby towns

    Dungog (46 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 (49 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

    Singleton (60 km)

    Just north of Singleton, at the foot of the Mount Royal Range, Lake St Clair makes a great nature lover's playground. Whether it's swimming, sailing, waterskiing, camping, fishing or picnicking you're after, you'll find it here.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Black Swamp campground 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 and river walk Experience the stunning diversity of Gloucester Tops on this guided walk. Be part of the Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration at Barrington Tops National Park.
    • Antarctic Beech Forest walking track Antarctic Beech Forest walking track offers rainforest, cascades, scenic views, and birdwatching in Barrington Tops National Park, near Gloucester.
    • Art in the field: Honeysuckle Forest Become a natural history illustrator for a day and capture an ancient rainforest landscape. Be part of the Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration at Barrington Tops National Park.
    • 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.

    • Antarctic Beech Forest and river walk Experience the stunning diversity of Gloucester Tops on this guided walk. Be part of the Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration at Barrington Tops National Park.
    • Art in the field: Honeysuckle Forest Become a natural history illustrator for a day and capture an ancient rainforest landscape. Be part of the Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration at Barrington Tops National Park.
    • 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 in 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, Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

      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)

    Black Swamp campground, Barrington Tops National Park. Photo: John Spencer/NSW Government