Horse Swamp campground

Barrington Tops National Park

Overview

Horse Swamp campground offers remote, rustic camping with mountain biking and 4WD trails through sub-alpine terrain in Barrington Tops National Park, between Scone and Gloucester.

Accommodation Details
Number of campsites 8
Camping type Tent, Camper trailer site, Caravan site, Camping beside my vehicle
Facilities Picnic tables, barbecue facilities, carpark, toilets
What to bring Drinking water, cooking water, firewood
Price

$6 per adult per night. $3.50 per child per night.

Please note
  • There are no marked sites at this campground.
  • Check the weather before you set out as the road to Horse Swamp campground can be affected by snow and ice.

For a change of scenery, visit this remote camping spot high on the plateau of Barrington Tops National Park; it provides fresh mountain air and refreshing landscape to match. Load up the 4WD with your mountain bikes and head to rustic Horse Swamp campground - a remote natural getaway, between Scone and Gloucester.

Set up camp among the rippled snow plains, dotted with snowgums in this secluded campground near Polblue campground. Your neighbours will most likely include wombats and eastern grey kangaroos. When you’re ready to explore, grab your mountain bike and head for the bike-friendly trails, such as Careys Peak lookout.

At night, stoke up a fire for a barbecue feast and settle back to listen to the nocturnal orchestra, under a thick blanket of stars. Grab a torch for the opportunity to see possums, greater gliders and, perhaps, a powerful owl.

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/horse-swamp-campground/local-alerts

Operated by

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

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

Getting there and parking

Horse Swamp campground is in the state conservation area of Barrington Tops National Park. To get there: 

From Gloucester:

  • Take Thunderbolts Way; this road becomes Scone Road and Barrington Tops Forest Road.
  • 5km past Polblue campground, turn right into Tubrabucca Road.
  • Travel 2 km to arrive at Horse Swamp campground

From Scone:

  • Take Grundy Road to Moonan Flat and take Moonan Brook Road
  • Turn left into Barrington Tops Forest Road
  • Travel 2km past the Dingo Gate on Barrington Tops Forest Road
  • Turn left onto Tubrabucca Road
  • Travel 2km to arrive at Horse Swamp campground

Road quality

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • Dry weather only

Parking

Parking is available at Horse Swamp campground.

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

Water is not available at this campground.

Toilets

  • Non-flush toilets

Picnic tables

Barbecue facilities

  • Wood barbecues (bring your own firewood)

Carpark

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.

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.

This is a remote campground, please make sure you arrive well prepared.

Fire safety

During periods of fire weather, the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service may declare a total fire ban for particular NSW fire areas, or statewide. Learn more about total fire bans and fire safety.

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.

Accessibility

Disability access level - hard

You'll need to go up some steps to access the toilet facilities at this campground.

Hard access is via steps or a steep slope, or you'll have to move across a rough surface with obstacles such as potholes, tree roots, and rocks. Assistance will be necessary.

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

Gloucester (273 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

Murrurundi (257 km)

Murrurundi has remained faithful to its pastoral roots and enjoys a fine legacy of historic houses and public buildings. In fact, the National Trust has declared the main street of Murrurundi an Urban Con servation Area. Today, you can explore the history of Murrurundi on a heritage walk that takes in churches, hotels and the original telegraph office.

www.visitnsw.com

Nundle (17 km)

The gold rushes of the 1850s brought people to Nundle from all over the world. Today, a plaque in the grounds of the Nundle Museum honours the miners, market gardeners and storekeepers who lived and worked here.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Horse 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)

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