Riverside campground and picnic area

Oxley Wild Rivers National Park

Open, check current alerts 

Overview

Riverside campground and picnic area is a remote spot for adventure seekers — it's only accessible with a low-range 4WD. Go wilderness camping or swim, fish and paddle on the Apsley River.

Accommodation Details
Camping type Tent, Don't mind a short walk to tent
Facilities Picnic tables, barbecue facilities, toilets
What to bring Drinking water, cooking water, firewood
Price
  • Rates and availability are displayed when making an online booking
  • A minimum nightly rate applies which includes the first 2 occupants
Entry fees

You'll need a vehicle permit for day use. If camping, permit fees are included in the campground fee. Day use vehicle permits can only be bought online or by calling the National Parks Contact Centre on 1300 072 757.

Bookings Bookings are required. Book online or call the National Parks Contact Centre on 1300 072 757.
Please note
  • This remote campground has no phone reception and is suited to self-reliant visitors.
  • You can only access this campground with a low-range 4WD.
  • For campers: Check in after 10.30am. Check out by 10am.
  • Day use visitors: Vehicle permits are valid from 7am to 7pm and must be paid online.
  • There’s a maximum of 2 bookings per customer name.

There’s nothing like rustic camping to remind you what’s really important in life. Remote and unspoilt, Riverside campground and picnic area, in the spectacular Macleay gorges area, puts the wild back into wilderness.

Relax by the crystal clear mountain waters of Apsley River, where the only stress will be choosing between swimming, canoeing or walking the Budds Mare Riverside track. You can also try your hand at catching bass or laze about listening to the sounds of the bush.

If you’re staying the night, set up camp under the fuzzy box trees, inhale some crisp clean air and feel the city melt away. You’ll be pitching your tent surrounded by rugged mountains and dramatic rocky outcrops. 

With barbecues and campfires at this campsite and picnic area, there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy an outdoor dining experience, all the while getting to know the park’s inhabitants - goannas, wallabies and rosellas. Snuggle up in your sleeping bag and be soothed to sleep by the gentle sounds of the river.

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/riverside-campground-and-picnic-area/local-alerts

Bookings

Operated by

Park info

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

  • There are 3 areas in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park where you'll need day use vehicle permits: Halls Peak campground and picnic area, Riverside campground and picnic area, and Youdales Hut campground and picnic area. Day use vehicle permits can be bought online or by calling the National Parks Contact Centre on 1300 072 757. If camping, permit fees are included in the campground fee.

    Contact us for permits (/about-npws/contact-us).
See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about the Riverside campground and picnic area.

Getting there and parking

Riverside campground and picnic area is in the Macleay Gorges area of Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. To get there follow Moona Plains Road from Walcha for 50km.

There's a gate at the park entrance which can be unlocked by an access code. Access codes will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Call 1300 072 757 if you have not received your code. The gate must be locked at all times. Re-lock the gate after you have passed through. No trailers are allowed past the gate.

Road quality

Check the weather before you set out as the road to Riverside campground can become boggy when it rains.

Access is for high clearance, low range 4WD vehicles (no SUVs).

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • All roads require 4WD vehicle

Weather restrictions

  • Dry weather only

Parking

1 vehicle is permitted per booking. Parking is available at the campground and picnic area.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

A great item to tackle one of the longer walking tracks in the park when the days are not too hot.

Spring

The gorges can be a riot of colour as the trees and shrubs burst into spring.

Summer

The wild rivers and waterfalls that give the park its name can be at their most impressive after summer rains.

Winter

Crisp, cool and clear days are good for a brisk half day bushwalk.

Facilities

  • Campsites are unmarked, unpowered and suitable for tents only.
  • There are no showers
  • Water is not available at this campground. Remember to treat or boil any water taken from the river.
  • Rubbish bins are not available, please take all rubbish with you.

Toilets

  • Non-flush toilets

Picnic tables

Barbecue facilities

Some firewood may be provided but we recommend that you bring your own supply.

  • Gas/electric barbecues (free)
  • Wood barbecues

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.

If you’re bushwalking in this park it’s a good idea to bring a topographic map and compass, or a 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 Plus 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).

Paddling safety

To make your paddling or kayaking adventure safer and more enjoyable, check out these paddling safety tips.

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 - no wheelchair access

Permitted

Fishing

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

We encourage ‘catch and release’ fishing.

Prohibited

  • Motorbikes or trailers of any type
  • Amplified music. Please be considerate of others and keep noise low.
  • Chemical toilets. For example, porta potties.
  • The possession or use of any type of firearm

Pets

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

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Learn more

Riverside campground and picnic area is in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A national first

Gara Gorge, Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

John Oxley was the first European to visit the New England region, passing through the area that is now Oxley Wild Rivers National Park in September 1818. Following Oxley, cedar-getters penetrated the remote and inaccessible gorges followed by pioneer cattle grazers who braved the remote wilderness for a hundred years. Between 1893 and 1894 the first commercial hydro-electric scheme was constructed to power the town and gold mines of nearby Hillgrove. Today you can visit the remains of this historical site when you take a walk along the Threlfall Historic walk.

  • Threlfall walking track Threlfall walking track in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park takes in the spectacular Gara Gorge wilderness area, with scenic views and a chance to see the historic hydro-electric scheme.

Abundant wildlife

two brush tailed rock wallabies sitting on a rock. Photo: Piers Thomas/OEH

The varied plant communities of Oxley Wild Rivers National Park provide a home for over 350 animal species, including the largest confirmed population of brush-tailed rock wallabies. Even though there are roughly 10,000 of this endangered species in the park, you'll have to keep your eyes open to catch a glimpse of their bushy tail. The park also boasts over 173 bird species, including the majestic wedge-tailed eagle, peregrine falcon, square-tailed kite and sea eagle.

  • The Green Gully track Make a booking to experience fern-lined gullies, high elevation forests and wildlife along the Green Gully track. Stay in heritage huts for a break from this challenging multi-day hike.
  • Threlfall walking track Threlfall walking track in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park takes in the spectacular Gara Gorge wilderness area, with scenic views and a chance to see the historic hydro-electric scheme.

Ancient lands

Chandler view circuit walk, Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

Oxley Wild Rivers National Park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. The park contains some of the best examples of dry rainforest communities in Australia. When you are out exploring the wet and dry eucalypt forests, grassy woodlands and heathlands of the park, look for native olives, lacebarks, shiny-leaved and giant stinging trees, shatterwoods, scentless rosewoods and red kamalas.

  • Oxley Wild Rivers guided hiking adventures Explore one of Australia‚Äôs largest gorge systems on this multi-day guided trek with Primal Adventures. Experience lush gullies, waterfalls and stunning forests in World Heritage surrounds, near Armidale.

Jaw-dropping scenery

Wollomombi walk, Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

With dramatic ridges and gorges, towering rock outcrops and beautiful rivers and waterfalls, there is something new around every corner and you'll be constantly amazed by the views. The sight of a majestic wedge-tailed eagle soaring high above the gorges looking for food is a truly spectacular sight to behold. Don't forget your camera, give yourself plenty of time and keep your eyes open.

  • Budds Mare lookout Enjoy a picnic lunch at Budds Mare lookout surrounded by World Heritage listed rainforest and looking out to spectacular views across the Apsley River.
  • The Green Gully track Make a booking to experience fern-lined gullies, high elevation forests and wildlife along the Green Gully track. Stay in heritage huts for a break from this challenging multi-day hike.
  • Tia Falls walk The short and easy Falls walk in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park is great for children. It leads to spectacular views of Tia Falls and Gorge and the lookout picnic area.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • 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.

  • Eastern water dragon. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    Eastern water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii lesueurii)

    The eastern water dragon is a subaquatic lizard found in healthy waterways along eastern NSW, from Nowra to halfway up the Cape York Pensinsula. It’s believed to be one of the oldest of Australian reptiles, remaining virtually unchanged for over 20 million years.

  • 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.

  • Tawny frogmouth. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    Tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)

    Found throughout Australia, the tawny frogmouth is often mistaken for an owl due to its wide, powerful beak, large head and nocturnal hunting habits. The ‘oom oom oom’ call of this native bird can be heard echoing throughout a range of habitats including heath, woodlands and urban areas.

  • Peron's tree frog. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    Peron's tree frog (Litoria peroni)

    Peron’s tree frog is found right across NSW. These tree-climbing and ground-dwelling Australian animals can quickly change colour, ranging from pale green-grey by day, to a reddish brown with emerald green flecks at night. The male frog has a drill-like call, which has been described as a 'maniacal cackle’.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)