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Carrai and Coachwood trails

Carrai National Park

Overview

Carrai and Coachwood trails combines 2 remote 4WD adventures in Carrai National Park and Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, between Kempsey and Armidale.

Where
Carrai National Park
Distance
137km one-way
Time suggested
2 days
Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water, snacks, clothes for all weather conditions, first aid kit, personal locator beacon
Please note
  • This route combines Carrai trail in Carrai National Park and Coachwood trail in neighbouring Oxley Wild Rivers National Park.
  • It can be driven in either direction and is recommended with an overnight stop at Daisy Plains huts.
  • The start of Carrai Road to Kookaburra is 24km. It’s another 22.5km to/from Daisy Plains Hut. It’s around 51km from Coachwood Road to Oxley Highway via Racecourse trail and Kangaroo Flat Road.
  • This is a remote area. Please ensure you’re well-equipped, with fuel, spare tyre, water, and warm clothing. It’s a good idea to bring a personal locator beacon.

This route combines Carrai trail in Carrai National Park and Coachwood trail in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Driven in either direction, it’s a great way for self-reliant 4WD enthusiasts to explore the views and natural beauty of the mountain plateau west of Port Macquarie.

From Kempsey, it’s around a 1hr drive to reach Carrai trail, which follows unsealed Carrai Road through open farmland before delivering you into the forest. After around 24km, at the junction with Coachwood Road, stop for a break in Kookaburra. Once a thriving centre for trade in prized red cedar, it’s now a ghost town overgrown by trees.

From Kookaburra, continue around 22.5km north along Carrai trail, through old growth forest to Daisy Plains huts. Set among tall eucalypts, the 4 basic huts are a good place to stay overnight if you want a break from driving.

Wake to the squawk of glossy black cockatoos and savour a camp breakfast next to the kitchen hut’s open fire, before backtracking to the junction with Coachwood Road. Follow this trail, which winds 17km through Gondwana rainforest in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. The 300m walk to unfenced Hoppy’s lookout is an optional stop along the trail.

From the end of Coachwood trail, connect with scenic Racecourse trail around 19km, and make your way out via Werrikimbe National Park, and Walcha.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Park:

Oxley Wild Rivers National Park

Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, near Armidale, spoils you with World Heritage-listed gondwana rainforest, historic sites, and magnificent waterfalls. It’s perfect for walking, camping, bike or horse riding, and fishing.

View from Budds Mare lookout, Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

 

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Hand holding a phone with NSW National Parks app on screen. Photo: Branden Bodman/DPIE
View of mountainous landscape including Kemps Pinnacle from Hoppy's lookout, in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, with wildflowers in the foreground. Photo: John Spencer/OEH.