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Carrai and Coachwood trails

North Coast, Country NSW

Affected by closures, check current alerts 


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

137km one-way
Time suggested
2 days
What to
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.
  • The start of Carrai Road to Kookaburra is 24km. It’s another 22.5km to/from Daisy Plains picnic area. 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 picnic area. Set among tall eucalypts, it's a good place to stop for lunch if you want a break from driving.

Listen to the squawk of glossy black cockatoos 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


Oxley Wild Rivers National Park

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

Adults and children walking on suspension bridge Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Photo: John Smith © DPIE


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Hand holding a phone with NSW National Parks app on screen. Photo: Branden Bodman/DPIE