Scutts Hut trail

Mount Kaputar National Park

Overview

Jump on your mountain bike to check out the stunning scenery of Mount Kaputar National Park from behind your handle bars along Scutts Hut trail.

Where
Mount Kaputar National Park
Distance
40km return
Time suggested
4hrs
Grade
Medium
Price
Free
What to
bring
Sunscreen, hat, drinking water
Please note
  • Scutts Hut trail ends at a gate leading to Black Mountain Creek Road. Beyond the gate is private property, so we ask visitors to respect the boundary and ride back up the hill the way they came upon reaching the gate at the end of the track.
  • You won't be able to ride down to Scutts Hut, but it is accessible on foot.
  • Scutts Hut trail has rough uneven surfaces and is most suitable for mountain bikes
  • The trail starts at Bark Hut picnic area and campground – a good place for a picnic or barbecue before you start the ride.
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to bird watch

Discover the rugged landscape of Mount Kaputar National Park on your mountain bike on the beautiful Scutts Hut trail. The 20km trail winds its way along a ridge between two creeks, through magnificent bushland with amazing views. It makes a great day ride, and while you’re cycling, keep an eye out for the abundant birdlife, kangaroos and other local wildlife.

Before heading back, hop off your bike and walk down the track to check out historic Scutts Hut to see how pioneers lived in Mount Kaputar in the 1940s and 1950s.

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/things-to-do/cycling-trails/scutts-hut-trail/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Scutts Hut trail.

Getting there and parking

Scutts Hut trail starts from Bark Hut campground, in the Kaputar Plateau section of Mount Kaputar National Park. To get there:

  • From Narrabri take Old Gunnedah Road south
  • After about 2.5km turn left onto Kaputar Road
  • Follow Kaputar Road for 27km to the Mount Kaputar National Park entrance
  • The Bark Hut turn-off is 14km on the right
  • The Scutts Hut trail trackhead is approximately 100m past the Bark Hut turn-off.

Parking

Parking is available at Bark Hut picnic area and campground.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Mount Kaputar National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

This is one of the best times of year to visit the park, with ideal temperatures for bush walking, cycling and camping.

Spring

A beautiful time of year to enjoy the abundant wildflowers and birds.

Summer

Escape the heat of the plains by heading up into the park.

Winter

Experience the mist surrounding the high plateau area and enjoy the beauty of the occasional blanketing of snow. Be prepared for the temperatures about 10°C cooler than in the nearby town of Narrabri.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

21°C and 35°C

Highest recorded

43.4°C

Winter temperature

Average

7°C and 18°C

Lowest recorded

-5.6°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

January

Driest month

August

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

188mm

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Cycling safety

Hundreds of cyclists head to our national parks for fun and adventure. If you're riding your bike through a national park, read these cycling 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).

Prohibited

Caravans are not permitted on Mount Kaputar Road.

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

Moree (40 km)

Join a Heritage and Art Deco Guided Walk to uncover Moree's outstanding collection of period architecture. Wander along the main street of Moree which showcases heritage-listed buildings influenced by American, Egyptian, Greek and Spanish design practices. 

www.visitnsw.com

Narrabri (4 km)

Explore Pilliga Forest to see salt caves, native flora and fauna, and bore baths, or enjoy camping and bushwalking in Mt Kaputar National Park. Mt Kaputar's summit offers magnificent panoramic views, and there's excellent cabin accommodation within the park.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Scutts Hut trail is in Mount Kaputar National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A harsh lifestyle

Scutts Hutt, Mount Kaputar National Park. Photo: Ian Brown

Several pioneering families lived in the Mount Kaputar area in extremely harsh conditions. Stockmen looked after sheep and cattle on the Kaputar Plateau, often going for months without seeing another person. Enjoy a walk to the historic Scutts Hut to experience the pioneers' harsh lifestyle. The Scutt family lived in the hut in the 1940s and 50s, and it has been carefully restored to its original condition. Most of the materials to build the hut and furniture were brought in by horse - even the rainwater tank.

An ancient heritage

Views from Eckfords lookout, Mount Kaputar National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

Mount Kaputar National Park is the traditional Country of the Gamilaroi Aboriginal people. The park provided a rich resource for food, medicines, shelter and weapons and the landscape is part of Dreaming stories. Reminders of the Gamilaroi's connection to this ancient landscape are evident in Aboriginal rock carvings, campsites, marks on trees and axe grinding grooves throughout the park.

Colourful locals

Pink Slug (Triboniophorus aff. graeffei), Mount Kaputar National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

Mount Kaputar is famous for a very unusual, colourful local - a bright pink slug. It can be seen after rain on rocks, trees and amongst the leaf litter. With birds from both the east and west meeting together at Mount Kaputar, the park is also a wonderful place to go bird watching. More than 185 bird species live in the park, so don't forget your binoculars. A torch will also come in handy for seeing some of the other locals that come out at night, including possums and greater gliders. And watch out for the many kangaroos and wallabies, too.

  • Dawsons Spring nature trail Dawsons Spring nature trail is an easy walk from Dawsons Spring campground in Mount Kaputar National Park, near Narrabri. Great for families, you'll enjoy seasonal waterfalls, wildflowers and wildlife spotting.

Action or relaxation

Verandah of Logan cabin, Mount Kaputar National Park. Photo: Simone Cottrell/OEH

Mount Kaputar National Park is packed with walks, cycling and 4WD trails, plus plenty of scenic spots for camping and picnicking. Test your mountain bike legs up the steep Mount Kaputar Road to the Kaputar Plateau, or the challenging Barraba track. Enjoy a bite to eat at a serene picnic area before walking it off as you take in the stunning scenery. Don't miss the incredible Sawn Rocks formation. There's so much to see, why not book a cabin or set up camp for a few days to make the most of your country getaway.

  • Sawn Rocks picnic area Sawn Rocks picnic area is located at the start of Sawn Rocks walking track in Mount Kaputar National Park. It’s ideal for barbecues and picnics with scenic views of North West NSW.
  • Waa Gorge picnic area Waa Gorge is one of Mount Kaputar National Park’s most stunning attractions, and this picnic area offers enough sights to enjoy the show over a long lunch.

Over 20 million years in the making

Mount Kaputar, Mount Kaputar National Park. Photo: Ian Brown

Two volcanos pushed Mount Kaputar high above the plains, and millions of years of erosion have carved a dramatic landscape of narrow valleys and steep ridges. Many of the mountains are ancient lava terraces. Experience ancient history for yourself by standing on Lindsay Rock Tops - an excellent example of a lava terrace. Or visit Sawn Rocks to see one of Australia's best examples of a spectacular rock formation called organ-piping - it really does look like a wall of giant organ pipes.

  • Bundabulla circuit walking track Bundabulla circuit walking track connects several walking tracks together. It offers a terrific bushwalking experience with places to picnic along the way and views of Mount Kaputar and surrounds.
  • Dawsons Spring nature trail Dawsons Spring nature trail is an easy walk from Dawsons Spring campground in Mount Kaputar National Park, near Narrabri. Great for families, you'll enjoy seasonal waterfalls, wildflowers and wildlife spotting.
  • Doug Sky lookout Doug Sky lookout in Mount Kaputar National Park offers scenic views over north-west NSW and Warrumbungles.
  • Governor lookout walking track Enjoy scenic mountain views over Grattai wilderness area from Governor lookout walking track.
  • Kaputar scenic drive Kaputar scenic drive is a 20km driving route through dramatic landscapes, with access to lookouts, picnic spots and walking tracks.
  • Sawn Rocks walking track This easy walk beside a shady creek bed leads you to a spectacular rock formation - the unique, organ-pipe cliff face of Sawn Rocks and scenic views.
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Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • 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.

  • Wedge-tailed eagle. Photo: Kelly Nowak

    Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax)

    With a wingspan of up to 2.5m, the wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey. These Australian animals are found in woodlands across NSW, and have the ability to soar to heights of over 2km. If you’re bird watching, look out for the distinctive diamond-shaped tail of the eagle.

  • Closeup of a laughing kookaburra's head and body. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

    Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

    Of the 2 species of kookaburra found in Australia, the laughing kookaburra is the best-known and the largest of the native kingfishers. With its distinctive riotous call, the laughing kookaburra is commonly heard in open woodlands and forests throughout NSW national parks, making these ideal spots for bird watching.

Plants

  • Wonga Wonga vine. Photo: Barry Collier

    Wonga wonga vine (Pandorea pandorana)

    The wonga wonga vine is a widespread vigorous climber usually found along eastern Australia. A variation of the plant occurs in the central desert, where it resembles a sprawling shrub. One of the more common Australian native plants, the wonga wonga vine produces bell-shaped white or yellow flowers in the spring, followed by a large oblong-shaped seed pod.

  • Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

    Grass tree (Xanthorrea spp.)

    An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

Leaves on the ground. Photo:John Yurasek