Youdales Hut and Stockyards historic site

Oxley Wild Rivers National Park

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Overview

Youdales Hut and Stockyards historic site gives a glimpse into early settler life in the remote gorge county within World Heritage-listed Kunderang wilderness.

Type
Historic buildings/places
Where
Oxley Wild Rivers National Park
Accessibility
No wheelchair access
Entry fees

You'll need a vehicle permit for day use. Day use vehicle permits can only be bought online or by calling the National Parks Contact Centre on 1300 072 757.

Please note
  • Day use vehicle permits are valid from 7am to 7pm and must be paid online.
  • There’s a maximum of 2 bookings per customer name
  • This is a remote campground suited for self-reliant visitors. Please arrive well prepared.
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If you enjoy some hands-on history, then try a visit to Youdales Hut and Stockyards historic site. You’ll be transported to an era when early graziers and farm hands tried to tame this wild and rugged landscape deep in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park.

Stepping inside this slab-sided mustering hut, you might sense what life was like for the early settlers in this remote gorge country. From the shade of the old verandah, gaze out across the steep ravines and valleys of the internationally recognised wilderness area.

Luckily, the area is now World Heritage-listed and the unique wildlife and diversity of the area is protected. If all that appreciation for the Kunderang wilderness, gets you hungry, head to Youdales Hut campground and picnic area for a picnic or barbecue.

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/historic-buildings-places/youdales-hut-and-stockyards-historic-site/local-alerts

General enquiries

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 Youdales Hut and Stockyards historic site.

Getting there and parking

Youdales Hut and Stockyards historic site is in the Kunderang Brook area of Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. To get there:

  • From the Oxley Highway, turn into Kangaroo Flat Road just east of Yarrowitch
  • Follow Kangaroo Flat Road for around 28km
  • Continue onto Mooraback Road into Werrikimbe National Park
  • Continue into Oxley Wild Rivers National Park on Racecourse Trail and follow the signs.

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

The access road includes a natural creek crossing that may be impassable after heavy rain – check the height of the water before you cross.

All roads require 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 time to tackle the Green Gully track when the days are not too hot and the nights not too cold.

Spring

The heathlands are a riot of colour when the flowers are out.

Summer

The waterfalls are likely to be at their most impressive after the summer rains.

Winter

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

Facilities

  • Toilets and picnic facilities are located at Youdales Hut campground and picnic area
  • Water is not available, you'll need to bring your own supply. You can draw water from the river if available, but it must be treated before drinking.
  • Rubbish bins are not available, please take all rubbish with you.

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

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 - 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 dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Nearby towns

Kempsey (39 km)

Kempsey is a historic river town close to national parks and majestic beaches. Kempsey is a convenient place for an overnight stop for anyone driving between Sydney and the North Coast.

www.visitnsw.com

Port Macquarie (43 km)

Vibrant Port Macquarie is surrounded by beautiful waterways - the Hastings River, canals, creeks, bays and the Pacific Ocean. The city also has a five-star collection of golden-sand beaches stretching from Port Macquarie Beach to Town Beach and north along the 16-km swathe of North Beach.

www.visitnsw.com

Wauchope (42 km)

Wauchope is great base for exploring nearby national parks that are part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. Follow the Hastings Forest Way to Werrikimbe National Park, a rugged wilderness of outstanding beauty spread with short and long walks. Willi Willi National Park is a rainforest mountain park with three beautiful walking tracks that follow the river and lead to a sparkling waterfall. 

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Youdales Hut and Stockyards historic site 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.

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)

Youdales Hut and Yards, Oxley Wild Rivers National Parks. Photo: Rob Cleary/NSW Government