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Gara Gorge lookout

Oxley Wild Rivers National Park

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Learn more about why this park is special

Gara Gorge lookout 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’.

Look out for...

Southern boobook

Ninox novaeseelandiae

Southern boobook. Photo: David Cook

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.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

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