Pipers lookout

South East Forests National Park

Overview

A good place to stop for a picnic, but Pipers lookout in South East Forest National Park also features stunning views – take the easy boardwalk to see for yourself.

Type
Lookouts
Where
South East Forests National Park
Accessibility
Easy
Price
Free
Please note
  • Remember to take your binoculars for a closer view.
  • Parking here can be a little confusing – there is no separate carpark so you'll need to park along the side of the Snowy Mountain Highway, across the road from the lookout when heading towards the coast.

Take a break from your journey over Brown Mountain at Pipers lookout. This series of lookouts offers spellbinding views over the Bemboka escarpment and Bega Valley.

After checking out the main lookout near the picnic area, follow the 500m boardwalk to a further two lookouts. While this isn’t quite a canopy walk, the descending slope beneath the boardwalk gives you the feeling of floating amongst the eucalypts and lush ferns. You can use the stairs to make a loop of the three lookouts.

Whatever you do, be sure to bring your camera – the surrounding old-growth forest and rainforest create excellent photo opportunities.

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/lookouts/pipers-lookout-attraction/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Pipers lookout.

Getting there and parking

Pipers lookout is in the northern part of South East Forests National Park, about 15km from Bemboka and not far from Nimmitabel. To get there drive along the Snowy Mountains Highway west from Bega or south-east from Cooma.

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available along a broad shoulder of the Snowy Mountains Highway, next to Pipers lookout.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in South East Forests National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

Head to the Bombala River in the early morning or late afternoon to see platypuses - look for circular ripple patterns in the water.

Spring

See Nunnocks Swamp and grasslands in its spring bloom glory.

Summer

A great time for a walk in the park – try the easy Goodenia Rainforest walk through a lush gully of ferns covered by a dense canopy of tall lilly pilly trees.

Winter

After a day exploring, get cosy in front of an open fire at historic Alexanders Hut, Nunnocks Swap.

Facilities

Toilets

  • Non-flush toilets

Picnic tables

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).

Accessibility

Disability access level - easy

This area is fully wheelchair accessible

  • Toilet facilities are wheelchair accessible
  • The boardwalk to the lookout is wheelchair accessible

Prohibited

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the OEH pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Nearby towns

Bega (40 km)

With its forests, lush pastures and a coastline sculpted into a succession of wonders by the sea, the Sapphire Coast is a perfect holiday destination at any time of the year. Set in a valley at the junction of the Bega and Brogo rivers and surrounded by rich dairy country, Bega is a handsome, historic town that's the rural centre of the Sapphire Coast and gateway to the lush Bega Valley. Visit the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre, housed in a faithful reproduction of the original, tells the story of cheese-making production in the area.

www.visitnsw.com

Cooma (48 km)

The Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre is a state-of-the-art visitor facility showcasing the story of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme from the early construction days to the role the scheme plays today in the development of Australia.

www.visitnsw.com

Nimmitabel (18 km)

Nimmitabel is a small township on the edge of the Snowy region. The rolling plains are amidst a rich, fertile agricultural zone. The Court House and Lock-Up Museum, that chronicles the history of the town.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Pipers lookout is in South East Forests National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Ancient connections

The mountains of South East Forests National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

South East Forests National Park is part of the traditional country of the Yuin People, who had a diverse economy and cultural links with neighbouring Aboriginal clans and tribes. South East Forests National Park and the surrounding area provided a diverse food source of animals and fish, a rich resource for weapon and tool construction, as well as a source of medicines and transport. The park protects a number of Aboriginal sites and remains an important landscape for Aboriginal people today.

Old-growth

View from Pipers lookout, South East Forest National Park. Photo: John Yurasek/OEH

In the early 19th century, explorers, miners, squatters and timber getters led the way into the area that is now South East Forests National Park. The forests within the park were utilised as resources for many years up until the 1980's when their transition to national park commenced. The old-growth forest contains eucalypt trees in their final cycle of growth; trees that provide many different types of nest or home sites for wildlife. Some animals, like large forest owls and glider possums depend on these forests for hollows that develop over long periods of time. Pipers lookout in the northern part of the park is a good place to see old growth forests. Take the short loop walk to see magnificent views of Bemboka and the Bega Valley below, and walk through towering old growth forest.

Rock on

Forest stream, South East Forests National Park. Photo: John Spencer

South East Forests National Park protects unique physical features that are sure to appeal to budding geologists, keen photographers and nature-lovers alike. The huge granite tors at Pheasants Peak are the result of volcanic activity and millions of years of weathering and erosion. For a close up view, take the challenging Pheasants Peak walk, you'll also be rewarded with stunning views towards the Snowy Mountains and down the south coast escarpment. Don't miss the elliptically shaped Jingera complex at Jingera Rock near the town of Wyndham; a sheer syenite rockface that is the first reported complex of its type in Australia.

  • Goodenia Rainforest picnic area Combine a barbecue with birdwatching at Goodenia Rainforest picnic area, near Merimbula. The easy Goodenia Rainforest walk starts from this scenic picnic area.
  • Myanba Gorge walking track Myanba Gorge walking track is a short walk near Bombala with wheelchair-friendly access to the first lookout. It’s great spot for birdwatching and an idyllic place for a picnic.
  • Nunnock Swamp and Grasslands walking tracks Go to South East Forests National Park near both Nimmitabel and Bombala for a day walk through the Far South Coast hinterland. Go birdwatching or camping at Alexanders Hut.
  • Pipers lookout A good place to stop for a picnic, but Pipers lookout in South East Forest National Park also features stunning views – take the easy boardwalk to see for yourself.

Wildlife haven

Small mushrooms,  South East Forests National Park Photo: John Spencer

Koalas, powerful owls and giant burrowing frogs are among the threatened species protected within South East Forests National Park. The park also shelters the state's only known populations of endangered long-footed potoroos. Head to White Rock picnic area and look for small conical pits in the ground - evidence of a potoroo's night-time search for fungus. If you're camping overnight at Six Mile Creek or Nunnock campgrounds, listen and watch for nocturnal creatures like gliders and possums.

  • Goodenia Rainforest picnic area Combine a barbecue with birdwatching at Goodenia Rainforest picnic area, near Merimbula. The easy Goodenia Rainforest walk starts from this scenic picnic area.
  • Waalimma picnic area Located near both Bega and Bombala on the NSW south coast, Waalimma picnic area in South East Forests National Park is great for birdwatching, bushwalking and camping.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Koala. Photo: Lucy Morrell

    Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

    One of the most renowned Australian animals, the tree-dwelling marsupial koala can be found in gum tree forests and woodlands across eastern NSW, Victoria and Queensland, as well as in isolated regions in South Australia. With a vice-like grip, this perhaps most iconic but endangered Australian animal lives in tall eucalypts within a home range of several hectares.

  • 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.

  • Long-nosed bandicoot, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo: Narelle King

    Long-nosed bandicoot (Perameles nasuta)

    A nocturnal marsupial and one of the smaller Australian native animals, the long-nosed bandicoot is found across eastern Australia. Populations in the Sydney region have dwindled since European settlement, leaving only endangered colonies in inner western Sydney and at North Head, near Manly. The long-nosed bandicoot has grey-brown fur and a pointed snout which it uses to forage for worms and insects.

  • Sugar glider. Photo: Jeff Betteridge

    Sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps)

    The sugar glider is a tree-dwelling Australian native marsupial, found in tall eucalypt forests and woodlands along eastern NSW. The nocturnal sugar glider feeds on insects and birds, and satisfies its sweet tooth with nectar and pollens.

  • 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.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

People on Pipers lookout. Photo:Debby McGerty