Platypus picnic area

Gibraltar Range National Park

Open, check current alerts 

Overview

Close to the Gwydir Highway, Platypus picnic area gives travellers a small glimpse of Gibraltar Range National Park, with birdwatching opportunities and a place to picnic with barbecues.

Type
Picnic areas
Where
Gibraltar Range National Park
Accessibility
Medium
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note
Remember to take your binoculars if you want to birdwatch.

Not far from the popular Dandahra picnic area, Platypus picnic area is a quieter alternative for travellers on the Gwydir Highway who want to get a sense of Gibraltar Range National Park without driving too far off the road.

A good pit stop for a leisurely lunch, Platypus picnic area allows you to see wildflowers in spring like the famous Gibraltar waratah. Native birds roost in the trees overhead, making this a tidy spot for birdwatching too. Plus, it isn’t called Platypus for nothing: you might glimpse one of these elusive creatures swimming in Little Dandahra Creek. 

Platypus picnic area has wood barbecues and plenty of table space – all the basics for an enjoyable afternoon. But if this small taste of the park has you intrigued, try the short hike to Anvil Rock, with superb scenic views over the surrounding area. Alternatively, pack the bicycle and hit the service trails.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Map


Map legend

Map legend

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/picnic-areas/platypus-picnic-area/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about the Platypus picnic area.

Getting there and parking

Platypus picnic area is in the Dandahra precinct of Gibraltar Range National Park. To get there:

  • From Glen Innes, drive 65km along the Gwydir Highway, and 300m along Mulligans Drive.
  • From Grafton, drive 92km along the Gwydir Highway, and 300m along Mulligans Drive.

Road quality

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at the carpark along Mulligans Drive, a short walk from the attraction.

Best times to visit

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

Spring

The most popular time of the year to visit, spring sees the park erupt into a vibrant display of wildflowers, including the Gibraltar waratah.

Summer

Take in an early morning bushwalk before the day heats up, then cool down in one of the many waterways, like the Little Dandahra Creek.

Winter

It can be below freezing at night, but the daytime temperatures make this the best time of the year to take in some of the longer treks like the Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

13°C and 24.1°C

Highest recorded

35°C

Winter temperature

Average

1°C and 13.2°C

Lowest recorded

-8.9°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

January

Driest month

August

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

258.4mm

Facilities

Picnic tables

Barbecue facilities

You’re encouraged to bring gas or fuel stoves, especially in summer during the fire season.

  • Wood barbecues (bring your own firewood)

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Fire safety

During periods of fire weather, the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service may declare a total fire ban for particular NSW fire areas, or statewide. Learn more about total fire bans and fire safety.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus 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 - medium

  • Assistance may be required to access this area

Prohibited

Pets

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

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Learn more

Platypus picnic area is in Gibraltar Range National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Lands of plenty

Mulligans Hut, Gibraltar Range National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

The European heritage of the park may be shorter, but look around and you'll find its traces clearly etched in the natural environment. Living around the range are direct descendants of graziers, lumberers and miners who made their livings here. Bullock teams and horses once struggled through the bush and granite tors, attempting to tame a landscape that today inspires for its wild ruggedness. Evidence of their work can be glimpsed at Mulligans campground and picnic area, where an aborted hydro-electric scheme from the 1900s is memoralised by a remaining hut and several weirs. Hikers on the wide-reaching Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk might also notice relics of pre-WWII tin and gold-mining operations in the Grassy Creek area.

  • Dandahra Crags walking track Dandahra Crags walking track, in Gibraltar Range National Park, is a hiking route with scenic views and birdwatching opportunities.
  • Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk Keep an eye out for birds and wildflowers on the 45km Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk through eucalypt forests, rainforests, wetlands and granite tors in the rugged Northern Tablelands.

World Heritage Area

A couple looking out over the mountain range, Gibraltar Range National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

Part of the Gondwana Rainforests Reserves of Australia, Gibraltar Range is listed on the World Heritage register for rainforest plants that have existed since Australia was part of the Gondwana super-continent. Gibraltar Range National Park is home to several threatened species of animal: the endangered giant barred frog, which can grow to the size of a small adult's hand; and glossy black cockatoos, under threat from a loss of breeding habitat. Feeding locations are very important to the continuing survival of the cockatoo.

  • Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk Keep an eye out for birds and wildflowers on the 45km Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk through eucalypt forests, rainforests, wetlands and granite tors in the rugged Northern Tablelands.
  • The Needles walking track The Needles walking track offers jaw-dropping views of granite rock formations in Gibraltar Range National Park, near Glen Innes. Part of the Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk, it’s a great shorter walk option.
  • Tree Fern Forest walking track Tree Fern Forest walking track is an iconic 9.2km loop walk through World Heritage-listed rainforest and dramatic heathlands in Gibraltar Range National Park, between Glen Innes and Grafton.

Years in the making

Little Dandahra Creek, Gilbraltar Range National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

Long stewarded through history by Aboriginal people in the area, the Gibraltar Range continues to hold significance for contemporary descendants. The Range is rich in cultural sites and sacred places, with Aboriginal groups having moved regularly between the tablelands and coastal plains, conducting ceremonies and gathering food along the way.

  • Dandahra Crags walking track Dandahra Crags walking track, in Gibraltar Range National Park, is a hiking route with scenic views and birdwatching opportunities.

Education resources (1)