Starrs Creek picnic area
Coorabakh National Park
Great for picnicking and birdwatching, Starrs Creek picnic area in Coorabakh National Park also offers an elevated boardwalk that opens up the rainforest on an easy walk.
- Picnic areas
- What to
- Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Starrs Creek picnic area is a terrific spot to settle down and enjoy the natural splendour of the rainforest, with light filtering through the canopy into a cool clearing. Bring a packed lunch and find a place to picnic right near the crystal clear perfection of the creek; picnic tables make this a convenient spot for families, though everybody will appreciate the quiet solitude of pristine nature.
It’s easy to while away an entire day relaxing in the shade here, reading a book or using binoculars for birdwatching (lyrebirds are common in the area). But Starrs Creek picnic area is also the access point to a beautiful elevated boardwalk, perfect for walking with children and fully wheelchair-accessible.
This easy 400m stroll threads through unusual palms and other subtropical species popular with the local animals, some of them threatened. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for spotted-tailed quoll, for example. For a scenic view of the area be sure to visit nearby Flat Rock lookout.
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/starrs-creek-picnic-area/local-alerts
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- in Coorabakh National Park in the North Coast region
Coorabakh National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
All the practical information you need to know about the Starrs Creek picnic area.
Getting there and parking
Starrs Creek picnic area is in the northern precinct of Coorabakh National Park. To get there:
- From Coopernook and Moorland, take Forest Drive Road north.
- Travel through Coopernook State Forest and follow the signs to Coorabakh National Park
- Signs to Starrs Creek are well-posted throughout the park
Check the weather before you set out as the road to Starrs Creek picnic area can become boggy when it rains.
- Unsealed roads
- 2WD vehicles (no long vehicle access)
- 4WD required in wet weather
There's a gravel carpark at the picnic area, opposite Starrs Creek. The carpark has 1 accessible parking space.
Best times to visit
There are lots of great things waiting for you in Coorabakh National Park. Here are some of the highlights.
Several endangered plants flower in the park, creating beautiful displays of wildflowers near lookouts and along roadsides.
A perfect escape from the summer heat can be found in the subtropical rainforest around Starrs Creek, with its elevated boardwalk, and along the slightly more adventurous path to the cave at Newbys Creek.
Low rainfall and reasonable temperatures make winter a great time to take advantage of the several stunning lookouts around the park.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
17.2°C and 28.6°C
6.5°C and 12.8°C
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
Drinking water is limited or not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.
There's an accessible toilet at the start of the rainforest boardwalk which leads to the picnic area.
- Non-flush toilets
There are accessible timber picnic tables on a wooden platform at the end of the rainforest boardwalk that runs from the carpark to the picnic area.
There's step-free access from the carpark to the picnic area along a 100m wood rainforest boardwalk. The boardwalk has handrails as you reach the picnic area, but not at other points along its length.
- Step-free outdoor pathways
Maps and downloads
Disability access level - easy
- The wooden rainforest boardwalk that leads from the small gravel carpark to the picnic area is 100m long, step-free and mostly flat. There are handrails at the end, where the picnic tables are.
- There's a small gravel carpark with 1 accessible parking space.
- There's an accessible toilet next to the carpark, at the start of the rainforest boardwalk
- There are accessible picnic tables toilets on a wooden platform at the end of the rainforest boardwalk.
Starrs Creek picnic area is in Coorabakh National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
A legacy of timber harvesting
Before it was a national park, Coorabakh had a long history of forestry operations. This was once a centre of intensive logging - particularly during the World Wars - and visitors can still find physical remnants of the industry. One evocative site is the Langley Vale tramway, which was originally used to transport timber 21km from Old North Camp to Langley Vale, first by horse and later by steam engine. The line was abandoned in the 1940s, but relics still remain: timber bridges, elevated platforms, offcuts left to moulder in the forest, reclaimed by nature.
Eighteen forest ecosystems
The astonishing variety of forest ecosystems in Coorabakh vary from wet foothills covered in blackbutts to subtropical rainforest. This makes a visit a fascinating experience as you range from high lookouts over eucalyptus canopies to cool mossy creekbeds.
- Big Nellie lookout and picnic area Big Nellie, in Coorabakh National Park, and the scenic lookout at its base offers a vantage point for photography and birdwatching, as well as a great place to picnic.
- Flat Rock lookout Flat Rock lookout offers scenic views over the Coxcomb, Goonook and Killabakh nature reserves, as well as great picnicking and birdwatching opportunities.
- Newbys lookout Newbys lookout, on the edge of the Landsdowne escarpment, offers scenic views over Manning Valley as well as opportunities for birdwatching and picnicking.
Home to rare native species
The park is important at a regional level for a number of rare and significant plant species. There are also several species of threatened animal, including the spotted-tailed quoll, yellow-bellied glider, powerful owl and stuttering frog. Don’t forget your camera.
- Newbys Creek walk and caves A short walk along Newbys Creek in Coorabakh National Park takes visitors to a scenic cave, where a large overhanging rock creates a natural shelter above the stream.
- Starrs Creek picnic area Great for picnicking and birdwatching, Starrs Creek picnic area in Coorabakh National Park also offers an elevated boardwalk that opens up the rainforest on an easy walk.
The Aboriginal connection
Before Europeans arrived, the area was the traditional domain of the Ngaamba People. Research suggests that they once used the dramatic cliff lines and distinctive volcanic formations to navigate the region. They may also have been important for cultural practices, sites of sacred ceremonies and other social gatherings.