Vista Point picnic area

Mount Hyland Nature Reserve

Overview

For scenic views across spectacular wilderness, Vista Point picnic area offers birdwatching and World Heritage rainforest in Mount Hyland Nature Reserve, near Dorrigo.

Type
Picnic areas
Where
Mount Hyland Nature Reserve
Accessibility
Hard
Price
Free
What to
bring
Hat, sunscreen, drinking water
Please note
  • The weather in the area can be extreme and unpredictable, so please ensure you’re well-prepared for your visit.
  • There is limited mobile reception in this park
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go bird watching

There’s no need to book ahead for this magnificent lunch spot with superb mountain views. Tucked away in Mount Hyland Nature Reserve, Vista Point picnic area boasts breathtaking scenic views across vast wilderness. Located between Dorrigo and Grafton, this wild and remote spot is a short detour off Chaelundi Road, ideal for those who love bushwalking and birdwatching, and nature-lovers on a 4WD tour.

Stop and inhale the pristine rainforest air and feel the tranquillity descend. As you unwrap your sandwiches, gaze across the million-dollar views of Chaelundi Wilderness to the incredible Gibraltar Range National Park over 70km away.

The crisp clear days of autumn and winter are perfect for taking in the 180-degree vista. Be sure to keep an eye on the sky as majestic wedge-tailed eagles are often seen surfing the updrafts near this sky-high picnic spot.

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/picnic-areas/vista-point-picnic-area/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

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

Getting there and parking

Vista Point picnic area is in Mount Hyland Nature Reserve. To get there:

Via Dundurrabin

  • Turn off Armidale/Grafton Road at Dundurrabin
  • Proceed along Sheepstation Road for 6.3km
  • Turn left onto Chaelundi Road
  • Vista Point turn-off is 10.5km along Chaelundi Road

Via Hernani

  • Turn off Armidale/Grafton Road at Hernani onto Marengo Road
  • Proceed along Marengo Road for 11.4km
  • Turn right onto Hardens Road and proceed for 12km
  • Turn right onto Chaelundi Rd and proceed for 800m

Via Old Glen Innes/Grafton Road

  • At Dalmorton, turn onto Chaelundi Road
  • Proceed along Chaelundi Road for 46.5km

Road quality

Check the weather before you set out as the road to Mount Hyland Nature Reserve can become boggy when it rains.

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • All roads require 4WD vehicle

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at Vista Point picnic area.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Mount Hyland Nature Reserve. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

Walk to the top of the summit for spectacular views across world-class wilderness.

Spring

Take the binoculars for some excellent birdwatching as spring heralds the nesting season.

Summer

Escape the summer heat with a refreshing walk through temperate rainforest.

Winter

The crisp mornings are a great time for taking in the majestic views across the mountain ranges from the lookouts.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

13.8°C and 24°C

Highest recorded

35°C

Winter temperature

Average

4.4°C and 16°C

Lowest recorded

-8.9°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

January

Driest month

August

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

254.8mm

Facilities

  • Drinking water is not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.
  • You’re encouraged to bring gas or fuel stoves, especially in summer during the fire season.

Picnic tables

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

This park or attraction is in a remote location, so please ensure you’re well-prepared, bring appropriate clothing and equipment and advise a family member or friend of your travel plans.

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 - hard

  • Wheelchairs can access this area with some difficulty.

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

Bellingen (51 km)

Bellingen is a laid-back, tree-lined town with a New Age vibe. It's set in a luxuriant valley beside the Bellinger River.

www.visitnsw.com

Dorrigo (41 km)

Dorrigo is a serene country town and the gateway to Dorrigo National Park. Its close to the edge of the escarpment above the Bellingen Valley.

www.visitnsw.com

Grafton (65 km)

Grafton is a gracious, historic city in the Clarence Valley farming district. It's situated on the broad Clarence River and surrounded by river flats.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Vista Point picnic area is in Mount Hyland Nature Reserve. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Famous wildlife residents

Fungi, Mount Hyland Nature Reserve. Photo: G James

One of the more famous animals that are protected within this isolated reserve is the Hastings River mouse. Once thought to be extinct in NSW, it was rediscovered in the early 1980s. Other threated animals found in the area include the long-nosed potoroo and spotted-tailed quoll. Another of the fascinating animals protected within this rainforest remnant is the threatened pouched frog. Only 2cm in length, the male frog has two pouches on either side, which are used to carry the baby tadpoles after they've hatched.

  • Summit walking track A loop through World Heritage rainforest, Summit walking track offers spectacular scenic views, birdwatching and picnic opportunities in Mount Hyland Nature Reserve, near Dorrigo.
  • Vista Point picnic area For scenic views across spectacular wilderness, Vista Point picnic area offers birdwatching and World Heritage rainforest in Mount Hyland Nature Reserve, near Dorrigo.

Gumbaynggirr country

Vista Point picnic area, Mount Hyland Nature Reserve. Photo: Tony Karacsonyi

Mount Hyland Nature Reserve is located within the Traditional Lands of the Gumbaynggirr People. Aboriginal people in the area have a strong connection to their traditional lands and maintain connection through conservation and resource management. Sites of high cultural significance are located along the traditional walking routes between Boyd River and high country around the village of Ebor.

Hyland history

Trees and native vegetation, Mount Hyland Nature Reserve. Photo: H Clark

Mount Hyland was named after an early settler to the area who established a cattle station to the south of the mountain range. Hyland lived a basic existence in a slab shelter built from nearby stringybark trees. Although life was tough and he moved on, his name remains.

World Heritage rainforest

Summit walking track, Mount Hyland Nature Reserve. Photo: Shane Ruming

This unique patch of high altitude rainforest forms part of the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. These cool temperate forests are only found at altitudes over 1,000m. Interestingly, Antarctic beech trees are absent from this patch of rainforest, possibly due to fire or drought.

Education resources (1)

Vista Point picnic area, Mount Hyland Nature Reserve. Photo: Tony Karacsonyi