Washpools picnic area and viewing platform

Towarri National Park

Open, check current alerts 

Overview

Set beside the tranquil Middle Brook, Washpools picnic area and nearby scenic lookout are ideal for spending a relaxing day of swimming and barbecues with friends and family.

Type
Picnic areas
Where
Towarri National Park
Accessibility
Medium
What to
bring
Hat, sunscreen, drinking water
Please note
  • There is limited mobile reception in this park.
  • Check the weather before you set out as the road to Washpools picnic area and viewing platform has a creek crossing which may become impassable when it rains.

Washpools picnic area and viewing platform are set within river oak forest and box woodland beside the tranquil Middle Brook. Come and enjoy a relaxing barbecue lunch and take in the scenic views across the Upper Hunter. Bring your binoculars and keep an eye out for the park’s various birds. When you see a red flash flying through the bushland, is it a king parrot or a crimson rosella?

After lunch, go for an easy walk along the banks of Middle Brook to Washpools waterhole. The kookaburras may start laughing when you strip down for a swim, but don’t shy away. This natural waterhole is a lovely way to cool down. If you stay overnight at Washpools campground, visit the picnic area very early in the day, or leave late and you may see grazing wallabies, kangaroos, or even a wombat.

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/washpools-picnic-area-and-viewing-platform/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about the Washpools picnic area and viewing platform.

Getting there and parking

On entering Towarri National Park:

  • Drive along Middlebrook Road and park at Washpools picnic area
  • The viewing platform is a short walk from the picnic area

Road quality

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at Washpools picnic area and viewing platform

Best times to visit

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

Autumn

After the wind down from the hotter months, the temperatures at Washpool are delightful and a great time to visit the park.

Spring

Wildflowers emerge in spring and that gets the birds and bees excited too.

Summer

These hot months are a great time for swimming in Middle Brook and Washpools waterhole.

Winter

Wood fires are allowed in the park during winter, so it's an ideal time to come camping. Pack your billy and your thermals.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

16°C and 30°C

Highest recorded

40.6°C

Winter temperature

Average

2.5°C and 14.5°C

Lowest recorded

-6.5°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

January

Driest month

April

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

227.3mm

Facilities

Toilets

  • Non-flush toilets

Picnic tables

Barbecue facilities

  • Gas/electric barbecues (free)

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Beach safety

Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents. These beach safety tips will help you and your family stay safe in the water.

Bushwalking safety

If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

If you’re bushwalking in this park, it’s a good idea to bring a topographic map and compass, or a GPS.

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).

Outback safety

Safety is of high priority in outback areas. In summer, temperatures can reach up to 50°C in some places. Food, water and fuel supplies can be scarce. Before you head off, check for road closures and use our contacts to stay safe in the outback.

River and lake safety

The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

Accessibility

Disability access level - medium

Assistance may be required to access this area.

Permitted

Fishing

Fishing from a boat, the beach or by the river is a popular activity for many national park visitors. If you’re planning a day out fishing, check out these fishing safety tips.

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

Washpools picnic area and viewing platform is in Towarri National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Fabulous flowers and creatures of flight

A pair of glossy-black cockatoos on tree branch. Photo: John Spencer/OEH.

Towarri is inhabited by a range of birds and animals, many with a particularly distinctive call, appearance or ability that appears in their name. The powerful owl is as strong as it sounds, hunting and feeding on medium-sized mammals and marsupials including gliders, possums and wallabies. The glossy-black cockatoo is as self-explanatory as the red-tailed and yellow-tailed black cockatoos. The greater glider spreads itself out like a sheet of paper to change trees. The Liverpool Range sees the blending of many plant species. Towarri National Park is home to about 650 species. From the cassuarina forests along the creeklines to the majestic snow gum on the ridgeline, that are capped with snow on occasion. The miltant grass trees stand on the hills amongst the serene poa grasslands. The gully lines off the falls of sandstone play host to dry rainforest pockets providing habitat to many fauna species. The unique area is a floristic wonderland with many species at the edge of the range.

  • Washpools picnic area and viewing platform Set beside the tranquil Middle Brook, Washpools picnic area and nearby scenic lookout are ideal for spending a relaxing day of swimming and barbecues with friends and family.
  • Washpools waterhole Only 500m along Middle Brook from Washpools picnic area and viewing platform is the shallow, naturally formed Washpools waterhole — great for a dip on a hot day. 

Snow gums and spinifex

Farm land and distant mountains, Towarri National Park. Photo: Brent Mail

Three distinct bioregions meet in Towarri: the Sydney Basin, the Brigalow Belt South and North Coast. This means that the soil type, fertility and depth differ throughout the park. Throw in a variation in rainfall, elevation and geological features and the result is a mosaic of plant communities. Snow gums decorate the skyline above a snowgrass understorey on the high plateau areas of Mount Tinagroo and Bald Hill.

  • Washpools picnic area and viewing platform Set beside the tranquil Middle Brook, Washpools picnic area and nearby scenic lookout are ideal for spending a relaxing day of swimming and barbecues with friends and family.
  • Washpools waterhole Only 500m along Middle Brook from Washpools picnic area and viewing platform is the shallow, naturally formed Washpools waterhole — great for a dip on a hot day. 

The first people

Mountains in Towarri National Park. Photo: Brent Mail

The Wonnarua people were the first inhabitants of the Hunter Valley, which was known as Coquun before European settlement. Their name, ‘Wonnarua’, means ‘people of the hills and plains’, and their traditional lands reach from near Maitland in the Upper Hunter to the Great Dividing Range towards Wollombi. Their history in the area is shared with nearby groups such as Worimi to the northeast and Awakakal to the southeast. Towarri means ‘warrior’ in the language of the Wonnarua, and these people fought hard for their land after European settlement.

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