Take the challenge of the Barrington trail, a 4WD trail in Barrington Tops National Park. Open between October and May every year, plan your 4WD camping holiday now.
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4WD touring routes
Big Yango loop trail is a great activity for 4WD touring and mountain biking when staying at Blue Gums campground, Mountain Arm campground or Big Yango House in Yengo National Park.
From Casino, Cambridge Plateau scenic drive is a comfortable drive along the ridge through scenic rainforest, offering fantastic views.
See Gondwana rainforest, go camping, birdwatching and enjoy amazing scenery on a scenic drive through Hastings Forest Way touring route near Port Macquarie and Wauchope.
Drive through open forests along Howes trail, a must-do 4WD touring route in Yengo National Park.
Carrai and Coachwood trails combines 2 remote 4WD adventures in Carrai National Park and Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, between Kempsey and Armidale.
Orara Escarpment 4WD touring route goes from Coffs Harbour through pristine forest, with spectacular waterfalls and idyllic picnic and swimming spots along the way.
Adventure sports experiences
Challenge yourself on a high ropes course in the forest canopy at TreeTops Newcastle. Adults and kids can choose from over 100 elevated obstacles including rope ladders, wobbly bridges and zip lines.
Birdwatching and wildlife facilities
See an array of birdlife at Seaham Swamp Bird Hide. A top Seaham attraction and picnic spot, this birdwatching haven is open all year round.
Stockton sandspit, close to Newcastle, is a bird watching haven in Hunter Wetlands National Park where you'll find flocks of shorebirds gathering and feeding.
Try this paddle route along the Evans River in Bundjalung National Park on the north coast for fabulous wildlife and birdwatching.
Cudgen Lake, near the coastal villages of Cabarita Beach and Bogangar on the Tweed Coast, is perfect for kayaking, swimming, picnicking and birdwatching.
Esk River is the perfect place for canoeing, offering birdwatching and a back to nature wilderness experience on the north coast of NSW.
Jerusalem Creek is a great spot for canoeing and kayaking on the north coast. Paddlers will enjoy calm waters and the company of birds along this water journey.
At the flat water Khappinghat Creek, kayak or canoe through undeveloped wetlands, mangroves and rainforest. Swimming and fishing near Taree on the mid-north coast of NSW.
For those into kayaking, canoeing or fishing, Moonee Creek canoe route is the ideal alternative way to enjoy the reserve. This pristine estuary is at the southern end of Moonee Beach.
Warrell Creek offers opportunities for kayaking, canoeing and fishing, with nearby places to picnic and secluded camping sites
Canoe, kayak and fish the tranquil waters of Sportsmans Creek in Everlasting Swamp National Park. Perfect for families, this easy flat-water paddle takes you back to nature in a birdwatcher’s paradise beside the Clarence River.
Woolgoolga Lake is a great place for canoeing, kayaking, swimming and birdwatching. Make a day of it - pack a picnic or barbecue to enjoy at this scenic spot.
Adventurous canoeists, kayakers, and stand up paddleboarders will enjoy this downstream route along pristine Pine Creek, a wildlife haven in Bongil Bongil National Park, near Coffs Harbour.
Spend the day riding your mountain bike on the trails in Glenrock State Conservation Area near Newcastle. There are rides to suit all levels, and even the kids can ride.
Cycle through lush subtropical rainforest and eucalypt forest. See spectacular waterfalls and enjoy beautiful picnic and swimming spots, close to Coffs Harbour.
Take a gentle bike ride into the heart of Everlasting Swamp on this easy, family-friendly cycling trail near Grafton in the Clarence Valley. This shimmering wetland is a top spot for bird watching.
Ride past waterfalls and subtropical rainforest teeming with native plants and animals on Whian Whian mountain biking trails, near Byron Bay and Lismore.
Deadmans mountain bike loop is an easy 8km cycle through rare Hunter Valley bushland. The trail starts near Astills picnic area and is a good choice for a family day trip.
Mining Road to Old Gibber Road cycling trail is an easy bike ride within Myall Lakes National Park. You can complete the ride in one day or take your tent to camp overnight.
Scenic trail is a challenging mountain bike ride - a steep scenic hike through coastal forest and heathland to views of the rugged coastline and access to Pinny Beach.
For hard yet rewarding mountain biking, Double Wharf to Whoota lookout cycle loop offers scenic views, wildlife and walking in Wallingat National Park, south of Forster.
Experience the scenic waterways and mountainous forests of Wallingat National Park along Double Wharf trail – perfect for walking or mountain bike riding.
Southern Boundary trail offers a moderately-challenging mountain biking route through Wallingat National Park’s lush forests, beginning and ending at a picnic area.
Greater Blue Mountains Drive takes in the iconic scenery of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Explore Glenbrook, Wentworth Falls and Katoomba and beyond.
The views are fantastic along this 70km scenic drive. Stop for a swim, picnic or camp overnight at one of the remote, picturesque spots provided by the river.
Winding through the tall rainforest, across creeks, this picturesque car touring route provides an ideal family day trip or a spectacular day cycling through the park.
The 185km Waterfall Way scenic drive links Coffs harbour and Armidale, passing rainforest, river valleys and waterfalls, including New England and Dorrigo national parks.
While car touring, stop off and go walking among the trees or swimming in the river and have a picnic on Moonpar Forest drive, a 75km circuit through Cascade and Nymboi–Binderay national parks.
If you're in Nymboi-Binderay National Park, go walking and sightseeing on the half-day circuit of Moonpar Forest drive and enjoy a picnic surrounded by majestic trees which are around eight centuries old.
Enjoy driving through diverse landscapes on Sherwood Forest Drive. This scenic trail offers picturesque places to picnic, lookouts and spectacular views along the way.
The 25km loop of Wallingat Forest drive, near Forster, is on unsealed roads that meander through forests, and excellent for cars, 4WDs, bicycles, walking and horse riding.
Head south from Arrawarra to discover beautiful Mullaway Headland and Beach, near Coffs Harbour. Make the most of its picnic area and barbecues, go fishing or swimming.
Horse riding trails
Tip to Tail trail shows everything Wallingat National Park has to offer while enjoying a day of mountain biking or horseriding.
Located opposite the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, Diggers Beach is excellent for surfing and learning to surf, plus fishing, swimming, birdwatching and beach walking.
Wallabi Beach near Taree offers swimming and surfing and provides a great day out at Saltwater National Park.
Bongil Beach, in Bongil Bongil National Park near Coffs Harbour, is a remote beach ideal for walking and fishing offering scenic coastal views and birdwatching.
Tallow Beach is 3.2km from the heart of Byron Bay and a great place for swimming, birdwatching, whale watching, beach fishing, and just throwing down a towel to soak up the sun.
Front Beach offers family friendly options including swimming, paddling, liloing and picnicking in Arakoon National Park on the mid North Coast of NSW.
Soak up views of Solitary Islands Marine Park from Arrawarra Headland and Beach near Coffs Harbour. Fishing, surfing, swimming – it’s all here waiting for you to enjoy.
Positioned near Look-at-me-now Headland, 20km from Coffs Harbour, Emerald Beach is a local surfing hotspot. Visit also for fishing or swimming, or for barbecues in the picnic area.
Woolgoolga Beach and Headland has the best whale watching in the Coffs Region, plus great surfing, fishing and picnics and scenic views.
Enjoy spectacular coastal views along the Cape Byron walking track that takes you on a hike through rainforest, beach, grassland and clifftops to the lighthouse.
Walk through lush rainforest to reach Crystal Shower Falls in Dorrigo National Park near Coffs Harbour. Enjoy spectacular views from the rocky cavern behind the waterfall.
The section of Great North walk in Watagans National Park features great scenic lookouts and wonderful birdwatching. It is best suited to experienced bushwalkers.
Keep your eyes peeled for birds nesting along the creek along the Jerusalem Creek walk. Enjoy the hike as a day walk or shorter walk and finish up with a picnic lunch.
Take a guided tour along Tomaree Head Summit walk, absorbing views of Port Stephens and the north coast. When you reach the summit, enjoy a relaxing lunch on the bench by the lookout.
Walk the short and easy Border loop walk through World Heritage-listed rainforest. Enjoy spectacular views from the lookout and finish with a picnic at the end.
Cascades walking track in New England National Park is a rainforest stream walk that travels down through the valley below Wrights lookout for amazing scenic views.
The Sea Acres Rainforest boardwalk is best experienced on a guided tour. An easy 1.3km walk through the rainforest canopy, you’ll see forest birds and animals.
Solitary Islands coastal walk traverses 60km of beaches and rainforest on the Coffs Coast. Enjoy whale watching, birdwatching and swimming on your journey from Red Rock to the coastal village of Sawtell.
Pass through coastal rainforest to scenic views of Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse on this lovely walk. Take the sidetrack to Treachery Beach for a swim, surf or a spot of fishing.
Dark Point Aboriginal Place, in southern Myall Lakes National Park, is a culturally significant site for the Worimi people with scenic coastal views across to Broughton Island.
Cafes and kiosks
Take in spectacular views over Byron Bay while you sip a coffee or enjoy a light meal at Cape Byron Lighthouse Cafe. It’s the perfect spot to relax after exploring the Cape Byron Lighthouse area.
Canopy Cafe in Dorrigo National Park is a great place to eat near Coffs Harbour, offering fresh contemporary cuisine in a stunning forest setting, with all day breakfast and lunch, and great coffee.
Explore Aboriginal history and hear Dreamtime stories of Giidany Miirlarl, also known as Muttonbird Island on a guided tour with an Aboriginal Discovery ranger.
Get creative with Aboriginal painting techniques in Awabakal Nature Reserve, near Newcastle. Fun for kids and adults alike, you'll also listen to stories and take home your artwork.
If you happen to be near Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve these school holidays, drop by and listen to an Aboriginal NPWS roving ranger talking about the cultural significance of the island.
Cape Byron Lighthouse sits on Australia’s most easterly point, a shining light over Byron Bay. Take a guided tour, find out about shipwrecks and enjoy spectacular views.
Point Stephens Lighthouse on Fingal Island is one of a kind. Kayak or take a boat to the island to explore the lighthouse and historic ruins.
For a glimpse into Australian history, head to South West Rocks to explore the historic ruins of Trial Bay Gaol. Make sure you see the view from the sentry’s lookout.
Discover the military history of Port Stephens on a guided tour of the historic gun emplacements at Tomaree Head in Tomaree National Park on the north coast of NSW.
Guided tours through Mountain Maid gold mine are available for visitors to Copeland Tops State Conservation Area. Walking tours start from Hidden Treasure picnic area.
Hat Head National Park on the mid-north coast of NSW near South West Rocks is a natural paradise. Explore the lighthouse, camp by the beach and go fishing and swimming.
The historic Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse, at the northern end of Myall Lakes National Park not far from Forster offers coastal views and is a top spot for whale watching.
If you’re heading north to Astills picnic area then you might stop for a moment to discover some historic heritage at Forestry Hut.
Just five minutes from Forster, the Cape Hawke lookout offers spectacular 360-degree views along the coast from the top of a dedicated tower, perfect for whale watching.
Captain Cook's lookout is located beneath the Smoky Cape lighthouse near Kempsey on the north coast of NSW. A great spot for picnics and amazing South West Rocks scenic views.
Walk-in Careys Peak lookout offers scenic mountain views and picnicking for experienced walkers in World Heritage Barrington Tops National Park.
The Eastern Side lookout offers spectacular views of the Solitary Islands. A short walk from the carpark, it’s a great place for whale watching in the heart of Coffs Harbour.
Finchley lookout offers spectacular views over this remote wilderness area and an insight into the Aboriginal cultural heritage of Yengo National Park.
Stay as long as you like to enjoy the views at Iluka Bluff lookout, near Yamba. Not only is it an excellent whale watching spot, it’s also a great place to picnic.
Monkey Face lookout provides excellent scenic views over the Martinsville Valley, with space for a picnic.
Point lookout is a must-see destination for visitors to New England National Park, offering panoramic views across World Heritage rainforest to the ocean in the distance.
Pack a picnic and spend some time at Sherwood lookout at Toonumbar National Park, Sherwood Ranges, with scenic views of an old volcano.
Yarriabini lookout invites visitors to relax and enjoy the magnificent coastal views to the Macleay River estuary and Trial Bay.
After surfing or swimming at the Clarence Coast’s famous Angourie Headland, stop off at the scenic Angourie Bay picnic area for a tasty picnic lunch with the family.
Get together for a picnic near Cessnock under the shady gums at Astills picnic area, then head off for a bike ride through Werakata National Park.
Back Creek picnic area, set in a beautiful dry eucalypt forest, offers great spots for picnics and cricket games, is close to easy walking tracks and features a maze.
Escape the crowds and head to Bindarray picnic area. Enjoy 4WD touring, birdwatching, wildlife watching, swimming, liloing, paddling and picnicking by Urumbilum River.
Stop at secluded Black Oaks picnic area while enjoying a paddling trip on Myall River, as it offers scenic river views and abundant wildlife, in Myall Lakes National Park.
Blackbutt picnic area is one of Crowdy Bay National Park’s many mouth-watering locations for a picnic. Great for families, with direct beach access and easy parking.
A popular picnic spot with daytrippers in summer, Boarding House Dam picnic area offers all the amenities, as well as local history, paddling, and hiking opportunities.
Indulge in some picnicking, swimming, surfing, and birdwatching, while discovering a secluded paradise where lush rainforest meets the beach.
Brunswick River picnic area is a great place to enjoy this peaceful reserve, with scenic views, easy access to fishing and plenty of birdwatching opportunities.
Cambridge Plateau picnic area, close to Casino and Kyogle, is an idyllic spot for picnicking that’s also great for birdwatching.
Tackle Worimi sand dunes with a 4WD quad bike. Not far from Newcastle, it's the most thrilling way to see these spectacular coastal dunes. Perfect for beginners and advanced riders.
Looking for something for the kids to do, away from the screens? This fun activity in Dorrigo National Park promises to re-engage kids with the natural environment, and be a highlight of the holidays.
Walk the break wall path from Coffs Harbour to Muttonbird Island and join this short evening tour. You'll come up close to the birds who give Muttonbird Island its name.
On this school holidays adventure, uncover the mysterious world beneath the rocks at Burwood Beach in Glenrock State Conservation Area, near Newcastle. For kids 5 years and up.
Join this 3km guided walk exploring the unique wetland at Lake Macquarie. As you walk, you'll see how the environment changes from creek to wetland. You might even spot some wildflowers along the way.
Experience the nature of stillness on a guided meditative walk with Simon Adel (from Port Yoga) in the rainforest of Sea Acres National Park. It's a great way to start your weekend.
Cape Byron Information Centre is the place to find visitor information for Cape Byron State Conservation Area, Cape Byron Marine Park and surrounding national parks in the Byron Bay area.