Border loop walk

Border Ranges National Park

Overview

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.

Where
Border Ranges National Park
Accessibility
No wheelchair access
Distance
1.5km loop
Time suggested
15 - 45min
Grade
Grade 2
Price
Free
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note
  • You’ll find picnic and barbecue facilities at Border loop lookout where the walk commences
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to birdwatch

Take a break from touring the Tweed Range scenic drive and stop in at Border loop.

The circuit track leaves from Border loop lookout and picnic area, taking you on a short walk through a canopy of World Heritage-listed rainforest. This forest supports a population of koalas, so make sure you look high into the canopy for a glimpse of an Australian icon. If you’re interested in finding out more about the ancient rainforest plants, be sure to check out the track-side signs as you walk.

When you come to the end of the track, spend some time taking in views of Gradys Creek valley and the historic Border loop railway line that tunnels through the McPherson range from Border loop lookout. It’s a great place for a barbecue or picnic lunch.

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/walking-tracks/border-loop-walk/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Border loop walk.

Track grading

Grade 2

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    15 - 45min

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Gentle hills

  • Distance

    1.5km loop

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Border Loop walk starts at Border loop lookout, near Cougal.

    From NSW: Turn off Summerland Way onto Gradys Creek Road and drive for 19km until you reach the Border loop lookout.

    From QLD: Turn off the Mount Lindesay Highway at Rathdowney into Running Creek Road. Travel 35km until you reach the Border Loop lookout.

    Park entry points

    Parking

    • Parking is available at Border loop lookout

    Best times to visit

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

    Autumn

    A picnic at Border Loop lookout and picnic area is a must during autumn. It's also a popular spot to see the historic Border Loop railway line.

    Spring

    The perfect time to get away from it all on a family camping trip. Sheepstation Creek campground is a great base for exploring Border Ranges National Park.

    Summer

    Watching the sunrise from Pinnacle lookout offers the best views of the crater escarpment, Wollumbin-Mount Warning and the coast. You're bound to find it a breathtaking experience.

    Winter

    Take in the park's scenery from the comfort of your car or motor home as you drive along the Tweed Range Scenic drive. Be sure to take some breaks along the way though – you don't want to miss the views.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    18°C and 30°C

    Highest recorded

    42.9°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    8°C and 22°C

    Lowest recorded

    -0.3°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    February

    Driest month

    September

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    321mm

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    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.

    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 - no wheelchair access

    This walking track is not wheelchair-accessible but Border loop lookout and picnic area, can be accessed by wheelchairs, prams and visitors with limited mobility, along a paved path. Some assistance may be required to access the raised lookout platform at the end of the path.

    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 pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Nearby towns

    Casino (52 km)

    Casino is a thriving rural centre in the heart of rich agricultural country. It's set in lush pastures on the banks of the Richmond River.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Kyogle (28 km)

    Kyogle is an attractive timber-milling town surrounded by rainforest. It's set on the Richmond River at the base of Fairy Mountain.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Murwillumbah (43 km)

    Murwillumbah is rich dairy, sugar cane and banana country. It's located on the banks of the Tweed River and set in the Tweed River Valley against a backdrop of rainforest-clad hills.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Border loop walk is in Border Ranges National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Aboriginal heritage

    Pinnacle lookout, Border Ranges National Park. Photo: Murray Vanderveer

    The dramatic landscapes of the Border Ranges National Park echo the historical ties connecting the region's Aboriginal people to Country. The Githabul People trace their identity and spirituality to this Country and it is central to their Dreaming. The park protects many ancient sites and continues to be a place of great significance today.

    Abundant wildlife

    Peron's tree frog (Litoria peroni), Border Ranges. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    Being part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, makes this park a truly special place to visit. This region has the highest concentration of marsupial, bird, snake and frog species in Australia, so you're bound to come across a cute creature or two during your visit. While you're in the heart of this remarkable rainforest make sure you listen out for the call of the Alberts lyrebird, and while you're picnicking, keep your eye out for the rare, local fauna that thrive in this lush, protected wilderness.

    • Border loop walk 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.

    Picture perfect

    Brindle Creek walking track, Border Ranges National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    A landscape photographer's dream, you'll be spoilt for choice in trying to capture the sheer scale and beauty of this epic rainforest from the many lookouts dotted throughout the park. Be sure to carry your camera up to the Pinnacle lookout at sunrise for a breathtaking birds-eye view of the crater escarpment all the way down to the NSW coastline. Don't forget to change your camera setting to panoramic for the perfect mantelpiece shot.

    World Heritage wonder

    Brindle Creek walking track, Border Ranges National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    The rainforests of the Border Ranges National Park are part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. World Heritage Areas are irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration - places of such value that the international community has agreed they must be conserved for all time. You can explore this World Heritage-listed rainforest on one of the many walking tracks, like the short Pinnacle walk that provides spectacular views of Wollumbin and the Tweed Valley 1km below.

    • Bar Mountain circuit Take the short and easy Bar Mountain circuit walk to the lookout where you’ll enjoy panoramic views of World Heritage-listed rainforest.
    • Border loop walk 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.
    • Brindle Creek picnic area Pack up a picnic and set off along the Tweed Range Scenic drive to explore Border Ranges National Park. Stop off at Brindle Creek picnic area for a picnic and walk.

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    • Satin bowerbird. Photo: Ken Stepnell

      Satin bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)

      With vibrant blue-violet eyes and curious antics, the satin bowerbird is a favourite for bird watching and easy to spot as it forages for food in open forest. Relatively common across eastern Australia, in NSW they’re found in coastal rainforests and adjacent woodlands and mountain ranges.

    • Eastern common ringtail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

      Common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)

      Commonly found in forests, woodlands and leafy gardens across eastern NSW, the Australian ringtail possum is a tree-dwelling marsupial. With a powerful tail perfectly adapted to grasp objects, it forages in trees for eucalypt leaves, flowers and fruit.

    • Long-nosed bandicoot, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo: Narelle King

      Long-nosed bandicoot (Perameles nasuta)

      A nocturnal marsupial and one of the smaller Australian native animals, the long-nosed bandicoot is found across eastern Australia. Populations in the Sydney region have dwindled since European settlement, leaving only endangered colonies in inner western Sydney and at North Head, near Manly. The long-nosed bandicoot has grey-brown fur and a pointed snout which it uses to forage for worms and insects.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    Looking along the Border Loop track. Photo:John Spencer