Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk

Gibraltar Range National Park

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Overview

Keep an eye out for birds and wildflowers on the 45km Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk through eucalypt forests, rainforests, wetlands and granite tors in the rugged Northern Tablelands.

Where
Gibraltar Range National Park
Distance
45km loop
Time suggested
3 - 4 days
Grade
Grade 4
Trip Intention Form

It's a good idea to let someone know where you're going. Fill in a trip intention form to send important details about your trip to your emergency contact.

Price
Free
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, clothes for all weather conditions, sunscreen, sturdy shoes
Please note
Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go bird watching

Within the mountainous Northern Tablelands, high above Clarence River Valley, a very special track links Gibraltar Range and Washpool National Parks. Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk passes through dramatic and ever-changing natural environments with numerous side track options for further exploration.

Dry eucalypt forests, set amidst ridges and granite tors, are surrounded by sub-alpine swamp. Lush rainforests hold the largest tract of coachwood trees in the world. Waterfalls plummet from a lacework of streams and wild rivers.

In the 1880s, tin mining took place around Grassy Creek and remains of an ore crusher can still be seen along the eastern side of this waterway. O’Hara’s Rock marks the spot where, in 1873, a grazier by that name camped and tried to figure out a faster stock route over Gibraltar Range. Wades Mill, at Boundary Falls campground, dates back to historic logging days.

You can add any or all of the 13 adjoining walks and routes along the way and increase your walking adventure to up to 100km.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Also see

  • View across wooded slope to the rock spires of The Needles. Photo: Leah Pippos © DPIE

    The Needles walking track

    The Needles walking track offers jaw-dropping views of granite rock formations in Gibraltar Range National Park, near Glen Innes. Part of the Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk, it’s a great shorter walk option.

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/gibraltarwashpool-world-heritage-walk/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk.

Track grading

Grade 4

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

    3 - 4 days

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    45km loop

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    Some bushwalking experience recommended

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    There are three places at which to begin the walk:

    • To reach Mulligans Campground, drive 94km west from Grafton or 68km east from Glen Innes along the Gwydir Highway.
    • To reach Boundary Falls Campground, drive 102km west from Grafton or 60 km east from Glen Innes along the Gwydir Highway.
    • To reach Bellbird Campground, drive 89km west from Grafton or 73 km east from Glen Innes along the Gwydir Highway.

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Parking is available at Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk at Mulligans picnic area, Boundary Falls picnic area (Gibraltar National Park) and Coombadjha campground (Washpool National Park).

    Best times to visit

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

    Spring

    The most popular time of the year to visit, spring sees the park erupt into a vibrant display of wildflowers, including the Gibraltar waratah.

    Summer

    Take in an early morning bushwalk before the day heats up, then cool down in one of the many waterways, like the Little Dandahra Creek.

    Winter

    It can be below freezing at night, but the daytime temperatures make this the best time of the year to take in some of the longer treks like the Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    13°C and 24.1°C

    Highest recorded

    35°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    1°C and 13.2°C

    Lowest recorded

    -8.9°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    January

    Driest month

    August

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    258.4mm

    Facilities

    You’re encouraged to bring gas or fuel stoves, especially in summer.

    Drinking water

    Drinking water is limited or not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk 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.

    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).

    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.

    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

    Glen Innes (62 km)

    Set in the most prolific sapphire region of Country NSW, Glen Innes hosts the annual Minerama Fossicking and Gem Show and the annual Australian Celtic Festival, and is home to the Australian Standing Stones.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Grafton (71 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

    Tenterfield (55 km)

    Sir Henry Parkes delivered his famous "birth of our nation" speech in the Tenterfield School of Arts in 1889. His rousing speech is credited with being the decisive moment that set the country on its path toward Federation in 1901.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk is in Gibraltar Range National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Lands of plenty

    Mulligans Hut, Gibraltar Range National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    The European heritage of the park may be shorter, but look around and you'll find its traces clearly etched in the natural environment. Living around the range are direct descendants of graziers, lumberers and miners who made their livings here. Bullock teams and horses once struggled through the bush and granite tors, attempting to tame a landscape that today inspires for its wild ruggedness. Evidence of their work can be glimpsed at Mulligans campground, where an aborted hydro-electric scheme from the 1900s is memoralised by a remaining hut and several weirs. Hikers on the wide-reaching Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk might also notice relics of pre-WWII tin and gold-mining operations in the Grassy Creek area.

    • Dandahra Crags walking track Dandahra Crags walking track, in Gibraltar Range National Park, is a hiking route with scenic views and birdwatching opportunities.
    • Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk Keep an eye out for birds and wildflowers on the 45km Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk through eucalypt forests, rainforests, wetlands and granite tors in the rugged Northern Tablelands.

    World Heritage Area

    A couple looking out over the mountain range, Gibraltar Range National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    Part of the Gondwana Rainforests Reserves of Australia, Gibraltar Range is listed on the World Heritage register for rainforest plants that have existed since Australia was part of the Gondwana super-continent. Gibraltar Range National Park is home to several threatened species of animal: the endangered giant barred frog, which can grow to the size of a small adult's hand; and glossy black cockatoos, under threat from a loss of breeding habitat. Feeding locations are very important to the continuing survival of the cockatoo.

    • Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk Keep an eye out for birds and wildflowers on the 45km Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk through eucalypt forests, rainforests, wetlands and granite tors in the rugged Northern Tablelands.
    • The Needles walking track The Needles walking track offers jaw-dropping views of granite rock formations in Gibraltar Range National Park, near Glen Innes. Part of the Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk, it’s a great shorter walk option.

    Years in the making

    Little Dandahra Creek, Gilbraltar Range National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    Long stewarded through history by Aboriginal people in the area, the Gibraltar Range continues to hold significance for contemporary descendants. The Range is rich in cultural sites and sacred places, with Aboriginal groups having moved regularly between the tablelands and coastal plains, conducting ceremonies and gathering food along the way.

    • Dandahra Crags walking track Dandahra Crags walking track, in Gibraltar Range National Park, is a hiking route with scenic views and birdwatching opportunities.

    Education resources (1)

    Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk, Gibraltar National Park. Photo: Koen Dijkstra