Hidden Treasure track

Copeland Tops State Conservation Area

Affected by closures, check current alerts 

Overview

Hidden Treasure track is a walking route through rainforest that takes in remnants of the area's mining heritage, including a historic boiler and disused mine entrance.

Where
Copeland Tops State Conservation Area
Distance
4.5km loop
Time suggested
1hr 30min - 2hrs 30min
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
Please note

  • The weather in this area can be extreme and unpredictable, so please ensure you’re well-prepared for your visit.
  • It’s a good idea to put sunscreen on before you set out and remember to take a hat
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to birdwatch
  • There is no mobile reception in this park

Hidden Treasure track is an easy walk through dry rainforest following Copeland Creek beneath a canopy of grey myrtle, shatterwood, yellow tulip and other dry rainforest species. This hike also takes you past remnants of the area’s mining history. Look out for adits, which are tunnelled entrances to underground mines. See the boiler from Criterion stamper battery, which used to provide the power to crush ore from the nearby mines.

Hidden Treasure gold reef was discovered in 1877. Despite the name, the treasure did not really stay hidden for long, and this mine became the area’s second most productive, yielding 269kg of gold after its construction. Now that all those miners have left, microbats have moved in and travel back and forth from the cave through the open mesh grill at the mine entrance, generally scavenging for insects.

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/hidden-treasure-track/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Hidden Treasure track.

Track grading

Grade 3

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

    1hr 30min - 2hrs 30min

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Flat

  • Distance

    4.5km loop

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track

  • Experience required

    Some bushwalking experience recommended

Getting there and parking

On entering Copeland Tops State Conservation Area, park in the carpark at the end of Copeland Road. From Hidden Treasure picnic area, look for signs to Hidden Treasure track.

Parking

Parking is available at Hidden Treasure track. Bus parking is available. It can be a busy place on the weekend, so parking might be limited.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Copeland Tops State Conservation Area.

Spring

This season offers mild walking conditions as well as the chance to witness bird migration. For instance, the wompoo fruit-dove – Australia's largest fruit dove – migrates from lower elevations in winter to upland forests in the warmer months.

Summer

There's nothing like rainforest to keep you cool; it's always several degrees less beneath the protective canopy, so enjoy following the park's walking tracks and finding shady places to picnic during the hotter months. The park's raised elevation also contributes to these milder conditions.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

17°C and 26°C

Highest recorded

28°C

Winter temperature

Average

6.7°C and 14.5°C

Lowest recorded

7°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

February

Driest month

July

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

261.6mm

Facilities

Drinking water

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

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).

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

Gathering firewood

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

Dungog (41 km)

Dungog is a country town with character, backed by magnificent rolling hills, national parks and state forests. It's in the heart of dairy and beef cattle country.

www.visitnsw.com

Gloucester (1 km)

Famous for gold deposits and the bushranger Captain Thunderbolt, Gloucester is located in the north Hunter region, east of Barrington Tops. The nearby state forests and national parks are ideal for walking, camping and outdoor adventure sports.

www.visitnsw.com

Taree (42 km)

Taree is a major mid North Coast city, ringed by superb beaches. It's situated on the Manning River and set against rolling hills.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Hidden Treasure track is in Copeland Tops State Conservation Area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

From little things big things grow

Wildflowers in bloom in Copeland Tops State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

From the delicate epiphytes, only one cell in width, to the gnarled sprawling branches of the ancient grey myrtles, each plant has its place within the ecosystem of the rare dry rainforest. The tract within Copeland Tops is the largest accessible section in the district of Gloucester. Take a walk through the green corridors overhung by strangler figs, shatterwood and grey myrtle. On the ground between mossy rocks and on the sides of trees grow birds nest ferns, staghorns, elkhorns and orchids. The rare stuttering frog is commonly heard around these parts, its call emitting from a preferred habitat of stream-side leaf litter. Its repetitive song is often joined by the screech of glossy black-cockatoos, the "wollack-wa-hoo" of the wompoo fruit-dove and the unpredictable calls of lyrebirds. At night, the masked, powerful and sooty owls come out to hunt and hoot.

  • Basin loop track Basin loop track continues from Hidden Treasure track to form a longer walk with scenic views of Copeland Tops State Conservation Area via historic Old Copeland Road.
  • Hidden Treasure track Hidden Treasure track is a walking route through rainforest that takes in remnants of the area's mining heritage, including a historic boiler and disused mine entrance.

Land of plenty

Rolling hills of Copeland Tops State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

This is the traditional lands of the Worimi and Biripi people who live in the area and previously moved around in response to the seasonal availability of food. Such a broad ecosystem would have provided many resources for medicinal, ceremonial and cultural purposes. It is very likely that people travelling from the coast to Barrington Tops area would have passed through Copeland Tops. Their history will forever be an integral part of this landscape.

Striking it rich

Abandoned gold mine relics, Copeland Tops State Conservation Area. Photo: Brent Mail

It was the red cedar cutters who, battling to log 'red gold' in this unforgiving terrain from the early 1800s, first discovered gold here in 1875. The area soon became known as Copeland and over the next 60 years more than 50 gold mines were dug in the area. According to the records, over 1800kg of the valuable metal were extracted during that time. Many relics of this mining heritage remain in the form of historic sites and derelict equipment. However, the bushland and rainforest now dominate once again.

  • Basin loop track Basin loop track continues from Hidden Treasure track to form a longer walk with scenic views of Copeland Tops State Conservation Area via historic Old Copeland Road.
  • Hidden Treasure track Hidden Treasure track is a walking route through rainforest that takes in remnants of the area's mining heritage, including a historic boiler and disused mine entrance.
  • It's gold! This excursion experience has been updated and is now being delivered in line with the new NSW Department of Education Curriculum. We will be revising this excursion's name and information online soon. Contact your local national parks office for more information about the updated excursion.
  • Mountain Maid gold mine Mountain Maid gold mine tours are cancelled until further notice to protect the health and safety of our visitors and staff. 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.

Education resources (1)

School excursions (1)

Hidden Treasure trail, Copeland Tops State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer.