Historic Nightcap walking track

North Coast

Open, check current alerts 


Historic Nightcap walking track leads through World Heritage-listed rainforest, offering scenic views across Nightcap National Park and Whian Whian State Conservation Area, near Byron Bay.

18km one-way
Time suggested
1 - 2 days
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.

Please note
  • It’s advisable to contact the local NPWS office when planning an overnight or extended walk to get the best information on the track, weather conditions and possible closures.
  • Check the weather before you set out as the road to Historic Nightcap walking track can become boggy when it rains.
  • It’s a good idea to bring a topographic map and compass, or a GPS.
  • The weather in the area can be extreme and unpredictable, so please ensure you’re well-prepared for your visit.
  • This walking track is in a remote location; bring appropriate clothing and equipment, and advise a family member or friend of your travel plans.
  • This walking track is suitable for experienced bushwalkers who are comfortable undertaking self-reliant hiking.
  • Groups of 3-5 people are recommended, with at least one experienced bushwalker in the group.
  • A Personal Locator Beacon is advisable, but should only be used in a life-threatening situation.
  • There are camping facilities at Rummery Park.
  • It’s a good idea to pack sunscreen and remember to take a hat.
  • You’re encouraged to bring gas or fuel stoves, especially in summer during the fire season.

Head along Historic Nightcap walking track to experience a World Heritage rainforest with breathtaking escarpment views across Nightcap National Park. This 18km track is popular with experienced walkers looking for a remote wilderness adventure.

With the option to camp overnight at Rummery Park campground, west to east is the easiest way to take this scenic walk, but you can easily start at either end of the track.

During the 1800s and 1900s, sections of Historic Nightcap walking track were traversed by travellers and postal workers making their way between Lismore and Murwillumbah.

There’s plenty to see along the way, so remember to pack your camera and capture shots of rock orchids brightening the path, and wildlife such as the long-nosed potoroo, brush turkey and Albert’s lyrebird, who call the area home.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info


Map legend

Map legend

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/historic-nightcap-walking-track/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

  • in Nightcap National Park in the North Coast region
  • Nightcap National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather, fire danger or management operations.

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Historic Nightcap walking track.

Track grading

Features of this track


18km one-way


1 - 2 days

Quality of markings

Sign posted

Experience required

Experienced bushwalkers


Very steep


No steps

Quality of path

Rough track, many obstacles

Getting there and parking

Historic Nightcap walking track is in the western precinct of Nightcap National Park. To get there:

From Nimbin:

  • Take Sibley Street and drive past Nimbin Bowling Club
  • Turn onto Gungas Street and continue for 1.5km, then turn right onto Tuntable Falls Road - signposted ‘Mount Nardi’.
  • Travel a further 4.2km, past Upper Tuntable Falls Road intersection, where the road turns onto Newton Drive.
  • Continue for approximately 4.8km to the park entrance, and another 1km to Mount Nardi carpark.

From the eastern park entrance (via Rosebank):

  • Take Minyon Drive, past Minyon Falls picnic area, over the causeway.
  • Continue along Minyon Drive until you reach the Peates Mountain Road intersection
  • Turn right onto Peates Mountain Road – the track is approximately 100m to the north (approximately 4km).

From the southern park entrance on Nightcap Range Road (via Dunoon):

  • Continue north up Nightcap Range Road to the top of the range
  • Turn left onto Peates Mountain Road – the track is approximately 100m north (approximately 5km).


Parking is available at Mount Nardi carpark.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Nightcap National Park. Here are some of the highlights: Weather in the northern rivers region is generally mild in winter ranging to hot in summer. It can be very wet (the park receives the highest annual rainfall in NSW) and misty so check local weather conditions and pack suitable clothes as well as a hat, sunscreen and insect repellent.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature


18°C and 29°C

Highest recorded


Winter temperature


6°C and 19°C

Lowest recorded



Wettest month


Driest month


The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day



Drinking water

Drinking water is not available in this area, 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 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).



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.


NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Learn more

Historic Nightcap walking track is in Whian Whian State Conservation Area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

4,000 years of Aboriginal culture

 A still creek, Whian Whian State Conservation Area. Photo: OEH

The conservation area is located within the traditional lands of the Widjabal clan of the Bundjalung Nation. Evidence from recorded sites suggests Aboriginal use of the Nightcap Range for at least the last 4,000 years. The area has intrinsic cultural values to the Widjabal People and the land has significant connections with other recorded sites in the adjacent Nightcap National Park.

Historic heritage of timber-getters

Rummery Creek, Whian Whian State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

Lured by the opportunity of employment in difficult times, timber-getters began logging in the Whian Whian area in the 1830s for red cedar, a particularly sought after timber. In 1871, surveyors identified a track over Nightcap Range to link Lismore with Murwillumbah. This allowed cedar-getters access to previously isolated expanses of forest. The Rummery Park campground was originally a forestry camp, and its use dates back to the 1930s. The inter-war period was the most active period for forestry use of the campground. Peates Mountain Road (now part of the Nightcap track) was built during the depression of the 1920s and 1930s. Sleeper-cutters who claimed timber unsuitable for milling, camped nearby on the other side of Boggy Creek at Rummery Park.

  • Historic Nightcap walking track Historic Nightcap walking track leads through World Heritage-listed rainforest, offering scenic views across Nightcap National Park and Whian Whian State Conservation Area, near Byron Bay.

Plant life galore

Waterfall, Whian Whian National Park. Photo: John Spencer

An astounding 520 plant species have been recorded here – making it an incredibly diverse place when it comes to vegetation. There are 10 broad ecosystems, including subtropical and warm temperate rainforests and various types of wet sclerophyll forest.

  • Boggy Creek walk Boggy Creek walk in Whian Whian State Conservation Area takes you through blackbutt forest and along the beautiful Boggy Creek to Minyon Falls. You can swim in the inviting pools along the creek.
  • Historic Nightcap walking track Historic Nightcap walking track leads through World Heritage-listed rainforest, offering scenic views across Nightcap National Park and Whian Whian State Conservation Area, near Byron Bay.

Walk with the animals

 Stag horn (Platycerium bifurcatum), Whian Whian State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

There’s also an incredible variety of native animal species thriving in these rainforests – over 270 native species, around 50 of which are listed as threatened, including the spotted tailed quoll. Koalas and Albert’s lyrebird, with its distinctive calls and mimicking echoes, can often be heard through the forest in the cooler months.

  • Whian Whian mountain biking trails Suitable for bushwalkers, cyclists and horseriders, Whian Whian mountain biking trails near Byron Bay offer stunning views of waterfalls and rainforest.

World heritage worthy

Prospector Falls walking track, Whian Whian State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

The conservation area has similar vegetation and natural heritage values as those found in the adjoining Nightcap National Park, one of the 50 reserves in northeast NSW and southeast Queensland that make up World Heritage Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves Australia.

  • Whian Whian mountain biking trails Suitable for bushwalkers, cyclists and horseriders, Whian Whian mountain biking trails near Byron Bay offer stunning views of waterfalls and rainforest.

Plants and animals protected in this park


  • Profile view of an Albert's lyrebird looking for insects amongst leaf litter on the forest floor. Photo: Gavin Phillips © Gavin Phillips

    Albert's lyrebird (Menura alberti)

    The Albert’s lyrebird is much rarer than the superb lyrebird. Distinguished by its richer brown plumage and less elaborate tail feathers, it’s protected as a threatened species in NSW.

  • Koala. Photo: Lucy Morrell

    Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

    One of the most renowned Australian animals, the tree-dwelling marsupial koala can be found in gum tree forests and woodlands across eastern NSW, Victoria and Queensland, as well as in isolated regions in South Australia. With a vice-like grip, this perhaps most iconic but endangered Australian animal lives in tall eucalypts within a home range of several hectares.

  • Brush tail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

    One of the most widespread of Australian tree-dwelling marsupials, the common brushtail possum is found across most of NSW in woodlands, rainforests and urban areas. With strong claws, a prehensile tail and opposable digits, these native Australian animals are well-adapted for life amongst the trees.

  • Closeup of a laughing kookaburra's head and body. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

    Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

    Of the 2 species of kookaburra found in Australia, the laughing kookaburra is the best-known and the largest of the native kingfishers. With its distinctive riotous call, the laughing kookaburra is commonly heard in open woodlands and forests throughout NSW national parks, making these ideal spots for bird watching.

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