Palm Forest walking track

Border Ranges National Park

Overview

The easy Palm Forest walking track near Sheepstation creek, in Border Ranges National Park, leads through lush rainforest offering historic heritage, birdwatching and scenic waterfalls.

Where
Border Ranges National Park
Distance
1km one-way
Time suggested
30min - 1hr
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note
  • In order to help protect the delicate balance in the rainforest, ensure you wipe off sunscreen or other chemical creams before you go swimming, they can harm or even kill the local frog communities.
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to bird watch.

An easy walk through the subtropical rainforest near Sheepstation Creek campground, Palm Forest walking track follows a historic old logging track into the heart of the lush wilderness of Border Ranges National Park. The short track leads through forests of bangalow and piccabeen palms where you’ll feel the cool calm of the rainforest descend. The towering brush box in the tall forests that you’ll enter, are estimated to be hundreds of years old. If you’re into birdwatching, watch for the brightly coloured wompoo fruit-dove or the bell birds with their distinct call.

Passing booyong and strangler figs, you’ll hear the soothing tinkering of water before arriving at the picturesque Brushbox Falls. Be sure to look for the historic moss-covered carvings, on a sandstone rockface to the north of the creek, where cedar getters carved their names. If the waters are high enough, you can have a refreshing swim in the crystal clear waters and soak in the tranquility.

Take a virtual tour of Palm Forest walking track captured with Google Street View Trekker.

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/palm-forest-walking-track/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Palm Forest walking track.

Track grading

Grade 3

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

    30min - 1hr

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    1km one-way

  • Steps

    Many steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    Some bushwalking experience recommended

Getting there and parking

Palm Forest walking track is in the Sheepstation Creek precinct of Border Ranges National Park. To get there:

  • From Lismore head north-west and follow signs to Kyogle for approximately 40km
  • From Kyogle, follow the Murwillumbah road for 30km north to Barkers Vale
  • Enter the eastern precinct of the park along the Tweed Range Scenic Drive
  • Follow the signs to Sheepstation Creek campground

Road quality

Check the weather before you set out as the road to Palm Forest walking track can become boggy when it rains.

Parking

Parking is available at Sheepstation Creek campground.

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

Facilities

Toilets and picnic facilities are available at the nearby Sheepstation Creek campground.

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).

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 (49 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

Murwillumbah (38 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

Palm Forest walking track 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)

Palm Forest walking track, Border Ranges National Park. Photo: John Spencer