Polblue Swamp track

Barrington Tops National Park

Overview

Walk the easy Polblue Swamp track through high altitude wetlands of Barrington Tops National Park. It’s a short walk with picnic and barbecue facilities nearby.

Where
Barrington Tops National Park
Distance
3km loop
Time suggested
30min - 1hr
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water, sunscreen, hat
Please note
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to birdwatch
  • Please keep to the track as the swamp edge is vulnerable to trampling
  • If you’re bushwalking in this park it’s a good idea to bring a topographic map and compass, or a GPS
  • There are picnic and barbecue facilities at Polblue campground and picnic area

The Polblue Swamp track will take you on a short journey through the wetlands and high altitude forests of the Barrington Tops Plateau. You’ll see the smooth dark trunks of black sally, snow gums with scribbles on their bark and be dwarfed by the towering mountain gums.

From the forest edge, watch as grasses give way to a dense growth of sedges crowding the moss of the swamp. If you’re walking in spring or summer, you may see rare ground orchids along the track and it’s a good walk for spotting wombats and kangaroos.

You can start this easy walk from Polblue campground and picnic area.

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/polblue-swamp-track/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Polblue Swamp track.

Track grading

Grade 3

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

    30min - 1hr

  • Quality of markings

    Sign posted

  • Gradient

    Gentle hills

  • Distance

    3km loop

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Polblue Swamp track starts at Polblue campground and picnic area in the Polblue and Devils Hole precinct of Barrington Tops National Park. To get there:

From Gloucester:

  • Take Thunderbolts Way; this road becomes Scone Road and Barrington Tops Forest Road.
  • The campground and picnic area are located on the left after passing Devils Hole

From Scone:

  • Take the Hunter road from Scone 
  • Turn right on to Moonan Brook Road, then turn left on Barrington Tops Forest Road.
  • Polblue camping and picnic areas are 7km on the right after the Dingo Gate

Parking

Parking is available at Polblue campground and picnic area.

Best times to visit

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

Autumn

Take to the park's walking tracks to make the most of cooler and drier daytime weather.

Spring

Look out for ground orchids and other wildflowers along the Polblue Swamp walking track.

Summer

Look out for the eastern water dragon basking on rocks around the streams.

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Check the weather before setting out as the road to Polblue campground may close after snowfall.

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.

The weather in this area can be unpredictable, please ensure you are well prepared for your visit. Cold weather (including snow) can occur at any time of the year.

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

Dungog (46 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 (19 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

Muswellbrook (59 km)

Muswellbrook is a vibrant country town surrounded by vineyards and horse studs. It straddles the Hunter River in the fertile wine-growing region of the Upper Hunter. Enjoy the local produce while you take in the natural beauty of the surrounding wilderness.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Polblue Swamp track is in Barrington Tops National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

World Heritage-listed rainforests

Rocky crossing, Barrington Tops National Park. Photo: John Spencer

The rainforests in Barrington Tops National Park are part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area; the most extensive strip of diverse rainforest anywhere on earth. The World Heritage Area is a direct window into the past and the future, providing a link to the ancient pre-human world and a stunning and irreplaceable record of life on our planet. You can explore the rainforest on one of the park's many walking tracks, like the Honeysuckle Forest track, the Rocky Crossing walk or the Antarctic Beech Forest track. Listen out for the lyrebird whose mimicking calls ring out through the rainforest.

  • Antarctic Beech Forest walking track Antarctic Beech Forest walking track offers rainforest, cascades, scenic views, and birdwatching in Barrington Tops National Park, near Gloucester.
  • Art in the field: Honeysuckle Forest Become a natural history illustrator for a day and capture an ancient rainforest landscape. Be part of the Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration at Barrington Tops National Park.
  • Barrington Tops National Park 50th anniversary Come and celebrate Barrington Tops National Park's 50th anniversary of being gazetted as a NSW national park. This incredible park is also part of the Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration.
  • Careys Peak walking track Easy Careys Peak walking track offers picnicking, scenic views, birdwatching, and historic heritage in the sub-alpine region of Barrington National Park, near Scone.

An ancient landscape

Thunderbolts lookout, Barrington Tops National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Barrington Tops National Park and the adjoining State Conservation Area are the traditional land of several Aboriginal groups, including the Worimi and Biripi people, the Gringai clan of the Worimi people and Wonnarua people. The rainforests of Barrington Tops offered a wealth of resources for Aboriginal people, including many edible fruits, like the native cherry, lilly pilly and figs. Today, the history of Aboriginal people in Barrington Tops is recorded in oral history and in the presence of Aboriginal sites. Barrington Tops National Park protects ancient campsites, scarred trees and sacred ceremonial places.

A dramatic wilderness

Barrington Tops National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Most of Barrington Tops National Park is declared wilderness; large, natural areas of land that, together with their native plants and animal communities, remain essentially unchanged by modern human activity. Wilderness areas in NSW represent the largest, most pristine natural areas within NSW - the last of Australia's wild and untamed places. The edges of the wilderness area of Barrington Tops are easily accessible; some of the most spectacular views in the park are from Careys Peak and Devils Hole and Thunderbolts lookouts. You'll notice the varied textures of the forest below you, with the ranges of the Barrington Wilderness running east and south from the plateau like the fingers of an outstretched hand.

  • Art in the field: Honeysuckle Forest Become a natural history illustrator for a day and capture an ancient rainforest landscape. Be part of the Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration at Barrington Tops National Park.
  • Barrington trail Take the challenge of the Barrington trail, a 4WD trail in Barrington Tops National Park. Open between October and May every year, plan your 4WD camping holiday now.
  • Gloucester Tops circuit Walk through snow gum woodland and ancient rainforest to lookouts and waterfalls, along the Gloucester Tops circuit. This 8km loop combines 3 popular and scenic walks in Barrington Tops National Park.
  • Rocky Crossing walk Rocky Crossing walk along Williams River offers scenic rainforest views, wildlife and birdwatching on a long easy track in Barrington Tops National Park, near Dungog.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  •  Superb lyrebird, Minnamurra Rainforest, Budderoo National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)

    With a complex mimicking call and an elaborate courtship dance to match, the superb lyrebird is one of the most spectacular Australian animals. A bird watching must-see, the superb lyrebird can be found in rainforests and wet woodlands across eastern NSW and Victoria.

  • Swamp wallaby in Murramarang National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor)

    The swamp wallaby, also known as the black wallaby or black pademelon, lives in the dense understorey of rainforests, woodlands and dry sclerophyll forest along eastern Australia. This unique Australian macropod has a dark black-grey coat with a distinctive light-coloured cheek stripe.

  • Common wombat. Photo: Ingo Oeland

    Common wombat (Vombatus ursinus)

    A large, squat marsupial, the Australian common wombat is a burrowing mammal found in coastal forests and mountain ranges across NSW and Victoria. The only other remaining species of wombat in NSW, the endangered southern hairy-nosed wombat, was considered extinct until relatively recently.

  • Australian brush turkey, Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    Australian brush turkey (Alectura lathami)

    The Australian brush turkey, also known as bush or scrub turkey, can be found in rainforests along eastern NSW. With a striking red head, blue-black plumage and booming call, these distinctive Australian birds are easy to spot while bird watching in several NSW national parks.

  • 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.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

The boardwalk through the Polblue Swamp. Photo: Peter Beard