Slingsbys trail and Syndicate Ridge track

Dorrigo National Park

Overview

Slingsbys trail and Syndicate Ridge track offer a challenging adventure in Dorrigo National Park, with opportunities for birdwatching, mountain biking and camping.

Where
Dorrigo National Park
Distance
15km one-way
Time suggested
6 - 8hrs
Grade
Grade 5
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
Sunscreen, drinking water
Please note
This walk can be undertaken any time of year - but some sections of the track are at 900m above sea level so adequate clothing is required, especially in the cooler months.

Serious adventurers will love Slingsbys trail and Syndicate Ridge track, a challenging pathway across a variety of landscapes – from scenic grassy plains to a breathtaking escarpment and ancient Gondwana rainforest.

The walk begins along Slingsbys trail, stretching 6.5km to Lanes lookout along gently undulating terrain that’s also suitable for mountain biking. You’ll pass through the grasslands of Killungoondie Plain, which the Gunbaynggirr People once kept clear for hunting and camping by using spot fires. Today, it makes a surprising contrast to the surrounding rainforest, thick and atmospheric.

Eventually, you’ll reach high points along the escarpment, including Lanes lookout and Stony Creek lookout, with stunning scenic views on clear days across the surrounding landscape. Bring binoculars for birdwatching, but remember to look down around your feet too as Syndicate Ridge was the site of an innovative logging tramway that operated in the early twentieth century. Remnants of the back-breaking operation can still be seen around the trail.

Syndicate Ridge track from the escarpment is a much steeper and more difficult trail, so hiking experience is recommended. Signage is also limited here, so be sure to carry a compass and map or GPS.

Take a virtual tour of Slingsbys trail and Syndicate Ridge 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/slingsbys-trail-and-syndicate-ridge-track/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Slingsbys trail and Syndicate Ridge track.

Track grading

Grade 5

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

    6 - 8hrs

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Very steep and difficult

  • Distance

    15km one-way

  • Steps

    No steps

  • Quality of path

    Rough track, many obstacles

  • Experience required

    Experienced bushwalkers

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    To start the walk along Slingsby trail:

    • Drive 10km north of Dorrigo along Megan Road
    • Turn onto Slingsby Road
    • The trail begins at the end, and finishes at the northern end of Adams Lane, Glennifer.

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Parking is available at the end of Slingsbys Road and at the end of Adams Lane, Gleniffer. Please do not block any farm gates with your vehicle at either of these locations.

    Best times to visit

    The weather at Dorrigo National Park can vary from warm to mild to cool, depending on the time of year you visit. The summer months usually have the highest rainfall.

    Spring

    The rainforest is alive with birdlife - walk the Lyrebird Link for a close up view.

    Summer

    Escape the summer heat along one of the waterfall tracks and feel the coolness envelope you.

    Facilities

    Drinking water is limited or not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to pack plenty of water.

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    This park is in a remote location, so please be well-prepared, bring appropriate clothing and equipment and tell a family member or friend about 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.

    It’s a good idea to bring a topographic map and compass, or a GPS.

    Cycling safety

    Hundreds of cyclists head to our national parks for fun and adventure. If you're riding your bike through a national park, read these cycling safety tips.

    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.

    Visitor centre

    Nearby towns

    Bellingen (42 km)

    Bellingen is a laid-back, tree-lined town with a New Age vibe. It's set in a luxuriant valley beside the Bellinger River.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Coffs Harbour (42 km)

    Coffs Harbour is a coastal city on the North Coast, packed with things to do. It's surrounded by lush forests and national parks.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Dorrigo (35 km)

    Dorrigo is a serene country town and the gateway to Dorrigo National Park. Its close to the edge of the escarpment above the Bellingen Valley.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Slingsbys trail and Syndicate Ridge track is in Dorrigo National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    A wide range of animals

    Australian brush-turkey (Alectura lathami), Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    Dorrigo National Park plays home to many different animals, including 30 types of mammals, more than 128 kinds of birds and 44 species of amphibians and reptiles. The dense forest is the ideal hiding place for reptiles, so you'll need to be very quiet and patient in order to catch a glimpse. Look for the southern angle-headed dragon clinging to the trunks of trees along the Wonga walk and the red-necked pademelon on the lawn by the Rainforest Centre.

    • Bird language and predator tracking workshop Discover the hidden world of bird language and predator tracking during this great workshop near Coffs Harbour. Join the Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration at Dorrigo National Park.
    • Gondwana World Heritage rainforest tour Be part of Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration at Dorrigo National Park. This 3km guided walk offers magnificent scenery and birdwatching opportunities. It's only 1hr from Coffs Harbour. 
    • Kids Gondwana nature play Looking for something for the kids to do? This fun activity promises to re-engage kids with nature. Be part of the Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration at Dorrigo National Park.
    • Lyrebird Link track Lyrebird link is an easy walking track in Dorrigo National Park near Coffs Harbour. It is a great spot for birdwatching and there are picnic and barbecue areas nearby.
    • Roving ranger at Dorrigo Rainforest If you spot our roving ranger these school holidays, come say 'hi'. You can ask them questions about the park. Join the Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration at Dorrigo National Park.
    • Satinbird stroll Satinbird stroll is an easy access trail through Dorrigo’s World Heritage rainforest, ideal for all the family, and offers birdwatching and a great place to picnic.
    • WilderQuest WildThings Come on a WilderQuest WildThings excursion for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students, focusing on science and technology. We’ll investigate the living world in Dorrigo National Park, home to World Heritage listed rainforests.
    • WilderQuest WildTracker Come on a WilderQuest WildTracker school excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students, focusing on science and technology. Students will carry out investigations and explore the living world in Dorrigo National Park.
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    Dramatic waterfalls

    Walk with the Birds boardwalk, Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    The area is renowned for its dramatic waterfalls; so much that part of the park was first reserved in 1901 to protect the Sherrard and Newell Falls along the Waterfall Way. Today, there are a number of great rainforest walks in the park, try the Crystal Shower Falls walk for a journey behind the falls, or the longer Casuarina Falls circuit that offers views of Dorrigo Mountain and Rosewood River Valley.

    • Roving ranger at Dorrigo Rainforest If you spot our roving ranger these school holidays, come say 'hi'. You can ask them questions about the park. Join the Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration at Dorrigo National Park.
    • Volunteer at Dorrigo Rainforest Centre Join a fun and passionate team of people when you become a volunteer at Dorrigo Rainforest Centre shop. Help show off Dorrigo National Park to visitors from around world. Explain the park’s activities and offer information about the nearby town of Dorrigo.

    Rich Aboriginal heritage

    Blackbutt track, Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    Dorrigo National Park aims to manage Aboriginal sites, many of which are associated with natural features in the landscape. Involving local Aboriginal custodians in managing their traditional homelands, and continuing their connection to country, is a priority in Dorrigo National Park.

    • WilderQuest WildThings Come on a WilderQuest WildThings excursion for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students, focusing on science and technology. We’ll investigate the living world in Dorrigo National Park, home to World Heritage listed rainforests.
    • WilderQuest WildTracker Come on a WilderQuest WildTracker school excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students, focusing on science and technology. Students will carry out investigations and explore the living world in Dorrigo National Park.

    World Heritage rainforests

    The Skywalk, Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    The rainforests in Dorrigo 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 many walking tracks, like the Lyrebird Link that leaves from the Rainforest Centre.

    • Bird language and predator tracking workshop Discover the hidden world of bird language and predator tracking during this great workshop near Coffs Harbour. Join the Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration at Dorrigo National Park.
    • Gondwana World Heritage rainforest tour Be part of Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration at Dorrigo National Park. This 3km guided walk offers magnificent scenery and birdwatching opportunities. It's only 1hr from Coffs Harbour. 
    • Lyrebird Link track Lyrebird link is an easy walking track in Dorrigo National Park near Coffs Harbour. It is a great spot for birdwatching and there are picnic and barbecue areas nearby.
    • Roving ranger at Dorrigo Rainforest If you spot our roving ranger these school holidays, come say 'hi'. You can ask them questions about the park. Join the Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration at Dorrigo National Park.
    • Sensing the Rainforest Sensing the rainforest is a Stage 1 (Years 1-2) school excursion in Dorrigo National Park, which focuses on HSIE. Students will explore the wonders of Dorrigo Rainforest - observing, listening, touching, smelling and searching to discover this special environment. It is a fun program for all ages, adults included.
    • Wonga walk Take a walk amongst subtropical rainforest and 600-year-old trees along the Wonga walk in Dorrigo National Park, home to the Tristania and Crystal Falls.
    Show more

    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.

    • 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.

    •  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.

    • 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.

    Plants

    • Coachwood flower. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

      Coachwood (Ceratopetalum apetalum)

      Coachwood trees are Australian native plants that grow in warm temperate rainforests along coastal NSW. Also known as scented satinwood, the mottled grey bark of the coachwood has horizontal markings and a delicate fragrance.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    School excursions (8)

    Slingsbys trail and Syndicate Ridge track, Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary