Washpool walking track

North Coast, Country NSW

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Overview

Revel in the timeless wonder of ancient Gondwana Rainforest along Washpool walking track, and enjoy rare birdwatching and wildlife, in Washpool National Park, near Glen Innes.

Where
Gibraltar Range National Park, Washpool National Park in North Coast, Country NSW
Distance
8.5km loop
Time suggested
3 - 4hrs
Grade
Grade 4
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
What to
bring
Hat, sunscreen, drinking water
Please note
  • There is limited mobile reception in this park
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go birdwatching

Immerse yourself in the timeless wonder of the warm temperate forests of Washpool National Park, near Glen Innes. This moderately challenging loop offers the rare opportunity to experience the ancient stands of World Heritage Gondwana Rainforest. Leading from Coombadjha campground, it's an ideal hike for experienced walkers who enjoy birdwatching and wildlife spotting in pristine wilderness.

Winding through gentle hills, this clearly sign posted walking track leads to one of the largest stands of coachwood forest in NSW. You’ll see picturesque waterfalls and spectacular views, with a chance to spot rainforest locals such as satin bower birds and lyrebirds.

Summit Creek is a great spot for a break and the beautiful surrounds make for some superb nature photography. Picnic along the way or head back for a barbecue lunch at the campground, where you might be tempted to camp overnight.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Nearby

  • Coombadjha nature stroll, Washpool National Park.  Photo © Rob Cleary

    Coombadjha nature stroll

    Coombadjha nature stroll in Washpool National Park is a short yet inspiring walk through World Heritage listed rainforest, with a delightful swimming spot at the end.

  • Coachwood picnic area, Washpool National Park. Photo © Rob Cleary

    Coachwood picnic area

    Enjoy a picnic surrounded by rainforest at Coachwood picnic area in Washpool National Park. It’s also the starting point for the Coombadjha nature stroll, a short walk.

  • Information sign and barbecue at Bellbird campground in Washpool National Park. Photo: Robert Cleary © DPIE

    Bellbird campground

    Bellbird campground is a great base to explore the World Heritage surrounds of Washpool National Park. It offers caravan, camper trailer and tent campsites.

Map


Map


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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/washpool-walking-track/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

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

Track grading

Grade 4

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

    3 - 4hrs

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    8.5km loop

  • Steps

    Many steps

  • Quality of path

    Rough track, many obstacles

  • Experience required

    Some bushwalking experience recommended

Getting there and parking

Washpool Walk is in the Coombadjha precinct of Washpool National Park. To get there:

  • The entrance to Washpool National Park is 75km east of Glen Innes and 85km west of Grafton on the Gwydir Highway.
  • Drive down Coachwood Drive for 3km to Coombadjha campground, where the walk begins.

Parking

Parking is available at Coombadjha campground.

Best times to visit

Washpool National Park offers an exceptional visit all year round. You're sure to find a walk, tour, activity or attraction to appeal, regardless of the season. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

Autumn offers good weather for exploring the park during the day and is cool enough during the evenings to sit by the campfire.

Spring

Mid-spring is a fantastic time to head out on the inspiring World Heritage walk. The temperature is perfect and the heathlands, swamps and woodlands erupt in a colourful display of wildflowers including the striking Gibraltar waratah.

Summer

Enjoy the shade of the rainforest with a picnic and walk, and then cool off with a dip in Coombajdha creek's natural pool.

Winter

The coldest time of the year means that you may likely have the park to yourself – enjoy the solitude.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

14°C and 26°C

Highest recorded

39.8°C

Winter temperature

Average

2°C and 15°C

Lowest recorded

-8.9°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

January

Driest month

April

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

254.8mm

Facilities

Water is limited or not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own for drinking and cooking.

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

This park or attraction is in a remote location, so please ensure you’re well-prepared, bring appropriate clothing and equipment and advise a family member or friend of your travel plans.

Bushwalking safety

The walking opportunities in this park are suitable for experienced bushwalkers who are comfortable undertaking self-reliant hiking.

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).

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.

Permitted

Fishing

Fishing from a boat, the beach or by the river is a popular activity for many national park visitors. If you’re planning a day out fishing, check out these fishing 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.

Learn more

Washpool walking track is in Washpool National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

An important legacy

Forest stream on Washpool walk, Washpool National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

Washpool National Park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, which includes forty parks and reserves stretching along the Great Escarpment from Barrington Tops in NSW to south east Queensland. The area has a long history of selective logging, dating back to the 1800s when the valuable red cedar trees drew timber cutters with bullocks, axes and crosscut saws. With the development of machinery, the increasing pressure to exploit these forests met strong protest action from conservation groups. Ultimately, the park was created in 1983 after a study found the area contained significant plant and animal populations that either weren't found anywhere else in the state or were not well protected in reserves.

Cultural connections

Mann River, Washpool National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

The Bundjalung, Ngarrabul and Gumbaingirri people have a long connection with the lands here; the area was once used as a route between the coast and the tablelands, and as a place to gather a range of resources, such as rainforest fruits.

Rare residents

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). Photo: Taronga Zoo

A huge range of threatened and endangered species enjoy the sanctuary of Washpool's diverse habitats. It's a refuge for mammals including koalas, spotted-tailed quolls, parma wallabies and long-nosed potoroos. Washpool and Gibraltar Range National Park are also brimming with birdlife. Look out for the rare rufous scrub bird in the rainforest undergrowth and, if you're extra vigilant, the even rarer powerful owl, which inhabits the hollows of trees in tall open forest. One of the most intriguing of the Washpool's residents is the pouched frog, a rainforest-dependent species whose male rears young tadpoles in pouches on his flanks.

  • Coombadjha nature stroll Coombadjha nature stroll in Washpool National Park is a short yet inspiring walk through World Heritage listed rainforest, with a delightful swimming spot at the end.
  • Washpool walking track Revel in the timeless wonder of ancient Gondwana Rainforest along Washpool walking track, and enjoy rare birdwatching and wildlife, in Washpool National Park, near Glen Innes.

Walker's wonderland

Coombadjha campground, Washpool National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

Lush rainforest, tinkling streams, dramatic gorges and an impressive plateau environment at just over the edge of the Great Escarpment make Washpool a singularly spectacular walking destination. Stretch your legs on an expansive network of graded walking tracks, including the popular World Heritage walk (which links Gibraltar Range and Washpool National Parks) and part of the Bicentennial National trail. Nature strolls and the half-day Washpool walk commence from the creekside Coombadjha campground and take you on a meander through the lost world of the surrounding rainforest.

  • Coachwood picnic area Enjoy a picnic surrounded by rainforest at Coachwood picnic area in Washpool National Park. It’s also the starting point for the Coombadjha nature stroll, a short walk.
  • Granite picnic area Enjoy a picnic at Granite picnic area in Washpool National Park. Stretch your legs on an easy walk to Granite lookout for views over the World Heritage-listed landscape.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • 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.

  • 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.

  •  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.

  • Southern boobook. Photo: David Cook

    Southern boobook (Ninox novaeseelandiae)

    The southern boobook, also known as the mopoke, is the smallest and most common native owl in Australia. With a musical 'boo-book' call that echoes through forests and woodlands, the southern boobook is a great one to look out for while bird watching.

Plants

  •  Black sheoak. Photo: Barry Collier

    Black sheoak (Allocasuarina littoralis)

    The black sheoak is one of a number of casuarina species found across the east coast of Australia and nearby tablelands. Growing to a height of 5-15m, these hardy Australian native plants can survive in poor or sandy soils. The barrel-shaped cone of the black sheoak grows to 10-30mm long.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)