Washpool walking track

Gibraltar Range National Park

Affected by closures, check current alerts 

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
Distance
8.5km loop
Time suggested
3 - 4hrs
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
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

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 3

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

    3 - 4hrs

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Gentle hills

  • Distance

    8.5km loop

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some 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 + 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.

Nearby towns

Glen Innes (38 km)

Set in the most prolific sapphire region of Country NSW, Glen Innes hosts the annual Minerama Fossicking and Gem Show and the annual Australian Celtic Festival, and is home to the Australian Standing Stones.

www.visitnsw.com

Grafton (17 km)

Grafton is a gracious, historic city in the Clarence Valley farming district. It's situated on the broad Clarence River and surrounded by river flats.

www.visitnsw.com

Tenterfield (15 km)

Sir Henry Parkes delivered his famous "birth of our nation" speech in the Tenterfield School of Arts in 1889. His rousing speech is credited with being the decisive moment that set the country on its path toward Federation in 1901.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

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

Lands of plenty

Mulligans Hut, Gibraltar Range National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

The European heritage of the park may be shorter, but look around and you'll find its traces clearly etched in the natural environment. Living around the range are direct descendants of graziers, lumberers and miners who made their livings here. Bullock teams and horses once struggled through the bush and granite tors, attempting to tame a landscape that today inspires for its wild ruggedness. Evidence of their work can be glimpsed at Mulligans campground, where an aborted hydro-electric scheme from the 1900s is memoralised by a remaining hut and several weirs. Hikers on the wide-reaching Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk might also notice relics of pre-WWII tin and gold-mining operations in the Grassy Creek area.

  • Dandahra Crags walking track Dandahra Crags walking track, in Gibraltar Range National Park, is a hiking route with scenic views and birdwatching opportunities.
  • Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk Keep an eye out for birds and wildflowers on the 45km Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk through eucalypt forests, rainforests, wetlands and granite tors in the rugged Northern Tablelands.

World Heritage Area

A couple looking out over the mountain range, Gibraltar Range National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

Part of the Gondwana Rainforests Reserves of Australia, Gibraltar Range is listed on the World Heritage register for rainforest plants that have existed since Australia was part of the Gondwana super-continent. Gibraltar Range National Park is home to several threatened species of animal: the endangered giant barred frog, which can grow to the size of a small adult's hand; and glossy black cockatoos, under threat from a loss of breeding habitat. Feeding locations are very important to the continuing survival of the cockatoo.

  • Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk Keep an eye out for birds and wildflowers on the 45km Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk through eucalypt forests, rainforests, wetlands and granite tors in the rugged Northern Tablelands.
  • The Needles walking track The Needles walking track offers jaw-dropping views of granite rock formations in Gibraltar Range National Park, near Glen Innes. Part of the Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk, it’s a great shorter walk option.

Years in the making

Little Dandahra Creek, Gilbraltar Range National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

Long stewarded through history by Aboriginal people in the area, the Gibraltar Range continues to hold significance for contemporary descendants. The Range is rich in cultural sites and sacred places, with Aboriginal groups having moved regularly between the tablelands and coastal plains, conducting ceremonies and gathering food along the way.

  • Dandahra Crags walking track Dandahra Crags walking track, in Gibraltar Range National Park, is a hiking route with scenic views and birdwatching opportunities.

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