Chaelundi National Park

Overview

North-west of Dorrigo, Chaelundi National Park has the largest old-growth forest in northern NSW, with fun places to go biking, swimming, picnicking and camping.

Read more about Chaelundi National Park

You’d be forgiven for thinking the ‘great outdoors’ actually meant the rugged landscape of Chaelundi National Park.

Bike and walking trails zigzag across spectacular views to the river. Crisp, fresh scents soak the air as you approach sparkling waterfalls and creeks. In the afternoon, a spacious camping area provides the perfect spot for a sausage sizzle by the pretty riverbank.

You’re never really alone either - the forest echoes with wildlife curious enough to join your exploration of deep gullies and old forests that scratch their way through the terrain; frogs, rock wallabies, owls and koalas all add to this diverse forest experience.

The park includes important uses by past communities; scattered artefacts map the ridgelines as traditional travelling routes of local Aboriginal people. Evidence also remains of the bygones of gold and timber industries.

For those keen and prepared, Chaelundi National Park offers unforgettable experiences.

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/visit-a-park/parks/chaelundi-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

  • in the North Coast region
  • Non-wilderness parts of Chaelundi National Park are always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

  • More
See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Chaelundi National Park.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Nymboida:

    • Drive 5km south along Armidale-Grafton Road, then turn right onto Boundary Creek Road. Follow Boundary Creek Road for around 12km, then turn right onto Shannon Creek road. Shannon Creek picnic area is around 7km along Shannon Creek road.

    From Dundurrabin:

    • Take the Sheep Station Creek turn-off on Armidale-Grafton Road at Dundurrabin. Continue along Chaelundi Road, stopping at Vista Point for the views into Chaelundi wilderness and, further along, Guy Fawkes lookout for the views into Guy Fawkes River gorge. Continue along Chaelundi Road and turn right into Quartz Road.
    • Drive 16.5km north along Armidale-Grafton Road to Clouds Creek. Continue for 3.5km north along Armidale-Grafton Road, then turn left onto Tallowwood Road, where you enter the park.

    From South Grafton:

    • Travel south along Armidale-Grafton Road to Nymboida, then follow the directions as above.
    • Travel west along the Gwydir Highway, then turn left onto Old Grafton-Glen Innes Road for around 60km to the abandoned gold-mining village of Dalmorton. Turn left onto Chaelundi Road and travel south for around 6km, then turn left onto Quartz Road.

    Park entry points

    Parking

    By bike

    Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

    By public transport

    Chaelundi National Park is not accessible by public transport.

    Best times to visit

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

    Autumn

    Photography of forest and cycads fruiting.

    Spring

    Wilderness bushwalking along Chandler Creek gorge.

    Summer

    Remote camping, fishing and swimming in Chandler Creek.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    28°C and 30°C

    Highest recorded

    43.8°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    21°C and 24°C

    Lowest recorded

    -2.2°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    February

    Driest month

    September

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    274.3mm

    Facilities

    Toilets

    Picnic tables

    Barbecue facilities

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

    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

    South Grafton (59 km)

    The Clarence is one of Australia's largest waterways and offers a host of water adventures to suit all styles. Choose from high-adrenalin whitewater rafting, to canoeing and kayaking, or a river cruise.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Grafton (61 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

    Dorrigo (85 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

    Chaelundi National Park is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

    Waiting just for you

    People having a picnic in Doone Gorge camping area, Chaelundi National Park. Photo: A Harber

    Fire trails twist and turn through scenery for mountain bikers to zip through, offering spectacular views to the river below. Crisp, fresh scents moisten the air on approaching a waterfall or creek. You can relax here with a cooling dip before heading to sizzle your sausages by the riverbank campsite. Car touring on forest roads outside the wilderness zone are ready for exploration by 4WD.

    Mountain of gold

    Views across the valley, Chaelundi National Park. Photo: A Harber

    By 1872, there were over 500 people living in Dalmorton, working numerous gold reefs in the area. Evidence of this gold-mining history includes vertical and horizontal mine shafts of several abandoned gold mines. Mining finally ceased in the 1930s. There is also a long history of timber harvesting within the Chandlers Creek basin extending back to the late 1800s, with cedar-getting followed by logging of hoop pine up until 1930. Small shelters can still be found dotted along the landscape as remnants of the industry.

    Living and thriving

    Johnson's cycad (Macrozamia johnsonii), Chaelundi National Park. Photo: A Harber

    The diverse forest environments and substantial old-growth sections make the Chaelundi National Park areas ecologically unique. The park harbours around 18 threatened animal species, including the rock wallaby, stuttering frog and regent honeyeater.

    Ancient pathways

    Chandlers Creek, Chaelundi National Park. Photo: A Harber

    Chaelundi National Park lies within the territory of the Gumbaynggirr Aboriginal people. Many of the ridgelines within the park are considered to be of high cultural significance to local Aboriginal people as traditional travelling routes. Survey work of the Aboriginal cultural sites within the park has recorded scarred trees, a stone tool quarry and numerous open campsites and artefact scatters.

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Chaelundi National Park has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents.

    Chaelundi National Park. Photo: A Harber/NSW Government