Coorabakh National Park

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Overview

Studded with volcanic outcroppings, Coorabakh National Park offers scenic views as well as hiking, picnicking and birdwatching opportunities.

Read more about Coorabakh National Park

Millions of years ago, volcanoes sculpted parts of the Australian mainland, leaving rocky plugs and dramatic escarpments as they faded and disappeared. Three of these volcanic intrusions can be seen in Coorabakh National Park, dominating the area: Big Nellie, Flat Nellie and Little Nellie.

The Park contains a stunning and varied world of low shrubs and lofty eucalypt trees, cool subtropical rainforests and sheltered gullies teeming with wildlife. There are 18 distinct forest ecosystems. Crystal clear streams run through mossy banks, and sheer sandstone cliffs tower above Manning Valley at Flat Rock and Newbys lookout.

Visitors to Coorabakh National Park will find beautiful lookouts and secluded picnic spots, with easy walks, scenic caves, and pleasurable drives along back roads that seem a million miles from the nearest sign of civilisation. Whether you’re looking for a place to settle down for a lazy lunch, a glimpse of ancient geology mixed with recent history, or a clear view to find your bearings in a vast landscape, Coorabakh is a great choice for the slower-paced traveller.

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/coorabakh-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

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

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From the townships of Coopernook and Moorland:

    • Take Forest Drive Road from south to north
    • Travel through Coopernook State Forest and follow signs to Coorabakh National Park

    To access the park, visitors are strongly advised to contact the NSW Forestry Cooperation to ensure access via Comboyne State Forest and Lansdowne State Forest is open. Contact NSW Forestry Cooperation Wauchope office on (02) 6585 3744.

    Park entry points

    Parking

    By bike

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

    By public transport

    Coorabakh National Park is not accessible by public transport, though there is a daily train from Sydney to Taree. For more information, visit the NSW country transport info website.

    Best times to visit

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

    Spring

    Several endangered plants flower in the park, creating beautiful displays of wildflowers near lookouts and along roadsides.

    Summer

    A perfect escape from the summer heat can be found in the subtropical rainforest around Starrs Creek, with its elevated boardwalk, and along the slightly more adventurous path to the cave at Newbys Creek.

    Winter

    Low rainfall and reasonable temperatures make winter a great time to take advantage of the several stunning lookouts around the park.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    17.2°C and 28.6°C

    Highest recorded

    45.2°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    6.5°C and 12.8°C

    Lowest recorded

    -5°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    March

    Driest month

    September

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    280.2mm

    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

    Taree (22 km)

    Taree is a major mid North Coast city, ringed by superb beaches. It's situated on the Manning River and set against rolling hills.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Port Macquarie (63 km)

    Vibrant Port Macquarie is surrounded by beautiful waterways - the Hastings River, canals, creeks, bays and the Pacific Ocean. The city also has a five-star collection of golden-sand beaches stretching from Port Macquarie Beach to Town Beach and north along the 16-km swathe of North Beach.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

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

    The Aboriginal connection

    Looking down the plains, Coorabakh National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Before Europeans arrived, the area was the traditional domain of the Ngaamba People. Research suggests that they once used the dramatic cliff lines and distinctive volcanic formations to navigate the region. They may also have been important for cultural practices, sites of sacred ceremonies and other social gatherings.

    Home to rare native species

    Starrs Creek, Coorabakh National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    The park is important at a regional level for a number of rare and significant plant species. There are also several species of threatened animal, including the spotted-tailed quoll, yellow-bellied glider, powerful owl and stuttering frog. Don’t forget your camera.

    • Newbys Creek walk and caves A short walk along Newbys Creek in Coorabakh National Park takes visitors to a scenic cave, where a large overhanging rock creates a natural shelter above the stream.
    • Starrs Creek picnic area Great for picnicking and birdwatching, Starrs Creek picnic area in Coorabakh National Park also offers an elevated boardwalk that opens up the rainforest on an easy walk.

    Eighteen forest ecosystems

    Flat Rock lookout, Coorabakh National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    The astonishing variety of forest ecosystems in Coorabakh vary from wet foothills covered in blackbutts to subtropical rainforest. This makes a visit a fascinating experience as you range from high lookouts over eucalyptus canopies to cool mossy creekbeds.

    • Big Nellie lookout and picnic area Big Nellie, in Coorabakh National Park, and the scenic lookout at its base offers a vantage point for photography and birdwatching, as well as a great place to picnic.
    • Flat Rock lookout Flat Rock lookout offers scenic views over the Coxcomb, Goonook and Killabakh nature reserves, as well as great picnicking and birdwatching opportunities.
    • Newbys lookout Newbys lookout, on the edge of the Landsdowne escarpment, offers scenic views over Manning Valley as well as opportunities for birdwatching and picnicking.

    A legacy of timber harvesting

    Looking up the tree canopies, Coorabakh National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Before it was a national park, Coorabakh had a long history of forestry operations. This was once a centre of intensive logging - particularly during the World Wars - and visitors can still find physical remnants of the industry. One evocative site is the Langley Vale tramway, which was originally used to transport timber 21km from Old North Camp to Langley Vale, first by horse and later by steam engine. The line was abandoned in the 1940s, but relics still remain: timber bridges, elevated platforms, offcuts left to moulder in the forest, reclaimed by nature.

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Coorabakh 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.

    Coorabakh National Park. Photo: John Spencer