Cottan-Bimbang National Park

Open, check current alerts 


Cottan-Bimbang is a perfect destination for car touring, turning the Oxley Highway into its own attraction, with additional driving routes and barbecues on offer too.

Read more about Cottan-Bimbang National Park

Cottan-Bimbang National Park is a driver’s dream – the best of nature experienced from the comfort of your own car. Rugged mountain vistas slide into view, then disappear as you wind your way along the highway south of Werrikimbe National Park. Formerly state forest, this area is now a candidate for inclusion in the Gondwana Rainforest World Heritage Area. In other words, there’s a great deal more here than just trees along the side of a road.

As you travel from Walcha or Wauchope, rainforest becomes dry eucalypt, tall and laden with birds. 'Cottan-bimbang' is the local Aboriginal word for the walking stick palm, which grows in the park's warm temperate rainforests. There’s even dry rainforest of myrtle tucked along the creek beds. During the day, this varied landscape is alive with birds and animals, like the brush turkey and shy parma wallaby.

But look a little closer and what you’ll find are fascinating traces of colonial heritage, too, with reminders of the gold mining era, convicts, and bushrangers. Bring a picnic and you’ll find quiet clearings by a river, and biking or hiking opportunities for the truly intrepid. When so much is passed by in daily life as you rush from one destination to the next, Cottan-Bimbang is the sort of place that makes you slow down and appreciate the world around you.

You can book a camping stay at Maxwells Flat campground.

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


See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Cottan-Bimbang National Park.


Map legend

Map legend

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From either Walcha or Wauchope:

    • Follow Oxley Highway , which leads directly through Cottan-Bimbang National Park.

    By bike

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

    Best times to visit

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


    Settle down for a picnic at the clearing by Cells River and the magnificent timber bridge, a relic of former forestry management.


    Take Myrtle Scrub scenic drive through old-growth wet eucalypt forest and rainforest, keeping an eye out for lyrebirds and bandicoots.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature


    17°C and 28.5°C

    Highest recorded


    Winter temperature


    6.1°C and 19.2°C

    Lowest recorded



    Wettest month


    Driest month


    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day


    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 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).



    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.


    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Nearby towns

    Walcha (66 km)

    Walcha is the gateway to some of the best adventure experiences in Australia. Expect gorges, rainforests, waterfalls and wilderness. Enjoy helicopter flights, 4WD tours and fishing, as well as guided bushwalks in some of Australia's most rugged terrain.

    Wauchope (84 km)

    Wauchope is great base for exploring nearby national parks that are part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. Follow the Hastings Forest Way to Werrikimbe National Park, a rugged wilderness of outstanding beauty spread with short and long walks. Willi Willi National Park is a rainforest mountain park with three beautiful walking tracks that follow the river and lead to a sparkling waterfall.

    Taree (155 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.

    Learn more

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

    Colonial settlers, gold, and bushrangers

    Myrtle Scrub Scenic Drive, Cottan-Bimbang National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Cottan-Bimbang has a rich past filled with colonial settlers and convicts. The famed explorer John Oxley first travelled through the area in 1818, on his way to the coast. In fact, the first convict road linking Port Macquarie to Walcha went through here; keep an eye out for stonework remnants buried in the undergrowth. Loggers came not long after in their search for cedar, the Red gold. Regular gold was sought here too Cells State Conservation Area, deep in the park, contains relics of early mining. And just to top off a dramatic, event-filled history, the bushranger Jimmy Governer (Jimmy Backsmith) travelled through the area with his brother before being captured closer to Port Macquarie.

    • Myrtle Scrub scenic drive Myrtle Scrub scenic drive is a 14km alternative driving route to the highway straight through scenic views of Cottan-Bimbang National Park, tracing a trail past old-growth wet eucalypt forest and rainforest.

    Aboriginal tracks

    Maxwells Flat campground, Cottan-Bimbang National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    The name 'Cottan-Bimbang' is an Aboriginal word meaning 'walking stick palm', referring to a plant which can be found scattered throughout the national park. Echoes of Aboriginal occupation can also be seen in the routes used by early explorers and settlers, which were probably first used by Aboriginal people to travel between the coast and tablelands.

    A potential World Heritage Area

    Waterfall, Cottan-Bimbang National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Rainforest makes up 40% of Cottan-Bimbang National Park, with subtropical rainforest in the centre around the catchment of Cells Creek, and warm temperate rainforest and dry rainforest of myrtle further out. Because of this diverse ecosystem, Cottan-Bimbang has been nominated for inclusion in the Gondwana Rainforest World Heritage Area.

    The largest population of parma wallabies

    Parma Wallaby, Cottam-Bimbang National Park. Photo: Phil Spark

    Explore Cottan-Bimbang National Park and you may be fortunate enough to spot the shy parma wallaby in the area. The largest population of parma wallabies reside within Cottan-Bimbang National Park. Approximately half the park is made up of native old-growth forest, making it ideal for a refreshing bushwalk, or just as a means to escape into nature.

    • Myrtle Scrub scenic drive Myrtle Scrub scenic drive is a 14km alternative driving route to the highway straight through scenic views of Cottan-Bimbang National Park, tracing a trail past old-growth wet eucalypt forest and rainforest.

    Plants and animals protected in this park


    • Koala. Photo: Lucy Morrell

      Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

      One of the most renowned Australian animals, the tree-dwelling marsupial koala can be found in gum tree forests and woodlands across eastern NSW, Victoria and Queensland, as well as in isolated regions in South Australia. With a vice-like grip, this perhaps most iconic but endangered Australian animal lives in tall eucalypts within a home range of several hectares.

    • 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.

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Cottan-Bimbang 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.