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Horton Falls National Park

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Learn more about why this park is special

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

A natural paradise

Eastern yellow robin perched on a tree branch, Horton Falls National Park. Photo: Simone Cottrell © DPE

The park displays a diverse range of plant communities due to its steep topography and the water courses that divide the park. Wedge-tailed eagles, crimson and eastern rosellas, kookaburras, honeyeaters and occasionally sulphur-crested cockatoos are among the bird species that call this park home. Smaller birds such as wrens, thornbills and tree-creepers can also be found in shrubs and heaths. At night, you might even spot the common brushtail possum or feathertail gliders, or hear the calls of the southern boobook. The park is also home to several threatened species including the flame robin, diamond firetail and corbens long-eared bat.

Landscapes and geology

Middle Horton Falls, Horton Falls National Park. Photo: Leah Pippos © DPE

Horton Falls National Park is located on the eastern foothills of the Nandewar Range, an area formed by volcanic activity which occurred about 17 to 21 million years ago. The landscape of the park is undulating with a deeply incised valley headed by Horton Falls on the Horton River. The Horton River starts below Mount Kaputar and drops 83m at Horton Falls into a deep gorge, eventually merging with the Gwydir River beyond the park boundary.

Aboriginal heritage

View of Horton Falls through trees with hills in the distance in Horton Falls National Park. Photo: Leah Pippos © DPIE

Horton Falls National Park is on the lands of the Gamilaroi, Kamilaroi, Gamilaraay and Gomeroi language nation. Aboriginal uses for the park are not well known, however it's likely the park provided a variety resources for day-to-day life. The Falls would have also provided a great vantage point looking south east over the gorges.

Plants and animals protected in this park

Animals

  • Yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Photo: Peter Sherratt

    Yellow-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus)

    The yellow-tailed black cockatoo is one of the largest species of parrot. With dusty-black plumage, they have a yellow tail and cheek patch. They’re easily spotted while bird watching, as they feed on seeds in native forests and pine plantations.

  • Brush tail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

    One of the most widespread of Australian tree-dwelling marsupials, the common brushtail possum is found across most of NSW in woodlands, rainforests and urban areas. With strong claws, a prehensile tail and opposable digits, these native Australian animals are well-adapted for life amongst the trees.

  • 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.

  • Closeup of a laughing kookaburra's head and body. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

    Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

    Of the 2 species of kookaburra found in Australia, the laughing kookaburra is the best-known and the largest of the native kingfishers. With its distinctive riotous call, the laughing kookaburra is commonly heard in open woodlands and forests throughout NSW national parks, making these ideal spots for bird watching.

  • Close up of a regent honeyeater bird perched on a tree branch. Photo: Mick Roderick © Mick Roderick

    Regent honeyeater (Anthochaera phrygia)

    The regent honeyeater is a critically endangered native bird. Once widespread across south-eastern Australia, only around 250 to 350 birds remain in the wild, making it at risk of extinction.

  • Echidna. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

    One of only 2 egg-laying mammals in the world, the short-beaked echidna is one of the most widespread of Australian native animals. Covered in spines, or quills, they’re equipped with a keen sense of smell and a tube-like snout which they use to break apart termite mounds in search of ants.

  • Sugar glider. Photo: Jeff Betteridge

    Sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps)

    The sugar glider is a tree-dwelling Australian native marsupial, found in tall eucalypt forests and woodlands along eastern NSW. The nocturnal sugar glider feeds on insects and birds, and satisfies its sweet tooth with nectar and pollens.

  • Wedge-tailed eagle. Photo: Kelly Nowak

    Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax)

    With a wingspan of up to 2.5m, the wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey. These Australian animals are found in woodlands across NSW, and have the ability to soar to heights of over 2km. If you’re bird watching, look out for the distinctive diamond-shaped tail of the eagle.

Plants

  • Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

    Grass tree (Xanthorrea spp.)

    An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.

  • Wonga Wonga vine. Photo: Barry Collier

    Wonga wonga vine (Pandorea pandorana)

    The wonga wonga vine is a widespread vigorous climber usually found along eastern Australia. A variation of the plant occurs in the central desert, where it resembles a sprawling shrub. One of the more common Australian native plants, the wonga wonga vine produces bell-shaped white or yellow flowers in the spring, followed by a large oblong-shaped seed pod.

  • Mulga. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    Mulga (Acacia aneura)

    Mulga are hardy Australian native plants found throughout inland Australia. With an unusually long tap root, the mulga is able to withstand long periods of drought.

Look out for...

Short-beaked echidna

Tachyglossus aculeatus

Echidna. Photo: Ken Stepnell

One of only 2 egg-laying mammals in the world, the short-beaked echidna is one of the most widespread of Australian native animals. Covered in spines, or quills, they’re equipped with a keen sense of smell and a tube-like snout which they use to break apart termite mounds in search of ants.

Environments in this park

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