Oxley Wild Rivers National Park

Overview

Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, near Armidale, spoils you with World Heritage-listed gondwana rainforest, historic sites, and magnificent waterfalls. It’s perfect for walking, camping, bike or horse riding, and fishing.

Read more about Oxley Wild Rivers National Park

Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area features rare dry rainforest, dramatic gorges and waterfalls, extensive wilderness areas, wild and scenic rivers and an amazing array of wildlife. It's best explored as a scenic drive along the Waterfall Way.

Explore the Apsley Macleay Gorges, one of Australia’s largest gorge systems with incredible ridge top views and visit Wollomombi, the highest waterfall in NSW and a place sure to lift your spirit. Bushwalkers will love the multi-day Green Gully walk that takes in the park’s spectacular landscape and includes overnight accommodation in heritage-listed stockman’s huts. For those seeking heritage accommodation that is slightly more luxurious, East Kunderang Homestead is sure to impress.

Everything in the park is best seen up close – immerse your senses and yourself in this wild place while you camp, walk, paddle, picnic, cycle, horse ride, fish or swim.

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/oxley-wild-rivers-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

  • in the North Coast and Country NSW regions
  • Oxley Wild Rivers National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

  • There are 3 areas in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park where you'll need day use vehicle permits: Halls Peak campground and picnic area, Riverside campground and picnic area, and Youdales Hut campground and picnic area. Day use vehicle permits can be bought online or by calling the National Parks Contact Centre on 1300 072 757. If camping, permit fees are included in the campground fee.

    Contact us for permits (/about-npws/contact-us).
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Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Oxley Wild Rivers National Park.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Walcha and Armidale there are numerous turnoffs along the Waterfall Way and Oxley Highway. Look for road signs to visitor sites within the park.

    Park entry points Show more

    Parking Show more

    Road quality

    • Unsealed roads

    Weather restrictions

    • 4WD required in wet weather

    By bike

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

    By public transport

    For more information about public transport options, visit the Transport NSW website.

    Best times to visit

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

    Autumn

    A great time to explore one of the longer bushwalks in the area and take in the scenic river views.

    Spring

    Admire the colourful wildflowers which are beautiful in the spring.

    Summer

    The water in the river at this time of year is generally warmer than on the Tableland, making it perfect for swimming and canoeing.

    Winter

    Crisp, cool and clear days are good for a brisk half day bushwalk.

    Facilities

    Toilets Show more

    Picnic tables Show more

    Barbecue facilities Show more

    Drinking water

    Public phone

    Showers

    Electric power

    Maps and downloads

    Fees and passes

    There are 3 areas in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park where you'll need day use vehicle permits: Halls Peak campground and picnic area, Riverside campground and picnic area, and Youdales Hut campground and picnic area. Day use vehicle permits can be bought online or by calling the National Parks Contact Centre on 1300 072 757. If camping, permit fees are included in the campground fee.

    Annual passes and entry fees (https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/passes-and-fees)

    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

    Walcha (18 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.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Armidale (39 km)

    During autumn the parks and gardens around Armidale show their beautiful colours. Enjoy a drive along the Waterfall Way, stopping at waterfalls and craggy gorges in the rugged countryside.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Dorrigo (87 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

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

    Jaw-dropping scenery

    Wollomombi walk, Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    With dramatic ridges and gorges, towering rock outcrops and beautiful rivers and waterfalls, there is something new around every corner and you'll be constantly amazed by the views. The sight of a majestic wedge-tailed eagle soaring high above the gorges looking for food is a truly spectacular sight to behold. Don't forget your camera, give yourself plenty of time and keep your eyes open.

    • Budds Mare lookout Enjoy a picnic lunch at Budds Mare lookout surrounded by World Heritage listed rainforest and looking out to spectacular views across the Apsley River.
    • The Green Gully track Make a booking to experience fern-lined gullies, high elevation forests and wildlife along the Green Gully track. Stay in heritage huts for a break from this challenging multi-day hike.
    • Tia Falls walk The short and easy Falls walk in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park is great for children. It leads to spectacular views of Tia Falls and Gorge and the lookout picnic area.

    Ancient lands

    Chandler view circuit walk, Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    Oxley Wild Rivers National Park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. The park contains some of the best examples of dry rainforest communities in Australia. When you are out exploring the wet and dry eucalypt forests, grassy woodlands and heathlands of the park, look for native olives, lacebarks, shiny-leaved and giant stinging trees, shatterwoods, scentless rosewoods and red kamalas.

    Abundant wildlife

    two brush tailed rock wallabies sitting on a rock. Photo: Piers Thomas/OEH

    The varied plant communities of Oxley Wild Rivers National Park provide a home for over 350 animal species, including the largest confirmed population of brush-tailed rock wallabies. Even though there are roughly 10,000 of this endangered species in the park, you'll have to keep your eyes open to catch a glimpse of their bushy tail. The park also boasts over 173 bird species, including the majestic wedge-tailed eagle, peregrine falcon, square-tailed kite and sea eagle.

    • The Green Gully track Make a booking to experience fern-lined gullies, high elevation forests and wildlife along the Green Gully track. Stay in heritage huts for a break from this challenging multi-day hike.
    • Threlfall walking track Threlfall walking track in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park takes in the spectacular Gara Gorge wilderness area, with scenic views and a chance to see the historic hydro-electric scheme.

    A national first

    Gara Gorge, Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    John Oxley was the first European to visit the New England region, passing through the area that is now Oxley Wild Rivers National Park in September 1818. Following Oxley, cedar-getters penetrated the remote and inaccessible gorges followed by pioneer cattle grazers who braved the remote wilderness for a hundred years. Between 1893 and 1894 the first commercial hydro-electric scheme was constructed to power the town and gold mines of nearby Hillgrove. Today you can visit the remains of this historical site when you take a walk along the Threlfall Historic walk.

    • Threlfall walking track Threlfall walking track in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park takes in the spectacular Gara Gorge wilderness area, with scenic views and a chance to see the historic hydro-electric scheme.

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    • Swamp wallaby in Murramarang National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

      Swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor)

      The swamp wallaby, also known as the black wallaby or black pademelon, lives in the dense understorey of rainforests, woodlands and dry sclerophyll forest along eastern Australia. This unique Australian macropod has a dark black-grey coat with a distinctive light-coloured cheek stripe.

    • Eastern water dragon. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

      Eastern water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii lesueurii)

      The eastern water dragon is a subaquatic lizard found in healthy waterways along eastern NSW, from Nowra to halfway up the Cape York Pensinsula. It’s believed to be one of the oldest of Australian reptiles, remaining virtually unchanged for over 20 million years.

    • Southern boobook. Photo: David Cook

      Southern boobook (Ninox novaeseelandiae)

      The southern boobook, also known as the mopoke, is the smallest and most common native owl in Australia. With a musical 'boo-book' call that echoes through forests and woodlands, the southern boobook is a great one to look out for while bird watching.

    • Tawny frogmouth. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

      Tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)

      Found throughout Australia, the tawny frogmouth is often mistaken for an owl due to its wide, powerful beak, large head and nocturnal hunting habits. The ‘oom oom oom’ call of this native bird can be heard echoing throughout a range of habitats including heath, woodlands and urban areas.

    • Peron's tree frog. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

      Peron's tree frog (Litoria peroni)

      Peron’s tree frog is found right across NSW. These tree-climbing and ground-dwelling Australian animals can quickly change colour, ranging from pale green-grey by day, to a reddish brown with emerald green flecks at night. The male frog has a drill-like call, which has been described as a 'maniacal cackle’.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Oxley Wild Rivers 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. Here is just some of the work we’re doing to conserve these values:

    Understanding landscapes and geology

    Oxley Wild Rivers National Park values the protection and conservation of biodiversity, land and native vegetation. World Heritage-listed areas within the park, such as Gondwana Rainforest, are highly treasured, protected and conserved.

    Preserving biodiversity

    Oxley Wild Rivers National Park embraces efforts to support the biodiversity of its flora and fauna. Field studies and periods of concentrated surveying are carried out in this park in order to maintain this, and to protect native animals and vegetation.

    Managing weeds, pest animals and other threats

    Pests and weeds have a significant impact to the ecosystems within Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. NPWS carries out risk assesments for new and emerging weeds as well as wild dog control to protect biodiversity in this park.

    Conservation program

    Wild dog control program

    Wild dogs can have significant impacts on other animals and are regarded as pests. Our wild dog control program operates in many NSW national parks and reserves. When carrying out wild dog pest control, we aim to minimise the impact that they have on livestock and domestic pets, while maintaining dingo conservation in key areas.

    Historic heritage in our parks and reserves

    Oxley Wild Rivers National Park’s remarkable heritage assets are preserved through a variety of ongoing programs. NPWS carefully maintains and conserves its historic heritage sites and features, while ensuring visitor safety and enjoyment are also priorities.

    Exploring World Heritage

    Oxley Wild Rivers National Park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. Its dry rainforests are rare and extremely important, and NPWS works to protect and preserve this park as a priority. Research and monitoring is conducted regularly to evaluate the status and distribution of rare and threatened species and to identify threats to World Heritage values.

    Developing visitor facilities and experiences

    NPWS recognises that visitor facilities and experiences in NSW national parks must be both enjoyable and easily accessed. Oxley Wild Rivers National Park regularly reviews its processes and systems, incorporating visitor feedback and implementing new ideas and technologies as appropriate. To ensure optimal comfort and enjoyment, tourist accommodation and other park facilities are serviced and maintained to a high standard.

    Managing fire

    NSW is one of the most bushfire prone areas in the world as a result of our climate, weather systems, vegetation and the rugged terrain. NPWS is committed to maintaining natural and cultural heritage values and minimising the likelihood and impact of bushfires via a strategic program of fire research, fire planning, hazard reduction, highly trained rapid response firefighting crews and community alerts.

    Conservation program

    Planning for fire

    Bushfires are inevitable across fire-prone vegetation types within NSW national parks. NPWS prepares for wildfires by working with other fire agencies, reserve neighbours and the community to ensure protection of life, property and biodiversity. Every park has its own fire management strategy, devised in consultation with partner fire authorities and the community to plan and prioritise fire management.

    View from Budds Mare lookout, Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary