Barrington Tops National Park
One of the few places in Australia where you can see snow in the rainforest, Barrington Tops National Park features some of the last remaining cool temperate rainforest in Australia, and is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage area. The national park is made up of two linked plateaux–Barrington Tops in the north and Gloucester Tops in the east. TheRead more...
One of the few places in Australia where you can see snow in the rainforest, Barrington Tops National Park features some of the last remaining cool temperate rainforest in Australia, and is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage area. The national park is made up of two linked plateaux–Barrington Tops in the north and Gloucester Tops in the east. The rocky escarpments, alpine meadows, snowgum forests, cliff-top lookouts, waterfalls and pretty fern-filled riverside valleys are magnets for bushwalkers, mountain bikers and four-wheel-drivers, although you don’t need a 4WD to get to many of the popular picnic areas and riverside camping spots. A haven for wildlife, expect to see lots of kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, platypus and lyrebirds.
- Best for families: Gloucester River campground has lots of open space and kids love splashing about in the shallow river and watching the wallabies graze the grassy flats.
- Best for four-wheel-drivers: Junction Pools is only accessible by the rocky 4WD-only Barrington Trail, but getting there is all part of the fun.
- Best for camper trailers: Pol Blue campground is right on top of the range, 1450 metres above sea level. It sometimes snows up here, and the walking track is a good place to see wildflowers and wildlife.
Tips for Snagging a Campsite Reservation
- Not all campsites charge a camping fee, but all campsites in NSW national parks, even the free camp sites and remote walk-in camping areas, must be must be pre-booked before you arrive at www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au
- The Gloucester River and Pol Blue camping areas are the most popular, but apart from Christmas and Easter you can usually secure a campsite booking just a few days out from when you want to go.
- Check the national parks website or ask at the Gloucester or Scone visitor information centres for any road closures and alerts before you travel into the park.
When to Go
The high peaks and rainforest gullies of the Barrington Tops are a great place to escape the summer humidity of the coast, but weather conditions can change quickly, so always be prepared with warm clothes and good wet weather gear. Dustings of snow are not uncommon in winter and nights are cold. Spring is a good time to see ground orchids, carpets of everlasting daisies and other wildflowers, particularly around Pol Blue camping area and on the Barrington Trail.
Know Before You Go
- Barrington Tops is around 320 km northwest of Sydney—37 km from Dungog and 42 km from Gloucester. To get to the Barrington Tops Plateau area, use the very scenic (but unsealed) Barrington Tops Forest Road between Gloucester and Scone.
- Wet weather can sometimes close the unsealed access roads, which involve several causeway crossings that can be subject to flash flooding.
- The 4WD Barrington Trail is closed each year between 1 June and 30 September. You can still access the camping grounds, but only by foot or mountain bike.
- Campfires are permitted in most camping areas, but only on low fire danger days. BYO firewood, as you are not allowed to collect it in the park.