Explore Quirindi's National Parks
Last updated November 13, 2023
This beautiful park is the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors – hike through the river oak and box woodland, with sweeping views from sandstone outcrops, followed by a refreshing a dip in the clean, crystal clear water of Washpools Waterhole in Middle Brook, (about 500m from the picnic area).
Striking landscape with massive boulders set above the valley’s tranquil pools where you can fish, swim or picnic. Bush camping, picnic tables, BBQ facilities and toilets. Warrabah Trail, Warrabah
Barrington Tops is the highest point of the Barrington Coast (rising from near sea level to over 1500m) and offers a 125,000-hectare sanctuary of ancient forests, wildlife, waterfalls and lookouts, with a dusting of snow in the wintertime. The National Park is part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, where volcanic flows shaped this wilderness wonderland millions of years ago.
The park has an excellent bushwalking track network which range from short, easy routes to longer, challenging and overnight hikes, with plenty of sites to set up a bush camp for the evening. There are also a number of operators offering guided and self-guided tours for kayaking, canoeing, abseiling, fishing and mountain biking enthusiasts. Highlights of the park include:
- Gloucester Tops Circuit - one of the most magnificent and diverse walks in the park. In just over 8km you will have a birds-eye view of the beautiful Gloucester Falls plunging to the valley below, wander beside the river through spectacular sub-alpine woodland, and then feel the temperature drop as you enter the prehistoric Antarctic Beech Forest, with the canopy towering high above you.
- There is an extraordinarily diverse array of wildlife to be spotted in the park; from kangaroos and wallabies on its grassy flats to platypus in the rivers, koalas and possums hidden in the dense woods and brush turkey and lyrebirds in the rainforest. Enjoy a picnic at of the park’s many scenic spots, including Gloucester Falls, Honeysuckle, Jerusalem Creek or Polblue Falls and keep an eye out for some new fury friends.
- At the foothills of Barrington Tops you will find Chichester State Forest, a stunning spot on the Allyn River with dog-friendly camping sites and trout fishing paradise (between October and June). Enjoy a refreshing dip in Ladies Well on a warm day, or hike and picnic at nearby Mount Royal National Park.
- Take in breathtaking scenery on a guided mountain bike tour with Aussie Bike or Hike. This day ride through Barrington Tops covers a distance of 50 to 60km along dirt roads, passing picturesque mountain scenery and vast open countryside. There are stops along the way at lookouts and creeks, with morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea provided. You can also get your heart racing with a self-guided canoeing or kayaking tour on the Barrington River with Barrington Outdoor Adventures. On the half-day tour, you’ll paddle over gently flowing water, traversing Grade 1 rapids such as The Drop and The Hook.
From the carpark you will find a number of signposted trails of varying distance which offer fabulous views of both Dangars and Mihi Falls (depending on the season if falls are flowing).
Sitting at the junction of the Warrumbungle and Liverpool ranges, Coolah Tops National Park is a striking landscape of 300-year-old giant grass trees, towering eucalypt forests and stands of Australia’s tallest snow gums. Take in spectacular views and see thundering waterfalls on walking trails like The Falls link track, Grass Tree walking track, Racecourse track or Grasstrees track. Nature lovers should keep their eyes open - you might see wallabies, wombats, gliders and over 120 species of birds, including rare owls. Camp and spend the night stargazing or bunker down at the rustic Bracken’s Cottage. In springtime, see the park come to life as the pink darling pea, yellow flowering black wattle and silver wattle burst into colour. Bush toilets, picnic tables and BBQ facilities.
Various campsites, trails and picnic grounds - Coolah Tops Forest Rd, Bundella
The second highest waterfalls in Australia, cascading dramatically 220m to the valley below.
Tucked away in the rugged foothills of the Nandewar Range is this patch of relatively undisturbed old growth forest, where nature lovers can explore the waterfalls, swimming holes and gorges of Horton Falls National Park. Make the short 100m stroll to Horton Falls lookout which is the ideal vantage point to see Horton River cascade into the deep valley below. If you fancy an invigorating dip, head past the Upper Falls picnic area and follow the scenic track to the most perfect little swimming hole. Picnic tables, BBQ facilities and toilets.
As Australia’s only Dark Sky Park (zero light pollution), the Warrumbungles are the perfect spot for stargazing, amateur astronomy and camping under the starriest of skies. The park is famous for its wildlife and vistas of rugged volcanic landscape, plus the Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk is renown as one of the best walks in NSW, with close up views of the park’s iconic rock formations.
A stunning natural oasis with the majestic Goulburn River meandering 90km between rugged sandstone cliffs honeycombed with caves then widening beside sandy riverbanks offering picnic spots and easy walking trails. The park is home to an abundance of wildlife including eastern grey kangaroos, wombats, emus, red necked wallabies and a multitude of birds including turquoise parrots, wedge tailed eagles and glossy black cockatoos. There are many opportunities for enjoying spectacular views, hiking, canoeing, wild swimming and camping. It's an area of significant Aboriginal heritage too, with more than 300 known sites, located mostly along the river, the area is very important to the local Wiradjuri People.
Encompassing the awe-inspiring Mount Royal Range, and part of Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, the park offers a diverse range of ecosystems and landscapes. From lush rainforests and cascading waterfalls to towering eucalyptus forests, serene creeks and sweeping grasslands, the park is home to many birds and animals that remain relatively the same as their fossilised ancestors. Visitors can explore trails that lead to stunning, panoramic vistas, such as Pieries Peak and Mount Royal Summit. With its tranquil ambiance and breathtaking vistas, Mount Royal National Park provides an ideal setting for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure, relaxation, and a deep connection with nature.
Whether you’re a thrill seeker or seeking blissful solitude, take the time to discover this rugged island of wilderness left behind by ancient volcanic eruptions between 17 and 21 million years ago. The Nandewar Ranges rise dramatically from the flat agricultural plains below, the elevation resulting in a great variety of vegetation, landscape and temperature. The park is home to rare and threatened fauna, including bats, birds, koalas, quolls and wallabies. Keep an eye out for the distinctive native pink slug, which is unique to the area! Camping, bushwalking, mountain biking, rock-climbing, swimming, horse riding…the options for adventure are endless. Contact the Narrabri Region Visitor Information Centre before venturing out to check current road conditions.
Highlights of the park include:
- Mount Kaputar Summit lookout - spectacular, panoramic 360- degree views taking in an extraordinary 10% of the state, there’s no higher peak between the summit and South Africa! If you’re keen for a hike, start at Dawson’s Spring picnic area and follow the trail along the Mount Kaputar Summit Walk (2km return).
- Waa Gorge Walking Track – millions of years of weathering has formed the deeply etched gorge, its gullies are strewn with enormous boulders and the ghost of ancient rivers and streams. Follow the track (2.5km return through the Grattai Wilderness Area) deep into the rock formation and be dwarfed by the towering tangerine-streaked walls up to the volcanic plug. Wildflowers carpet the area in springtime and it’s a cool and quiet spot for a picnic in summer. Picnic tables and bush toilets near the carpark at the base of Mt Waa. Allambie Rd, Berrigal
- Kaputar Scenic Drive – 20km route through dramatic landscapes, ascending 1,100m in altitude as it snakes up the mountainside, offering access to lookouts, picnic spots and walking tracks.
- Sawn Rocks Walking Track - soaring, 40m tall pillars reminiscent of church organ pipes, Sawn Rocks is a perfect example of the park’s volcanic past - the striking wall of pentagonal basalt pipes is the result of slow and even cooling of molten lava. From the carpark, a 1.5km return walking track offers an easy stroll through fragrant eucalypts, fig and wattle trees to an observation platform, providing the perfect view of this intriguing geometric formation. You can then take the steps down for a dip in the tranquil pools of Bobbiwaa Creek. BBQ, picnic tables and bush toilets. Killarney Gap Rd, Narrabri.