Outdoor enthusiasts will love hiking, fishing or camping at this enormous subtropical national park.
Barrington Tops National Park is a destination for lovers of the great outdoors. The most popular activity here is hiking, but you can also fish, camp, mountain bike and bird watch.
The park stretches out across 74,567 hectares (18,4259 acres) in the lush Hunter Region. Forming part of the protected Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, Barrington Tops is one of the most scenic national parks in the state.
While Barrington Tops National Park is large enough to spend a few days exploring, visitors with less time can see many attractions in a day.
The landscape of the park was created from ancient volcano lava flows. Take the Careys Peak walking track to reach a lookout at one of the park's highest points, at 1,544 metres (5,066 feet). On the way to the the lookout, on the edge of the park's plateau, the 7-kilometre (4-mile) trail will take you past snow gum forests and a historic hut. Look out for the local fauna, with echidnas, eagles and kangaroos all common on the trail.
Go fishing for brown trout in one of the six rivers that run through the park. Fishing gear can be obtained from the petrol stations in the area. A number of tour operators also offer canoe trips down the rivers. Bring your bicycle to explore the many mountain bike trails that are features of the park.
Camping is a popular activity in the park. While there are no powered sites, many feature amenities including hot showers and gas barbecues. Food and water cannot be purchased within the park so visitors are advised to plan carefully.
Barrington Tops National Park is located near Dungog, 1.5 hours north of Newcastle by car. There is free car parking and no admission fee for the park.
Note that for safety reasons the park is sometimes closed during poor weather or if there is fire danger.