Who cares if you huff’n puff when hiking? At the end of these trails (and along the way too), we’ve got the Barrington Coast’s best waterfalls and hiking areas.

From coast to country we’re claiming the best Insta-worthy views and hiking trails to suit all fitness levels. Think flowing cascades, mountainous vistas, picture perfect picnic spots and panoramic lookouts abounding with wildlife.

Ellenborough Falls

Iconic experiences in the Barrington Coast don’t get better than this. Fact: at a grand height of 200 metres, Ellenborough Falls is the tallest single drop waterfall in all of New South Wales. There are several ways to view the falls: from the very top, from the middle or, if you’re feeling fit, descend the 641 steps to the base of the falls and be rewarded with epic views of this tumbling ravine in all its glory. If you’re in the Manning Valley region of the Barrington Coast, make this place your number one reason to get camera ready.

Ellenborough falls, Elands single drop waterfall
Ellenborough Falls at Elands (photo: East Coast Photography)

Thunderbolts Lookout

The World Heritage listed Barrington Tops National Park is home to the mesmerizing Thunderbolts Lookout. Named after legendary Aussie bushranger Captain Thunderbolt, the lookout is 1440m above sea level and is the highest in this northern precinct of Barrington Tops. It boasts expansive views of the thickly forested high plateau with Insta-worthy scenes that stretch over deep valleys and low arched mountains. Get here quick and earn yourself a bucket list tick.

If you're heading to Barrington Tops the best approach is via Gloucester on the eastern side, stop for fuel, provisions, a coffee or a meal on your way through.

Barrington Tops Thunderbolts Lookout
Thunderbolts Lookout in Barrington Tops (photo: Beth Miller)

Gloucester Falls

Get off the grid and into the midst of an ancient Gondwanaland rainforest setting. These pretty falls are superbly located at the very top of the Gloucester Tops precinct of Barrington Tops National Park. Expect to see stacks of wetland friendly trees, a mix of native wildlife and plenty of Insta-worthy scenes. Don’t forget to look upstream and downstream or you may miss out on seeing the series of cascades that comprise this beautiful hidden spot.

Gloucester River at Gloucester Falls
Gloucester River tumbling over Gloucester Falls in Barrington Tops National Park (photo: East Coast Photography)

Antarctic Beech Forest Cascades

This is the other big drawcard at Gloucester Tops: the enthralling beauty of these unnamed cascades is surely a sight to behold. Hidden deep in a gully on the Antarctic beech forest walk, there’s a real thrill to be had when one is so immersed in ancient Gondwana land. It’s an incredibly peaceful place where the ultra pure waters splash their way across mossy pools and fern lined cascades. One might say it’s a Zen-like daydream turned reality.

The cascades on the long walk of the Antarctic Beech Forest Walk
The dreamy cascades on the Antarctic beech forest walk at Gloucester Tops. (photo: Catherine Boyd)

Rowleys Peak

Lace up your hiking boots and get set for a 45 minute trek to see the outstanding views from Rowleys Peak. It’s extraordinarily steep - imagine your hardest ever step machine terrain - but it’s literally the best of both worlds up here! At 1000 metres above sea level, visitors are treated to 360 degree views of both azure oceanic and verdant hinterland sights of the Manning Valley. Your viewpoint from this bedazzling quartzite rock formed outcrop offers up Insta-worthy shots from every angle imaginable.

The walk up to Rowleys Peak is very difficult but the views are worth it.
The walk up to Rowleys Peak is very difficult but the views are worth it.

Whoota Whoota Lookout

Take a short trip to Wallingat National Park and prep yourself (and your camera) for the panoramic vistas of Whoota Whoota Lookout. Soaring eucalypt forests dominate the ruggedly beautiful landscape whilst the glistening blue hues of Wallis Lake will successfully compete for your vision’s attention. Note: visitors can drive right up to the lookout here. BYO lunch and enjoy your meal from one of the most scenic picnic tables in NSW.

Whoota Whoota Lookout, Wallingat National Park
Whoota Whoota Lookout overlooking Wallis Lake

Potoroo Falls

Embark on a gentle stroll through subtropical rainforest and be met with the magic of Potoroo Falls. Expect to see a variety of birdlife and a few curious bush creatures that all call this place their hidden home. Be sure to bring your swimmers for a refreshing dip. Tip: the walking trail is easy to navigate but does involve a touch of rock hopping along the way. Overall, Potoroo Falls is an ideal destination for adventurous traveller types seeking solace in the forest.

Potoroo Falls in Tapin Tops National Parks
Potoroo Falls in Tapin Tops National Park.

Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse

Make your way to the southern end of Boat Beach at Seal Rocks and then meander along the 800 metre walking track to Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse. Sunrise and sunset are equally spectacular from this famed east coast vantage point. The lighthouse features an unusual yet super cool external staircase - perfectly positioned to capture a token holiday mode snap. History buffs will be drawn to the maritime themed stories stemming from this iconic location too. And you can even book some overnight accommodation at the Lighthouse Keepers Cottages.

Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse at Seal Rocks overlooking Lighthouse Beach. (photo by Mark Fitz Photography)
Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse at Seal Rocks overlooking Lighthouse Beach. (photo by Mark Fitz Photography)

Instagram: For the curious