The top 5 walks in Barrington Tops.

At the highest point of the Barrington Coast is a renowned wilderness sitting atop an ancient shield volcano. Here you can walk with dinosaur ghosts through Gondwana rainforests to lookouts across valleys of endless greens and skies of endless blues.

Polblue Swamp Track, Barrington Tops, after heavy snow fall
Polblue in snow is a sight to remember forever.

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.

1. Polblue Swamp Track, Barrington TopsNational Park

  • START: Polblue Picnic Area, Barrington Tops
  • DISTANCE: 3 km
  • DURATION: 30-60 minutes
  • GRADE: Easy

You can start this walk from Polblue picnic area at the highest point of the Barrington Tops parklands.

Polblue Swamp track will take you on a short journey through the wetlands and high altitude forests of the plateau that was once Barrington volcano. You’ll see the smooth dark trunks of black sallow, snow gums with scribbles on their bark and be dwarfed by the towering mountain gums.

Take care if you visit here during snowfall events, the timber boardwalk can be slippery when icy or snowy.

Polblue Falls, Barrington Tops, large rock falls
Polblue Falls in Barrington Tops.

2. Polblue Falls Track, Barrington Tops National Park

  • START: Polblue Falls Picnic Area, Barrington Tops
  • DISTANCE: 500 m
  • DURATION: 10 minutes
  • GRADE: Easy

Don’t be misled into thinking that Polblue Falls is near Polblue Campground, it’s actually a bit further down Polblue Creek, a short 9km drive from the campground.

The Polblue Falls picnic area is on Tubrabucca Road, the short and easy track winds along Polblue Creek through subalpine woodland. At the end of the track there’s an observation point opposite the head of Polblue Falls: the largest accessible falls on the Barrington Tops plateau.

Honeysuckle Walk, Barrington Tops
Ancient moss-covered trees on the Honeysuckle Forest Track in Barrington Tops.

3. Honeysuckle Forest Walking Track, Barrington Tops National Park

  • START: Honeysuckle Picnic Area, Barrington Tops
  • DISTANCE: 1 km loop
  • DURATION: 15-45 minutes
  • GRADE: Easy/Moderate

Honeysuckle Forest walking track is a perfect introduction to the Barrington Tops parklands if you’re heading higher towards Polblue.

This easy walk from Honeysuckle picnic area takes you through magnificent Antarctic beech forest with thickets of soft tree ferns. The moss covered trunks are a spectacular sight in the misty rain and it’s easy here to imagine a Gondwana landscape with dinosaurs lurking in the shadows. The rainforest here gives way to open forests of brown barrel with an understory of tall mountain banksia, also known as honeysuckle.

Stop for a picnic afterwards or for scenic views continue on to Thunderbolts Lookout and Devils Hole Lookout.

Gloucester Falls aerial (photo by East Coast Photography).
Gloucester Falls aerial (photo by East Coast Photography).

4. Gloucester Tops Circuit, Barrington Tops National Park

  • START: Gloucester Falls Picnic Area, Gloucester Tops
  • DISTANCE: 8 km loop
  • DURATION: 3-5 hours
  • GRADE: Moderate

This walk has been rated as one of the top 5 walks near Sydney and for good reason. It’s actually three separate walks that you can do individually or join them together for a circuit loop.

Set out from Gloucester Falls picnic area along Gloucester Falls walking track first coming to Andrew Laurie Lookout on the edge of the escarpment for views across deep gorges and nearby peaks. Continuing on, you’ll find the observation point at Gloucester Falls overlooking a series of cascades. The Gloucester River is born just upstream and you’ll traverse its course on the River Walking track, wandering amid sub-alpine open woodland featuring snow gums and a small wetland.

At the road you’ll meet the start of the Antarctic Beech Forest walking track, which features cool temperate rainforest with the canopy of Antarctic beech towering above the tree ferns and damp carpet of moss on the forest floor. There’s a short walk option with a small pretty cascade and a long walk option with a truly stunning cascade at the bottom of a fern tree lined gully. You’ll need your energy reserve for the steep walk back up and don’t miss the mossy glen hidden high on the ridge as you head back towards the Falls track and the carpark where you started.

Rocky Crossing Walking Track (photo by Rob Mulally)
Rocky Crossing Walking Track (photo by Rob Mulally)

5. Blue Gum Loop Track and Rocky Crossing Track, Barrington Tops National Park

  • START: Williams River picnic area
  • DISTANCE: 3.5 km loop
  • DURATION: 1.5 hours – 2.5 hours
  • GRADE: Easy

This impressive track offers a riverside walk through patches of untouched forest in the southern precinct of Barrington Tops accessed via Stroud and Dungog.

From Williams River picnic area, Blue Gum loop trail crosses the magnificent Williams River, winding past cascades, eucalypts, and rainforest before joining the southern end of Rocky Crossing walk. Several secluded river spots will entice you to swim or take a short break: Fern Creek cascades or Crystal Pools.

If you have time and energy, you can continue on towards Rocky Crossing, however this extended version of the Blue Gum Loop is challenging, so allow 6 hours for the 16km return walk. Your reward will be your best-ever Instagram moments!

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