Follow meandering rivers that ebb through bustling towns and delightful retreats, and bathe in the beauty of our untouched lakes and estuaries. Complete your journey at the place where the path ends, swept away by the ocean waves that shape our breathtaking beaches. For this is the Barrington Coast – where the leaves touch the waters, from the mountains to the sea.
Discover the Barrington Coast
At the Barrington Coast's southern gateway you'll find Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens, about 2 hours easy drive north of Sydney. These pretty towns sit astride the Myall River on the northern shores of Port Stephens which marks our southern boundary. Dig your toes into the white sands here for just a while or hike to the top of Yacaaba Headland for unbeatable 360 degree views of our southern coastline.
A further hour north past the country town of Bulahdelah will bring you to the popular seaside towns of Pacific Palms, Forster and Tuncurry. These towns revel in their scenic locations, balanced between the Pacific Ocean and the sparkling blue waters of Wallis Lake. Whale watching is a seasonal spectacle, try Cape Hawke or the beaches and headlands around Hallidays Point.
Bombah Broadwater, Boolambayte Lake, Myall Lake, Smiths Lake and Wallis Lake are the much-loved waterways of our own Great Lakes that lay behind the sand dunes and wild beaches of Myall Lakes National Park. While you’re there, don’t miss the stunning coastline views from Sugarloaf Point lighthouse at Seal Rocks, here it’s easy to envisage what the whole coast of New South Wales once looked like: rugged and wildly beautiful.
Travel westwards across our green rural hinterland and you’ll discover historic Stroud and Gloucester, both nestled into their impressively scenic locations and renowned since 1826 for their "scenic beauty like a gentleman's park". Not far from Gloucester, at the highest point of the Barrington Coast, you can step behind the green curtain of world heritage Barrington Tops. Breathe the clear mountain air and explore the ancient world of Gondwana: temperate rainforests, waterfalls, lookouts, mountain tops and hidden valleys.
Heading back eastwards towards our glittering Pacific Ocean coastline, follow the Manning River from its source high in Barrington Tops to the riverside towns of Wingham and Taree. The escarpments seen to the north sit at the edge of more national parks overlooking the quiet country villages of the Manning Valley: Lansdowne, Coopernook and Hannam Vale. At Ellenborough Falls you can watch the waters tumbling off the precipice of the highest single drop waterfall in New South Wales, and challenge yourself to the walk down 641 steps to the bottom... and back!
On our northern coastline, the waters of the Manning River flow languidly through the only double delta system in the southern hemisphere before finally meeting the sea. Here you can visit quiet coastal delta villages from Old Bar to Harrington and walk the golden sands of the Pacific Ocean at Crowdy Bay and Diamond Head. And say hello to the resident kangaroos while you're there, they love the beaches almost as much as we do.