Barrington Tops Area
Barrington Tops is a spectacular destination with ancient rainforest, wild adventure, gold rush heritage, and delicious food and wine. From camping by idyllic rivers to bushwalking and rugged 4WD trails, you’ll find outdoor wonders and country hospitality in riverside towns such as Dungog and Gloucester.
Rainforest and bushwalks
The Barrington Tops National Park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, where volcanic flows shaped the incredible wilderness millions of years ago. Enjoy the scenery here on many invigorating bushwalks. There are also great adventure tours for kayaking, abseiling and mountain biking.
At the foothills of Barrington Tops, Chichester State Forest is a stunning location on the Allyn River with dog-friendly camping sites. Trout fishing is also popular around the rivers of Gloucester between October and June. Enjoy a cool dip in Ladies Well on a warm day, or hike and picnic at nearby Mount Royal National Park.
Gold rush heritage
In 1876 gold fever struck the region, and you can discover fascinating tales on the Copeland Historic Gold Mine Tour of the Mountain Maid mine. The magnificent wilderness and mountain ranges near Gloucester were used by the colonial bushranger Captain Thunderbolt to hide, and Thunderbolts lookout is named after the outlaw.
Dungog’s main street is an urban conservation area, with architectural gems from the 19th and 20th centuries. The Dungog Museum is in the heritage-listed former School of Arts, erected in 1898. The Spanish Mission-style James Theatre is the oldest purpose-built cinema still operating in Australia.
Cellar doors and markets
Enjoy wine tasting at cellar doors and browse vibrant markets. Check out the events calendar for exciting rodeos, country shows and the Dungog Festival. The Barrington Trail is open to 4WD between October and May, with access to Little Murray campground, Junction Pools campground and Mount Barrington picnic area.
Getting there and where to stay
This magnificent region is near the Hunter Valley and the Upper Hunter. It’s only a few hours’ drive north from Sydney and a quick trip from Newcastle and Port Stephens. Trains stop at Paterson, Dungog and Gloucester. You can also fly into Newcastle Airport for the 50-minute drive to Dungog.
Accommodation options range from camping and caravanning to country pubs, cottages, farm stays, motels and secluded retreats. The scenic drive between Dungog in the south and Gloucester in the north is only an hour. Both charming towns are great bases for exploring the region’s natural beauty.