Barrington Tops

The beautiful Barrington Tops is a marvellous destination, with ancient rainforest, outdoor adventure, intriguing heritage, vineyards and pastures, tasty markets and fun festivals. You’ll discover rural charm and country hospitality in riverside towns such as Dungog and Gloucester.

The Barrington Tops National Park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. Volcanic flows aeons ago shaped this incredible wilderness, a bushwalking jewel with walking trails through moss-covered Antarctic beech to enchanting waterfalls and mesmerising lookouts.

View of Barrington Tops wilderness from Thunderbolts Lookout, NSW, Australia

You’ll find pretty picnic and camping areas in the Barrington Tops as well as north in the rugged Woko National Park, where you can pitch a tent by a river. Fishing is popular in the rivers between October and May, and there are fun adventure tours for kayaking, abseiling and mountain biking.

The magnificent region is near the Hunter Valley and the Upper Hunter, and only a few hours’ drive north from Sydney and much less time from Newcastle and Port Stephens. Trains stop at Paterson, Dungog and Gloucester. You can also fly into Newcastle Airport for the 50 minutes’ 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.

Canoeing the Barrington River with Barrington Outdoor Adventures, Barrington Tops National Park

The colonial heritage is fascinating, too. Captain Thunderbolt, known as the gentleman’s bushranger, hid in the mountain ranges near Gloucester. Gold fever struck the district in 1876, and you can find out more about the gold rush on the Copeland Historic Gold Mine Tour of the Mountain Maid mine.

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.

The verdant countryside around the towns sustains livestock, vegetable farms, vineyards and olive groves. Enjoy wine tasting at cellar doors and browse vibrant markets. Check out the events calendar, too, for exciting rodeos, country shows and fun festivals such as the Dungog Festival.

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO STAY

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Events

  1. Dungog by Design Exhibition

    Sunday 21 October 2018 to Thursday 25 October 2018 , Dungog

    All their work is hand made. The Dungog By Design artisans collective will open its second major exhibition entitled “What’s my Scene”. The exhibition, which draws its inspiration from the Dungog hills, will feature the work of 23 local a…

    21 Oct - 25 Oct
  2. Gresford Community Markets

    Sunday 21 October 2018 to Sunday 16 December 2018 , Dungog

    Of course, there's something for everyone at the Gresford Community Markets. Delicious local olives and olive oil, natural household, health and beauty products, sports memorabilia, locally grown plants and produce, a wide range of clothing…

    21 Oct - 16 Dec
  3. Mindfulness and Meditation Three Day Retreat

    Monday 22 October 2018 to Wednesday 20 February 2019 , Dungog

    Join them on this journey of self-discovery through mindfulness and meditation where you will discover your calmer and more connected self. Through individual and group experience and learning, they will share tools, practices and principle…

    22 Oct - 20 Feb
  4. Clarence Town River Country Hoedown

    Saturday 27 October 2018 , Dungog

    Clarence Town River Country Hoedown is a community event, in its third year of hosting quality artists in a picturesque rural setting. Come along and enjoy music on the main stage with Sara Storer, The Adam Eckerlsey Band, Kirsty Lee Aker…

    27 Oct
  5. Dungog Local Growers Stall

    Saturday 27 October 2018 to Saturday 29 December 2018 , Dungog

    The Local Growers Stall brings you fresh produce grown by local farmers, market gardeners and back yard growers. Every week you will find different, super-fresh vegetables, fruit, herbs, cut flowers, honey, eggs, and seedlings. Much of …

    27 Oct - 29 Dec
  6. Clarence Town Markets

    Saturday 27 October 2018 to Saturday 24 November 2018 , Dungog

    The markets are located in the grounds of the Bowling Sport and Recreation Club in a beautiful little country town and they love seeing people come to visit. There are an average of 30 stalls per month, with a huge variety of stall holders.…

    27 Oct - 24 Nov