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.


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  1. Bandon Grove Farm Tours

    Thursday 23 May 2019 to Friday 28 June 2019 , Dungog

    You will experience an authentic working dairy, get up close and personal with the cows, meet the farmer and discover there's so much more to a dairy farm than just beautiful animals and scenery. You'll learn about some of the products…

    23 May - 28 Jun
  2. Walk toward healing Workshop

    Saturday 25 May 2019 ,

    Join them for this one day mini-retreat if you're looking for everyday ways to make more quiet space in your life so the deep work of transformation can happen. Or use it to deepen your spiritual practices and increase contemplative…

    25 May
  3. Dungog Local Growers Stall

    Saturday 25 May 2019 to Saturday 28 December 2019 , 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…

    25 May - 28 Dec
  4. Clarence Town Markets

    Saturday 25 May 2019 to Saturday 30 November 2019 , 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…

    25 May - 30 Nov
  5. Gresford Team Penning

    Saturday 25 May 2019 to Sunday 26 May 2019 , Dungog

    Valley Team Penning was formed after a group of riders found there was a need for a club in the Lower Hunter/Newcastle area. The first event was held at Gresford in 2011 and was a massive success. Since then the club has grown with over…

    25 May - 26 May
  6. Reconciliation Dungog

    Saturday 01 June 2019 to Sunday 02 June 2019 ,

    Come and enjoy a weekend of reconciliation through art, film and discovery. The reconciliation process promotes and facilitates respect, trust and positive relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non…

    01 Jun - 02 Jun