In a picturesque valley fed by the cool waters of Barrington Tops, Gloucester is a gateway to spectacular wilderness and adventure. From bushwalks through ancient rainforest to kayaking on the Barrington River and scenic camping, you’ll also discover local markets, cellar doors and gold rush heritage.
A wonderful way to experience the beauty of Barrington Tops National Parkis on the Gloucester Tops circuit. Setting out from Gloucester Falls picnic area, this walk combines three walking trails through open snow gum woodland and Antarctic beech forest that lead into the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia area.
Barrington Outdoor Adventures offers tours into this World Heritage area, including kayaking tours through scenic gorges and white rapids, as well as cycling and abseiling experiences. There are campgrounds in the national park. A short drive north is the Woko National Park, also home to a riverside campground.
Near town, the Gloucester River is a great place to cool off and spot a platypus. A short drive takes you to the Barrington River where you can swim and kayak. Cellar doors and markets also abound in the rich pastures around Gloucester. Sample seasonal produce at the monthly Gloucester Farmers Market.
Travel back to the time of famous local outlaw Captain Thunderbolt at the Gloucester Museum, which has artefacts dating back to 1826. 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 gold mine.
The beautifully rugged terrain is perfect for mountain bikes. You can test your skills at the Steps Mountain Bike Park, which has purpose-built trails and a special area for kids. The annual Mountain Man Tri Challenge in September is a popular sporting event with mountain biking, kayaking and running.
Gloucester is a few hours’ drive north from Sydney and 1h 20min from Newcastle Airport. You can also take a scenic train trip to Gloucester. The Barrington, Gloucester and Avon rivers meet at the town, which is only an hour west of Forster’s sandy beaches.
Accommodation options in and around Gloucester range from luxury retreats to holiday cottages, farm stays, holiday parks and motels. You will also find many picturesque camping options around Barrington Tops National Park, from riverside locations to sites in open bushland. Some campsites are accessible only by 4WD.