In a picturesque valley at the junction of three rivers, Gloucester is a great base to explore the spectacular wilderness in the Barrington Tops. From bushwalking in UNESCO World Heritage ancient rainforest to kayaking on the wild Barrington River, discover great outdoor adventures and tours.

The beautiful Barrington Tops National Park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area and home to plant species with lineages of 100 million years. A wonderful way to experience its diverse beauty is on the Gloucester Tops circuit, which combines three walking trails.

Views from Gloucester Falls Track in Barrington Tops National Park

Barrington Outdoor Adventures offers tours into the World Heritage area, including a five-day walking tour as well as kayaking, cycling and abseiling experiences. There are campgrounds in the national park. A short drive north is the splendid Woko National Park and a riverside campground.

Accommodation options in and around Gloucester range from luxury retreats to holiday cottages, farm stays, holiday parks and motels. The charming rural town 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. The alluvial soils and green pastures around Gloucester support farms and vineyards. There are cellar doors and you can buy seasonal produce at the monthly Gloucester Farmers Market.

People relaxing at Gloucester Farmers Market in Billabong Park, Gloucester

The magnificent wilderness and mountain ranges near Gloucester were used by the colonial bushranger Captain Thunderbolt, aka Frederick Ward, to hide. Thunderbolts lookout in the Barrington Tops is named after Ward, who was known as the gentleman’s bushranger.

You’ll learn more about the times in which Captain Thunderbolt lived at the Gloucester Museum, which has artefacts dating back to 1826. Gold fever struck the district in 1876. To find out more about the gold rush, take 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 an endurance test, with mountain biking, kayaking and running.


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