Nature & Parks
Tranquil waterways, national parks, deserted beaches – when it comes to nature’s bounty, the Great Lakes and Manning Valley region of the Barrington Coast is beyond blessed. From the hinterland to the sea, there are breathtaking landmarks, from the Southern Hemisphere’s highest waterfall to subtropical rainforest and shimmering lakes, that invite you to get out, be active and explore.
Biggest & best
Incorporating the 47,493-hectare Myall Lakes National Park, the Great Lakes is the state’s largest coastal lake system, a watery paradise for boaters, fishers and kayakers. It is also flanked by 40 kilometres of beautiful beaches stretching south from Forster, ranging from patrolled beaches ideal for families to wild expanses for diehard surfers.
The region also boasts the tallest known tree in NSW, the 76m Grandis, a magnificent flooded gum. Plus here you’ll also find Ellenborough Falls, the tallest single-drop waterfall in the state, that tumbles 200m through the forest.
The Barrington Coast boasts a variety of national parks: the breathtaking surf beaches and coastal lakes of Myall Lakes National Park; Coorabakh National Park, with its ancient peaks, spectacular waterfalls and rich birdlife; Crowdy Bay National Park, home to impressive ocean and mountain views; and the ancient rainforest that meets the sea in Booti Booti National Park.
Tapin Tops National Park offers incredible views from Rowley’s Rock Lookout, and is also home to Potoroo Falls. Another beautiful place to discover nature by kayak is the watery Brimbin Nature Reserve just north of Taree.
Coastal walking tracks
Enjoy more spectacular forest trails and lookouts on the Headland Walking Track near Old Bar. This hike offers scenic views over Saltwater Beach and the Pacific Ocean. The Cabbage Palm Loop Walking Track passes through some of the region's tallest native palms in Wallingat National Park.
Make your way through an ancient and rare coastal rainforest along the Mungo Rainforest Walk and keep an eye out for the colourful native birds who call the forest home.
National park accommodation
You’ll find camping options such as The Ruins campground in Booti Booti National Park and the beachside Diamond Head campground in Crowdy Bay National Park. Relax in comfort at heritage-listed Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse in the Myall Lakes National Park.