New England NP
Perched high on the Great Escarpment, New England National Park is an expansive and diverse park that links the New England Tablelands with the Coffs Coast hinterland.
In recognition of its outstanding natural heritage values, it was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1986 and is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.
Much of the park’s 72,241ha is a declared Wilderness Area, providing an undisturbed refuge for the park’s rich flora and fauna. Over 1000 species of plants exist within the park and the cool temperate rainforests of Antarctic beech draped in hanging moss are a reminder of the break-up of the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana.
The dramatic profile of the escarpment is the result of at least five basalt lava flows from the massive Ebor volcano (active until about 18 million years ago) and subsequent erosion.
Among the wildlife you may encounter here are 100 species of birds and, particularly in the evenings, kangaroos, wallabies, several species of gliders and possums and the spotted-tailed quoll.
There are numerous walking tracks in the national park. From Point Lookout, you can explore the nearby escarpment on walking tracks that range from short and easy strolls to half-day or day walks. The walks include the Eagles Nest Track (2.5km/1hr45min circuit) and Lyrebird Walk (add 2km/1hr from Eagles Nest Track or take the full 7km circuit from Banksia Point). Tea Tree Falls Walks is a short walk from the Thungutti Camping Area (1hr return), and there are various other walks along tracks and fire trails throughout the park.
From Point Lookout, at 1564 metres above sea level, there are spectacular views of the near-vertical escarpment and the forested valleys below. A 100m sealed path from the car park leads to a wheelchair accessible viewing platform. Often, you’ll be above the clouds and see the mist hanging in the valleys below you.
Picnic tables, wood barbecues, water and toilet facilities can be found at Berarngutta Picnic Area and Banksia Point. Thungutti Camping Area is a camping site with a large cooking shelter, drinking water, firewood, toilets and cold showers. No bookings are necessary, but overnight camping fees apply.
Those who don’t want to bring a tent can opt to stay at one of three self-contained cabins in the park: The Residence, The Chalet or Tom’s Cabin (bookings on 02 6657 2309).
Things to see and do
- Bushwalking: Enjoy a range of wonderful walks on a network of tracks through forests and along ridges and escarpments. View a map here
- Lookout: Gaze out onto the forested mountains and into the deep valleys from the viewing platforms at Point Lookout, 1564m above sea level.
- Camping: Pitch a tent at Thungutti Camping Area, just inside the park near the entrance, with space for car camping as well as secluded bush campsites. A great base for bushwalks.
- Picnicking: After exploring some of the park’s walking tracks, tuck into a picnic at Banksia Point Picnic Area or at Berarngutta Picnic Area just west of Point Lookout.
- Bird-watching: Among the commonly seen birds are the white-throated tree creeper, crimson rosella, rufous fantail, Lewins honeyeaters, eastern spinebills and lyrebird.
New England National Park is about 75km west of Dorrigo and 85 km east of Armidale. Access is via Point Lookout Road off the Waterfall Way. Some unpaved sections of road.
For further information, contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service - Dorrigo Plateau Area Office on (02) 6657 2309 or visit the National Parks website page.