We just finished detailing all about Queensland’s National Parks  and in the coming months, we will be exploring some of NSW’s National Parks. Barrington Tops National Park is first on our list. Barrington Tops National Park includes the Barrington Tops Mountains which are part of the Mount Royal Range an offshoot of the Great Dividing Range. This wilderness area is part of the Gondwana Rainforest network which is part of the most extensive subtropical rainforest in the world. Barrington Tops National Park covers a massive space of 95,000 hectares. It’s so large, we can’t cover it all in just one blog post, so we decided to run a series all about Barrington Tops National Park. It is definitely a must see destination and its mystical reputation precedes it. Because it is so vast, outlaws on the run have used it to evade authorities and planes have been lost inside it and never found. It is a beautiful example of unspoilt nature with a thriving community of plants and animals. In addition to that, it is a place you should see just because the Gondwana Rainforests serve as an example of the stages of Earth’s evolution. We introduced you to the park and told you all about the things to do in the park. We also explored the flora and fauna that call the park home. In this post, we are highlighting the 8 lookouts of the park that allow you to see it all and more. In future posts, we will cover the walking trails and the campgrounds of Barrington Tops National Park.

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Barrington Tops National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.gov.au

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Barrington Tops National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.gov.au

Getting to Barrington Tops National Park

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Barrington Tops National Park Map Photo Credit: Google Maps

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Barrington Tops Car Hire Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au

Barrington Tops National Park is a World Heritage Site protected National Park that is just about a 3 and ½ hour (about 200 km) drive north of Sydney located in the Hunter Valley. It is located inland from the city of Forster on the coast. The closest car hire locations are Newcastle, Maitland, and Singleton  which are all just south of the park. You might fly into Newcastle Airport and hire a car there. If you are coming in from the north, Port Macquarie Airport car hire location  would be the closest from that direction. Having your own rental car allows you the luxury of spending time where you want for however long you want. There are no tour bus schedules and if you love someplace, you don’t have to leave. Our car hire staff also is available to offer up local driving tips, holiday ideas, maps, safety guidelines and more.

Scenic Lookouts in Barrington Tops National Park

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Barrington Tops National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.gov.au

There are 8 lookouts in Barrington Tops National Park. Some lookouts can be accessed via car and you don’t even have to hike anywhere to witness the amazing and majestic views of the mountains, valley and rainforest. Others are only accessible by the walking trails in the park. Enjoy the view from high up in the clouds with some of the most amazing views of the wilderness of Barrington Tops and the surrounds. Here are some details on each lookout:

 

  • Mount Mograni Lookout: You can access this lookout via car and it is just a 5 km drive from Gloucester. The lookout offers gorgeous views of the Gloucester Valley overlooking the Bucketts. This lookout is a great stop because it has a BBQ and picnic area.
  • Kia-Ora Lookout: You can also reach this lookout via car. It is 7km from Gloucester. The elevation of this lookout is 188 metres. In addition to views of the Gloucester Valley, from here you can also see views of the Barrington Valley and the Barrington Tops off in the distance. This lookout spot also has a BBQ area and picnic tables.
  • Carson’s Pioneer Lookout: This lookout is also accessible via car but we are getting higher up in elevation (936 metres) and a little further from Gloucester (45km). Thew view from this lookout is a western panorama over Giro, State Forests and the Barrington Tops World Heritage Area. The facilities here include toilets, a picnic area, and parking.

 

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Captain Thunderbolt’s Lookout in Barrington Tops National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.gov.au

 

Thunderbolt's lookout, Barrington Tops National Park

Captain Thunderbolt’s Lookout in Barrington Tops National Park Photo Credit:NationalParks.gov.au

 

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Captain Thunderbolt’s Lookout in Barrington Tops National Park Photo Credit:NationalParks.gov.au

 

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Captain Thunderbolt’s Lookout in Barrington Tops National Park Photo Credit: Wikipedia

 

  • Thunderbolt’s Lookout: Now we are up to an elevation of 1,436 metres and 10 km past Carson’s Pioneer Lookout. The views from here are quite spectacular with views of the Barrington Plateau. Captain Thunderbolt is an infamous bushranger who frequented the region. The lookout is accessible via a short, 10 minute walking track through the snow gums, beach trees, and wild flowers. Keep your eyes fixed on the skies, as you might see a wedge-tailed eagle soaring above. Many consider this the best lookout on the Barrington Plateau.

 

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Devil’s Hole Lookout in Barrington Tops National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.gov.au

 

  • Devil’s Hole Lookout: Another 10 kms past Thunderbolt’s Lookout and higher yet at 1,378 metres elevation is Devil’s Hole Lookout. This lookout has disabled access and you can get to it via a sealed walking track that is about 200 m long. You can park your car at the Devil’s Hole picnic area and plan an afternoon here. There are toilets and picnic tables. On clear days you can see all the way 90 km east to the coast.

 

 

  • Andrew Laurie Lookout: Access this lookout via the Gloucester Falls Walking Track. It is rated an easy track and is 1.5 km long. The lookout is at an elevation of 1,161 metres high, the distance from Gloucester is 58 km. From this lookout see the Gloucester River and over the gorges to the mountaineer peak in the east. There is a second lookout that overlooks Gloucester Falls. The twin drops of the falls are where the Gloucester River plunges down to the valley in dramatic fashion.

 

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Carey’s Peak Lookout Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

 

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Carey’s Peak Lookout Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

 

 

  • Carey’s Peak Lookout: This is the highest lookout at an elevation of 1,456 metres above sea level. The views are simply magnificent, here you are so high, and you are above the clouds. You can access it by car or through one of two walking tracks. The Link Trail is a moderate walking track that is 19km long. For more advanced mountain hikers looking for a challenge, you can access the lookout via the Corker Trail. It is a 10 km hike right up the side of the mountain.
  • Moonan Outlook: The Moonan outlook is another 10 km past Carey’s Peak Lookout, but is actually outside of Barrington Tops National Park we mention it still because it is so close by along the same road and has some amazing views over the Liverpool Ranges and the Hunter Valley. It is part of the Stewarts Brook State Forest.

 

 

Driving Trail in Barrington Top National Park

Barrington Trail, Barrington Tops National Park

Barrington Trail Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

Barrington Trail, Barrington Tops National Park

Barrington Trail Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

Barrington Trail, Barrington Tops National Park

Barrington Trail Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

If you like scenic drives, then you are going to love driving the Barrington Trail. It is a 4WD only driving track that is open from October and May. Get some of the spectacular views you might have only thought were possible on foot. You can get four wheel accesses to the Little Murray Campground, Junctions Pool Campground or Mount Barrington Picnic Area.

 

 

National Parks of New South Wales

 

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New South Wales Regions Photo Credit: TravelNSW.com.au

 

We have already taken a closer look at a few of NSW National Parks: