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Cascades Track

North Coast NSW

New England National Park


Distance (kms):

5.5 kms

Time (hrs):

Allow 3.5 hrs

Elevation gain (m):

215 m

Max. elevation (m):

1,362 m

Difficulty (Grade):

Moderate (Grade 4)

Route type:





2WD Sufficient

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A beautiful walk along Five Day Creek, through incredible rainforest, Antarctic beech trees, ferns and mossy rocks. 

This lightly trafficked walk starts from the Robinsons Knob car park on Point Lookout Road.

Start on the Robinson Knob fire trail, which is also the starting point for the multi-day New England Wilderness Walk. Keep left at the first junction – the other path is to the off-track Cliffs Trail.

Stay on the fire trail for approximately 1.6 kms, walking through a mix of eucalypt forest and rainforest. Along the way you will pass the trailhead for the Lyrebird Track (on your left).

You’ll then reach the trailhead for the Cascades Track on your right. There is also a trail to the left (continuation of the New England Wilderness Walk), as well as straight (to Wrights Lookout). 

As you enter the rainforest the walk becomes more beautiful. The next junction represents the start/end of the loop track. Continue straight (left) to complete the loop in a clockwise direction for a more forgiving elevation profile.

The loop begins under the cliffs of Wrights Lookout before slowly descending deeper into the valley and rainforest via sets of mossy wooden stairs, finally arriving at Five Day Creek.

As you reach the creek, you will see scattered Antarctic beech trees, as well as giant king ferns and fungi. The creek is full of mossy boulders, with countless cascades and some lovely small waterfalls. 

The track beside the creek lasts almost a kilometre and is at times steep, rocky and slippery, with quite an exposed drop down into the creek below at some points, so care and attention is required.

The track then moves away from the creek and begins to climb back out of the valley to the start of the loop junction. From there retrace your steps back to the car park.

It is well worth taking the steep side-trail to Wrights Lookout, a plateau covered in dry, low heath with a number of rocky outcrops offering spectacular views of the surrounding area.

For more experienced walkers also wanting to do the Lyrebird Track, it is suggested to do it as a combination track with the Cascades Track and Wrights Lookout.

New England National Park can be visited as part of the 185 km Waterfall Way scenic drive from Coffs Harbour to Armidale.

Track: The track consists of a fire trail to the trailhead, followed by graded paths, however has rocky sections along the creek which can be steep for short periods. There are a number of steps along the trail. The track is well-signed and easy to follow.

Difficulty: The track requires a relative degree of fitness, but is suitable for most walkers with sufficient time. Those with balance issues may find some sections beside the creek challenging, with large rocky steps that are often slippery and exposure to a drop into the creek at a number of points. 

Direction: This is a loop track off an out-and-back track that returns the way it came. While the loop track can be completed in any direction, it is recommended to do it in a clockwise direction for a more forgiving elevation profile.

getting there

The trail starts from the Robinsons Knob car park on Point Lookout Road in Ebor – approximately 5.25 hours drive south of Brisbane, 1 hour drive east of Armidale, 2 hours drive west of Coffs Harbour or 6.5 hours drive north of Sydney.

Much of the road into New England National Park is unsealed (approximately 12 kms), however is suitable for 2WD vehicles in normal weather conditions.

Parking is limited, but typically sufficient for how trafficked the walk is.

best time to go

The walk can be completed year-round.

Like any walk involving waterfalls and rivers, it is best done after recent rain. However, if completing after recent rain, be sure to check the New South Wales Parks and Wildlife Service website for updates regarding flooding and track closures.

Note that there are park fees associated with entering many national parks in New South Wales. Check the New South Wales Parks and Wildlife Service website for more information.

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Remember, whenever venturing into the outdoors, practice the Leave No Trace principles and be considerate of others. This means: dispose of your waste properly, don't remove things or move things from their natural position and respect all wildlife. Also be sure to plan ahead and adequately prepare for any adventure. 

I respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which all activities listed on this website are found, as well as Elders past, present and emerging. I strive to not promote sites where requests have been made for people not to explore due to the cultural significance of the site to Indigenous peoples, or note how to respectfully visit a site. If I have a promoted a site with cultural significance, please send me a message and let me know.   

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