North Coast NSW
New England National Park
A walk for the nature enthusiasts, through beautiful Gondwana rainforest and Antarctic beech trees, with incredible panoramic views from the plateau.
This lightly trafficked walk starts from the car park for the Residence and Chalet cabin accommodation, at the end of Banksia Point Road.
The loop track should be completed in a clockwise direction, starting from the trailhead to the left of the Chalet.
The walk begins atop the plateau and almost immediately delivers on expansive views of the surrounding ranges.
The track quickly begins to descend into ancient Gondwana rainforest, through incredible rock formations and fallen trees covered in moss and fungi.
The walk junctions with other shorter walks in the area, including Weeping Rock, which is worth the short side-track to visit. Otherwise, stay right at each junction, following signs for the Lyrebird Track.
Wooden boardwalks take you through a stack of hulking rocks that have produced a tunnel of sorts, followed by a large set of rocky steps.
There are also beautiful mossy wooden steps and a set of metal steps to navigate a steeper section.
The walk then runs adjacent to the bottom of the towering cliff line, continuing its decent, but at a milder gradient.
Be sure to look up at the sheer size of the cliffs and look for impromptu small waterfalls off the cliffs after rain.
Listen for lyrebirds, which are plentiful in the area, whose calls can be heard echoing through the valley or can be seen scratching around the undergrowth foraging for food.
You will pass a junction that allows you to shorten the walk, by returning via Tree Fern Valley (1.5 km walk in total).
At the midway point of the loop there is a junction with the Robinsons fire trail. From here, Wrights Lookout and/or the Cascades Track can be added to extend this walk.
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 Cascades Track, it is suggested to do it as a combination track with the Lyrebird Track and Wrights Lookout.
If not extending the walk, simply head right and start the long, gradual ascent back to the top of the plateau.
As you reach the plateau, the vegetation changes significantly, to drier heath, stringybarks and banksia trees. Wooden boardwalks take you through bushland that gets very wet underfoot after rain.
The trees then give way to spectacular uninterrupted views of the surrounding ranges, including across to Wrights Lookout.
Traverse the rocky terrain across the plateau, before moving back into the forest. There is a particular section of scattered Antarctic beech trees that is especially beautiful.
You will pass another junction with the Tea Tree Falls Track – simply continue straight. The walk finishes at a slightly different point, on the other side of the Chalet – but only about 50 metres from the starting point.
This walk is great for nature enthusiasts. Those short on time are recommended to do the shorter Eagles Nest Track and/or Cascades Track instead.
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 graded paths, with wooden boardwalks and rocky sections along the plateau. There are numerous steps on the trail, including large rocky steps, as well as wooden and metal stairs. The track is well-signed and easy to follow.
Difficulty: The track requires a relative degree of fitness and involves considerable elevation. Care is required at some of the steeper step sections, particularly the rocky steps.
Direction: This is a loop track that returns the way it came. While the track can be completed in any direction, it is recommended to do it in a clockwise direction for a more forgiving elevation profile.
The trail starts from the car park for the Residence and Chalet cabin accommodation, at the end of Banksia Point Road – 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.
Be sure to check the New South Wales Parks and Wildlife Service website for updates regarding 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.
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.