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Oxley Wild Rivers National Park
Oxley Wild Rivers National Park

Oxley Wild Rivers National Park trip guide, what to see

Waterfalls galore, glorious ancient forests circa Gondwana period, the hills, gorges and valleys of New South Wales are a repository of Australian flora and fauna. This is a road trip discovering the joys of forest exploration and the settlements and towns that call the New England highlands home.

Oxley Wild Rivers National Park is in an area known as New England Highlands. The park is characterised by New England Plateau dropping into the gorges carved out by the Aspley and Macleay Rivers. The park brochures describe, ‘the varied plant communities of Oxley Wild Rivers National Park provide a home for over 350 animal species, including the largest confirmed population of brush-tailed rock wallabies. Even though there are roughly 10,000 of this endangered species in the park, you’ll have to keep your eyes open to catch a glimpse of their bushy tail.” Remember to crane your head upwards to sight the soaring majesty of a wedge tailed eagle. The park also boasts over 173 bird species. The park has a number of walks for all fitness levels, over eight camping grounds with extensive facilities.

Oxley Weather (beta)

Best time to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

  • Autumn: A great time to explore one of the longer bushwalks in the area and take in the scenic river views.
  • Spring: Admire the colourful wildflowers which are beautiful in the spring.
  • Summer: The water in the river at this time of year is generally warmer than on the Tableland, making it perfect for swimming and canoeing.
  • Winter: Crisp, cool and clear days are good for a brisk half day bushwalk

Source Oxley Wild Rivers National Park factsheet.

WALKS

Wollomombi walking track

Waterfall buffs are in for a treat. Another statistic to tick off the list. Wollomombi Falls are the highest in Australia. You have to check out a waterfall with the tag it’s the highest. A single fall of water from a plateau gives visitors the grand sight of plunging water into the depths of the river below. A plus is the easy walking track around the waterfall. From the main lookout platform, you look across to the Wollomombi and Chandler Waterfalls. The two rivers, the Oxley and Apsley are separated by a narrow wall of rock. The rivers combine to form a torrent of water. The lookout gives visitors to look downwards on the steep sided rock faces at the two waterfalls. With high rainfall waterfall fans are met with the drama of swollen waters surging, misting the valley with rainbow clouds crashing down the gorge. Particularly at the end of summer there is a much smaller trickle of water flowing over the edge yet the sheer rock faces and steep sided gorges are enough to image water in its full flow.

Apsley Gorge Rim walking track

Walks suitable for families and those whose fitness levels are compromised.

Apsley Gorge Rim walking track  is a 1 km loop Gorge Rim Walking Track. At the Falls Lookout there is a 52 metre steel stairway which leads down to an observation deck where there are excellent views of the deep gorge and the falls which drop 309 m in two stages. To consider for families is Tia Falls walk offers the easiest and best views of beautiful Tia Falls and Tia Gorge. It’s a short and easy walk, so a good one for walking with children. Tia Falls walk starts from Tia Falls lookout and picnic area, a good place to enjoy a picnic before or after your walk.

Oxley Walk

Oxley Walk is a 90 minute walk that crosses the impressive Suspension Bridge and continues around the Apsley River to the north side of the gorge. It offers excellent views of the main falls and the lower falls from four lookout platforms.

For multiple day tramps, such as Green Gully Walk or extended half day tracks and trails check with Oxley Wild Rivers National Park for further details.

PICNIC

BLUE HOLE & THRELFALL AREAS

Spending the weekend in Armidale and wanting to explore outdoors. Grab a deli lunch, snacks, swimming gear and head out to Blue Hole picnic area. You will be able to catch a bit of history with a stroll on Threlfall walking track observing the historic hydroelectric scheme. Under designated shelters are BBQ facilities. There are designated picnic areas either at Blue Hole or Threlfall picnic area. Simply follow the well marked signs. The track is in the footsteps of nineteenth labourers who toiled cutting the 1894 embankments through granite. At the Gara Gorge lookout perched high above the Gara River, blackbutts, spotted gum trees give visitors a glimpse of the classic Australian landscape. The area is filled with native parrots whose antics will keep you entertained.

Threlfall track covers Gara Gorge and breathtaking views.

  • Length: 5.5km (return loop)
  • Duration: 1 ½ hours
  • Grade: Easy / medium
  • Toilets: Pit toilet

APSLEY FALLS PICNIC AREA

Located just off the main route through the area Apsley Falls picnic area is an ideal impromptu stop for weary travellers to get the kids out of the car. For local visitors combined with the nearby Apsley Falls track you have the makings of a great day outdoors.

  • BBQ: Yes
  • Shelter: Yes
  • Toilets: Pit toilet

CASSINIA PICNIC AREA & WALKING TRACK

Family friendly kids grade walk combined with the promise of a picnic is an option for school holiday excursions. Visitors can look for native orchids and flame trees in the section of the park that is characterized by dry rainforest. The soft whoop of a wonga pigeon heralds birds calling out you are walking nearby. Encourage younger visitors to tread softly to discover the sight of birds in their natural habitat. The walk emcompasses views of Macleay Gorge, ravines and valleys where trees march to the peaked forest tops. Nearby is Long Point campground and picnic area with facilities for BBQ and picnics.

  • Length: 1.5km
  • Duration: 45 mins – 1 hour
  • Grade: Easy, well signposted

HALLS PEAK CAMPGROUND & PICNIC AREA

For 4WD owners and adventure seekers wanting a remote campground this riverside wilderness is ideal. Fishing, kayaking and birdwatching are highlights of a day where visitors are totally off the grid.

  • Toilet: Pit toilet
  • BBQ: Facilities
  • Seating: Rustic wood seats

No drinking water or supplies. Visitors must come fully prepared.

STAY

Camping in a National Park could become a habit with Oxley Wild Rivers National Park a good place to start your outdoor adventure. Rock wallabies or the lyrebirds scratch around paths in the dusk. In the early morning the river mists rise up creating fabulous photo moments or simply an opportunity to immerse yourself in the quiet of a natural setting.

TIP: For up to date information on camping and other park activities ensure you check National Parks, NSW online resources for current status of the park you wish to visit.

Apsley Falls campground

Apsley Falls Road, Walcha NSW 2354, Australia

Budds Mare campground

Budds Mare Trail, Walcha NSW 2354, Australia

Dangars Gorge campground

Dangars Falls Road, Dangarsleigh NSW 2350, Australia

Halls Peak campground and picnic area

Halls Peak Trail, Jeogla NSW 2350, Australia

Long Point campground and picnic area

Cassinia Walking Track, Hillgrove NSW 2350, Australia

Riverside campground and picnic area

Apsley River Trail, Walcha NSW 2354, Australia

Tia Falls campground

Tia Falls Rd, Walcha NSW 2354, Australia

Wollomombi campground

Edgars Lookout Rd, Hillgrove NSW 2350, Australia

Youdales Hut campground and picnic area

Spielios Trail, Yarrowitch NSW 2354, Australia

There are a number of accommodation options within the Oxley National Park. The East Kunderang Homestead, check for details, the campgrounds available are Apsley Falls campground, Budds Mare campground, Riverside campground and picnic area, Long Point campground and picnic area | NSW National Parks, and Wollomombi campground. There are several more camping sites to choose from simply check the Oxley Wild River website for details. Forward booking is essential.

TRAVEL PACK INFORMATION

  • Threlfall Walking Track plant list, source Armidale Bushwalkers Club.
  • Fees and passesThere are 3 areas in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park where you’ll need day use vehicle permits: Halls Peak campground and picnic area, Riverside campground and picnic area, and Youdales Hut campground and picnic area. Day use vehicle permits can be bought online or by calling the National Parks Contact Centre on 1300 072 757. If camping, permit fees are included in the campground fee.

Plants and animals you may see

(Source National Parks, NSW, Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, Wildlife Fact Sheet)

Animals

  • Check what we are doing in the factsheet (National Parks NSW) to ensure your visitor experience does not impact on biodiversity, leaves only footprints and understands how to contribute to the management of fire risk. For further information about Oxley Wild Rivers National Park check here Oxley Wild Rivers National Park

 

The journey is worth it.

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