Barrington Tops, NSW, Australia

View from Devil’s Hole Lookout,
Barrington Tops World Heritage Wilderness

Imagine a place where planes vanish, wanted men hide out for years, and the wilderness offers a window to centuries past; Barrington Tops is a place of legend, within striking distance of Sydney. We drove up to the 'Tops for the day, but there are 9 different camping sites for those who want to stay over in this unspoilt rainforest.

Our first stop

We parked the car at the “Devil’s Hole Lookout” picnic area and followed the wooded path.

We were all entranced by the stunning view!

One of the last of Australia's wild and untamed places, and alive with plants and wildlife, Barrington Tops National Park gives us a glimpse into past stages of the earth's evolution. It is home to home to more than 50 species of mammal, 278 of bird, 42 of reptile, and 18 different types of frog; a nature-lover's paradise.

Our next stop, Thunderbolt Lookout, is named after Captain Thunderbolt, 
an infamous bushranger from this region.

 We wandered through snow gums, beech trees, and wild flowers, 
to the Thunderbolt’s lookout.

…to find another amazing view!

We decided to follow one of the trails deep into the forest, and chose the Honeysuckle Forest Track. We trekked through magnificent Gondwanian Antarctic Beech rainforest, and thickets of Soft Tree Fern.

The forest was dark with dappled light, as the moss-covered fallen trees, 
silently crumbled into the soil from which they sprang

This Soft Tree Fern is like a living fossil. They are found in the fossil records of Antarctica and other southern lands, which once formed the ancient continent of Gondwanaland.

Fungi are also prevalent in the forest

Polblue swamp

We just managed to fit in a trip to the Polblue swamp. The area is dominated by alpine moss and lichen, although in spring or summer, you may also see rare ground orchids along the track. It’s also beloved by wombats and kangaroos, so it is a good walk for spotting them. On a side note, while driving up to the area, we saw what looked like a boulder in the middle of the gravel track. It turned out to be a wombat that had been hit by a car. I never realised they were quite so big!

Barrington Tops is the perfect place for hikers, campers, nature lovers, and photographers. Imagine a place that is so unspoilt that it feels like a mythical kingdom. So magical, that if a unicorn suddenly appeared, no one would be the least surprised! What a wonderful experience!

Elizabeth Coughlan

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