COOLAH TOPS NATIONAL PARK, New South Wales

The October Long Weekend had us exploring Coolah Tops National Park in New South Wales.

Coolah Tops National Park is 30kms east of the township of Coolah and around 330kms north west of Newcastle.

The last 15kms into the National Park is dirt road with a few dips in sections, however, no issues for a 4WD/van with reasonable clearance.

WHERE DID WE GO?

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We left home on Friday afternoon and had a quick overnight stop near Jerrys Plains at Bowmans Crossing FREE CAMP.

Bowmans Crossing is a large grassed area just off the highway, however no facilities.

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The next morning we set off further west along the Golden Highway towards Coolah Tops. 

We often travel this road when heading away so we are always on the look out for places we can set up for a quick overnight stay. 

Battery Rock Rest Area is a spot we have driven past many times and we decided to make a quick stop to check it out.  This rest area is between Sandy Hollow and Merriwa on the Golden Highway, around 3km west of the township of Gungal.  It is quite a small spot, ok for a few campers.  It is a free camp and has a toilet at the top of the rest area.  

There are also some interesting rock formations at the bottom of the camping area which shows an example of Columnar Jointing.  This was formed after a volcanic eruption over 30 million years ago. The jointing is apparently caused by shrinkage as the lava slowly cools.

Even if you are not camping overnight, it’s worth a quick break to view this.

CAMPING

Coolah Tops has three camping areas to choose from and all free camping.

COXS CREEK – shady area with campsites dotted throughout the trees.

THE BARRACKS – slightly more open area than Coxs Creek but still plenty of shade.

THE PINES – open area, suitable for larger groups – shade at the bottom end.

Coxs Creek was the first camping area we came to and we found a great spot to set up camp in the old Sawmill area.

You can find some more info about this camping area here!

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EXPLORING COOLAH TOPS

Coolah Tops National Park has many walks, lookouts and picnic areas to explore which provide beautiful views of the surrounding area.

There are a few waterfalls in the park however with the lack of rain at the time of our visit, we’ll have to check those out another time!

BUNDELLA LOOKOUT

A short walk to the edge of the escarpment to stunning views over the Liverpool Ranges to Mt Kaputar.

THE PINNACLE LOOKOUT

This lookout is around 2km return from the Bundella Lookout car park along the Mullian Track and provides views to the north and west to the Warrumbungles.

BREEZA LOOKOUT

We followed The Forest Road to the other end of the National Park which is around 25kms. The car park here stops at Breeza Lookout with views over the Liverpool Plains towards the New England region.

SHEPHERDS PEAK

From Breeza Lookout there is a 3km return walk to Shepherds Peak. The last section involves some steep rock scrambling to reach the peak but the views are amazing once at the top.

GRASS TREE TRACK

This track is an easy 1.4km return. We rode our bikes along the track to view the giant patch of grass trees.

BRACKENS COTTAGE

The Cottage was built in 1937 and has now been restored by NPWS.

You are able to wander around the grounds and also take a peek inside and read all about the history of the Cottage.

You can book Brackens Cottage to use as a base if you are hiking or mountain bike riding in the area. Bearing in mind this is rustic style accommodation so you need to take your camping comforts with you.

➡ This trip cost us $0 in camp fees!!

➡ We travelled approximately 750km

We will definitely be back to Coolah Tops to explore some of the areas we didn’t get to and hopefully it’s after some rain so we can see the falls flowing!

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