Warrabah National Park
The Namoi River winds its way through the heart of the tranquil Warrabah National Park as it ﬂows towards the Western Plains. Giant granite boulders, the river’s deeply incised valley and the park’s relatively remote location contribute to its charm. Woodland, predominantly white cypress pine and hill red gum, spreads across much of the landscape, with river oak and river red gum shading the riverbanks. The park is also home to at least 25 orchid species.
The climate and rocky environment is ideal for reptiles, and numerous species of dragons, geckos and skinks live here. Wildlife-watchers may also spot eastern grey kangaroos and swamp wallabies, and at night brushtail and ringtail possums emerge to forage for food. The altitude and rocky terrain attracts wedge-tailed eagles, but numerous other birds (around 53 species) frequent the park.
The river is the focus of most activities. Canoeing, ﬂoating on li-los, swimming and ﬁshing are all popular. Experienced and well-prepared canoeists might consider undertaking the 40-kilometre, three-day trip from the town of Retreat (east of the park) to the camping ground. The river drops 220 metres as it passes through the gorge, which means some challenging rapids (this section of the river has a Grade 3 classiﬁcation, so experience is essential). Walking near the river is pleasant, involving occasional rock hopping, and there are wonderful views of the gorge from the cliffs. Rock-climbers will ﬁnd some good climbing terrain above the river. There are campsite and picnic facilities at Warrabah camping ground near the park’s southern boundary. For those seeking some bush solitude, a 4WD-only track leaving from the camping area gives access to a number of secluded spots along the river.
Warrabah; fees apply
Location and access
480 km north of Sydney; 35 km from Manilla via unsealed Namoi River Rd
- NSWNPWS 1300 361 967
- NPWS Armidale (02) 6738 9100
Manilla (02) 6785 1113
Tamworth (02) 6755 4300