Barrington Tops National Park

The Barrington Tops National Park is a protected national park located in the Hunter Valley, approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) north of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia. Gazetted in 1969, the 76,512-hectare (189,070-acre) park is situated between Scone, Singleton, Dungog, Gloucester and East Gresford.

The park is part of the Barrington Tops group World Heritage Site Gondwana Rainforests of Australia inscribed in 1986[2] and added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2007.[3]

It is also part of the Barrington Tops and Gloucester Tops Important Bird Area.[4]

Barrington Tops National Park
New South Wales
IUCN category Ib (wilderness area)
Barrington lookout
The view from Captain Thunderbolt's lookout over Barrington Tops
Barrington Tops National Park is located in New South Wales
Barrington Tops National Park
Barrington Tops National Park
Nearest town or cityGloucester
Coordinates32°3′10″S 151°29′37″E / 32.05278°S 151.49361°ECoordinates: 32°3′10″S 151°29′37″E / 32.05278°S 151.49361°E
Established3 December 1969[1]
Area765.12 km2 (295.4 sq mi)[1]
Managing authoritiesNSW National Parks & Wildlife Service
WebsiteBarrington Tops National Park
See alsoProtected areas of
New South Wales

Environment

Geology

Barrington Tops is part of the Mount Royal Range, a spur of the Great Dividing Range. Barrington Tops is a plateau between two of the large peaks in the range, The park is believed to be an extinct volcano and the mountain ranges are made up of a mixture of sedimentary rocks with a granite top. Erosion has weathered the granite and rounded granite boulders can be seen in some areas of the park. Estimates put the age of the rock at 300 to 400 million years, well before Australia separated from Gondwana.

Climate

The climate varies from temperate on the lower altitudes to subalpine at highest elevations. A record low of −17 °C (1 °F) has been registered at 1,500 m (4,900 ft) above mean sea level.[5] Rainfalls fluctuate between 750 millimetres (30 in) in the northwest to more than 2,000 mm (79 in) in the southeast.[6]

Flora

The ecology of the national park varies from subtropical rainforests in the gullies to subalpine and alpine regions on the mountain peaks. Snow usually falls on the mountain peaks every year and occasionally snows enough to close roads. Rainfall can exceed 1,500 mm (59 in) per annum.

A large variety of plants and animals reside in the park and the steepness of the terrain ensures that they are not disturbed by humans. Plant life includes a large variety of eucalypt trees including Snow Gums, subtropical and temperate rainforest trees like Antarctic beech, tree ferns, a large variety of mosses and ferns and a wide range of edible plants such as the native raspberry, the native cherry and the lilli pilli.

Fauna

Echidna gravel
An echidna on a walking trail

The remoteness and inaccessibility of a large part of the park has allowed some of the more sensitive animals to remain largely undisturbed. A large number of fauna have been catalogued in the park including some that were previously thought to be extinct. Some of the more common animals include: barking and sooty owls, eastern grey kangaroos, frogs, pademelons, cockatoos, rosellas, kookaburras, bats and echidnas. It supports a globally important population of rufous scrub-birds, as well as flame robins, pale-yellow robins, paradise riflebirds, green catbirds, regent bowerbirds and Australian logrunners.[4]

Animals such as quolls, native rats and platypus are reclusive but may be seen. Not all of the animals in the park are desirable; introduced species such as feral horses and feral cats are being removed.

History

The traditional owners of the area are the indigenous people of Australia, including the Gringai people (southern valleys), the Wonnarua people (western country), and the Worimi people and Birpai (the eastern side).[7]

National Park and World Heritage Area

In 1969 the area between Mount Barrington, Mount Royal and the Gloucester Tops was declared the Barrington Tops National Park. In 1986 it was listed as a World Heritage Area and subsequently a Wilderness Area. Some of the rivers flowing through the Barrington range have been classed as wild rivers meaning they are exceptionally pure and unpolluted. The highest peak is Brumlow Top which rises to a height of 1,586 metres (5,203 ft).

Aircraft crashes

A number of aircraft have crashed in and around the Barrington Tops, Aeroplane Hill being named after one of the crashes.[8] The altitude, frequent fog & cloud, storms and cold weather (causing icing) make this area potentially hazardous to aircraft. One article refers to the "Devil's Triangle".

Barrington Guest House

The Barrington Guest House was built from 1925 on the upper Williams River near Barrington Tops by Norman T. McLeod, licensee of the Royal Hotel in Dungog, using timber cut and milled from the property. It stood on land consisting of 10.5 hectares (26 acres) of forest surrounded by National and State Parks and was officially opened in 1930 by Dr Sir Earle Page MHR, then Leader of the Country Party and former Treasurer of Australia and later Prime Minister of Australia.

The guest house was a popular venue for people to stay in the park, until it burned down in a fire at 11pm on 24 September 2006 due to an electrical fault.[23] It was undergoing modernisation under new ownership at the time of the fire. There are plans to rebuild.

Access

Barrington Tops is a popular weekend destination from Sydney and Newcastle. Numerous walking trails and camping grounds are scattered throughout the park. The park also contains well marked and well-maintained gravel roads as well as specific 4WD tracks into less travelled areas. General sightseeing can be accomplished in a non-offroad vehicle. As well as camping facilities, the nearby towns of Gloucester and Dungog have many places to stay. The park is maintained by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and rangers patrol the park daily.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Barrington Tops National Park". Office of Environment and Heritage. Government of New South Wales. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Gondwana Rainforests of Australia". Department of the Environment. Australian Government. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, Lismore, NSW, Australia". Australian Heritage Database: Department of the Environment. Australian Government. 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  4. ^ a b "IBA: Barrington Tops & Gloucester Tops". Birdata. Birds Australia. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  5. ^ .Zoete, T. (2000) Vegetation survey of the Barrington Tops and Mount Royal National Parks for use in fire management. Cunninghamia 6, 511–578.
  6. ^ .Dodson, J.R. & Myers, C.A. (1986) Vegetation and modern pollen rain from the Barrington Tops and Upper Hunter River regions of New South Wales. Australian Journal of Botany 34, 293–304.
  7. ^ "Aboriginal associations with the park area". Barrington Tops National Park. NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service. Archived from the original on 7 August 2008. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Interesting facts about Barrington Tops". The Gloucester Advocate. 25 December 2018. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Military Aircraft Crashes in NSW during WW2 years". Peter Dunn's Australia At War. Archived from the original on 10 December 2006. Retrieved 11 January 2007.
  10. ^ "RAAF A52 De Havilland DH-98 Mosquito". ADF Aircraft Serial Numbers. Retrieved 11 January 2007.
  11. ^ Smith, Tim. "Plane Sailing: The archaeology of aircraft losses over water in New South Wales, Australia" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2007.
  12. ^ "Barrington Tops, NSW: Aircraft Crash". Emergency Management Australia National Disasters Database. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2007.
  13. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident description Douglas C-47A-50-DL VH-ANK – Quirindi, NSW". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 10 January 2007.
  14. ^ "VH-ANK". Ed Coates' Civil Aircraft Photograph Collection. Retrieved 11 January 2007.
  15. ^ "Crash of a Lockheed Hudson foothills of Barrington Ranges, NSW on 14 September 1954". Peter Dunn's Australia At War. Archived from the original on 22 February 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2007.
  16. ^ "VH-SML". The Lockheed File. Archived from the original on 17 May 2006. Retrieved 11 January 2007.
  17. ^ Wilson, David. Brotherhood of Airmen: The Men and Women of the RAAF in Action, 1914-Today. Google. Retrieved 28 June 2008.
  18. ^ a b "Off the radar". The Sydney Morning Herald. 29 March 2004. Retrieved 10 January 2007.
  19. ^ "Barrington Tops, NSW: Light Aircraft Crash in Storm". Emergency Management Australia National Disasters Database. Retrieved 10 January 2007. (password protected Australian Government site)
  20. ^ Crawley, CMDR John, RAN (Rtd). "A Chronological History of Ejections from ADF Aircraft" (PDF). Retrieved 11 January 2007.
  21. ^ "Aermacchi MB326". Clyde North Aeronautical Preservation Group. Archived from the original on 6 May 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2007.
  22. ^ "Chronological Listing of Australian RAAF & RAN Ejections". Project Get Out and Walk. Archived from the original on 18 February 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2007.
  23. ^ "Fire destroys historic guesthouse". The Australian. 25 September 2006. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2007.

External links

Barrington, New South Wales

Barrington is a small village on the Barrington River, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) north-west of Gloucester, New South Wales, Australia on Thunderbolts Way.The small town is considered a main gateway to the Barrington Tops National Park. Its population in 361 and until 2016 was the main tourist attraction in the Gloucester Shire. The town is also home to a range of heritage structures including the historic Barrington River Bridge, Barrington River Cottage, the pioneer cemetery, and the Barrington Public School (c. 1910).

Barrington River (New South Wales)

Barrington River, a perennial river of the Manning River catchment, is located in the Upper Hunter district of New South Wales, Australia.

Barrington Tops

Barrington Tops is part of the Great Dividing Range in New South Wales between Gloucester and Scone.

It was a difficult to access area, as in 1934, its existence was alluded to as being not traceable to any man made feature. However, access to and exploration in the area occurred much earlier.Part of the area has been conserved as the Barrington Tops National Park and as the Barrington Tops State Conservation Area.Invasive species are a problem in parts of Barrington Tops. Feral horses, goats, dogs, cats, pigs, foxes and deer occur in the area and control measures are undertaken by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) infests 10,000 ha (20,000 acres) of the National Park and biological control agents including the broom gall mite (Aceria genistae) are being tested for their effectiveness.

Brumlow Top

Brumlow Top is a hill on the Barrington Tops plateau, in the Mid-Coast Council in New South Wales, Australia.

At 1,586 m (5,203 ft) above sea level, it is the highest point in northern New South Wales. The surrounding area is covered by sub alpine Snow Gum woodland and high altitude swamps and is contained with the Barrington Tops National Park.

Careys Peak

Careys Peak is a peak in the Williams Range, part of the Mount Royal Range, located in the Upper Hunter region of New South Wales, Australia. At 1,544 metres (5,066 ft) above sea level, it is one of the higher points in Barrington Tops National Park, some 200 kilometres (120 mi) north of Sydney. The peak is at the edge of the Barrington Tops plateau, within the declared wilderness of the World Heritage Gondwana Rainforests of Australia.

Wilderness streams, such as the Allyn River and Williams River rise nearby. On a clear day, the higher peaks of the Blue Mountains may be seen. And looking south east, the sands of Stockton Beach on the coast may be viewed. The scenic appeal of the area is well regarded. Particularly the large dark stands of rainforest and snow gum wilderness. Careys Peak is a popular camping and bushwalking destination. Many years ago, a skiing slope was cleared behind Careys Peak. It has since disappeared in natural bush re-growth.The historic hut was built around the year 1934. It was crushed by a fallen tree in the 1970s. Rebuilt in 1973 and repaired again in 2007. Closing the four wheel drive tracks to vehicular traffic is said to slow the spread of invasive weeds, such as Scotch broom, mist flower and crofton weed.

Cobark River

Cobark River, a perennial river of the Manning River catchment, is located in the Upper Hunter district of New South Wales, Australia.

Dilgry River

Cobark River, a perennial river of the Manning River catchment, is located in the Upper Hunter district of New South Wales, Australia.

Elaeocarpus holopetalus

Elaeocarpus holopetalus is a small rainforest tree of eastern Australia. It grows from near the Snowy River (37°S) to Chaelundi National Park (29°S) in northern New South Wales. It grows at high altitude in gullies.

Elaeocarpus holopetalus is often seen with the southern sassafras, such as at Errinundra National Park, South East Forest National Park, Blue Mountains National Park, and Barrington Tops National Park. It is also associated with the Antarctic beech at Barrington Tops National Park and other northerly sites such as New England National Park.

Common names include black olive berry, mountain blue-berry, and mountain quandong.

Gloucester River

Gloucester River ( (listen) GLOS-tər), a perennial river and major tributary of the Manning River catchment, is located in the Mid North Coast hinterland New South Wales, Australia.

Kerripit River

Kerripit River, a perennial river of the Manning River catchment, is located in the Upper Hunter district of New South Wales, Australia.

Mid-Coast Council

Mid–Coast Council is a local government area (LGA) located in the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales, Australia. The council was formed on 12 May 2016 through a merger of the Gloucester Shire, Great Lakes and City of Greater Taree councils.The council comprises an area of 10,053 square kilometres (3,881 sq mi) and occupies the Mid North Coast stretching 190 km (118 mi) between the coastal towns of Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens and onto Myall Lakes National Park. The council region includes the three great lakes, the coastal towns of Seal Rocks, Forster, Taree, and onto Crowdy Head north of Harrington. The LGA extends inland to the Barrington Tops National Park near Gloucester. It includes the Manning River and valley adjoining the Three Brothers mountains. At the time of its establishment the council had an estimated population of 90,504.The Mayor of the Mid-Coast Council is Councillor David West, who was elected on 9 September 2017.

Moppy River

Moppy River, a perennial river of the Manning River catchment, is located in the Upper Hunter district of New South Wales, Australia.

Mount Cabrebald

Mount Cabrebald is a mountain located within the Barrington Tops National Park, in the Upper Hunter region of New South Wales, Australia. With an elevation of 1,017 metres (3,337 ft) above sea level, the mountain is situated 200 kilometres (120 mi) north of Sydney, near Singleton.

Noted for the grass covered summit in a heavily forested area. Also for the 12-hectare (30-acre) Grass Tree forest, the tall eucalyptus forest and rainforest in fire free areas. The 360 degree views from the summit are considered some of the finest in this World Heritage region. Other plants found on the mountain include New England Blackbutt, Antarctic Beech and Giant Stinging Tree.

Mount Royal (New South Wales)

Mount Royal is situated at the southern end of the Mount Royal Range in the Barrington Tops region of eastern Australia. It is part of the World Heritage Gondwana Rainforests of Australia.

The lower sections of the mountain are made up of sedimentary rocks such as mudstones. A residual basalt cap appears at 1,100 metres (3,600 ft) above sea level. It originated from the flow of the nearby Barrington Volcano. The mountain is partially in Mount Royal National Park and Barrington Tops National Park.

Mount Royal Range

The Mount Royal Range is a mountain range in the Hunter region of New South Wales, Australia.

Mountain stream tree frog

The mountain stream tree frog, (Litoria barringtonensis) is a species of tree frog native to highland areas of NSW, Australia stretching from the Myall Lakes area, north to around Dorrigo National Park and west to Barrington Tops National Park.

Polblue

Polblue is a hill on the Barrington Tops plateau, located in the Mid-Coast Council within New South Wales, Australia.

At 1,575 metres (5,167 ft) above sea level, Polblue is the second highest point in the area after Brumlow Top. The surrounding area is covered by sub alpine snow gum woodland and high altitude swamps. Nearby is a popular camping ground and bushwalking trails contained with the Barrington Tops National Park.

Stratford, New South Wales

Stratford is a rural locality in the Mid-Coast Council local government area in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. The largest population centre in the area is the town of Stratford, which is approximately 14 kilometres (9 mi) south of Gloucester and 109 km (68 mi) north of Newcastle. Stratford, which is next to the Avon River, is on Bucketts Way, 66 km (41 mi) from the Pacific Highway, the nearest major highway.

At the 2006 census, the village of Stratford had a population of 110. The village has a park with cricket pitch and play-gym, a New South Wales Rural Fire Service shed, shop with petroleum, hall, church, public school and the Stratford lawn cemetery. The village is located on one of the main access routes to the Barrington Tops National Park.

The principal industries of the area include mining, beef cattle breeding and dairying. The nearby Stratford coal mine transports coal to Newcastle for export or the New South Wales Power Stations.

Tops to Myall Heritage Trail

The Tops to Myall Heritage Trail is a 220 km walking track in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. The track starts on the sub-alpine plateau of the Barrington Tops National Park and gradually descends to the coast through the Myall Lakes National Park and ends at the seaside town of Tea Gardens.

Central West, North West Slopes,
Riverina, and South West Slopes
Hunter and Mid North Coast
New England Tablelands
Northern Rivers
Outback NSW
South Coast and Highlands
Sydney and surrounds
Coastal mountain ranges
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Great Dividing Range)
Great Dividing Range
Inland mountain ranges
Island mountain ranges
Mountains not within a specific range
Towns, suburbs and localities of Dungog Shire, Hunter Region, New South Wales
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Significant places and items of interest in the Hunter Region of New South Wales

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