Canoeing the Barrington River outside of Gloucester. Pic:

Located in the Hunter Valley region a couple of hours north of Sydney, Gloucester is a pretty spot within striking distance of the world heritage listed wilderness of the Barrington Tops National Park.

The region was struck by gold fever back in the 1870s, and interested visitors can visit the Mountain Maid Gold Mine on the guided Copeland Historic Gold Mine Tour.

These hills are jam packed full of adventure, with some ripper offroad drives following tracks throughout the Barrington Tops and surrounds, as well as plenty of opportunities to get out of the fourby and stretch the legs on some scenic hiking routes.

Those with an eye for history can visit the Gloucester Museum to read up on the exploits of Frederick Ward AKA Captain Thunderbolt AKA the gentleman bushranger who used the area as a hideout from the law for a time in the early nineteenth century.


4WDING: The Barrington Trail is a 15km offroad track that takes you up through the guts of the Barrington Tops National Park and provides access to the Little Murray and Junction Pools camping areas.

The trail is open from October to May each year but is closed between June 1 and September 30.

FISHING: There’s plenty of trout to be found swimming in the chilly streams of the Barrington Tops, and they’re fantastic sport for those willing to put in the effort to hike to some of the more out of the way river banks.

While purists prefer to toss dry flies, the little brown and rainbow trout are usually just as happy to scoff a soft plastic or tiny diving minnow.

HISTORY: Take the Copeland Historic Gold Mine tour to visit an early mine site and factor in a visit to the Gloucester Museum to learn about the dashing Captain Thunderbolt.


LOCATION: 263km north of Sydney, Gloucester can be reached in a little over three hours drive, access is via the Pacific Highway and The Bucketts Way.

CAMPING is available within the Barrington Tops National Park at the Little Murray and Junction Pools camping areas. Both campgrounds allow tent and camper trailer camping and offer basic facilities including picnic tables, barbeques and toilets.

Fees of $6 per adult and $3.50 per child per night apply while camping in the park.

FUEL is available at Gloucester, Newcastle and on the motorway.

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