Werrikimbe National Park is in the catchment zone of the Upper Hastings River, New South Wales, Australia, 314 km north of Sydney. This national park is about 80km west of Wauchope and 90km east of Walcha on the eastern escarpment of the Great Dividing Range. Werrikimbe National Park is also World Heritage listed and forms part of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (CERRA).
- Area: 333.06 km²
- Date of establishment: July 11, 1975
- Managing authorities: New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service
- IUCN category: Ib
Werrikimbe Park is noted for a rich diversity of plants and animals, rainforest, extensive wilderness, scenic wild rivers and opportunities for outdoor recreation in a remote location. This national park contains an Aboriginal stone arrangement of two stone rings where initiation ceremonies were held.
All access roads to the park have a gravel surface, winding and steep in places. These roads are unsuitable for caravans. Beyond the Mooraback Road there is a 4WD trail to Youdale’s Hut visitor area (which is only accessible by a 4WD with low range, and obtaining a key for the locked gate from either the National Parks and Wildlife Service or Apsley Motors in Walcha. There are five visitor areas with basic facilities - three on the eastern side near the edge of the escarpment, and two on the west, on the plateau.
Camping sites are available at:
- Brushy Mountain campground (20 sites) on the north-eastern edge of the park. Campsites are suitable for: people who are happy to walk a short distance from car to tent. Facilities: Toilets, amenities block, picnic tables, wood barbecues
- Mooraback campground(5 sites) at the north-western end of the park. Facilities: Pit/composting toilets, picnic tables, wood barbecues
- Plateau Beech campground(5 sites), beside your vehicle, on the eastern side of the park. Facilities: Pit/composting toilets, amenities block, picnic tables, wood barbecues
The Bicentennial National Trail passes through the western edge of the Werrikimbe Wilderness along the headwaters of the Hastings River and onto the Kunderang Brook. Horses and vehicles are not permitted within the declared Wilderness.
The Mooraback area was one of the earliest settlements along the "Falls Country" to the east of Walcha, with records showing the first settlers grazed blocks at Mooraback in the 1850s. The names of some of these settlers are reflected in the names featured in the park: Bishops Swamp, Cleghorns Creek and Carey's Trail.
During the 1950s some manganese mining was carried out in what is now within the park confines.
There is a great variety of vegetation here, depending on rainfall and altitude: eucalypt woodlands of coachwoods, sassafras, stinging trees (Dendrocnide
), Philotheca myoporoides (Long-leaf Waxflower) and yellow carabeens (Slonea woollsii) with their flying buttressed trunks. Werrikimbe Park is home to the rare plants: Chiloglottis anaticeps (Bird Orchid), downy Guinea flower and pygmy cypress. These forests also contain the only examples of the Filmy King Fern (Leptopteris fraseri) known to occur in northern New South Wales. The Antarctic Beech (Nothofagus moorei
) forest, found at the end of the North Plateau Road is estimated to be up to 1,000 years old and forms the largest compact beech forest in existence.
Werrikimbe National Park is the habitat of at least 22 threatened animal species, including the vulnerable Rufous Scrub-bird
(Atrichornis rufescens). The rare (native) Hastings River Mouse
was considered to be extinct until it was re-discovered in Werrikimbe National Park, in 1981. This mouse frequents the heathlands and open forest areas near streams. Brush turkeys, koalas
, Psophodes olivaceus (Eastern Whipbird
), powerful owls
(Ninox strenua), Petaurus
may be seen in the park.
New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service: http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/parks.nsf/parkContent/N0042?OpenDocument&ParkKey=N0042&Type=Xo