Barrington Tops World Heritage National Park

Barrington Tops National Park lies about three hours to the north of Sydney in the Hunter Valley, a region more famed for its wine growing.  The park is on the World Heritage List as part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. What makes the Gondwana Rainforests so special is that, according to fossil records, many of the species in the rainforests today existed on the Gondwana continent over 200 million years ago. The park has also been declared a Wilderness area and some of the rivers have been classed as Wild Rivers, meaning they are exceptionally pure and free of contaminants.

I spent a couple of days there in the south eastern section. Due to wet weather driving it wasn’t really possible for me to get too far into the park in my little city car. I stayed down near the Blue Gum Circuit and explored from there. The rainforest there is beautiful. There was a constant drizzle of rain and at times torrential rain but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Grey skies reduce the contrast and make for great photo opportunities inside a forest. One thing the rain did bring out though was an incredible amount of leeches. I have never seen so many before and it was near impossible to keep them off me. Whenever I stopped to take a picture they just seemed to launch themselves upon me. Somehow they even managed to get upon my face a couple of times.

Different sections of the park are supposedly completely different. The flora in the park varies from the rainforests through to alpine. In winter the high reaches of the park often get covered in snow. I certainly hope to get back there sometime soon, perhaps next time either better prepared for a longer walk or with a 4wd so I can get further into the park and experience some of the different sections.

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