Rugged and remote, the Trail here follows the rivers and gorges of the Demon Fault line, picks up the historic stock route through Nowendoc then climbs through the forests into Barrington Tops. Much of this section is State Forest or National Park and includes Oxley Wild Rivers, Werrikimbe, Woko (World Heritage listed) and Barrington Tops National Parks. At 1600 metres, the Barrington Tops is an area of breathtaking beauty with snowgums, snowgrass and snow in winter. Even in summer both extremes of weather can be experienced at the higher altitudes. There is unlimited scope for walking and horse riding in this region but provisions are only available at the very small villages of Ebor and Nowendoc.
Challenging. This section should not be travelled alone.
Temperate – warm summer, cool winter. The higher parts, particularly Ebor and the Barrington Tops, occasionally experience snow in winter but in the valleys it is much milder. The reverse applies in summer with the valleys hot, but pleasantly mild at higher altitudes. On the Barrington Tops snow is a possibility any day of the year and the change in weather can be very rapid and dramatic. Summer days on the Tops are usually dry and mild but the nights still get cool. Avoid travelling in the heat of the day.
Steep and remote. Not suitable for horsedrawn vehicles.
Carry a map and compass and know how to use them.
Many trekkers, especially in the cooler months, bypass the Barrington Tops taking the easier (and warmer) route along the quiet roads around the northern and western sides, and linking into the stock route systems of the Hunter Valley.
Extreme care should be taken with river crossings and flash flooding can occur following rain upstream.
Much of this section follows travelling stock reserves (TSR). Most campsites are on TSRs where Permits are required for camping. See the downloads page for more information.
The mountainous terrain makes almost all of this section very difficult for mountain bikes. If you are very determined and prepared for much carrying and pushing of your bike it is possible to follow the Trail but most will find this far too difficult and time consuming. The Trail through this part traverses wild country between the New England Highway and the coast. It is clear from looking at a road map that there are no roads heading north-south through this part of the country and those with little time may prefer to avoid this whole section by following the New England Highway on the western side of the Trail. Alternative routes for cyclists are contained in the Guidebook and Route Updates.
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