For families seeking a nature-filled escape away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Bald Rock National Park in New South Wales stands as an idyllic destination. Located just over a three-hour scenic drive from Brisbane, this natural wonderland offers a perfect blend of bushwalking, camping, and picnic options for a family getaway.
Bald Rock National Park for families
Just over the Queensland border and into New South Wales lies the impressive Bald Rock National Park. The nearby township of Tenterfield is a great spot to stay if you want to make a weekend of it. There are plenty of family-friendly activities offered in and around Tenterfield, but no trip to the region is complete without a visit to Bald Rock National Park. You can check out our detailed itinerary for Tenterfield here.
Bushwalking bliss at Bald Rock National Park
Bald Rock National Park is renowned for its stunning landscapes and unique geological formations, with the highlight being the colossal Bald Rock itself. Measuring about 750 metres long and 500 metres wide, Bald Rock is the largest exposed granite monolith in Australia.
Families can embark on the Bald Rock Summit Walk, a moderately challenging trek that leads to the summit of this gigantic granite rock. From the picnic area, there are two marked walking tracks, a steep one up the exposed face or an easier gradient through bushland around the back. You can then choose from either a gentle or steep descent from the rock, depending on your children’s ages and abilities.
When taking the longer (and less steep) way up, there are balancing rock arches and formations that you wind your way through and the opportunity to spot the native flora and fauna that inhabit the area. Just be mindful of snakes!
The reward for your efforts is an awe-inspiring panoramic view of the surrounding granite-punctured countryside and the opportunity to stand atop the rock, which has an other-worldly feeling to it. Altogether, it’s a 2.7-kilometre walk, and you should allow approximately two hours (or more if you want to take lots of pictures at the top!).
There is also another bushwalking trail that leaves from the northern end of the picnic area, called the Border Walk. This 13 km return track takes you, as the name suggests, to the NSW/QLD border. It’s best to allow up to six hours for this pretty but more challenging walk through the woodlands.
Camping under the stars at Bald Rock National Park
To truly immerse yourselves in the beauty of Bald Rock National Park, consider camping overnight. The Bald Rock Creek campground provides a serene setting nestled among eucalyptus trees. The campground is equipped with basic facilities such as toilets, barbecues and picnic tables. The sites are suitable for both tents and caravans and are in easy walking distance of the amenities. Water is available but must be treated before drinking. There is no power and all rubbish must be taken with you. As this is a national park, pets are not allowed.
Camping at Bald Rock National Park allows families to experience the magic of the park after sunset. The clear night skies reveal a breathtaking display of stars, making it a perfect opportunity for some stargazing with the family. Bring along a telescope or simply lay out a blanket and marvel at the celestial wonders above – an experience that city-dwelling families rarely get to enjoy. A word of advice – it can get very cold in winter, so pack accordingly!
To book your campsite, visit the New South Wales Parks and Wildlife Service website and secure your spot.
Picnic pleasures at Bald Rock National Park
For families looking to enjoy a day out without the overnight camping experience, the Bald Rock Creek day-use area provides shaded picnic tables, barbeque facilities, and toilets, all easily accessible from the carpark. Pack the picnic basket or throw some snags in the esky and enjoy a meal in the great outdoors. Just don’t let the ants (or kookaburras) run away with your feast! The nearby township of Tenterfield is the perfect location if you need to pick up any supplies. However, even if you are only visiting the national park as a day-tripper, you must pay a park entry fee, so bring cash with you or purchase a park pass online at www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au.
While you’re picnicking under the leafy trees, download the SoundTrails App and click on the Bald Rock National Park sound trail. You’ll hear fascinating facts about your location. For example, did you know the expansive area was once a cattle property and was first gazetted as a national park in the 1970s?
Getting to Bald Rock National Park
To get there from Brisbane, first drive to Tenterfield, and then follow the sealed Mount Lindesay Highway, until you come to the turning on the left (signposted) that provides an access road to Bald Rock NP. If you are unsure, we recommend calling in to the visitor information centre in Tenterfield and picking up a local map. If you’d like to visit another stunning national park nearby, check out Boonoo Boonoo National Park.