Nestled within the New England Tablelands, Boonoo Boonoo National Park in New South Wales beckons families to experience its pristine landscapes through bushwalking, camping, and picnic options. It’s only a short drive from the township of Tenterfield, just over the Queensland border, making it a perfect day trip when staying in the region. And here’s a quick tip from the Tenterfield locals: Boonoo Boonoo is an Aboriginal term and is actually pronounced “bunna bunnoo”.
Bushwalking at Boonoo Boonoo National Park
Boonoo Boonoo National Park is a haven for families who love bushwalking and it offers tracks of varying degrees of difficulty. The Falls Lookout Walk is the easiest at just 400 metres return and is a must-do for all families.
The track weaves through lush rainforest, providing a cool and shaded path, culminating in a viewing platform over the breathtaking Boonoo Boonoo Falls and the valley below. This is where bush poet Banjo Patterson purportedly proposed to his sweetheart, and it’s easy to see why he chose this location.
Another excellent walk for families is the Rockpool Ramble, which is just 200 metres from the entry point. The walk follows a bitumen path to a large natural rock pool with smaller cascading pools and waterfalls.
Be sure to bring your swimmers and a towel for this one, especially in summer. Kids will also love the rock-hopping opportunities.
For those seeking a bit more adventure, the River Track (13km return), Mackays Walk (6.5km return) or the Cockatoo Walk (12km return) all offer a chance to explore the park’s diverse landscapes.
The River Track follows the Boonoo Boonoo River, traversing many bridges over gushing streams. This walk connects the main day-use area with the Cypress Pine Camping Area. Mackays Walk begins along the river track before entering tall eucalypt forest. And the Cockatoo Walk also follows the river track, before heading via Morgans Gully – a historic gold mining area.
Camping at Boonoo Boonoo National Park
For families wanting to stay a little longer at Boonoo Boonoo National Park, the Cypress Pine Campground provides a peaceful camping spot suited to tents and caravans, with the soothing sounds of the Boonoo Boonoo River nearby.
The campground offers basic facilities, including toilets, barbecues and picnic tables. However, it’s important to note that there are no showers, rubbish bins, electricity or drinking water available at this campsite.
If you don’t fancy roughing it but still want to stay within the national park, Robinsons Cabin is another option. Formerly an old forestry hut, this self-contained cabin can sleep up to six people. It offers power, flushing toilets, hot showers, and drinkable water.
To book a campsite or Robinsons cabin, visit the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Pets are not allowed, due to it being a national park. Even in summer, we recommend you pack some jumpers and warm gear, as the Tenterfield region can get really cold, especially at night.
Picnics and Barbecues at Boonoo Boonoo National Park
For families looking to enjoy a day trip, Boonoo Boonoo National Park provides picnic facilities at the Boonoo Boonoo Falls day-use area. Here you will find shaded picnic tables, barbeque facilities, and toilets, but you will need to take your rubbish with you. This is the closest access point to the lookout over the falls, the rockpools and the start of the river walks.
Another lovely picnic location is Morgans Gully. However, you will have to hike in to enjoy this natural sanctuary.
At both locations, keep an eye out for the diverse birdlife and native flora that call the park home, including some endangered species. If you’re lucky, you could see brush-tailed rock wallabies, spotted-tailed quolls, glossy-black cockatoos and the Cunningham’s skink.
Getting to Boonoo Boonoo National Park
To get to Boonoo Boonoo National Park, first drive to Tenterfield. From there, follow the sealed Mount Lindesay Highway and look for the Boonoo Boonoo turn-off on the right, which is signposted. There are about 13 kilometres of unsealed road to get to the Boonoo Boonoo camping and picnic areas. Although unsealed, the rest of the road is very well maintained and is suitable for 2WD, caravans and camper trailers. Even if you are only day-tripping, you must pay a park entry fee, so bring cash with you or purchase a park pass online at www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au.