Boonoo Boonoo National Park (pronounced bunna-bunoo) is a unique national park in New South Wales, located 27km from Tenterfield.
It offers a completely different experience to neighbouring Bald Rock and Girraween National Parks. While those parks are renowned for their majestic granite monoliths, Boonoo Boonoo is famous for its flowing rivers, secluded waterholes and rock pools, breathtaking gorges, and cascading falls.
The Boonoo Boonoo River is one of the park’s most spectacular features. Its banks transform from smooth stretches of granite to sandy beaches, and in Spring, is lined with colourful bursts of wildflowers. Follow their brightly lit trail as you explore the secluded rock pools and waterholes scattered along the river’s path. If you’re quiet, you may even spot a platypus!
The Boonoo Boonoo Falls Picnic Area is the heart of the park. It is where the park is most alive; from the gushing sounds of the river cascading over the granite cliff edge and the abundance of wildlife that visits the area, to the excited visitors making their way off to explore one of the nearby walking trails.
The falls lookout provides uninterrupted views of the river as it plummets 210m into the gorge below. In the early 1900s, Banjo Patterson made Boonoo Boonoo legendary when he proposed to his sweetheart, Alice Walker, at the Boonoo Boonoo Falls lookout.
There is also an equally scenic picnic area at Morgan’s Gully*, the site of an abandoned 1890s goldfield. Surrounded by geological formations, glistening waterfalls and blooming with spring wildflowers, the picnic area provides the perfect starting point before heading off to explore the historic site.
The gold mining area can be found at the eastern end of the gully. Explore the hand-dug water race, where gravel was once washed and the antique pressure cylinders that were once used for gold extraction. Though nature has reclaimed the gully, it is not hard to imagine what it may have looked like in the heyday of the gold rush.
For those wanting an extended stay, bush camping is available at Cypress Pine Campground, situated on the banks of the Boonoo Boonoo River. Wake up to the sounds of the river, breathe in the fresh air, have a cuppa and a barbeque breakfast, and explore the park at your own pace. The campground is open to caravans, motorhomes and tent camping (sites must be prebooked).
For those wanting some creature comforts, Robinsons Cabin is located 1km inside Boonoo Boonoo National Park near Tenterfield and offers comfortable holiday accommodation in a bushland setting. The charming hut is self-contained and sleeps up to six people.
ACCESSING BOONOO BOONOO NATIONAL PARK
Boonoo Boonoo National Park is accessed via an unsealed road, which leaves the Mt Lindesay Road north of Tenterfield. The park entrance is 4km from the road and 12km from the falls.
Boonoo Boonoo National Park is accessible for 2WD vehicles.
BOONOO BOONOO NATIONAL PARK WALKS
Boonoo Boonoo Falls Walking Track
Distance: 0.7km return
Time suggested: 20 – 30 minutes
Boonoo Boonoo Falls walking track offers a short easy walk from the Boonoo Boonoo picnic area to the scenic lookout over the magnificent Boonoo Boonoo Falls and along the southern side of Boonoo Boonoo Gorge. Go for a wander while the barbeque lunch is being cooked or walk your food off afterwards. Take your time along this trail to notice the various wildlife habitats and plant communities such as rainforest, dry eucalypt forest and grassy woodland. See if you can recognise the flowers of the boronia, banksia and grevillea that add their colours to this bushland. Keep an eye out too for the threatened brush-tailed rock wallaby that makes this granite landscape its home.
The grand finale of this track is the viewing platform that overlooks the fabulous Boonoo Boonoo Falls where, legend has it, Banjo Patterson proposed to his sweetheart, Alice Walker. Over the sound of the pounding waterfall, Banjo was relieved to hear, or at least lip-read, an unmistakable “yes”.
Boonoo Boonoo River Walk
Distance: 6.1 km (one way)
Time suggested: 3 to 4 hours
Using the park’s fire trail system, the Boonoo Boonoo River Walk connects Cypress Pine Campground to the Boonoo Boonoo Falls picnic area, offering excellent swimming, hiking and picnicking opportunities.
In summer, what better place to relax than by a river! The Boonoo Boonoo River Walk, can be accessed via several places along Falls Road. Spring is a great time to experience this walk, as the park is a haven for wildflowers, including a variety of wattles, pea flowers and rock orchids.
The track leads you through dry eucalypt forest and vegetation in the riparian zone – the interface between the land and the waterway – a little way back from the river. Make the most of the two river visits by having a dip, a swim, or, at the very least, by splashing someone in your group.
If you’ve approached the river quietly, you may be lucky enough to spot a platypus. Around sunrise and sunset, wallabies and kangaroos might be seen grazing close by or drinking at the river.
Visit the National Parks page for more walking, hiking and cycling trails available in Tenterfield Shire.
PARK ENTRY FEE
$8 per vehicle per day. The park uses a self-registration fee collection system. Please bring the correct change and fill in the envelope when you arrive in the park.
The Tenterfield Visitor Information Centre has reopened following closures due to COVID-19 restrictions. The centre will be operating via a window service for the time being, and is staffed Monday to Saturday. Phone calls will be answered on Sunday.