Hastings Forest Way

Explore side trips to lookouts, waterfalls and walks from the Forest Way as it climbs from the Hastings River valley to over 1000m at Werrikimbe

Trail information

Hastings Forest Way

The Forest Way climbs from Wauchope in the Hastings River valley, up to over 1000 metres where Antarctic Beech forests grow at Brushy Mountain campground. There are good views from the ridge line. Along the way are various side trips, so pack a tent and make a weekend of your journey. Hastings Forest Way is gravel but suitable for AWDs and hardy 2WDs with good clearance in dry weather, although some side tracks are 4WD only. Keep a lookout for logging trucks.

Bellangry No 1 Fire Tower

Take the short detour on your right up to this picnic site and lookout in Bellangry State Forest. All that remains of the Fire Tower is the concrete base, but the view toward the Pacific Ocean is great!

Cobrabald Recreation Areas at The Bluff and Wild Bull

Forestry offer two campsites, The Bluff and Wild Bull with opportunities to swim in Mount Boss State Forest. Access them from Five Ways, near the No 1 Fire Tower Lookout.

Punchbowl Waterfall

Punchbowl Falls are on the the Bril Bril creek, and accessed from Mines Road.

Wilsons River Walks

Continuing up Forest Way, a marked turn off leads right to a lovely picnic site on the Wilsons River in Willi Willi National Park, with short walks through subtropical rainforest, and to a waterfall. An old, low forest bridge across the river was damaged in the 2021 floods.

Banda Banda Arboretum

Some 60 years ago, Forestry planted conifers in an arboretum. Now part of Willi Willi National Park, a side road leads to the arboretum, where there is a beautiful, shady circuit walk through Antarctic beech forest with Californian redwoods on the side. At 1258 metres, Mt Banda Banda is the highest in the region.

Plateau Beech Campround

Turn left off Hastings Forest Way at the signpost to reach the beautiful Plateau Beech campground in a clearing in World Heritage Gondwana rainforest. A lovely walk leads to two waterfalls.

Brushy Mountain Campground

Finally, you reach Brushy Mountain Campground in Werrikimbe National Park, with campsites under tall trees, a kitchen shelter, and the Forbes River nearby. A walk leads through Antarctic Beech forest to Spokes Lookout.

You can return the same way, continue on to Mooraback campground on Racecourse Road (4WD only) or take Coachwood Road to the Carrai Plateau (4WD only). Alternately, follow a route to the Forbes River and Oxley Highway. Flooding in 2021 and 2022 impacted the area, so check the NPWS website for alerts and closed parks or roads before you go.

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