Gloucester swimming – Barnard River

Barnard River at Bretti Reserve

The Barnard River is one of the many “secret” rivers in the Manning catchment with its source at Hanging Rock Reserve near Nundle. It passes through the remote & beautiful Curracabundi National Park before ending at Bretti Reserve where it joins the Manning River.

The Barnard River descends 1,240 metres over its 148 kilometres. You’ll find family-friendly swimming with easy 2WD access at Bretti Reserve on Thunderbolts Way, a scenic 30 minute drive from Gloucester. Facilities there include 50 camping sites (free of charge!), grassy areas for riverside picnics, new toilet facilities, swimming holes for cooling off & calm flat water for lazing about on a rubber ring or surf mat. Plus it’s dog-friendly if you have well-behaved dogs under control.

For easy summertime swimming on the Barnard River, try Bretti Reserve on Thunderbolts Way

For a private river experience you can stay at the secluded Karamea Homestead alongside the Barnard River in Curracabundi National Park. Tucked away on an old grazing property, this federation timber homestead sleeps up to 10 guests.

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SAFETY TIP: The water upstream of the concrete causeways at river crossings is generally deeper & slower than the water downstream which is generally rockier & faster. But always check water levels before swimming. (see more safety tips below)

• HOW: For swimming around Gloucester & Barrington Tops pick up a swimming brochure at the Gloucester Visitor Information Centre or download the brochure here.
• COST: Free
• CONTACT: Pick up a free map at Gloucester Visitor Information Centre at 27 Denison Street. Call 6538 5252


Swimming safety tips:

Remember to always check the water for hazards and snags, especially after rainfall events.

Never ever dive into any water, unless you’re in the swimming lanes at the Olympic Pool.

Take care of slippery river stones at all our rivers & waterways, suitable aqua shoes are recommended.

Always supervise your children while swimming.

Watch out for vehicle traffic at concrete causeway river crossings.

And please take all your rubbish with you.