The Shire of Dungog is part of the Hunter Region and the Lower Hunter Sub-Region and is bound by Mid Coast Council to the North-East, Singleton Council to the West, Scone Shire to the North-west and by Port Stephens Shire and the City of Maitland to the South.
Dungog Shire covers an area of 2248 sq Kilometres. The Council is situated in the Barrington tops region and has a population of approximately 9,100. The Shire consists predominantly of very rugged to hilly country which becomes less rugged from north to south. The major population centres within the Shire include:
- Martins Creek
- Clarence Town
The Shire has two principal rivers, the Williams in the east of the Shire and the Paterson in the west. Both are tributaries of the Hunter, and both traverse the Shire in a general north-west to south-east direction. The Williams and Paterson Rivers drain from the Barrington Plateau and contribute over 40% of the flow of the Hunter. Lostock Dam was constructed on the Paterson River in the 1970's to regulate flow and prevent lack of water in drought.
The climate of the Shire is varable, with temperatures ranging from 0-15 degrees Celsius in the winter months to 25-42 degrees Celsius during summer. The Shire is prone to protracted periods of dry weather, particularly in summer. Rainfall, particularly in the south of the Shire, is variable and largely affected by coastal weather patterns. Rainfall in the north of the Shire is influenced by the mountainous terrain. The average rainfall in the Barrington Tops area is 2500mm, with the average in the south of the Shire being 900-1000mm. In the mountainous far north of the Shire the climate is at times sub-alpine with snow not uncommon during the winter months.
National Parks and State Forests
Barrington Tops National Parks covers an area of 62,448 hectares, rising to over 1580 metres above sea level. The Barrington Tops is part of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserve of Australia (CERRA) which is listed as a World Heritage site. 85% of the Barrington Tops National Park is declared wilderness. Approximately one fifth of the National Park is located within the borders of the Dungog Shire, at its northernmost end.
The Chichester State Forest is included in the southern end of the Barrington Tops National Park. Two thirds of the Chichester State Forest is located within the boundaries of Dungog Shire. In the Shire's south portions of the Uffington and Wallaroo State Forests are located within the boundaries of Dungog Shire, close to its southernmost border. The Allyn and Paterson State Forests are located in the north of the Shire in the upper reaches of the Allyn Valley.