Bundjalung National Park
Located between Evans Head and Iluka, Bundjalung National Park contains vast areas of coastal plain, heathland and solitary beaches. The Esk River, the largest untouched coastal river system on the north coast, runs through the southern half of the park.
Other features include the Jerusalem Creek Peninsula, freshwater lagoons, mangrove mudflats and rare rainforests at Woody Head.
Iluka Nature Reserve
Iluka Nature Reserve contains the largest remaining stand of littoral “by the sea” rainforest in New South Wales and is a World Heritage listed Gondwana rainforest.
Rich and diverse, it is an ecosystem adapted to a harsh environment of salt-laden winds and poor soils. The Riberry and Broad-leaved Lillypilly forest where strangler figs, ferns, epiphytes and vines intertwine is sheltered by protective sand dunes and salt-tolerant Tuckeroo and Banksia trees.
Home to more than 140 species of birds, the reserve is a bird watchers paradise. You might see the an Eastern Whipbird as it rustles through the leaf litter or hear its call – the whip crack belongs to the male and the sharp chirps (choow choow) to the female as she responds to the males call.
Things to Do:
- Spend time exploring the Esk River and Jerusalem Creek systems by canoe or kayak.
- Launch at Bill Weiley Bridge on Iluka Road for the Esk River and at the canoe pontoon at Black Rocks Camping Area for Jerusalem Creek.
- For boating enthusiasts, Woody Head Camping Area has a public boat ramp. You can explore the Esk River south of Jackys Gully through riverine and mangrove ecosystems to the tidal Clarence River estuary. Access into the Bundjalung Wilderness Area above Jackys Gully is available to electric or non-powered craft only.
- Recreational fishing is permitted in rivers, estuaries and along the coastline. Anglers require a permit from DPI Fisheries (see back cover for contact details). Spearfishing is not permitted in sections of Woody Bay.
- Explore the Iluka Peninsula with its wave cut rock platforms and beaches. Look for, but don’t take, the interesting marine life in the rockpools at low tide.
- Best viewing points for whale watchers include the lookout at Iluka Bluff. From April to June whales are travelling north, returning with their young in early Spring.
- Take a self-guided walk through Iluka Nature Reserve where informative signs share the secrets of this World Heritage Gondwana rainforest.
Go for a walk
- Gummigurrah Walk 1 3.5km, 2 hours return, easy grade. Gummigurrah is an Aboriginal area – used as a winter camping ground for the Bundjalung people. From the picnic area, walk through open woodland, heath and rainforest to a shady midden beside the Evans River.
- Jerusalem Creek Peninsula Track 2 8km, 3 hours one way, easy grade. Follow Jerusalem Creek, a tea-tree stained freshwater creek, north from Black Rocks Camping Area to the
- Woody Head rock platform 3 1km, 30 minutes one way, slippery uneven surfaces
Venture around the headland at Woody Head Camping Area for views to the south. Explore the rock platform, but just look at the rockpool animals and leave them in their homes.
- Iluka Bluff Lookout 4 150m, 10 minutes one way, moderate grade with steps
While at Iluka Bluff picnic area, take the steps to the top of the bluff where a viewing platform provides a spectacular outlook over Iluka Nature Reserve, coastal beaches and the mouth of the mighty Clarence River.
- Iluka Rainforest Walk 5 2.5km, 1.5 hours one way, easy grade Take a stroll through the World Heritage Listed Gondwana Rainforest of Iluka Nature Reserve where tall trees are intertwined by strangler figs. If you walk quietly, you can hear the chatter of the brightly coloured Noisy Pitta and the sharp crack of the Whipbird. A section of this walk is wheelchair accessible. Wear insect repellent.
Yuaygir Nationaal Park
60 kilometres of striking cliffs, rocky headlands, isolated beaches and quiet lake systems, set against a backdrop of forests, heaths, estuaries and wetlands, make Yuraygir the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in NSW.
Things to Do:
- Spend time exploring Lake Arragan, the Sandon River system and Station Creek by canoe or kayak. Canoe launching facilities are provided at Station Creek and Lake Arragan.
- Recreational fishing is permitted in rivers, estuaries and along the coastline, except in marine park ‘no-take’ sanctuary zones. Anglers require a permit from DPI Fisheries (see back cover for contact details).
- Best viewing points for whale watchers include Dirrangan Lookout, Red Cliff, Rocky Point and Wilsons Headland. From April to June whales are travelling north, returning with their young in early Spring.
- In the school holidays, take a Ranger guided Discovery tour. Check park noticeboards for planned activities or pre-book your tour before you leave home. View our Discovery program at www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au.
Go for a walk
- Angourie Walk 1 10km, 4 hours one way, medium difficulty. Linking Mara Creek and Lake Arragan, this walk takes you through a variety of coastal ecosystems. Views from Dirrangan Lookout are magnificient. Dolphins are regularly sighted and you can see south to Red Cliff and Brooms Head. Take plenty of water.
- Angophora Grove Walk 2 1km, 30 minutes loop track, easy grade. From Illaroo South picnic area, meander past pandanus trees and through coastal heath before entering the
dense smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata) forest.
- Wilsons Headland Walk 3 3km, 1 hour one way, easy grade. Joining Boorkoom camping area and Wilsons Headland picnic area, panoramic ocean views contrast with secluded coves, isolated beaches and banks of wildflowers. Enjoy the views from seats along the track. A section of this track is wheelchair accessible.
- Freshwater Track 4 4km, 1.5 hours return, medium difficulty. For a truly solitary experience, walk to the isolated and remote Freshwater Beach. Track starts at the northern end of Pebbly Beach camping area.
- Corkwood and Scribbly Gum Walk 5 1.5km, 1 hour loop track, easy grade. From Station Creek camping area, follow the creek upstream through coastal forest. A short side track loops through scribbly gum forest.