This popular national park is just 30 km south west of Forster and 50 km north east of Buledelah off The Lakes Drive and Sugar Creek Drive. It is bordered mainly by the Wallingat State Forest, the Bachelor State Forest and Wallis Lake. There are plenty of things to do in the park including swimming, fishing and paddling along the river.
Numerous dirt roads criss-cross the park making it a haven for bushwalkers, mountain bike riders and scenic drivers. In dry weather most roads are safe for 2WD vehicles but generally not caravans. Check local weather conditions and information from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service website before using 2WD vehicles on these roads in winter as they may not be open.
Enjoy sweeping views of the coastline from Port Stephens to Port Macquarie from the Wooti Wooti lookout in the east of the park. From here you can also create a circuit walk or ride by linking the lookout trail with Sugar Creek Road and Double Wharf road. There are some good river fishing spots along these roads but car access is restricted.
The wildlife in the area is rich with diversity. The trees include fruiting casuarinas, towering flooded gums, paperbarks, and other eucalypts. The leaves of the cabbage tree palms were used by the Worimi people to make baskets. If you keep a sharp eye out as you wander through the park you may spot an echidna hiding in the scrub or a koala high up in the gum trees. The park is also home to over 200 species of birds including egrets along the river, cat birds with their distinctive “meow” call, yellow-tailed black cockatoos, delicate blue wrens and satin bowerbirds.
Take a break and spread out your picnic at Sugar Creek, Cockatoo or Gur-um-bee picnic grounds. Just watch out at dusk as you may be sharing your meal with a passing wallaby.
You can set up your tent at either Ferny Creek or Wallingat River campgrounds. You’ll need to bring your own water and firewood. It is illegal to collect wood in a national park but campfires are permitted in designated areas providing there are no total fire bans at that time. Use common sense and never leave a fire unattended or smouldering. Always make sure it is completely out by dousing it with water and checking the coals. Check the local radio and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service website for current road access and fire ban information.
Whether you are there for a few hours or a week or so, you’ll find plenty to see and do in this beautiful park.