Canoe Evans River paddle route
Bundjalung National Park
Try this paddle route along the Evans River in Bundjalung National Park on the north coast for fabulous wildlife and birdwatching.
- Bundjalung National Park
- 8km one-way
- Time suggested
- Entry fees
- Park entry fees apply
- What to
- Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
- Please note
- You can launch your canoe from Gummigurrah picnic area
- Check the weather before you set out as Evans River paddle route can be affected by floods when it rains
- You'll find toilet facilities in Evans Head; there are no toilet facilities at Gummigurrah picnic area
- It’s a good idea to take insect repellent with you
If you want a water based adventure without getting your feet too wet, it could be hard to pass up the chance to paddle up the Evans River at the northern tip of Bundjalung National Park. Here, the river, ocean and rainforest meet in a festival for the senses.
Paddling upstream from Gummigurrah picnic area, the outside world will melt away as you pass river islands, mangroves, rainforest as well as heathland and coastal banksia. A birdwatching paradise, listen for the distinct call of the eastern whip-bird and the toy trumpet like call of the rare barred cuckoo shrike. You might glimpse shorebirds such as the white faced heron or pied oystercatcher.
At dawn and dusk, eastern grey kangaroos, red-necked wallabies and swamp wallabies often come out to feed. Scour the tops of nearby trees and there could be a sleeping koala or two. Stretch your legs along Gummigurrah walking track after returning.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/canoeing-paddling-experiences/canoe-evans-river-paddle-route/local-alerts
- in Bundjalung National Park in the North Coast region
Bundjalung National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
Park entry fees:
$8 per vehicle per day.Buy annual pass.
All the practical information you need to know about Canoe Evans River paddle route.
Getting there and parking
Get driving directions
Canoe Evans River paddle route is in the Evans Head precinct of Bundjalung National Park. To get there:
- From Evans Head, head south along Woodburn Street
- Take Elm Street across the Evans River
- Take the first right into Bundjalung Road and continue to Gummigurrah picnic area.
Park entry points
- Gummigurrah parking area See on map
Parking is available at Gummigurrah picnic area.
Best times to visit
There are lots of great things waiting for you in Bundjalung National Park. Here are some of the highlights.
Head to Iluka Bluff for a spectacular coastal view of the park, beaches and the mouth of the river – keep your eyes peeled for whales on their return migration.
Escape to the wintersun for a family camping holiday, it should still be warm enough for a swim so remember to bring your cozzie.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
20°C and 26°C
12°C and 21°C
Between January and March
Between August and October
Maps and downloads
Ballina (29 km)
Ballina is a bustling holiday town and service centre and home of the Big Prawn. It's situated at the mouth of the Richmond River, close to superb beaches.
Evans Head (3 km)
Evans Head is a peaceful, coastal fishing village located on the banks of the Evans River.
Lismore (32 km)
Lismore is a major North Coast commercial, cultural and administrative centre. It's set in undulating country on the north arm of the Richmond River.
Canoe Evans River paddle route is in Bundjalung National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
An ancient landscape
At Bundjalung National Park you can visit Gummigurrah, an area that was used as a winter camping ground by the Bandjalung People. This park is one of a group where the Bandjalang People's native title rights have been recognised and is only the third determination of native title rights in New South Wales. Native title rights come from the Bandjalang People's traditional laws and customs and legally recognise the Bandjalang People's connection to Country. This means that these lands will continue to be places of ceremony, learning and inspiration for generations to come.
- Gummigurrah walking track Situated near Evans Head in Bundjalung National Park, Gummigurrah walking track winds through rainforest and heathlands, offering birdwatching and scenic river views.
Meet the locals
The varied habitat of Bundjalung National Park is home to over 140 species of fauna. Wake to the morning melodies of eastern whip-birds, bower birds and the rare barred cuckoo-shrike. At dawn and dusk, you might find eastern grey kangaroos, red-necked wallabies and swamp wallabies congregating around your campsites. Scour the tops of nearby trees and you might also catch a glimpse of a sleeping koala or two.
- Iluka Bluff lookout Stay as long as you like to enjoy the views at Iluka Bluff lookout, near Yamba. Not only is it an excellent whale watching spot, it’s also a great place to picnic.
- Jerusalem Creek walk Keep your eyes peeled for birds nesting along the creek along the Jerusalem Creek walk. Enjoy the hike as a day walk or shorter walk and finish up with a picnic lunch.
Bundjalung protects a variety of environments that feature water, including beaches, rivers, wetlands and lagoons. You'll find different types of plants, animals and birds in each one; look for coast banksia, coast she-oak and coastal wattle on the dunes that back onto the beach. Immerse yourself in this world by canoeing the waterways, rambling in the rock pools and swimming in the ocean.
Plants and animals you may see
White-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)
White-bellied sea eagles can be easily identified by their white tail and dark grey wings. These raptors are often spotted cruising the coastal breezes throughout Australia, and make for some scenic bird watching. Powerful Australian birds of prey, they are known to mate for life, and return each year to the same nest to breed.
Peron's tree frog (Litoria peroni)
Peron’s tree frog is found right across NSW. These tree-climbing and ground-dwelling Australian animals can quickly change colour, ranging from pale green-grey by day, to a reddish brown with emerald green flecks at night. The male frog has a drill-like call, which has been described as a 'maniacal cackle’.
Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)
The largest of Australian birds, the emu stands up to 2m high and is the second largest bird in the world, after the ostrich. Emus live in pairs or family groups. The male emu incubates and rears the young, which will stay with the adult emus for up to 2 years.
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)
One of the most renowned Australian animals, the tree-dwelling marsupial koala can be found in gum tree forests and woodlands across eastern NSW, Victoria and Queensland, as well as in isolated regions in South Australia. With a vice-like grip, this perhaps most iconic but endangered Australian animal lives in tall eucalypts within a home range of several hectares.
Lace monitor (Varanus varius)
One of Australia’s largest lizards, the carnivorous tree-dwelling lace monitor, or tree goanna, can grow to 2m in length and is found in forests and coastal tablelands across eastern Australia. These Australian animals are typically dark blue in colour with whitish spots or blotches.