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Esk River paddle route

Bundjalung National Park

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Esk River is the perfect place for canoeing, offering birdwatching and a back to nature wilderness experience on the north coast of NSW.

15km one-way
Time suggested
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
Please note
  • Toilets and picnic facilities are available at Woody Head campground
  • It’s a good idea to take insect repellent with you

The sheltered inland waterways are a perfect way to explore the southern section of Bundjalung National Park. Paddling up Esk River, the longest unspoilt natural coastal river system on the north coast, you’ll feel like you’ve entered a wildlife wonderland.

When you push off from Bill Weiley Bridge and head upstream, you’ll glide past mangroves, heathland and old growth dry sclerophyll forest; keep your eye out for the unique rock formations. This is prime birdwatching territory so get your binoculars ready. Downstream, closer to the Clarence River entrance, pied oystercatchers and eastern whipbirds are common.

If you’re lucky you might see a koala snoozing or snacking on gum leaves in the branches of the tallowwood and swamp mahogany.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info


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A family walk a boardwalk section of Bouddi coastal walk, Bouddi National Park. Photo: John Spencer/OEH.

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