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Pine Creek paddle route

Bongil Bongil National Park


Adventurous canoeists, kayakers, and stand up paddleboarders will enjoy this downstream route along pristine Pine Creek, a wildlife haven in Bongil Bongil National Park, near Coffs Harbour.

Bongil Bongil National Park
No wheelchair access
10km one-way
Time suggested
3-4 hr
Medium. Recommended for fit, experienced, self-reliant paddlers.
What to
Hat, sunscreen, snacks, drinking water, suitable clothing, first aid kit, personal locator beacon
Please note
  • This is a challenging route recommended for experienced, self-reliant paddlers.
  • It’s best to paddle at high tide on the outgoing tide, to avoid obstacles like fallen tree branches.
  • Depending on water levels, you may need to carry your canoe over obstacles like tree branches at the start of this route.
  • You’ll need to arrange a pickup or car shuffle if you plan to paddle one-way.

Canoe, kayak or stand up paddle peaceful Pine Creek in Bongil Bongil National Park. Launch at high tide from the riverbank at the end of Burma Road (4WD access only), and immerse yourself in nature as you glide downstream to meet Bonville Creek, at Sawtell.

This important coastal estuary is a haven for rare plants and animals. Drift through swampy casuarina and paperbark forest, including hoop pines which give the creek its name, adorned with staghorn and elkhorn ferns. From March to May, keep an eye out for endangered black grass-dart butterflies which feed on another endangered species, Floyd's grass.

As you paddle downstream past swamp oak and tall riverbank eucalypt forest, look for sleepy koalas nestled in the branches of red gums — their favourite food. Before long, you'll find yourself among pockets of salt marsh, home to waterbirds and waders. If you’re lucky you may spot a black-necked stork, Australia’s only stork, with its impressive 2m wing span.

Your Pine Creek paddle ends at Bonville boat ramp, on Bonville Creek. You’ll need to organise a pickup or car shuffle. If you still have energy, you can paddle upstream along Bonville Creek to Bongil picnic area, where you can enjoy a picnic, fishing, or a more family-friendly paddle along Bonville Creek.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info


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Hand holding a phone with NSW National Parks app on screen. Photo: Branden Bodman/DPIE


Saving Our Species program

Australia is home to more than 500,000 animal and plant species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Saving our Species is a statewide conservation program that addresses the growing number of Australian animals and Australian native plants facing extinction.

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) in a tree. Photo: Courtesy of Taronga Zoo/OEH
Pine Creek with grassy riverbank and vegetation reflected on water surface. Photo: Jay Black/OEH.