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Sportsmans Creek canoe trail

Everlasting Swamp National Park

Overview

Canoe, kayak and fish the tranquil waters of Sportsmans Creek in Everlasting Swamp National Park. Perfect for families, this easy flat-water paddle takes you back to nature in a birdwatcher’s paradise beside the Clarence River.

Where
Everlasting Swamp National Park
Accessibility
Hard
Distance
11km return
Time suggested
4hrs 30min
Grade
Easy
Price
Free.

Bring your own canoe or kayak.

What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen, raincoat, snacks, sturdy shoes, suitable clothing, first aid kit
Please note
  • To paddle the route as a one-way trip, arrange a car pick up where Sportsmans Creek meets the Lawrence Downs State Forest fire trail, which is accessible by high-clearance 2WD.
  • When you canoe this route as a return trip, it’s a good idea to take a picnic lunch.
  • You can enter and exit the canoe route at many points, wherever creekbanks are low enough.
  • Sportsmans Creek and Woody Creek water levels are always high enough to paddle.
  • Remember your fishing rod to cast a line for bass and mullet.
  • From the south end of Woody Creek you can also paddle west into Reedy Creek, then to Teal Lagoon in the heart of the wetland. To reach Teal Lagoon, you’ll need to carry your canoe around fallen trees lying across Reedy creek.

Explore a rare coastal wetland with an easy paddle along the tree-lined creeks of Everlasting Swamp National Park. Canoeing gives you a rare opportunity to quietly see jabiru and brolgas in their natural habitat.

Launching at Woody Creek you’ll paddle to the right, gliding past green rushes and violet water lilies as ducks take flight. Leave the outside world behind as the sounds of frogs and calls of birds take over.

Where Woody Creek meets Sportsmans Creek, paddle left along Sportsmans Creek for 5.1km, shaded by old red gum, swamp oak and paperbark trees. Keep your binoculars handy and go quietly for your best chance to see plentiful wildlife drawn to this wetland, known to birdwatchers as the ‘Kakadu of the south’.

Continue right for 200m, past the park’s western boundary where Sportsmans Creek meets the Lawrence Downs State Forest fire trail. Then return the way you came or arrange for car pick up.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

 

Everlasting Swamp self-guided tours app

Download the app and bring the wildlife and history of this vast wetland to life. Enjoy the thrill of spotting brolgas or black-necked storks as you kayak along Sportsmans Creek, or cycle beside Woody and Reedy creeks. Listen to bird calls and learn more about these important floodplains.

Kayakers paddle along Woody Creek in Everlasting Swamp National Park. Photo: J Robertson/OEH
Bird's eye view of the Everlasting Swamp wetland. Photo: John Spencer/OEH