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Woody Creek cycling trail

Everlasting Swamp National Park

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Learn more about why this park is special

Woody Creek cycling trail is in Everlasting Swamp National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

All about the birds

Brolgas in Everlasting Swamp National Park. Photo: Jessica Robertson/OEH

Birds are the real drawcard at Everlasting Swamp. After flooding rainfall this wetland really goes into overdrive. Wading birds are drawn to the park and large flocks of migratory birds pass through. Watch pelicans land like sea planes or look up in trees for huge stick nests of endangered black-necked storks—Australia’s only stork. Come to spot other birds including teals, swamp harriers, black swans and white-bellied sea eagles. With some of the largest flocks of vulnerable brolga in NSW, you may see up to 70 of these majestic cranes bob, bow and strut in courtship.

  • Woody Creek cycling trail Take a gentle bike ride into the heart of Everlasting Swamp on this easy, family-friendly cycling trail near Grafton in the Clarence Valley. This shimmering wetland is a top spot for bird watching.

Wild wetland refuge

Aerial view of water lilies and the bank of Woody Creek. Photo: J Spencer/OEH

Bursting with life, Everlasting Swamp National Park is named for the large number of waterfowl living in the backswamp next to Clarence River. Sportsmans Creek meanders through the wetland’s heart, then into Clarence River. Its banks are shaded by swamp oak, gum and paperbark trees. Beyond these raised creekbanks you’ll see lower-lying sedgeland of grasses, rushes and endangered reeds—a haven for wading birds. When summer rains flood the area, the creekbanks work like sides of a giant bathtub, holding water in the wetland then slowly letting it drain.

  • Woody Creek cycling trail Take a gentle bike ride into the heart of Everlasting Swamp on this easy, family-friendly cycling trail near Grafton in the Clarence Valley. This shimmering wetland is a top spot for bird watching.

A history of hunting and farming

Historic weir in Everlasting Swamp National Park. Photo: John Spencer/OEH

Vast, forested and always wet, Everlasting Swamp was so-named in the 1800s by European Australians who came for easy game. In Sportsmans Creek they caught huge fish and shot birds in disturbingly large numbers. From 1910, landholders worked to tame the wetland’s extremes. They cleared forest, built weirs to prevent natural inflows of salty water at high tide and built drains to turn the swamp into pasture land. Part of Everlasting Swamp’s heritage, you can still see some of these structures today.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Eastern snake-necked turtle on a rock. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

    Eastern snake-necked turtle (Chelodina longicollis)

    Found across most of NSW, the eastern snake-necked turtle, also known as the eastern long-necked turtle, can be found in swamps, lakes and inland waterways. This freshwater turtle is carnivorous and lives most of its life submerged on the water’s edge, searching for worms and snails.

  • Eastern water dragon. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    Eastern water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii lesueurii)

    The eastern water dragon is a subaquatic lizard found in healthy waterways along eastern NSW, from Nowra to halfway up the Cape York Pensinsula. It’s believed to be one of the oldest of Australian reptiles, remaining virtually unchanged for over 20 million years.

  • Brown-striped frog. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

    Brown-striped frog (Lymnastes peronii)

    One of the most common frogs found in Australia, the ground-dwelling brown-striped frog lives in ponds, dams and swamps along the east coast. Also known as the striped marsh frog, this amphibian grows to 6.5cm across and has a distinctive ‘tok’ call that can be heard all year round.

  • Swamp wallaby in Murramarang National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor)

    The swamp wallaby, also known as the black wallaby or black pademelon, lives in the dense understorey of rainforests, woodlands and dry sclerophyll forest along eastern Australia. This unique Australian macropod has a dark black-grey coat with a distinctive light-coloured cheek stripe.

  • Tawny frogmouth. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    Tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)

    Found throughout Australia, the tawny frogmouth is often mistaken for an owl due to its wide, powerful beak, large head and nocturnal hunting habits. The ‘oom oom oom’ call of this native bird can be heard echoing throughout a range of habitats including heath, woodlands and urban areas.

  • Wedge-tailed eagle. Photo: Kelly Nowak

    Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax)

    With a wingspan of up to 2.5m, the wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey. These Australian animals are found in woodlands across NSW, and have the ability to soar to heights of over 2km. If you’re bird watching, look out for the distinctive diamond-shaped tail of the eagle.

  • White-bellied sea eagle. Photo: John Turbill

    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.

Plants

  •  Grey mangrove, Towra Point Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

    Grey mangrove (Avicennia marina)

    Grey mangrove is the most common and widespread mangrove found within intertidal zones across Australia, and throughout the world. Growing to a height of 3-10m, they thrive best in estuaries with a mix of fresh and salt water. They excrete excess salt through their long thick leaves, and absorb oxygen through their aerial root system.

Look out for...

Brown-striped frog

Lymnastes peronii

Brown-striped frog. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

One of the most common frogs found in Australia, the ground-dwelling brown-striped frog lives in ponds, dams and swamps along the east coast. Also known as the striped marsh frog, this amphibian grows to 6.5cm across and has a distinctive ‘tok’ call that can be heard all year round.

Environments in this park

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Bird's eye view of the Everlasting Swamp wetland. Photo: John Spencer/OEH