Woody Creek cycling trail

Everlasting Swamp National Park

Overview

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.

Where
Everlasting Swamp National Park
Accessibility
No wheelchair access
Distance
5km return
Time suggested
1hr
Grade
Easy
Price
Free. Bring your own bikes.
What to
bring
Drinking water, helmet, bike repair kit, first aid kit, sunscreen, hat, snacks, binoculars, sturdy shoes, suitable clothing, torch
Please note
  • Avoid cycling in Everlasting Swamp National Park after rainfall or flooding
  • Cool, late autumn and winter days are the best times to use this cycling trail.
  • Snakes are common in this park, so take care when walking or cycling through long grass.

Cycling is a fantastic way to experience the vibrant birdlife that take refuge in this rare coastal wetland. Bring the kids and cycle to the perfect fishing spot to cast a line when mullet and bass are in season—or settle into a picnic on the tree-lined banks of Woody Creek.

Arrive at the park and trail head with a pleasant 5km cycle along Weir Road, or drive along Weir Road into the park and unload your bikes in the gravel parking lot next to the park entry sign.

From the parking lot you’ll ride south along Woody Creek on the flat management trail. Keep an eye out for tall, elegant brolgas, especially in August when you may be lucky enough to see their courtship dances. After about 1.5km the trail crosses a branch of Woody creek. Continue for another 200m, cross another branch of the creek on a small bridge, then ride for 1km along the other side of Woody creek.

The trail ends just past Woody Creek’s junction with Reedy Creek. Before turning back, linger for a while to watch wedge-tailed eagles circle overhead or explore further by foot along Reedy Creek, toward Teal Lagoon.

Cycle back the way you came, the silence broken only by bird calls and the hum of your wheels on the trail.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/cycling-trails/woody-creek-cycling-trail/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Woody Creek cycling trail.

Getting there and parking

Woody Creek cycling trail is in Everlasting Swamp National Park. To get there from Grafton:

  • Drive 20km north-east on Lawrence Road
  • Veer left on the bridge across Sportsmans Creek at the blue Everlasting Swamp National Park sign
  • Continue on Weir Road for 4.5km
  • As you reach the end of the sealed road, drive past 4 gates and follow the creek edge until you reach the national park entrance sign.
  • The cycling trail continues from the parking lot, inside the park boundary.

If you pass through open gates, leave them open. If you pass through closed gates, be sure to close them behind you.

Road quality

  • Mixture of sealed and unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available. Use the carpark at the park’s Weir Road entrance. This gravel carpark has space for 5 vehicles.

By bike

From Lawrence, you can cycle 5km to the park entrance along flat sealed and unsealed sections of Weir Road.

Facilities

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Bushwalking safety

If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

Cycling safety

Hundreds of cyclists head to our national parks for fun and adventure. If you're riding your bike through a national park, read these mountain biking and cycling safety tips.

Fire safety

During periods of fire weather, the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service may declare a total fire ban for particular NSW fire areas, or statewide. Learn more about total fire bans and fire safety.

Fishing safety

Fishing from a boat, the beach or by the river is a popular activity for many national park visitors. If you’re planning a day out fishing, check out these fishing safety tips.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

There is some mobile phone reception throughout this activity but it may be intermittent.

Paddling safety

To make your paddling or kayaking adventure safer and more enjoyable, check out these paddling safety tips.

River and lake safety

The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

Accessibility

Disability access level - no wheelchair access

Permitted

Cycling

Cycling is permitted on management trails only.

Fishing

A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.

Prohibited

Gathering firewood

Generators

Horses

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Learn more

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.

Environments in this park

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