Gulpa Island drive

Murray Valley Regional Park

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Overview

Gulpa Island drive takes you through the towering river red gums of Murray Valley National Park and Regional Park. There are plenty of scenic views to enjoy along this drive and plenty of places to stop for a walk to stretch your legs.

Where
Murray Valley Regional Park
Accessibility
Hard
Distance
100km
Grade
Easy
Please note
  • Remember to take your binoculars and camera to capture the wonderful birds of the wetlands – a bird identification book might also be handy
  • Please make sure you exercise caution when swimming in rivers as there may be strong currents. Do not dive into the river as there can be submerged logs and the water may be shallow.
  • Check the weather before you set out as roads within Murray Valley National Park may be closed during wet weather
  • This park is in a remote location, please ensure you are thoroughly prepared, bring appropriate clothing and equipment and advise a family member or friend of your travel plans.

This scenic drive takes you through the towering river red gums of the northern part of Murray Valley National Park and Regional Park. There are places to stop along the way to stretch your legs, try the Gulpa Creek walk or you could even paddle your kayak along sections of the river.

When you’re feeling hungry, stop for a picnic lunch at one of the many tranquil and scenic spots along the drive such as Edward River Bridge picnic area. Time moves slowly in this special place; take as long as you like to explore it or stay overnight at Edward River Bridge campground.

Remember to bring your binoculars, this part of the park is great for birdwatching or head to Reed Beds Bird Hide boardwalk for the best opportunities to see migratory birds.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Map


Map


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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/driving-routes/gulpa-island-drive/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Gulpa Island drive.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Gulpa Island drive is in the Gulpa Island precinct of Murray Valley National Park. To get there:

    • From Mathoura, cross Poley’s Bridge and continue on Millewa Road.
    • After about 5km, turn left onto Tocumwal Road.
    • Turn left just past Edwards Bridge and continue along the drive

    Parking

    Parking is available at various sites along the drive.

    Best times to visit

    There are lots of great things waiting for you in Murray Valley National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

    Autumn

    The perfect time for a camping holiday: the days are cooler and the nights are not yet too chilly.

    Spring

    If it's been a wet winter white ibis and straw necked ibis will be nesting from late winter through to spring.

    Summer

    A great time for water activities on the Murray - swimming in the river is a delightful way to spend your time.

    Winter

    The morning light sparkles on the river; try your hand at fishing for Murray cray.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    12°C and 32°C

    Highest recorded

    44.7°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    3°C and 17°C

    Lowest recorded

    –3.8°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    August to October

    Driest month

    February

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    98mm

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus 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).

    Outback safety

    Safety is of high priority in outback areas. In summer, temperatures can reach up to 50°C in some places. Food, water and fuel supplies can be scarce. Before you head off, check for road closures and use our contacts to stay safe in the outback.

    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 - hard

    • Wheelchairs can access this area with some difficulty

    Prohibited

    Pets

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

    Dogs are not permitted in Murray Valley National Park however they may be brought into Murray Valley Regional Park, as long as park restrictions surrounding dogs are observed.

    If you're travelling through a national park or reserve on a public road you can have pets inside your vehicle. However, you must keep them inside your vehicle while driving through national parks or reserves. You must also comply with any conditions in the park’s plan of management, and you cannot stop to visit the park or use park facilities (unless for safety reasons, or to use publicly accessible toilets).

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Learn more

    Gulpa Island drive is in Murray Valley Regional Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Internationally significant wetlands

    Aerial of wetlands in Murray Valley Regional Park. Photo: David Croft/DPIE

    One of the most beautiful and ecologically important features of the river red gum forests is its wetlands. In 2003 the NSW Central Murray forests were listed under the Ramsar Convention of ‘Wetlands of International Importance’, placing these wetlands on the world stage.

    • Kolety walking tracks Kolety walking tracks are a hidden oasis at Murray Valley Regional Park, in Deniliquin. Take an easy, dog-friendly stroll through river red gum forest to enjoy colourful birdlife or a riverside picnic.

    Rich Aboriginal culture

    A river bank in the Denilliquin area of Murray Valley Regional Park. Photo: Amanda Hipwell/DPIE

    The Murray River region is one of Australia’s oldest living cultural landscapes and local Aboriginal people have a strong connection to the forests and rivers. The river red gum was used for its medicinal properties. A handful of young leaves, crushed and then boiled in water, was used as a liniment that was rubbed in for chest or joint pain, general aches and flu symptoms. Young leaves were also heated in a pit over hot coals and the vapours were inhaled, which helped with the treatment of general sickness.

    A bird lover's paradise

    Sacred kingshishet perched on a branch. Photo: David Croft/DPIE

    The Ramsar-listed Murray Valley wetland is home to over 60 threatened native animal species and 40 threatened plant species. Lay down the paddle of your canoe and sit in the silence, enjoying the company of egrets and cormorants, and keep an eye out for the superb parrot, slender and bright green. You may also see night herons, black swans, yellow rosellas, ducks, falcons, cockatoos, tree creepers, pardalotes, kingfishers and owls. This truly a bird-lover's paradise.

    • Kolety walking tracks Kolety walking tracks are a hidden oasis at Murray Valley Regional Park, in Deniliquin. Take an easy, dog-friendly stroll through river red gum forest to enjoy colourful birdlife or a riverside picnic.

    Activities for everyone

    Edward River Bridge kayak launch. Photo: Rhys Leslie

    Because Murray Valley Regional Park is broken up into many areas there are experiences found only within a certain area of the park. The Moama (Five Mile) area is unique in that it contains the only formalised mountain bike track within the area. There are beautiful beaches where you can relax and camp over in Barooga and Mulwala and many places to throw in a line if you're keen for a fish.

    • Deniliquin mountain bike trails Ride Deniliquin mountain bike trails in Murray Valley Regional Park. This popular singletrack cycling network is perfect for intermediate riders.
    • Five Mile mountain bike trail Five Mile mountain bike trail offers 7km of purpose-built mountain bike trails in Murray Valley Regional Park, near Echuca and Moama. The trails are suitable for all skill levels and it's one of the best places for biking in the region.
    • Kolety walking tracks Kolety walking tracks are a hidden oasis at Murray Valley Regional Park, in Deniliquin. Take an easy, dog-friendly stroll through river red gum forest to enjoy colourful birdlife or a riverside picnic.

    European heritage

    Woman observes red gum logging, Murray Valley National Park. Photo: Gavin Hansford

    There's lots of hidden European heritage within Murray Valley Regional Park. Keep your eye out for old cattle yards made from River Red Gum sleepers, or peg trees which were used by timber cutters to climb up into the trees.

    • Gulpa Creek walk Gulpa Creek walk, in Murray Valley Regional Park, is an easy path to walk along with your dog and great for birdwatching with opportunities to go canoeing or kayaking, not far from Mathoura.

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    • Common wombat. Photo: Keith Gillett

      Common wombat (Vombatus ursinus)

      A large, squat marsupial, the Australian common wombat is a burrowing mammal found in coastal forests and mountain ranges across NSW and Victoria. The only other remaining species of wombat in NSW, the endangered southern hairy-nosed wombat, was considered extinct until relatively recently.

    • Eastern common ringtail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

      Common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)

      Commonly found in forests, woodlands and leafy gardens across eastern NSW, the Australian ringtail possum is a tree-dwelling marsupial. With a powerful tail perfectly adapted to grasp objects, it forages in trees for eucalypt leaves, flowers and fruit.

    • Brush tail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

      Common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

      One of the most widespread of Australian tree-dwelling marsupials, the common brushtail possum is found across most of NSW in woodlands, rainforests and urban areas. With strong claws, a prehensile tail and opposable digits, these native Australian animals are well-adapted for life amongst the trees.

    • Australian pelican. Photo: Rob Cleary

      Australian pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus)

      The curious pelican is Australia’s largest flying bird and has the longest bill of any bird in the world. These Australian birds are found throughout Australian waterways and the pelican uses its throat pouch to trawl for fish. Pelicans breed all year round, congregating in large colonies on secluded beaches and islands.

    •  Blue Tongue lizard. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

      Eastern blue-tongue lizard (Tiliqua scinciodes)

      The eastern blue-tongue lizard, one of the largest skinks in Australia, is found throughout most of NSW. When threatened, the eastern blue-tongue lizard displays its blue tongue in a wide-mouthed intimidating show. Not an agile animal, they feed on slow-moving beetles and snails.

    • Emu, Paroo Darling National Park. Photo: John Spencer

      Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)

      The largest of Australian birds, the emu stands up to 2m high and is the second largest bird in the world, after the ostrich. Emus live in pairs or family groups. The male emu incubates and rears the young, which will stay with the adult emus for up to 2 years.

    • Koala. Photo: Lucy Morrell

      Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

      One of the most renowned Australian animals, the tree-dwelling marsupial koala can be found in gum tree forests and woodlands across eastern NSW, Victoria and Queensland, as well as in isolated regions in South Australia. With a vice-like grip, this perhaps most iconic but endangered Australian animal lives in tall eucalypts within a home range of several hectares.

    • Closeup of a laughing kookaburra's head and body. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

      Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

      Of the 2 species of kookaburra found in Australia, the laughing kookaburra is the best-known and the largest of the native kingfishers. With its distinctive riotous call, the laughing kookaburra is commonly heard in open woodlands and forests throughout NSW national parks, making these ideal spots for bird watching.

    • Lace monitor, Daleys Point walking track, Bouddi National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

      Lace monitor (Varanus varius)

      One of Australia’s largest lizards, the carnivorous tree-dwelling lace monitor, or tree goanna, can grow to 2m in length and is found in forests and coastal tablelands across eastern Australia. These Australian animals are typically dark blue in colour with whitish spots or blotches.

    • A juvenile platypus saved by National Parks and Wildlife staff. Photo: M Bannerman/OEH

      Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

      One of the most fascinating and unusual Australian animals, the duck-billed platypus, along with the echidna, are the only known monotremes, or egg-laying mammals, in existence. The platypus is generally found in permanent river systems and lakes in southern and eastern NSW and east and west of the Great Dividing Range.

    • Echidna. Photo: Ken Stepnell

      Short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

      One of only 2 egg-laying mammals in the world, the short-beaked echidna is one of the most widespread of Australian native animals. Covered in spines, or quills, they’re equipped with a keen sense of smell and a tube-like snout which they use to break apart termite mounds in search of ants.

    • Southern boobook. Photo: David Cook

      Southern boobook (Ninox novaeseelandiae)

      The southern boobook, also known as the mopoke, is the smallest and most common native owl in Australia. With a musical 'boo-book' call that echoes through forests and woodlands, the southern boobook is a great one to look out for while bird watching.

    • Sugar glider. Photo: Jeff Betteridge

      Sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps)

      The sugar glider is a tree-dwelling Australian native marsupial, found in tall eucalypt forests and woodlands along eastern NSW. The nocturnal sugar glider feeds on insects and birds, and satisfies its sweet tooth with nectar and pollens.

    • Superb fairy wren. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

      Superb fairy wren (Malurus cyaneus)

      The striking blue and black plumage of the adult male superb fairy wren makes for colourful bird watching across south-eastern Australia. The sociable superb fairy wrens, or blue wrens, are Australian birds living in groups consisting of a dominant male, mouse-brown female ‘jenny wrens’ and several tawny-brown juveniles.

    • 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

    • Billy Button flowers at Peery Lake picnic area. Photo: Dinitee Haskard OEH

      Billy buttons (Craspedia spp. )

      Billy buttons are attractive Australian native plants that are widespread throughout eastern NSW in dry forest, grassland and alpine regions such as Kosciuszko National Park. The golden-yellow globe-shaped flowers are also known as woollyheads. Related to the daisy, billy buttons are an erect herb growing to a height of 50cm.

    •  Black sheoak. Photo: Barry Collier

      Black sheoak (Allocasuarina littoralis)

      The black sheoak is one of a number of casuarina species found across the east coast of Australia and nearby tablelands. Growing to a height of 5-15m, these hardy Australian native plants can survive in poor or sandy soils. The barrel-shaped cone of the black sheoak grows to 10-30mm long.

    • Coachwood flower. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

      Coachwood (Ceratopetalum apetalum)

      Coachwood trees are Australian native plants that grow in warm temperate rainforests along coastal NSW. Also known as scented satinwood, the mottled grey bark of the coachwood has horizontal markings and a delicate fragrance.

    • Flannel flowers in Wollemi National Park. Photo: © Rosie Nicolai

      Flannel flower (Actinotus helianthi)

      The delicate flannel flower is so named because of the soft woolly feel of the plant. Growing in the NSW south coast region, extending to Narrabri in the Central West and up to south-east Queensland, its white or pink flowers bloom all year long, with an extra burst of colour in the spring.

    • Mulga. Photo: Jaime Plaza

      Mulga (Acacia aneura)

      Mulga are hardy Australian native plants found throughout inland Australia. With an unusually long tap root, the mulga is able to withstand long periods of drought.

    • River red gum, Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Photo: Paul Childs

      River red gum (Eucalpytus camaldulensis)

      Australian native plants, majestic river red gum trees are widespread across Australian inland river systems. The river red gum is a dominant tree species of the Murray-Darling basin which spans NSW, Queensland and Victoria. This iconic native eucalypt grows to a height of 30m and is thought to have a lifespan up to 500-1000 years.

    • Saltbush. Photo: Jaime Plaza

      Saltbush (Atriplex nummularia)

      A hardy Australian native plant, the saltbush is a small spreading shrub that can withstand dry salty soils such as those found in the desert plains of western NSW. It is grey-white in colour and has small spear-shaped succulent leaves. It flowers from December to April.

    Environments in this park