Sherwood Forest drive

Sherwood Nature Reserve

Open, check current alerts 

Overview

Enjoy driving through diverse landscapes on Sherwood Forest Drive. This scenic trail offers picturesque places to picnic, lookouts and spectacular views along the way.

Where
Sherwood Nature Reserve
Distance
50km one-way
Time suggested
2hrs
Price
Free
What to
bring
Hat, sunscreen, drinking water
Please note
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go birdwatching.
  • Check the weather before you set out as the road to Sherwood Nature Reserve can become boggy when it rains.
  • There is limited mobile reception in this park.

Sherwood Forest drive offers visitors the opportunity to experience the spectacular scenery and biodiversity of Sherwood Nature Reserve.

Start your adventure at Woolgoolga Creek picnic area with a barbecue or leisurely picnic. If you have time, Falls walking track is an easy walk through the rainforest with great views of the waterfalls and excellent birdwatching.

This driving route takes you from subtropical rainforest, through old-growth forest ecosystems and over the elevated sandstone plateau. Various spots such as Waihou lookout provide great views over Orara Valley, with sandstone cliffs providing a stunning backdrop.

Keep your eyes out for local wildlife along the way. Old-growth forests provide refuge for species such as microbats, owls, possums and gliders.  And, while admiring the views from the sandstone escarpment, you might spot brush-tailed rock wallabies or one of the many native reptiles basking in the sun.

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/driving-routes/sherwood-forest-drive/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

  • in Sherwood Nature Reserve in the North Coast region
  • Sherwood Nature Reserve is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather, fire danger or damage to trail network.

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Sherwood Forest drive.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Sherwood Forest drive starts in the south-eastern precinct of Sherwood Nature Reserve.  To get there:

    • From Woolgoolga, drive west along Woolgoolga Creek Road and follow the signs to Woolgoolga Creek picnic area.
    • Follow Gentle Annie Road along the northern boundary of the reserve until it merges with Sherwood Road
    • Drive on Sherwood Road to Waihou lookout
    • Continue on Sherwood Road to the intersection with Conglomerate Road
    • Head west on Sherwood Road, then left turn onto Bluff trail at the tower.
    • After approximately 1km, stop at the lookout, or head back south on Sherwood Road and turn right onto Waihou Road, which continues to the finish at Nana Glen.
    • Either return to Woolgoolga via Bucca Road, or drive north through Glenreagh to Sherwood Creek Road.

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Parking is available at various sites along the drive.

    Best times to visit

    There are lots of great things waiting for you at Sherwood Nature Reserve. Here are some of the highlights.

    Autumn

    See magnificent quandong trees as their fruits turn blue and fallen leaves carpet the rainforest floor with red.

    Spring

    A fantastic time to see rainforest birds while they're nesting and wildflowers in the heathland.

    Summer

    Enjoy the tranquillity in the rainforest and some cool respite from the summer heat.

    Winter

    Bask in the winter sun at Woolgoolga Creek picnic area and enjoy a sheltered walk in the rainforest.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    16°C and 28°C

    Highest recorded

    28.3°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    4°C and 20°C

    Lowest recorded

    4.2°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    March

    Driest month

    August

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    953.1mm

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    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).

    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.

    Prohibited

    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.

    Nearby towns

    Bellingen (59 km)

    Bellingen is a laid-back, tree-lined town with a New Age vibe. It's set in a luxuriant valley beside the Bellinger River.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Coffs Harbour (46 km)

    Coffs Harbour is a coastal city on the North Coast, packed with things to do. It's surrounded by lush forests and national parks.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Woolgoolga (26 km)

    Woolgoolga is a busy rural service town with a large Sikh population. It features a coastal setting surrounded by banana farms and forested hills.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Sherwood Forest drive is in Sherwood Nature Reserve. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Aboriginal culture

    Native ginger, Sherwood Nature Reserve. Photo: L Rees

    The landforms, creatures and plants of Sherwood continue to have cultural significance for the Gumbaynggir People. Plants found in the rainforest such as figs, rosella leaves, tamarinds, ginger fruit and wombat berries are important for local cultural knowledge. There are also many special Aboriginal sites in the reserve, like Woolgoolga Creek, which is important for Gumbaynggir Women. This gives visitors a fascinating insight into Aboriginal culture and heritage.

    • WildThings at Sherwood Nature Reserve Join us and discover the WildThings of Sherwood Nature Reserve in this science and technology excursion for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students. Together we’ll investigate the living world, using our senses to explore this unique environment.
    • WildTracker at Sherwood Nature Reserve Join us and walk on the wild side on WildTracker – an excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students. Together we’ll carry out investigations under the towering flooded gums and blue quandongs of Woolgoolga Creek picnic area.

    Bird watching paradise

    Banksia, Sherwood Forest Drive, Sherwood Nature Reserve. Photo: L Rees

    Birdwatchers will find an incredible diversity of birdlife at Sherwood. Wander through the rainforest on a spring or summer morning and you’ll see and hear up to 30 different species. It’s home to white-eared monarch and other common species like yellow-throated scrub wren, rufous fantail, little shrike thrush, noisy pita and log runner. It’s also an important place for threatened migratory pigeons such as the rose-crowned fruit dove and wompoo fruit dove.

    • Falls walking track Falls walking track in Sherwood Nature Reserve is an easy walk through the rainforest, offering spectacular waterfall views of Woolgoolga Creek Falls and fantastic birdwatching.
    • WildThings at Sherwood Nature Reserve Join us and discover the WildThings of Sherwood Nature Reserve in this science and technology excursion for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students. Together we’ll investigate the living world, using our senses to explore this unique environment.
    • WildTracker at Sherwood Nature Reserve Join us and walk on the wild side on WildTracker – an excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students. Together we’ll carry out investigations under the towering flooded gums and blue quandongs of Woolgoolga Creek picnic area.
    • Woolgoolga Creek picnic area Woolgoolga Creek picnic area is the ideal destination for a family daytrip. There are picturesque places to picnic, barbecues, excellent birdwatching and a nearby walking track.

    Changing landscapes

    Falls walking track, Sherwood Nature Reserve. Photo: B Webster

    Early settlers began logging here in the 1800s, and this continued right up to 1961, when it was prohibited. In 1907, they built a tramline to take timber to the mill in Woolgoolga. In the early 1900s, banana plantations were established and from the 1960s, parts of the rainforest were cleared for plantations of flooded gums and bunya pines, some of which you can still see today. Along Falls walking track, you may also see remnants of a pipeline, built in 1966 to take water from Woolgoolga Creek Falls to Woolgoolga township.

    Precious plant life

    Views along the range, Sherwood Forest Drive, Sherwood Nature Reserve. Photo: OEH

    Sherwood Nature Reserve protects one of the few subtropical lowland floodplain rainforests remaining on the NSW North Coast, as well as dry and warm temperate rainforest and old-growth forest. A highlight is the magnificent stand of blue quandong around Woolgoolga Creek, with its whitish trunk covered in lichen and large buttresses. You might also spot the giant climbing orchid, the only known climbing orchid in Australia.

    • Falls walking track Falls walking track in Sherwood Nature Reserve is an easy walk through the rainforest, offering spectacular waterfall views of Woolgoolga Creek Falls and fantastic birdwatching.
    • Sherwood Forest drive Enjoy driving through diverse landscapes on Sherwood Forest Drive. This scenic trail offers picturesque places to picnic, lookouts and spectacular views along the way.

    Education resources (1)

    School excursions (2)