Wallingat Forest drive

Wallingat National Park

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Overview

The 25km loop of Wallingat Forest drive, near Forster, is on unsealed roads that meander through forests, and excellent for cars, 4WDs, bicycles, walking and horse riding.

Where
Wallingat National Park
Distance
25km loop
Time suggested
7hrs
Grade
Easy
Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water
Please note
  • This is a narrow road, two-way, and shared by cars, bikes, hikers and horse-riders. Please take caution on this route.
  • The road network contains a number of timber bridges, some of which have limited load carrying capacity. The main bridge over Boggy Creek on Sugar Creek Road has a load limit of 3 tonnes.

Prepare to see all Wallingat National Park has to offer in one easy drive. The 25km loop that is Wallingat Forest drive takes you through the thick forest, the snow-white trunks of gum trees towering over you, and underneath the vast leaves of the cabbage palm shading the road. The route takes in all the major sites of the park, including Wallingat River picnic area, where you can stop for a swim. Be sure to bring an esky full of sandwiches and barbecue essentials so you can relax at Sugar Creek picnic area.

You’ll see birds swooping low throughout the drive, wallabies bounding across your path, and maybe even a goanna basking in the sun – so be sure to drive with care. This is an unsealed road, so plan your trip well – wet weather makes it unsuitable for 2WD vehicles. If you’re feeling energetic, you can go mountain biking or horse riding along the circuit. Any way you enjoy this route, take your time, relax and enjoy.

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/wallingat-forest-drive/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

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

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    On entering Wallingat National Park, start at either Sugar Creek Road or Thomas Road.

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Parking is available at the picnic areas and campgrounds on the drive. Parking on campgrounds is for campers only.

    Best times to visit

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

    Autumn

    With temperatures slightly cooler, explore the network of gravel roads by foot or on a mountain bike.

    Spring

    With the wildflowers - including the purple blooms of the velvet mint-bush - coming out, this is a great time for birdwatching.

    Summer

    The weather is warm and sunny, so now's the time to pitch a tent and stay for a few days. Make the most of the boat ramp at Cockatoo picnic area Head to Sugar Creek picnic area and, after lunch, take a walk through the cool forest. .

    Winter

    Visitor numbers are down, so take the car along the park's unsealed roads and discover the forest, rivers and lake.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    20°C and 29°C

    Highest recorded

    45.2°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    7°C and 21°C

    Lowest recorded

    -5°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    March

    Driest month

    Sept

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    280.2mm

    Facilities

    • You'll need to bring your own drinking water
    • Firewood may not be collected from the park

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    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.

    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.

    Permitted

    Fishing

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

    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

    Bulahdelah (6 km)

    Buladelah is the gateway to Myall Lakes National Park. It's situated on the Myall River, with a backdrop of soaring, forested hills.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Forster (3 km)

    Dominated by water sports Forster is the centre of the Great Lakes area.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Taree (23 km)

    Taree is a major mid North Coast city, ringed by superb beaches. It's situated on the Manning River and set against rolling hills.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Wallingat Forest drive is in Wallingat National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Ancient footprints

    Cabbage Palm loop, Wallingat National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    The 6,557ha of Wallingat National Park is part of the identity and spirituality, as well as a resource, for people of the Worimi nation. The Worimi People lived a traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle and used the leaves of the cabbage palm for weaving baskets and its fibrous bark for making fishing line. They used many of the area's natural resources, including the freshwater lakes, stone outcrops, and the ocean. A central campsite was known to exist in the area now known as Coomba Park, although there are few other Aboriginal sites recorded within the park include the Bungwahl area.

    Fun times

    Gur-um-bee picnic area, Wallingat National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Whether you're after a relaxing time or something more adventurous, Wallingat is just the spot. Take to the gravel roads either on foot, in a car or on a bike – to explore the forests. You can swim, fish and paddle on Wallingat River. Pitch a tent in the campground and get away from it all for a few days in this naturally beautiful setting. Surrounding some of the picnic areas and campsites, you’ll find magnificent stands of trees. In the southeast corner of Wallingat, there are tall, straight flooded gums, as well as stands of cabbage palms. Find both during a walk from Sugar Creek picnic area. Some rare plants such as the liana woody climber, a climbing species that bears white flowers from August to May, can also be found here.


    Life among the trees

    Cabbage Palm loop, Wallingat National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    More than 200 species of birds make Wallingat National Park a home. Walking through forest as well as stands of straight flooded gums, and cabbage palms, you'll hear birds singing. Noisy friarbirds, for instance, have a distinctive 'ya-kob' call, while a 'woop, woop, woop' sound signals the presence of the wonga pigeon. You might see blue wrens flitting through the trees, as well as king parrots and glossy black cockatoos. Wallingat is also a popular spot for the satin bowerbird – the males are black and shiny, the females are a plainer brown. They both, however, have startling lilac eyes.

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