Bongil picnic area

Bongil Bongil National Park

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Overview

Bongil picnic area, south of Coffs Harbour, is a secluded spot for picnicking, fishing and birdwatching by the banks of Bonville Creek, in Bongil Bongil National Park.

Type
Picnic areas
Where
Bongil Bongil National Park
Accessibility
Medium
Opening times

Bongil picnic area is closed sunset to sunrise and locked via a boundary gate.

What to
bring
Drinking water

Easily reached from Coffs Harbour and Sawtell, Bongil picnic area is a tranquil spot to kick back and relax beside Bonville Creek.

Enjoy a family picnic under one of the shelters, or roll out the picnic rug on the grassy clearing surrounded by tall, pencil-straight blackbutt trees.

Keep an eye out for the local wildlife. You might be lucky to see a koala or swamp wallaby. Bring your binoculars to spot cormorants, kingfishers, and waterbirds that are attracted to the bushland and waterways.

After a tasty barbecue lunch, admire the view of Bonville Creek from the nearby viewing platform. Head to the pontoon for a spot of fishing or to explore the park by canoe or kayak.

Walkers and cyclists can take advantage of the network of tracks and trails in this area of Bongil Bongil National Park. Why not stretch your legs along the 5km return walk along North Bank trail to Moller Drive at West Sawtell.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

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/picnic-areas/bongil-picnic-area/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about the Bongil picnic area.

Getting there and parking

Bonville Creek is in the northern area of Bongil Bongil National Park, near Sawtell. To get there:

  • Take the Bonville exit from the Pacific Highway onto Pine Creek Way
  • Turn into Williams Road
  • Continue to the end of Williams Road to the carpark at Bongil picnic area.

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at Bongil picnic area.

Bicycle access

Cyclists and walkers can reach Bonville Creek and Bongil picnic area via the unsealed Lyons trail from Lyons Road, Toormina.

Facilities

Drinking water is not available in this area so it's a good idea to bring your own.

Toilets

  • Non-flush toilets

Picnic tables

Barbecue facilities

  • Gas/electric barbecues (free)

Carpark

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).

Accessibility

Disability access level - medium

  • The path from the carpark to the picnic area is paved, but visitors with wheelchairs, prams or limited mobility may need some assistance on grassy areas.
  • There's plenty of timber picnic tables and seating, many under shelters.

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.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Learn more

Bongil picnic area is in Bongil Bongil National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A place where one stays a long time

Bundagaree Rainforest walk, Bongil Bongil National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary/Seen Australia

Bongil Bongil National Park is the traditional land of the Gumbaynggir people, whose ancestral lands extend from Grafton in the north to the Nambucca river in the south, and from the coast west to the headwaters of the Nymboida river. The park provided abundant seafood and bushtucker, and was a site for gatherings and sacred ceremonies.

  • Bush tucker Bush tucker is a school excursion in Bongil Bongil National Park for Stage 5 (Years 9-10) students focusing on geography as a KLA. Join our Aboriginal Discovery rangers for an easy stroll along the forested banks of Bonville Creek to investigate the rich diversity of plants and animals in the park.
  • Bush tucker in Bongil Bongil Share the bush secrets of the traditional Gumbaynggirr People in Bush tucker – a Stage 4 (Years 7-8) excursion in Bongil Bongil National Park. Aboriginal guides will reveal their special connection to Country and their secrets for health, wellness and survival.    
  • Bush tucker in Bongil Bongil National Park Share the bush secrets of the traditional Gumbaynggirr People in Bush tucker – a Stage 3 (Years 5-6) excursion in Bongil Bongil National Park. Aboriginal guides will reveal their special connection to Country and their secrets for health, wellness and survival.
  • Bush tucker in Bongil Bongil National Park Our Aboriginal guide will share bush tucker secrets in this Stage 2 (Years 3-4) geography excursion in Bongil Bongil National Park. An easy stroll along Bonville Creek will reveal this area’s naturally occurring ‘supermarket’, ‘pharmacy’ and ‘hardware store’.

Beaches and waterways

Bonville Beach, Bongil Bongil National Parks. Photo: Rob Cleary/Seen Australia

The waterways within Bongil Bongil National Park carry water across the coastal plains from the steep foothills to the west, providing a home for many types of birds, animals and reptiles. For visitors, the waterways and beaches in Bongil Bongil National Park offer a range of water activities, including excellent fishing and kayaking. Try your luck on the Bonville river for flathead and whiting.

Birdwatcher's haven

Bundagaree Rainforest walk, Bongil Bongil National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary/Seen Australia

In addition to being home to one of NSW's largest koala populations, Bongil Bongil National Park also boasts more than 165 species of birds. The park provides breeding, roosting and feeding habitats for a number of migratory birds like the little tern and the pied oystercatcher. The Bundageree Rainforest walk is the best place to see the birds of the rainforest, like the dramatically beautiful wompoo fruit dove and the colourful rose-crowned fruit dove that makes a loud and explosive "hookco" sound.

  • Pine Creek paddle route Adventurous canoeists, kayakers, and stand-up paddle boarders will enjoy this downstream route along pristine Pine Creek, a wildlife haven in Bongil Bongil National Park, near Coffs Harbour.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • 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.

  • Grey headed flying fox hanging from a tree branch. Photo: Shane Ruming/OEH

    Grey-headed flying fox (Pteropus poliocephalus)

    The grey-headed flying fox is one of several threatened Australian animals and the largest Australian native bat, with a wingspan that extends up to 1m. Known to inhabit woodlands, rainforests and urban regions, these fascinating nocturnal mammals congregate in large roost sites along the east coast of NSW.

  • 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.

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.

  • Blueberry ash. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    Blueberry ash (Elaeocarpus reticulatus)

    The blueberry ash is a rainforest shrub which produces blue olive-shaped berries and spectacular bell-shaped flowers, which often appear on the plant together. It is a tall slender shrub or small tree found in rainforest, tall eucalypt forest and coastal bushland in eastern NSW, south-east Queensland and Victoria.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

School excursions (4)