Bongil picnic area
Bongil Bongil National Park
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.
- Picnic areas
- Opening times
Bongil picnic area is open from 7am to 8pm during daylight savings and 7am to 5pm rest of year. The picnic area is behind a gate that's locked outside of opening hours.
- What to
- 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 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
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- in Bongil Bongil National Park in the North Coast region
Bongil Bongil National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
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.
- Sealed roads
- 2WD vehicles
- All weather
Parking is available at Bongil picnic area.
Cyclists and walkers can reach Bonville Creek and Bongil picnic area via the unsealed Lyons trail from Lyons Road, Toormina.
Drinking water is not available in this area so it's a good idea to bring your own.
- Non-flush toilets
- Gas/electric barbecues (free)
Maps and downloads
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.
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
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 Bush tucker is a Stage 4 (Years 7-8) school excursion to Bongil Bongil National Park, which focuses 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 Bush tucker in Bongil Bongil National Park is a school excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students with a focus on HSIE. 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 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.
Beaches and waterways
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.
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
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 (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 (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.
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 (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.