Red Gum trail
Wyrrabalong National Park
Walk the easy Red Gum trail in Wyrrabalong National Park, which loops through coastal forest to a lookout with Toukley and Tuggerah Lake views. After your walk enjoy a picnic, or head to nearby Pelican Beach for a swim.
- 3.4km loop
- Time suggested
- 1hr 15min - 1hr 45min
- Grade 3
- What to
- Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
- Please note
- Take care of tree branches twisting across the track
- You can link this trail with the Burrawang track to make a 3.4km loop walk
- There is a picnic area near the carpark if you’d like to stop for a picnic before or after your walk
- Strong rips and currents may be present at Pelican Beach – take care in the water and please supervise children at all times
Meander through majestic red gum forest backed by water views on the Red Gum trail. It’s an easy walk along the sandy track and you’ll see a fascinating array of coastal vegetation. There are old man banksia trees and, of course, large Sydney red gums, with their impressive branches twisting towards the light.
Look out for pretty flannel flowers in springtime and knotted branches twisting across the track. And don’t miss the Red Gum trail lookout – it offers far-reaching views of the mountains, as well as Toukley and Tuggerah Lake.
If you fancy a longer walk, link up with Lillypilly loop trail or join Burrawang track to complete a loop walk back to Burrawang picnic area. When you've finished bushwalking, drive up the road to Pelican Beach Road lookout and cool off with a swim at the beach.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/red-gum-trail/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 Wyrrabalong National Park in the Sydney and surrounds region
Wyrrabalong National Park is open from 5.30am to 8pm during daylight saving and 5.30am to 6pm rest of year.
All the practical information you need to know about Red Gum trail.
Features of this track
1hr 15min - 1hr 45min
Quality of markings
Clearly sign posted
Some bushwalking experience recommended
Short steep hills: In the southern part of the loop (along Burrawang track) there's a 500-600m section of track that's a steep uphill, following the natural slope of the land.
Quality of path
Formed track: The walk is along a 4m-wide hard-packed ground firetrail reinforced with rubber canvas material. Please be mindful as this surface can be slippery.
There are tree roots at points along the track.
Gates: There's a vehicle gate along the track with access for pedestrians.
Getting there and parking
Red gum trail starts from Burrawang picnic area in the northern section of Wyrrabalong National Park.
To get there:
- Travel north along Wilfred Barnett Drive from the entrance
- After about 7.5km, you'll see a small carpark on your left at Burrawang picnic area.
There's a hard-packed ground carpark just off the main road at Burrawang picnic area where the walk begins.
Best times to visit
There are lots of great things waiting for you in Wyrrabalong National Park. Here are some of the highlights.
A spring visit allows you to see gorgeous wildflower displays as you walk through the park.
It's summertime and the water's great – visit to surf, swim or snorkel in the park's superb beaches and it's a great time of year to fish for prawns and blue swimmer crabs at Tuggerah Lake.
Head to Wyrrabalong or Crackneck lookouts – these high headlands are perfect posts for watching whales on their northern migration.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
20°C and 25°C
10°C and 17°C
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
Maps and downloads
Disability access level - hard
- The walk is along a 4m-wide track that's hard-packed ground. The surface of the track has been reinforced with rubber canvas material, similar to a conveyer belt. This surface can be slippery.
- There may be occasional obstacles like tree roots along the track.
- There is a vehicle gate along the walk with access for pedestrians.
- In the southern part of the loop (along Burrawang track), there's a 500-600m section of track that is a steep uphill.
Red Gum trail is in Wyrrabalong National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
North Wyrrabalong forms part of traditional Country of the Awabakal People, with south Wyrrabalong (cut off from the north by The Entrance channel) being Darkinjung Country. The park has a rich Aboriginal history and protects many significant cultural sites, including an extensive midden at Pelican Point. You can take a guided tour with Nyanga Walang to find out more about local Darkinjung history.
Red gum forest
The northern section of Wyrrabalong National Park protects the largest stand of Sydney red gums, or Angophoras, on the Central Coast. Explore the red gum forest and enjoy the shade of these magnificent native trees along the Red Gum trail in north Wyrrabalong. See how the forest changes depending on the season – trunks change from orange in summer to pinkish-grey in winter. Visit around December to see the trees adorned with white flowers, and spot honeyeaters in the branches in wintertime. The park is also an important haven for a variety of wildlife, including a number of threatened migratory birds that visit the coastal strip between Forresters Beach and Blue Lagoon in the park’s southern section. There’s even a population of marine turtles in Tuggerah Lake – if you’re lucky, you might see a loggerhead turtle; they have a large head in proportion to the rest of its body.
- Lillypilly loop trail The easy Lillypilly loop trail is a lovely rainforest walk on the NSW Central Coast. Enjoy birdwatching and scenic views over Tuggerah Lakes.
- Pelican Beach Road lookout Pelican Beach Road lookout offers scenic views over The Entrance and Pelican Beach and is a great spot for whale watching. The beach is popular for fishing and surfing.
- Whale treasure hunt in Wyrrabalong Come along on a treasure hunt this school holidays, and learn how to spot whales on their annual migration in Wyrrabalong National Park.
The park's spectacular coastal lookouts - both north and south - are ideal vantage points for whale watchers. Bring your binoculars to Crackneck Point lookout in whale watching season and prepare to be astounded. Whales are frequently seen breaching and tail-slapping nearby. And watch for the blow as they surface for air - there's really nothing like it.
- Tandem paragliding on the NSW Central Coast Take a tandem flight with Cloudbase Paragliding and be treated to a stunning bird’s eye view of Wyrrabalong National Park on the NSW Central Coast.
Plants and animals protected in this park
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.
Brown-striped frog (Lymnastes peronii)
One of the most common frogs found in Australia, the ground-dwelling brown-striped frog lives in ponds, dams and swamps along the east coast. Also known as the striped marsh frog, this amphibian grows to 6.5cm across and has a distinctive ‘tok’ call that can be heard all year round.
Cabbage palm (Livistona australis)
With glossy green leaves spanning 3-4m in length and a trunk reaching a height of up to 30m, the cabbage tree palm, or fan palm, is one of the tallest Australian native plants. Thriving in rainforest margins along the east coast of NSW, in summer this giant palm produces striking spikes of cream flowers which resemble cabbages.
Old man banksia (Banksia serrata)
Hardy Australian native plants, old man banksias can be found along the coast, and in the dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone mountain ranges of NSW. With roughened bark and gnarled limbs, they produce a distinctive cylindrical yellow-green banksia flower which blossoms from summer to early autumn.