Red Gum trail

Wyrrabalong National Park

Open, check current alerts 

Overview

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.

Accessibility
Hard
Distance
3.4km loop
Time suggested
1hr 15min - 1hr 45min
Grade
Grade 3
What to
bring
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 directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Map


Map legend

Map legend

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/walking-tracks/red-gum-trail/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Red Gum trail.

Track grading

Features of this track

Distance

3.4km loop

Time

1hr 15min - 1hr 45min

Quality of markings

Clearly sign posted

Experience required

Some bushwalking experience recommended

Steps

No steps

Gradient

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.

Other barriers

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.

Parking

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.

Spring

A spring visit allows you to see gorgeous wildflower displays as you walk through the park.

Summer

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.

Winter

Head to Wyrrabalong or Crackneck lookouts – these high headlands are perfect posts for watching whales on their northern migration.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

20°C and 25°C

Highest recorded

42.4°C

Winter temperature

Average

10°C and 17°C

Lowest recorded

3.4°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

February

Driest month

August

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

246mm

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Beach safety

Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents. These beach safety tips will help you and your family stay safe in the water.

Bushwalking safety

If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

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 - 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.

Prohibited

Cycling

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.

Learn more

Red Gum trail is in Wyrrabalong National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Aboriginal culture

Crackneck lookout, Wyrrabalong National Park. Photo: John Spencer

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

Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) breaching, Wyrrabalong National Park. Photo: Wayne Reynolds

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.

  • Junior ranger: Wyrrabalong coastal adventure tour Join a junior ranger adventure on the Central Coast these school holidays. You’ll explore coastal trails, play games and make nature art in Wyrrabalong National Park.
  • 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.
  • Wyrrabalong coastal walking tour Discover one of the Central Coast’s most beautiful walks on this guided tour in Wyrrabalong National Park. The 6km hike features coastal forest, sandy beaches and spectacular clifftop views.

Whale watching

Bateau Bay picnic area, Wyrrabalong National Park. Photo: John Spencer

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.

Plants and animals protected in this park

Animals

  • Five pelicans stand at the beach shore in Bundjalung National Park as the sun rises. Photo: Nick Cubbin © DPE

    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. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

    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.

Plants

  • Cabbage tree palm in Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer/OEH

    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, Moreton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    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.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)