Sugar Creek trail

Wallingat National Park

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Overview

Just a short drive from Forster and Pacific Palms, Sugar Creek trail is a lovely walk or mountain bike trail for the whole family, with great birdwatching and picnicking opportunities.

Where
Wallingat National Park
Distance
1.7km return
Time suggested
45min - 1hr 15min
Grade
Grade 4
Price
Free
What to
bring
Hat, drinking water, sunscreen
Please note
Remember to take your binoculars if you want to bird watch.

Sugar Creek trail, also known as Hotel Creek track, is a short walk through lush rainforest and dense palm forest. Starting from Sugar Creek picnic area, it’s a nice hike or easy mountain bike trail that the whole family will enjoy.

There is an abundance of wildlife to keep you entertained. You’re bound to spot popular locals such as wallabies, goannas and echidnas. If you’re lucky you might also spot koalas, yellow-bellied gliders and a powerful owl. There are also over 200 bird species found in Wallingat so keep your binoculars handy to get close up views of king parrots, glossy black cockatoos and blue wrens.

Find a place along the way to sit and take in the peaceful sounds of the forest. You can then head back to the picnic area to cook up a storm on the barbecue and relax among the tall cabbage palms and flooded gums.

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/walking-tracks/sugar-creek-trail/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Sugar Creek trail.

Track grading

Grade 4

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    45min - 1hr 15min

  • Quality of markings

    Limited signage

  • Gradient

    Flat

  • Distance

    1.7km return

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Rough track, many obstacles

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

On entering Wallingat National Park:

  • Follow Sugar Creek Road through the park and take the turn-off to Sugar Creek picnic area

Parking

Parking is available at Sugar Creek picnic area.

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

Drinking water is limited or not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

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.

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).

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 (33 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 (26 km)

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

www.visitnsw.com

Taree (53 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

Sugar Creek trail 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.


  • Double Wharf trail Experience the scenic waterways and mountainous forests of Wallingat National Park along Double Wharf trail – perfect for walking or mountain bike riding.
  • Wallingat Forest drive 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.
  • Whoota Whoota lookout From Whoota Whoota lookout, easily accessible by car, you can see for miles. Take in scenic views of Wallingat’s eucalypt forests, Wallis Lake and 100km of coastline.

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.

  • Double Wharf trail Experience the scenic waterways and mountainous forests of Wallingat National Park along Double Wharf trail – perfect for walking or mountain bike riding.
  • Sugar Creek picnic area Sugar Creek picnic area is a family-friendly relaxation spot with easy walking trails through forested landscape, a leisurely drive from Forster and Pacific Palms.

Education resources (1)

Sugar Creek trail, Wallingat National Park. Photo: John Spencer