Sherwood Nature Reserve

Overview

Sherwood Nature Reserve provides opportunities for picnicking, birdwatching, car touring and bushwalking in a peaceful setting – all just a short drive from Coffs Harbour.

Read more about Sherwood Nature Reserve

Discover the spectacular biodiversity and natural beauty of Sherwood Nature Reserve. Just a short drive from Coffs Harbour near Woolgoolga, you can explore striking landscapes ranging from rugged sandstone escarpments and coastal ridges to dry open forests, heaths and vibrant subtropical rainforests.

There’s an abundance of wildlife to see, with old-growth forests and other habitats providing refuge for over 50 native animals including the brush-tailed rock wallaby, long-nosed potoroo, powerful owl, giant barred frog and leaf-tailed gecko. Not to mention the incredible birdlife that makes Sherwood a birdwatching mecca.

Go forest driving on Sherwood Forest drive and admire panoramic views of the coastline and Orara Valley. Enjoy peaceful bushwalking and outstanding birdwatching in the rainforest on Falls walking track. Or just sit back and relax at Woolgoolga Creek picnic area and immerse yourself in the tranquillity.

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/visit-a-park/parks/sherwood-nature-reserve/local-alerts

Contact

  • in the North Coast region
  • Sherwood Nature Reserve is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather, fire danger or damage to trail network.

  • More
See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Sherwood Nature Reserve.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Woolgoolga:

    • Turn west at the Pullen Street roundabout in Woolgoolga, which later becomes Woolgoolga Creek Road.
    • Follow for approximately 3km until the end of the bitumen road
    • Turn left at the junction with Gentle Annie Road to reach Woolgoolga Creek picnic area
    • To explore the reserve, continue driving along Gentle Annie Road.

    Park entry points

    Parking

    By bike

    Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

    By public transport

    Sherwood Nature Reserve is accessible by bus from Coffs Harbour to Woolgoolga, followed by a 4km walk. For information about public transport options, visit the NSW country transport info website.

    Best times to visit

    There are lots of great things waiting for you at Sherwood Nature Reserve. Here are some of the highlights.

    Autumn

    See magnificent quandong trees as their fruits turn blue and fallen leaves carpet the rainforest floor with red.

    Spring

    A fantastic time to see rainforest birds while they're nesting and wildflowers in the heathland.

    Summer

    Enjoy the tranquillity in the rainforest and some cool respite from the summer heat.

    Winter

    Bask in the winter sun at Woolgoolga Creek picnic area and enjoy a sheltered walk in the rainforest.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    16°C and 28°C

    Highest recorded

    28.3°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    4°C and 20°C

    Lowest recorded

    4.2°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    March

    Driest month

    August

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    953.1mm

    Facilities

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

    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

    Woolgoolga (4 km)

    Woolgoolga is a busy rural service town with a large Sikh population. It features a coastal setting surrounded by banana farms and forested hills.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Coffs Harbour (29 km)

    Coffs Harbour is a coastal city on the North Coast, packed with things to do. It's surrounded by lush forests and national parks.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Grafton (63 km)

    Grafton is a gracious, historic city in the Clarence Valley farming district. It's situated on the broad Clarence River and surrounded by river flats.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Sherwood Nature Reserve is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

    Precious plant life

    Views along the range, Sherwood Forest Drive, Sherwood Nature Reserve. Photo: OEH

    Sherwood Nature Reserve protects one of the few subtropical lowland floodplain rainforests remaining on the NSW North Coast, as well as dry and warm temperate rainforest and old-growth forest. A highlight is the magnificent stand of blue quandong around Woolgoolga Creek, with its whitish trunk covered in lichen and large buttresses. You might also spot the giant climbing orchid, the only known climbing orchid in Australia.

    • Falls walking track Falls walking track in Sherwood Nature Reserve is an easy walk through the rainforest, offering spectacular waterfall views of Woolgoolga Creek Falls and fantastic birdwatching.
    • Sherwood Forest drive Enjoy driving through diverse landscapes on Sherwood Forest Drive. This scenic trail offers picturesque places to picnic, lookouts and spectacular views along the way.

    Changing landscapes

    Falls walking track, Sherwood Nature Reserve. Photo: B Webster

    Early settlers began logging here in the 1800s, and this continued right up to 1961, when it was prohibited. In 1907, they built a tramline to take timber to the mill in Woolgoolga. In the early 1900s, banana plantations were established and from the 1960s, parts of the rainforest were cleared for plantations of flooded gums and bunya pines, some of which you can still see today. Along Falls walking track, you may also see remnants of a pipeline, built in 1966 to take water from Woolgoolga Creek Falls to Woolgoolga township.

    Bird watching paradise

    Banksia, Sherwood Forest Drive, Sherwood Nature Reserve. Photo: L Rees

    Birdwatchers will find an incredible diversity of birdlife at Sherwood. Wander through the rainforest on a spring or summer morning and you’ll see and hear up to 30 different species. It’s home to white-eared monarch and other common species like yellow-throated scrub wren, rufous fantail, little shrike thrush, noisy pita and log runner. It’s also an important place for threatened migratory pigeons such as the rose-crowned fruit dove and wompoo fruit dove.

    • Falls walking track Falls walking track in Sherwood Nature Reserve is an easy walk through the rainforest, offering spectacular waterfall views of Woolgoolga Creek Falls and fantastic birdwatching.
    • WilderQuest WildThings Come on a WilderQuest WildThings excursion for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students focusing on science and technology. We’ll investigate the living world in the rainforest reserve beside the Woolgoolga Creek picnic area, home to towering flooded gums and blue quandongs.
    • WilderQuest WildTracker Come on a WilderQuest WildTracker school excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students, focusing on science and technology. Students will explore the living world and carry out open investigations under the towering flooded gums and blue quandongs in the reserve at Woolgoolga Creek picnic area.
    • Woolgoolga Creek picnic area Woolgoolga Creek picnic area is the ideal destination for a family daytrip. There are picturesque places to picnic, barbecues, excellent birdwatching and a nearby walking track.

    Aboriginal culture

    Native ginger, Sherwood Nature Reserve. Photo: L Rees

    The landforms, creatures and plants of Sherwood continue to have cultural significance for the Gumbaynggir People. Plants found in the rainforest such as figs, rosella leaves, tamarinds, ginger fruit and wombat berries are important for local cultural knowledge. There are also many special Aboriginal sites in the reserve, like Woolgoolga Creek, which is important for Gumbaynggir Women. This gives visitors a fascinating insight into Aboriginal culture and heritage.

    • WilderQuest WildThings Come on a WilderQuest WildThings excursion for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students focusing on science and technology. We’ll investigate the living world in the rainforest reserve beside the Woolgoolga Creek picnic area, home to towering flooded gums and blue quandongs.
    • WilderQuest WildTracker Come on a WilderQuest WildTracker school excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students, focusing on science and technology. Students will explore the living world and carry out open investigations under the towering flooded gums and blue quandongs in the reserve at Woolgoolga Creek picnic area.

    Education resources (1)

    School excursions (2)

    What we're doing

    Sherwood Nature Reserve has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents.

    Scenic views, Sherwood Nature Reserve. Photo: B Webster