Bongil National Park
Bongil Bongil's Aboriginal name means "a place where one stays a long time because of the abundance of food". As this name suggests, the park encompasses an array of rich and diverse plant and animal communities. With its unspoilt beaches, sweeping coastal vistas, wetlands, littoral rainforest, and pristine estuaries, the park offers an ideal setting for a host of coastal recreational activities.
Along with forests in crown land, freehold and state forest, the park helps complete a forested corridor from the coast to the Dorrigo Plateau, providing an important component of Australia's coastal reserve system. The park's total area is 1250 hectares.
The park lies between Sawtell and Mylestom on the mid-north coast of NSW, 20km south of Coffs Harbour. A plan of management has just been prepared which identifies future recreation facilities and the most appropriate access. A picnic area and access road will be constructed over the next eighteen months. Present vehicle access to the park's southern section is via Tuckers Rock Road, east of Repton. A boat ramp off Lyons Road on the Bonville Creek bank provides easy boat and canoe access to the park's northern estuaries.
Things To Do
The sheltered habitats of Pine and Bonville Creeks makes them ideal for canoeing. For those who enjoy bushwalking, the Bundagree Rainforest Walk from Tuckers Rocks to Bundagen Headland is well worth exploring. The gentle walk on the parks' coastal fringe goes through remnant rainforest which has adapted to the harsh environment of sandy soils and salt-laden winds.
A new loop trail branching off the Bundagree Rainforest Walk offers a shorter return walk to Tuckers Rocks through some magnificent coastal eucalypt forest. This trail, the Bluff Loop, offers interesting interpretive signs, a secluded picnic spot and the change to see a koala. A viewing platform over beautiful Bundagree Creek has also been provided.
Angers will enjoy Bongil Bongil's rock, beach and estuary fishing spots.
Bongil Bongil National Park contains an unusual geomorphological feature consisting of three sandy dunes parallel to the coast. These were formed by deposition in three stages over the last 6,000 years, resulting in a rich mosaic of vegetation types.
Whilst exploring Bongil Bongil, a number of interesting and diverse plant communities may be encountered. Wetlands and littoral rainforest within the park are significant features. Others include: mangrove, saltmarsh, sedgelands, wet and dry heath, swamp rainforest, wet and dry sclerophyll forest and paperbark forest.
A stroll through the Bundageree littoral rainforest reveals tuckeroo, yellow pear fruit, impressive strangler figs and epiphytes. Other sections of the park contain well developed swamp communities of swamp mahogany and broad leaved paperbark. The attractive crinum lily is a common understory plant in the wettest areas, whilst luxuriant bangalow and cabbage palms are also found.
With such a broad range of habitats in a relatively small area, it is hardly surprising that Bongil Bongil protects a recorded 165 species of birds and includes breeding, roosting and
feeding habitat for waders protected by migratory bird agreements between Australia, China and Japan.
The area offers refuge to threatened species such as the black necked stork, little tern. pied oystercatcher, black bittern, rosecrowned fruit dove, wompoo pigeon, osprey, comb crested jacana, as well as koala and little bent-wing bat.
Knight's dart, a recently described butterfly, has been discovered at Bongil Bongil. It has been suggested that this dart relies on Alexfloydia repens (a grass endemic to the area) as its sole food source.
Please note: Vehicles are not permitted on the beach north of Bundagen Headland.