39 great paddle trails
Finding a great place to go kayaking, canoeing, or stand up paddleboarding in the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales is easy when you are a Global Paddler member. All you need to do is pick a number on our trip locator map and click or tap on the trail name with the same number in the list below. Global Paddler memberships are available from our online store.
Each Global Paddler guide includes a map, colour photographs, logistical details, a route description, local points of interest, quirky facts, and recommended places to eat, drink, and stay the night so that every day you spend on the water is fantastic.
- Wooli Wooli River
There isn’t a whole lot of tourist information about the town of Wooli and its wonderful Wooli Wooli River. Maybe that’s because the five hundred or so people who live here know how lucky they are to have it to themselves for most of the year.
- Station Creek
Reclining between Station Creek’s smooth-barked apple trees with family and friends, it’s not unusual for the conversation to simply melt away. The relaxed silence is only broken momentarily for someone to softly ask “Why don’t we come here more often?”
- Corindi River
Somehow the little village of Red Rock and its beautiful Corindi River have slipped under the radar of all but the most inquisitive Mid North Coast tourist, although it’s hard to imagine that a special place like this will stay a secret forever.
- Moonee Creek
Moonee Creek runs through the lovely seaside town of Moonee Beach just north of Coffs Harbour. Its eastern bank is embraced by the gorgeous Moonee Beach Nature Reserve. This turns down the volume of everyday life and presents a procession of natural wonders for the watchful to enjoy.
- Coffs Creek
This little waterway is the raison d’être and main attraction of a lovely ribbon of green space that winds into the centre of Coffs Harbour. It’s an impressively natural environment that acts as both the lungs of the city and a provider of ecotherapy for the people.
- Boambee Creek
Boambee Creek is one of those family friendly places that come to mind when a bunch of relatives are about to land on your doorstep. Safe swimming, fabulous fishing and prizeworthy paddling are all on offer, and there is a lovely picnic area in Boambee Creek Reserve.
- Bongil Bongil National Park
Bongil Bongil National Park is near Sawtell just south of Coffs Harbour. In the language of the Gumbaynggirr people, its name means “a place where one stays a long time”. Launch into its delightful twin creeks and you too might find it hard to leave.
The most common word used to describe the Bellingen Shire and the town from which it gets its name is magic. There is a fantastic creative atmosphere in this place. An intangible “feel good“ quality that has made it the cultural hub of the Mid North Coast.
- Urunga Island
The Bellinger and Kalang Rivers both rise on the Dorrigo Plateau in the heart of the ancient Ebor Volcano and they both spill into the Tasman Sea at Urunga. They enter the ocean together after linking flows just inland at Urunga Island to create the venue for this excellent paddling adventure.
- Newry Island
Just before the Kalang River joins the Bellinger to flow into the sea at Urunga, it opens its arms to give the mainland a last big hug at Newry Island. This creates a rare opportunity for a one-way river trip that starts and ends in the same place.
- Picket Hill Creek
Picket Hill Creek is a picturesque tributary of the Kalang River on the western side of Urunga. Beautiful eucalypts, casuarinas, melaleucas, and mangroves provide magnificent shelter which ensures that the water is invariably glassy and the trees’ reflections are completely perfect.
- Deep Creek
Deep Creek is a family-friendly highlight of the charming seaside settlement of Valla Beach just north of Nambucca Heads. Kids swim in safety, mums and dads find peace in casting out lines, and paddlers disappear upstream to take in everything this enticing waterway has to offer.
When small country towns go to bed at night, they dream of being just like Bowraville. They wish they could spend their days on a quiet riverbank doing little more than watching fresh water mingle with the tides and gazing at the forested hills on their picturesque skyline.
- Nambucca Heads
The stunningly beautiful waterfront setting enjoyed by the town of Nambucca Heads has ensured its status as a top holiday destination since 1952 when it was chosen as the site of the first privately owned caravan park in northern NSW. Countless paddlers have taken their breaks here from that time on.
Peaceful little Talarm presides over a beautiful Taylors Arm paddle trail and boasts a lovely spot to get onto the water. Taylors Arm is familiar to many because it is the location of The Pub With No Beer but the waterway from which it got its name is worthy of just as much attention.
- Upper Warrell Creek
This is a quiet, relaxed, and often shaded paddle that takes in Warrell Creek upstream of the Pacific Highway as well as some of Upper Warrell Creek. It is a local favourite because it is simple to find and easy to access yet it seems so far away when you are on the water.
- Warrell Creek
If life ever makes you feel like quacking, “not this little black duck”, then Warrell Creek is just the place you need. Its name literally means Black Duck Creek, and it is the perfect getaway destination for world-weary people in desperate need of some paddle therapy.
- Macleay Arm
Macleay Arm is a sparkling waterway that runs parallel to the coast between Grassy Head and the Macleay River at South West Rocks. Its many islands and inlets entice paddlers to stay for more than one day and the warm hospitality of the waterfront village of Stuarts Point makes staying here a pleasure.
Water-based arrival routes were favoured by the Dhungutti and Gumbaynggir people who met in this “sharing place” up to 9,000 years ago when most of the area was under the ocean. The waterways have changed a lot since then but Clybucca is still a cherished meeting place for people who paddle.
- Pipers Creek
A humble life in which you forget about chasing big-scale dreams, spend your days surrounded by peace and beauty, and have no need for anything else, is something that most people only achieve in dreams, on holidays, or in retirement. Pipers Creek lives that life every day.
- Telegraph Point
We are gathered here today to celebrate the union of two rivers; Wilson and Maria. There is something romantic about the place where this pair comes together. A secret world of hidden passages lit up by blushing flowers and enlivened by fluttering wings.
- Limeburners Creek
The delightfully untouched natural beauty of Limeburners Creek Nature Reserve lies on the doorstep of the bustling metropolis of Port Macquarie. It is a little patch of paradise that is unquestionably best seen with a paddle in your hands.
- Kings Creek
Paddling in any location is a great way to escape the pressures of everyday life but some waterways have an extra intangible something that makes them more relaxing than most. It’s not the X Factor. It’s the GP Factor. And Kings Creek has it in spades.
- Cathie Creek
Cathie Creek links two lakes to provide a serene and beautiful paddling opportunity with plenty to explore. Interestingly, it would never have existed had it not been for an ecological blunder made in an attempt to open up farmland and further commercial interests.
- Camden Haven River
You already know that waterways are places of inspiration and paddling is like poetry in motion but you can’t help but feel a little bit cleverer when you learn that one of your favourites was also a well of creativity for the beloved Australian wordsmith Henry Kendall.
- Watson Taylor Lake
Expansive Watson Taylor Lake can be found in the care of the Three Brothers mountains midway between Port Macquarie and Taree. It’s not far from the Pacific Highway but its attractively forested shoreline keeps it remarkably well hidden from the world.
- Stewarts River
Stewarts River is the least known paddling destination in the Camden Haven area. This could be because the highway crosses it at a place which is enigmatically called Johns River. No matter what the reason, it is a very pretty waterway that you are likely to have all to yourself.
The Manning River at Taree is surprisingly cool and not just because some of it was once snow on the hills of Barrington Tops. Two gorgeous nature reserves, interesting geography, and a fascinating history make it very cool in a Fonzie kind of way.
- Jones Island
A circumnavigation of Jones Island near Taree is a fantastic opportunity to glide across the open waters of the Manning River, weave through the winding Lansdowne River and cruise into the sheltered environment of Ghinni Ghinni Creek, all in one day.
- Wallamba River
Forster-Tuncurry is a premier NSW holiday destination and the Wallamba River is one of its star attractions. The area’s glorious beaches, sumptuous dining, and treasure-filled shops delight even the most discerning of visitors, but it is the waterways you will love the best.
- Wallis Lake Nature Reserves
There are eight nature reserves in and around the captivatingly blue waters at the northern end of Wallis Lake at Forster-Tuncurry. Most are island paradises only known to a select few and you can get up close and personal with all but two of them on this adventure.
- Wang Wauk River
One of the best things about paddling is being able to visit lovely locations other people can’t reach. The shallow water and rocky reefs of the Wang Wauk River make it just such a place. Take advantage of the capabilities of your craft and enjoy a delightful discovery tour of this peaceful stream.
Coolongolook is well known to motorists travelling between Sydney and Brisbane because it is one of the few places where the brake pedal still needs to be pressed. Press a little harder next time you pass through town and you will discover there is a lot more to Coolongolook than meets the eye.
- Wallingat National Park
The very name of the Great Lakes region tells you it is awash with paddling opportunities. Many are brilliant but if your most-loved places to float feature peaceful seclusion in a natural environment then the Wallingat River in Wallingat National Park should be at the top of your Great Lakes to-do list.
- Smiths Lake
Smiths Lake is the smallest of the three bodies of water that give the Great Lakes area of New South Wales its name. However, it is the largest intermittently closed and open lake in the state so there is plenty of room for what is invariably a very peaceful paddle.
- Myall Lake
Myall Lake is the star of the largest fresh-brackish water lakes system on the New South Wales coast. It is surrounded by a national park, included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance, and it’s a great place to paddle and camp.
- Two Mile Lake
If paddle camping in an internationally recognised wetland sounds like your cup of tea then Two Mile Lake in Myall Lakes National Park is the place for you. An amazing seven campgrounds surround Two Mile Lake and an overnight stay provides plenty of time to soak it all in.
- Mungo Brush
Mungo Brush is the location of one of the better-known camping grounds in the Myall Lakes National Park. It’s also the perfect place to launch your kayak, canoe, or stand up paddleboard for an exploration of the top end of the lower Myall River.