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North Bird Trail

Loop north of Crows Nest

The trail

ntransThis trail starts in Crows Nest, follows the New England Highway to Cooyar, and on to the The Palms National Park. Then returns via Pierces Creek Road. 

Total distance: 115 km. 
Best Sites: N2, N5, N6, N9


Bullockys Rest Picnic Area - next to the Police Station in Crows Nest (see East Trail for details).

On the way, visit the Crows Nest Library opposite the Grand Hotel. It has a case of mounted birds collected from the Highfields Scrub, around 1890 -1892.

N1 Coalbank Range

Road reserve.
Access: 22 km north along New England Hwy towards Cooyar, turn right into gravel track at yellow Rural Address 5227 (just past Truck Stop). 
[ 27° 07' 41.3"S, 151° 56' 27.5"E]
Habitat: Strip of open grassy woodland predominantly Narrow-leafed Ironbark , surrounded by grazing land. Sparse understorey, mixed grasses, notably kangaroo grass.
Birds of interest: Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Red-backed Fairywren.

N2 Thornville:

Road reserve alongside Mitchell Creek.
Access:Continue 10 km along Hwy. Take track to the left opposite yellow Rural Address 4191, just before East Cooyar Rd).
27° 04' 07.5"S 151° 52' 14.2"E ]
Habitat: Open woodland with mix of Narrow-leaf Ironbark, Forest Red Gum, Rough-barked Apple, with understorey of lantana and scrub species. Permanent water hole, Weeping Bottlebrush and River Oak.
Birds of interest: Rainbow Bee-eater, White-browed Scrubwren, Golden Whistler.


N3 East Cooyar

Wide road reserve.
Access:Continue north 200 metres. Turn right into East Cooyar Rd. Travel 6 km to road crest.
[27° 01 31.3"S 151° 51' 57.0"E]
Habitat: Narrow -leaf Ironbark woodland with dense shrubby understorey.
Birds of interest: Variegated Fairywren, Striped Honeyeater, Leaden Flycatcher.

N4 Swinging Bridge Park

Platypus sometimes seen from the bridge. Camping allowed.
Access:Continue 6 km to Park behind the Cooyar Hotel.
[26° 58' 50.9"S 151° 50' 2.4"E]
Habitat:Scattered shade trees Forest Red Gum with hollows. Permanent water, River Oak, Weeping Bottlebrush. Permanent water.
Birds of interest: Pale-headed Rosella, Barn Owl nests here, Azure Kingfisher, Restless Flycatcher.

N5 The Palms National Park

Access:Travel north over Cooyar Creek, turn right in to Palms Rd,. 8 km to The Palms.
[26° 56' 5.9"S 151° 52' 41.0"E]
Habitat: Rainforest with Bangalow Palms.  Fruit bat roosts. Also good bush birds between Boldery Picnic area and  Palms Road.
Birds of interest: Australian Brush-turkey, Noisy Pitta, Lewin’s Honeyeater, Green Catbird.

N6 Mt Binga Forest Reserve

Access: Return to Cooyar. Follow the Cooyar - Mt Binga Rd east from the pub for 15 km. Creek crossing just past Kooralgin Rd. 
[ 26° 59' 34.5"S 151° 58' 7.2"E]
Habitat: Grey Gum and Bloodwood tall open forest higher up, with shrubby understorey. At the creek vine scrub understorey. White Kurrajong, dense lantana on the edges.
Birds of interest: Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Brown Gerygone, White-throated Honeyeater.

N7 Stock Route

Camping permitted.
Access:Continue 3 km to Blackbutt Rd, turn towards Crows Nest. 3.2 km south, fork left on to rough bush track . (If you wish to explore, the first 2 km are trafficable with care for conventional vehicles. Leave gates as you find them. Whole route (approx 14 km) trafficable to 4WD only. Joins Vonhoff Rd at Lanaby Station gate.)
[27° 01 22.9"S 152° 00' 34.1"E]


Habitat: Open grassy Narrow-leaf Ironbark woodland grading down the slope into Silverleaf Ironbark with scattered understorey. Surrounded by cattle grazing properties.
Birds of interest: Striated Pardalote, Speckled Warbler, Jacky Winter, Varied Sitella, White-breasted Woodswallow, White-winged Chough.

N8 Pierces Creek

Access:From stock route turnoff, continue south along the Crows Nest Rd for 17 km. to wide road reserve along an S-bend in the creek.
[27° 08' 35.0"S 152° 00' 47.8"E]
Habitat: Open forest. Forest Red Gum, Yellow Stringybark, Broadleaf Apple A hot fire in 2002 destroyed most of the Lomandra and Dianella understorey. River Oaks along the creek. Permanent waterholes.
Birds of interest: Pheasant Coucal, Azure Kingfisher, Rose Robin, Dollar Bird.

N9 Rocky Creek Nature Reserve

Yellow-bellied gliders feed on the sap of Grey Gums at night.
Access:13 km south. Turn left into Rocky Clearing Dip (0.6 km south of Toogoolawah turnoff). Entrance to Reserve next to the cattle yards.
[27° 13' 55.7"S 152° 03' 33.6"E]
Habitat: Tall open forest with shrubby understorey (much Lantana). Grey Gum, Forest Red Gum, Yellow Stringybark , Gum-topped Box, Broad-leaved Ironbark, Swamp Mahogany.
Birds of interest: Australian King-Parrot, Red-backed Fairywren, Yellow-tufted Honeyeater, Eastern Spinebill.


Continue south 4 km to Crows Nest.

Revised August 2014

Download a 4-page brochure with the North, East and Hampton Trails and a bird list.



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