Choose your own adventure in the Gwydir River catchment

You can see the world from the comfort of your loungeroom. Or you could start a little closer to home.

Whittakers Lagoon along Mehi River, Gwydir

Grab a coffee, put your feet up and take a desk-top tour of the Gwydir River.

This unique catchment is made up of a mosaic of wetlands and all the plants and animals that call the Gwydir 'home'.

Relax and unwind

From white-water rapids to gently flowing creeks and floodplain wetlands – the Gwydir River is the place to be for relaxation and recreation. The river plays a vital role in sustaining the network of remnant wetlands across the catchment. The Gwydir catchment is home to several endangered species including the eel-tailed catfish (Tandanus tandanus), black-necked stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) and marsh club rush (Bolboschoenus fluviatilis).

Photo: Gwydir River at The Rocks. Photo Neal Foster.

The Gwydir River at The Rocks

A burst of sunshine

The yellow bloom of the Wilcannia (or Garland) lily (Calostemma purpureum) provides a splash of colour against a backdrop of Downs nutgrass (Cyperus bifax). As well as this eye-catching beauty, the Gwydir catchment is home to the state's largest stand of marsh club rush. The mosaic of plant types and habitats supports a long list of wetland animals.

Photo: Wilcannia lily. Joanne Ocock/OEH.

A yellow Wilcannia lily (Calostemma purpureum) blooms among a green field of Downs nutgrass (Cyperus bifax)

Quacking good time

Australian wood ducks (Chenonetta jubata) are just one of more than 75 waterbird species recorded in the Gwydir catchment. The variety of wetlands and plant communities provides a range of habitat options for different bird species. Birds seem to have a sixth sense for a freshly watered wetland and will fly in from hundreds (sometimes thousands) of kilometres away to feed and breed.

Photo: Australian wood ducks. Peter Knock.

Australian wood ducks in flight over Gwydir wetlands

Spot the frog!

The spotted marsh frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis) is one of several frog species found in the wetlands of the Gwydir catchment. When water arrives and conditions are right, the wetlands come to life with a symphony of frog song. Their presence and numbers are a good indicator of habitat health.

Photo: Spotted marsh frog. Joanne Ocock/OEH.

Spotted marsh frog in the Gwydir catchment

'Honk' if you recognise me

With its signature 'honk' and distinctive profile, the magpie goose (Anseranas semipalmata) is top of the 'must-see' list for many bird-watchers in the Gwydir catchment. They like to forage for food along the shallow edges of the Gwydir wetlands and keep an eye on proceedings from a perch in the tree-tops. Healthy habitat is vital to support populations of magpie geese, listed as vulnerable in NSW.

Photo: Magpie geese. Terry Murphy Fleming, Boyanga South.

Magpie geese in the Gwydir catchment

Stop. Click. Reminisce.

The wetlands of the Gwydir catchment provide endless photographic opportunities. At every turn, the rippling water, rustling reeds and towering trees present a picture-perfect setting just waiting to be photographed. From the tiniest wetland insect to the largest waterbird, the Gwydir catchment is ready and waiting to be explored. A visit will create memories to last a lifetime.

Photo: Gingham Waterhole. Joanne Ocock/OEH.

A view of the Gingham Waterhole