Fivebough Wetlands are located to the north-east of Leeton, in the Riverina region of NSW. The wetlands are Crown reserve for Environmental Protection and Public Recreation (R1030008). The approximate area of Fivebough Wetlands is 342 ha.
Visitor parking is available at the Petersham Road carpark, where a footbridge provides visitor entrance to the reserve. Pedestrian, wheelchair, pram and bicycle access is encouraged within the reserve.
During peak visitor times, vehicle spaces will be limited due to the size and layout of the carpark. Caravans and longer vehicles may not be accommodated within the carpark and require to seek parking along Petersham Road.
Badyaan (birds) Baamira (swamp or wetland) is taken from the local Wiradjuri language. The Information Centre is situated 180m from the carpark along the walking track and contains sheltered picnic tables, signage regarding wildlife and cultural information and a tap for drinking water. The Information Centre is wheel chair accessible.
The Wiradjuri Walk is a 1 km loop track, branching off the main walking track, 50 m past the Badyaan Baamira Information Centre. The track is managed by Leeton & District Local Aboriginal Land Council, and shares indigenous knowledge through story boards and replicated sites and constructions along the way. There are also story poles along the walk, each representative of the different animal totems of the Clans within the Wiradjuri Nation.
The walk meanders through Grey box (Eucalyptus microcarpa) and Black box (Eucalyptus largiflorens) low open woodland, scattered with Weeping myall (Acacia pendula) and River cooba (Acacia stenophylla) understory and a diversity of native shrubs, including Saltbush species, goosefoot and lignum. Many of the plants, such as Ruby salt bush, Old man salt bush and Spiny salt bush hold spiritual and cultural significance. Visitors will have the chance to spy some woodland and grassland bird species, such as wrens, parrots and chats. The walk is wheelchair accessible.
The Wetlands Walk consists of a 2.8 km loop track, starting from the Badyaan Baamira Information Centre, passing three bird viewing shelters. The track is guided by directional bollards stationed throughout.
A 1.4km return track extends from Brolga Junction to ‘Glossy Ibis Shelter’.
The walk winds around the main basin of the wetlands, alongside water channels which guide water flow throughout the reserve and past Gilgai country on the fringes of the basin. The walking tracking leads visitors through diverse habitat settings, to best view water birds, waders, birds of prey and grassland species.
There are bench seats located intermittently around the main loop track for less spritely visitors and signage sharing information about the wetlands, Ramsar classification and significant bird species of the site.
As a safety precaution the management remind visitors to keep to the designated walking tracks, as ponded water and mud often lay hidden below the greenery. The wetlands are also well-liked by reptiles of the Brown snake and Red-belly black snake variety, so please keep an eye ahead during the warmer months when they may be sunning themselves on the track as they are highly venomous and one of the more assertive species of snake.
There are four newly constructed bird viewing shelters along the walking track within the wetlands, named after unique bird species which visit or inhabit Fivebough Wetlands – Brolga, Glossy Ibis, Australasian Bittern and Freckled Duck. We cannot guarantee visitors will be lucky enough to spy each of these species whilst at the wetlands; sightings will depend on season and breeding patterns. For further information please see the ‘Wildlife’ page.
The elevated viewing platforms provide a vantage point above the Cumbungi which fringes much of the track, from which to bird watch. In order to deliver expansive scenery from the platforms, the structures have not been created as traditional bird hides, and therefore, a reminder to approach the shelters quietly and keep movement to a minimum, lest any native inhabitants take fright of boisterous guests.
Note: The shelters are accessed by two steps and therefore do not currently provide access for wheelchairs, prams or visitors with restricted mobility. Due to structural design elements of the shelters, ramps meeting the Australian Standards to ensure visitor safety have not been installed at this time, however, the management proposes to accommodate ramp access to the shelters in due course. Additionally, viewing mounds (ramp access) are scheduled to be developed in the coming months to provide alternative elevation points for viewing.
There is a lookout located at the end of Hooey Road which provides a panorama of the eastern extent of the wetlands; overlooking gilgai country and grassland. Parking is provided by a small cul-de-sac and access to the viewing site is wheelchair friendly. Hooey Road Lookout is accessed via Fivebough Road, which turns off Brobenah Road.