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 located on Petersham Road, 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 are not accommodated by the carpark and will be required to seek parking along Petersham Road.
Budyaan (birds) Baamirra (wetland) is taken from the local Wiradjuri language. The Picnic Area is situated 180m from the carpark along the walking track and contains sheltered picnic tables, wildlife and cultural information signage and a drinking water tap. The Picnic Area is wheel chair accessible.
The Wiradjuri Walk is a 1 km loop track, starting from the Budyaan Baamirra Picnic Area. The track shares traditional knowledge through story boards and replicated sites and constructions along the way, such as totem poles, rock art and stone work.
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 Budyaan Baamirra Picnic Area, 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 bird and wildlife species identification.
As a safety precaution please 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 Brown snakes in particular are highly venomous and may be aggressive if startled.
There are four bird viewing shelters along the Wetlands Walk track, 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 do not conceal visitors like 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. Additionally, viewing mounds (ramp access) are scheduled to be developed to provide alternative elevation points for viewing.
Take a look through the ‘windows’ located around the Wetlands Walk, providing a glimpse into the aquatic habitat of the permanent basin areas, beyond the wall of Cumbungi, where water birds hide. The structures were created and installed by the 2017 Fivebough Work for the Dole project.
A lookout located at the end of Hooey Road (off Fivebough Road) provides a panorama of the eastern extent of the wetlands; overlooking gilgai country and grassland. A small cul-de-sac provides parking and access to the viewing site is wheelchair friendly.