Bushwalks

 

Narooma to Dalmeny Pathway.

Stretching along nine kilometers of stunning NSW coastline, the pathway will join the towns of Dalmeny, Kianga and Narooma. This is just one of the many walks to be explored and enjoyed, take in the beautiful ocean views, spectacular scenery and abundant sights and sounds of native wildlife.

Narooma BoardwalkMill Bay Boardwalk to Northern Breakwater - 3 kms - to the end of the breakwater and back.

This walk takes you from Seascape to the end of the northern breakwater at the mouth of Wagonga Inlet. Leave bythe back gate near the 50kph sign. Follow the road down the gully to the right. At the bottom, cross the road and go down the steps to the Mill Bay Boardwalk. Wander left to the beach, and the breakwater. At the end, Apex Park has play equipment, barbecue and tables. Ships such as the "SS Darling" have been wrecked nearby and smaller boats have sunk with lives lost crossing the bar at the breakwater entrance.

The Boardwalk is ideal for fishing and sitting, as well as sauntering. There is a great, netted swimming area just inside the breakwater. You may want to continue wandering northwards along Bar Beach.

Wagonga Head - 6 kms - there and back

A walk which takes you over the bridge and around to the southern breakwater at the mouth of Wagonga Inlet. Leave by Seascape back gate, and follow the road down the gully to the right. At the bottom, cross the road and go down the steps to the Mill Bay Boardwalk. Turn right and follow the Boardwalk, then a walk/cycle path, around the southern edge of the Inlet to Town Wharf. From here you can take Bar Rock Road to a lookout onto the headland, then take the steps down to the road that gives access to the Southern Breakwater.

The very good Narooma Visitors Information Centre, an indoor heated swimming pool, and Rotary Park are on the right of the path, about 1km south of the bridge. Trips to Montague Island leave from the Wharf. Look for the interesting formation at Australia Rock.

[Note: this walk overlaps the 'Mitchell's Mill Walk', Narooma Historical society Walk No 1. See brochure with historical information]

Dalmeny - 6.5 kms each way (5.5 kms via Dalmeny Drive)

Set out as for first walk. When you reach the beach, head north ? and keep walking! This is an interesting walk of many little bays and rocky headlands, with paths over the headlands where these are needed. You will reach Dalmeny at Yabarra Point, and can enjoy the view south from an open grassy area. Follow either Noble Parade or Creswick Parade northwards through the houses to get to the shops. At Dalmeny shops, drop in to the 'Gone Fishing caf?' for food and drinks. From here, enjoy the superb coastal vista northwards along Brou Beach - another walk!

If you don't want to walk 13 kms you can take a bus one way. Buses come right past the Ecotel and stop at Dalmeny shops. See Symond's 'Hail and Ride' bus timetable for the Narooma-Dalmeny schedule. You could shorten this walk by taking Dalmeny Drive (leave the front entrance of Seascape, turn right, then first road on the right) to Kianga. There is a rough bridle path on the north side of the road.

The following walks require a short drive to get to the start but many of them only 10 - 15 minutes away.

Glasshouse Rocks - 1.5 kms return

Glasshouse RocksA short, sweet walk from the Narooma Cemetery, along Narooma Beach, to some stunning rock formations. The Glasshouse Rocks spear up out of the sand and sea, taking on different hues with changes in tide and sun. You can make this a slightly longer walk by driving instead to the Surf Club, next to Surf Beach Caravan Park, off Ballingalla Street.

Getting there Drive south through town on the highway for about 4.5 kms, then turn left into Glasshouse Rocks Road, where you will also see a sign for the Cemetery, which is at the end of this road, on the cliffs. Find a short, informal track from the south east corner of the Cemetery down to the beach, where you will see the rocks to the south.

Flying Fox Bay, Wagonga Inlet  - 4 kms from end to end - 8 kms return.

Follow a bush track to explore the southern shore of Wagonga Inlet ? and learn some local history. The marked walking track goes from Shell Point to Flying Fox Bay, and has a dozen marked spots that are explained in the Brochure. These relate to aboriginal sites, early timber milling and shipping, farming, flora and fauna ? Narooma's history. At Flying Fox Bay there is some remnant rainforest ? continue on the track up Flying Fox Gully.

You can also start this walk from the other end - go to the end of Flying Fox Road, park in the cul-de-sac, and take the track straight ahead. Getting there Drive south through town on the highway for about 5 kms, then turn right into 'Scenic Route 4'. After 1.4 kms turn right into Flying Fox Road, and immediately, turn right again onto Ringlands Road.

Follow this to the parking area where you reach Forsters Bay. Walk back up Ringlands road a short distance, then follow the track signs to the right.

Mummuga Lake - 3.5 kms loop

A short forest walk that takes you along the edge of Lake Mummuga - starting and finishing at Bodalla Forest Park picnic spot, just off the Princes Highway. The picnic area has shaded tables, BBQ facilities, toilets and water. Interpretative information boards are provided by State Forests. A good walk option for a very hot, or very windy day. Chance of seeing birdlife on the lake.

Getting there Drive 7 kms north on the Princes Highway, and look for the blue sign for 'Bodalla Forest Park' and picnic area. Turn right into the picnic area, and follow the walk track signs.

Rainforest Walk - 0.7 kms loop

RainforestThis short but charming walk takes you through an area of warm temperate rainforest with tangled vines and trees laden with mosses and lichens. Rainforest species include lilly pilly, sandpaper fig, red ash, and pencil cedar. Bird nest ferns grow in the dense canopy, and a variety of birds can be heard and seen along the walk. The track in and out of the rainforest is quite steep. Turn left when you emerge back onto the road.

Getting there Drive north on the Princes Highway for about 1.5 kms, then turn left onto Kianga Forest Road, which is also signed as 'Scenic Route 4'. Look for the car park for the Rainforest Walk on the right after 5 kms. Cross the road to start the walk, which loops back to the road 100 metres or so behind you.

You may wish to visit 'Buckeridge ('Bucks') Lookout' on the way back; take a right turn after about 1 km, up to the telecommunications tower. From here there is a fine view down over Wagonga Inlet.


South from Barunga Head -  Handkerchief Beach to Bogola Head - 3 kms return

A bracing walk over grassy cliff tops. Looking down over a very rocky shoreline. This is a specially fine walk for a breezy day, when waves crash in against the rocks below. Set off south from Handkerchief Beach by heading for the 'Eurobodalla National Park'sign. The walk track follows the cliff top over farm land - you are requested to keep on the beach side of the markers. There are great views of Montague Island from here, especially in the afternoon sun; the Island is directly out to sea. Bogola Head is a natural ? but also arbitrary ? turning point. If the mood takes you, just keep going.

Handkerchief Beach

Getting there Drive south on the Princes Highway for 7.5 kms and look for the left turn to Handkerchief Beach picnic area. This track is just past the Island View Beach Resort and immediately before the bridge over Nanguda Lake. The track is called Bertie Martin Drive. Stop at the beach access point, or drive to the picnic area at the end, where there are toilets, tables, and water.

Brou Beach (Dalmeny to Potato Point)

Lake Brou - 14 kms return (or 8 kms return to Brou Lake)

This is a long, wild and natural beach walk, featuring the magnificent Lake Brou half way along. The whole of this long and beautiful beach is part of Eurobodalla National Park.From the park opposite the shops in Dalmeny cross the wooden footbridge across the Lake Mummuga inlet onto Brou Beach, and head north, You will come to the mouth of Lake Brou after about 4 kms, when you have just passed some distinctive sandy red cliffs. This is a possible turning point ? otherwise continue on to first Jemisons Point, and then Potato Point. There are no shops here, but you can refill your water bottles. There is a great bench seat high on the southern side of Potato Point where you can refresh and contemplate the journey back to Dalmeny.

Getting there Drive 6 kms north to Dalmeny, via the Princes Highway, or the beach road - Dalmeny Drive. Park at Mummuga Head, near the campsite and shops.

Tuross Lake - 6 kms return

CoilaA superb short coastal walk featuring sandy bays, headlands, a long sand bar, and the magnificent Tuross Lake. Set off north along the beach from the boat ramp on the northern side of Potato Point. Take to the road at the end of this beach, and keep on it over the two headlands ? Jabarrah and Blackfellows Point. Seals have been sighted on the rocks below. This road leads into Beachcomber Holiday Park. Take to the beach and relish the great view west to the hills as the lake opens up to view. Populous Tuross Heads, across the mouth of the lake, seems a world away. Most of this walk is within Eurobodalla NP.

Potato Point
Getting there Drive 14.5 kms north on the Princes Highway and turn right onto Potato Point Road for a further 9 kms. At Potato Point park on or close to the short road leading to the boat ramp on the north side of the Point. The walk may be shortened by parking instead at the car park near the entrance to Beachcomber Holiday Park. If there is time after the walk, call into the historic village of Bodalla before heading back.

Southwards from 1080 Beach - Cape Dromedary - 5 kms return

Another walk within Eurobodalla National Park ? the southern section. This takes you from 1080 ('ten-eighty') Beach to Mystery Bay and back again. 1080 Beach car park and picnic spot offers a terrific view southwards towards Wallaga Lake and Bermagui. It also has one of the best designed bush 'dunnies' to be seen! Take the stepped boardwalk down onto the beach and turn northward around the headland. This section of the coast is broken and rocky, creating plenty of interest for walkers. At Mystery Bay enjoy walking out on Boat Harbour Point - a rocky outcrop linked by sand bar to the headland.

Between Mystery Bay and 1080 Beach
Getting there Drive 12.5 kms south on the Princes Highway, then take a left turn to Mystery Bay. (There is not much warning - the turn is just after crossing Corunna Lake). In Mystery Bay, turn right into Lamont Young Drive, just past the campsite on your left. Look for the track on the left where the divided road ends, and after passing Dromedary and Negus Streets. Follow this track for about 2 kms to 1080 Beach.

Mystery Bay to Hidden Lake

Boat Harbour Point, Mystery Bay - 6 kms return

What an intriguing walk! The hidden lake is Nargal - a 'perched' lake hidden behind the dunes as you walk along the beach, with nothing to indicate its presence. Follow the main track northwards through the campsite. This will lead you to a sign for Eurobodalla National Park, and a marked walk track. This takes you through the bush over Corunna Point to the Corunna Lake Inlet. Walk or wade across to the long sandy beach that stretches off into the distance. Nargal Lake is a bit under 2 kms along the beach. Look for a stick marker where you can climb the dune and find the hidden lake. A good place for spotting water birds. Some walkers may want to keep going to Bogola Head - and beyond.

Getting there Drive 12.5 kms south on the Princes Highway, then take a left turn to Mystery Bay. (There is not much warning ? the turn is just after crossing Corunna Lake). Park near the beach at Mystery Bay campsite.

Gulaga (Mt Dromedary) - 11 kms return

This mountain (797m.) is powerful and important for Aboriginal people and especially to Yuin women of the south coast. For all time this mountain has been cared for by the Yuin people as the place where all things begin. The whole mountain is sacred and there are places of great significance to women and men that should not be visited without a Yuin custodian. Although named 'Mt Dromedary' by Captain Cook in 1770, it has been known as Gulaga by traditional Aboriginal owners for the past 20,000 years, and is now part of Gulaga National Park.

GulagaGetting to the top of Gulaga is quite a serious walk, especially the persistent steep climb towards the top. The most interesting route follows a pack horse trail made in 1894 for gold miners, following discovery in 1877 of reef gold about 500 metres below the summit. In the late 19thcentury there were some 400 miners and their families living and working on the mountain.

The track takes you up to Dromedary Saddle, where you will meet a second track, from the north. From here the track winds around the southern side before climbing quite steeply through magnificent rain forest ? scenes from 'Lord of the Rings'. There are excellent views of Wallaga Lake and Bermagui from this track, but the views from the summit itself are rather restricted.

The Umbarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre conducts guided 4WD tours to Gulaga,and to other Aboriginal sites of significance. Contact details for the Centre are given below. Further information on Gulaga, and the walking trail, can also be found at the Narooma Visitors Information Centre.

Getting there Drive south on the Princes Highway for 21 kms, then take a right turn to the village of Tilba Tilba. The walk track begins beside Pam's store. Look forward to refreshments on the verandah here when you get back.

 

Bermagui Coast Walk

Camel Rock, Wallaga Lake Heights - 9 kms (18 kms return)

This wonderful coastal ramble, officially opened in 1995, is the product of sustained community effort and cooperation. It links the ecological riches of Wallaga Lake Road and its estuary to the beautiful fishing village of Bermagui, covering a good deal of local history on the way. It is a walk of coastal bush, beach, birds, and big ocean views. While some walkers will tackle the full length of the return walk, there are numerous access points, enabling you to select shorter journeys.

Setting off from the Wallaga Lake Road end, the track takes you across Murunna Point to Camel Rock; you will know it when you see it. From here there is a choice of walking along the beach or following the track behind the dunes. The latter takes you through the 'Montreal Goldfields' ? a gold mining site of the 1880's - to Long Swamp, a significant wetland and breeding ground for birds. The track continues to Keating Headland from where you can choose to take the longer route along to the end of the beach, or traverse Bermagui Lagoon and the Flora and Fauna Reserve, using the new boardwalk. There are bird hides at the Lagoon. Both routes deliver you to the bridge over the Bermagui River, and access to a selection of eating and drinking places along the main street. Refreshments also available at the Wallaga Lake Road kiosk about 2 kms south of the Wallaga Lake Bridge. There are particularly good views of Gulaga from the Point Dickinson headland at Bermagui. Swimmers might like to try the Blue Pool ? an ocean pool with a view.

It is possible to continue this walk southwards to Cuttagee, another 8 kms. Pick up a brochure on the Coast Walk from the Visitors Information Centre in the main street of Bermagui.

Getting there Drive south on the Princes Highway for 22 kms, then turn left onto the Wallaga Lake Road for about 5 kms. Once across the Wallaga Lake bridge,turn left into Wallaga Street after about 1 km and park at the end. The walk goes over a small wooden bridge to the right. The Umbarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre is on the Wallaga Lake Road. Turn right just over 2 kms from the Princes Highway junction.

The final three walks are really drives into the bush to attractive and interesting picnic spots, with the opportunity to take short trail walks when you get there.

Bermagui Picnic Area - Three short forest trails

This is a State Forests picnic area on the southern backwater of Wallaga Lake, which includes three short forest trails (maximum 500 metres). The forests in this area feature the majestic spotted gum, red bloodwood, various stringybarks, coastal grey box, silvertop ash, bangalay and grey ironbark, and are some of the scenically most attractive forests in eastern Australia. The picnic area is within Bermagui State Forest and has been managed for timber production since the 1890's.

Getting there Drive south on the Princes Highway for 22 kms, then turn left onto the Wallaga Lake Road for 10 kms. Turn right onto Spotted Gum Road. The picnic area is around 1 km from this turn.

Coman's Mine - 1 km return

This is a historic site dating from the Nerrigundah gold rush of the 1860's. The short trail enables you to see the main tunnels and shafts, and remnants of the equipment used. At the height of the gold rush Nerrigundah was a town of some two or three thousand; today it has around 30 inhabitants.

Getting there Drive north on the Princes Highway for 15.4 kms, then turn left onto Eurobodalla Road to Nerrigundah. Coman's Mine is 5 kms from the Miles O'Grady Memorial in the centre of Nerrigundah. Follow the signs through town to Comans Road. The start of the walking track is clearly marked on the left side of the road. Rainforest can be seen in the North Creek gully.

Hanging Mountain Lookout and Pinkwood Creek - 2.5 kms return

Hanging Mountain Lookout located in Deua National Park provides great views of the forests and mountains of Deua, Wadbilliga, Gulaga and Biamanga National Parks and some of the coastal towns. There are interpretative signs located near the platform that provides some information about the surrounding area and its close association with the local Aboriginal community. Nearby there is Pinkwood Creek that was named after the pinkwood tree species which abounds in this small area. The creek is rich with ferns, and there is a rainforest feel to the whole area. From the end of the vehicle track the downhill walk to Pinkwood Creek will take about 20 minutes.

Getting there Drive north on the Princes Highway for 23 kms, then turn left onto Western Boundary Road. After 11.4 kms turn left again into Little Sugarloaf Road. Look for directional signs indicating both locations after travelling approximately 15.5 kms along this picturesque mountain forest road.

Acknowledgements

We recognise the traditional owners of the lands of this beautiful coastal region, the Yuin people, and encourage visitors, while they are here, to learn more about the history, culture and current enterprises of the local Aboriginal people. We particularly commend a visit to the Umbarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Wallaga Lake [Umbarra - Black Duck, the totem of the Yuin people]. Ph: 4473 7232. Web address: www.umbarra.com.au.

This article relies on much work done by others, including published work. The best and most up to date book of south coast walks is Graeme Barrow's 'Terror and the Scenic Coast'? a collection of 40 walking tracks between Batemans Bay and Green Cape with colour illustrations and maps.

It is available at the Narooma Visitors Information Centre, along with maps, brochures, tour information, and plenty more of relevance to intending walkers.

Significant areas of the region are managed by NSW State Forests and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), and they have each produced valuable information to assist visitors to enjoy the area. NPWS has an office and shop front in Narooma, where further information can be obtained about the region and its national parks. [Corner of Princes Hwy and Field St. Ph: (02) 4476 2888]

General information for walkers

Weather changes walks! Be aware in particular that beach crossings of lake inlets or mouths of creeks may be dry, shallow, or - occasionally - deep. The headlands that occur on the beach walks can either be walked round on the beach, or climbed over. Depending on the tide, walking around can entail climbing over rocks. When in doubt, follow the track up and over.

For these walks we suggest a small back pack for a water bottle, something to eat, a 'top' for a weather change, and sun screen cream. Wear a hat, and if you like to walk barefoot on the beach, take light but sturdy footwear that will get you over the rocks, but be light to carry along the beaches.

Distances and times?

All walk distances are 'best estimates'. As a 'rule of thumb' allow 15 - 20 minutes per kilometre, depending on your pace, and the terrain.

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