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southern coast of NSW - the Sapphire Coast


  • the Sapphire Coast is the southern-most coast of NSW stretching from around Narooma/Bermagui down to Eden and generally includes the inland areas around Cobargo

Bateman's Bay region


Mystery bay rocks courtesy of Visit NSW

  • Murramarang NP
    • coastal NP north of Batesmans Bay, gazetted in 1973, initially protecting only 190ha but now extended to 12,386ha, fees apply for entry and for camping
    • Pretty Beach to Durras Mountain - 9km return, 4hrs, mod, 270m ascent/descent
    • Pretty Beach to Snake bay - 6.4km return, 2.5hrs, easy 20m descent/ascent, low tide only, but at high tide can walk to Pebbly Beach
    • Pebbly Beach to Durras Mountain - 7.6km return, 3hrs mod, 280m ascent/descent
    • Pebbly Beach to Snake Bay (The Granites) - 9km return, 3hrs, easy 40m ascent/descent - one of the prettiest walks in the park
    • Depot Beach short walks
    • Durras Lake Trail - 9km return, 3hrs, easy, 30m ascent, descent
    • Southern Murramarang short walks
    • Emily Miller, Dark and Myrtle Beaches circuit - 5.5km, 2hrs, mod, 50m ascent/descent, scrambling needed, low tide only
  • Budawang NP
    • Mt Budawang walk - follows fire trails for 3.5km to summit
  • Bimberamala NP
  • Monga NP
    • The Corn Trail:
      • historic trail cut in the 1830's to trade corn and to get stock to the coast, it was reconstructed as a walking trail in 1987
      • best done one way as the 25km return trip is a very long day
  • Deua NP
    • 122,000 hectares incl. 90,000 ha of inaccessible identified wilderness that holds some of the largest old growth remnants on the far south coast
    • The Big Hole and Marble Arch (120m wide extends for over 1kmalong the Reedy Ck valley):
      • 11.3km return, 4.5hrs mod, 200m ascent/descent
      • many just walk the 1.8km to The Big Hole and turn back as the ascent back from marble arch is a little taxing
      • bring a torch to get through a short cave 10 minutes before reaching the narrow 25m high gorge with the marble
    • Deua Grand Traverse
      • 50.6km, 4 days, hard 840m descent/ascent
    • Bendethera Caves 7.8km return, 2.5hrs, mod. 260m ascent/descent
    • Deua River Trail - 13.4km return, 8hrs, mod, 60m ascent/descent, diverse, and fun with 14 river crossings each way
  • Moruya
  • Tuross Head
  • Bodalla
  • seals and penguins of Montague Island
  • walk across a sandbar to Broulee Island and explore rare littoral rainforest
  • Eurobodalla NP:

Narooma region

  • Australia Rock northern end of surf beach and Glasshouse Rocks on the southern end of the surf beach
  • Oyster Festival in May
  • Wagonga Inlet
  • Wagonga Scenic Drive
  • Corunna Lake
  • Gulaga NP:
    • gold mining late 1800's-1920; important indigenous cultural heritage
    • no camping allowed
    • Gulaga walk - 12.2km, 5hrs, mod, 700m ascent/descent walk up Mount Dromedary, along the Battery Tk, through rainforest and a nice stand of tall white ash
  • Tilba Tilba

Cobargo region

  • Princes Hwy passes through Bega and Cobargo, bypassing the coastal towns of Bermagui, Tathra and Tura Beach
  • Kooraban NP
  • Wadbilliga NP
    • 4WD needed to cross rivers and roads become impassable after heavy rain
    • great for experienced walkers wanting long overnight walks with maps and compass, no tracks, difficult terrain
    • Tuross Cascades and Falls - strenuous 3.5km, 2hr return walk
    • Wadbilliga Trig - 5.5hrs, 14km harder walk gives great 360deg views

Bermagui region

  • Bermagui River
  • Bermaguee forests
  • Wallaga Lake
    • Horse Head Rock and Camel Rock on the coast
    • Merriman Island was the 1st NSW site gazetted an Aboriginal Place and is closed to the public
    • Coast walk - 12.4km return, 4hrs easy, 30m ascent/descent
  • Biamanga NP
    • indigenous cultural area
    • Mumbulla Creek Falls - 400m interpretative boardwalk
    • Mumbulla Mountain

Tathra region

  • a major bushfire in March 2018 destroyed or severely damaging over 100 houses in Tathra, it began in the locality of Reedy Swamp, near Tarraganda, which spread east towards Tathra burning over 1,000 hectares
  • Lake Wapengo
  • Mimosa Rocks NP - coastal - north of Tathra
    • Mimosa Rocks are weathered off-shore rock stacks at the north end in the Aragunnu region - 1.2km walk from the car park past a large midden, through coastal rainforest then head down to explore the rock pools
    • Middle Beach and Lagoon - 1.5hr, 3.4km circuit walk to a pinnacle and multi-coloured rocks, and check out Gillards Beach
    • Headland Trig walk - 1.5km walk
    • Nelson Beach 1km circuit to Nelson Lagoon for bird watching
    • Wajurda Point - 500m track from Moon Bay car park for some great views
    • Moon Bay - 1km walk to a beautiful beach with quartz intrusions in the rocks
  • Bournda NP - coastal - south of Tathra
    • nature trail developed in 1973, gazetted as NP in 1992
    • 2654hectares and 14km of awesome coastline from Tathra to Tura Beach
    • roads are good but entry fees apply, Hobart Beach official camping area on Wallagoot Lake is excellent, fees apply
    • swimming not permitted in Bondi Lake
    • Kangarutha Track:
      • 11.3km one way, 5hrs mod, 60m ascent/descent, steep in part but stunning views
      • can be done as 18km return day trip to Turingal Head only but very tiring with te constant ups and downs
      • start at Chamberlain Lookout to avoid parking issues at the boat ramp
    • Wallagoot Lake, Bournda Trig, Bondi Lake Circuit walk:
      • 11.6km, 4.5hrs, mod, 200m ascent, descent
      • start at lakeside campsites at Hobart Beach
      • one could avoid the 200m elevation part of the walk to Bournda Trig by sticking to the Lake Bondi part and significantly reduce the walk distance and duration
    • Bournda Lagoon, Sandy Beach Creek Circuit walk:
      • 5.5km, 2.5hrs mod, 60m ascent/descent
  • Bega River

Bega region

  • Snowy Mountain Hwy joins the Princes Hwy just north of Bega
    • Snowy Mountain Hwy heads westwards into remote high country, through Morans Crossing, Bemboka, up to Fred Piper Memorial Lookout then down to join with the Monaro Hwy
      • B72 Snowy Mountain Hwy (aka B23 Monaro Hwy in this region) continues north-westwards to Cooma then to Canberra
        • from Cooma one could instead go:
          • eastwards on Cooma Rd to take the “scenic” way back to the Sapphire Coast and Bateman's Bay (the quickest way is to continue north on the Monaro Hwy giving a 3hr 240km trip, the “scenic way takes about 25 minutes longer but is only 199km, the route southwards from Cooma back to Princes Hwy north of Bega then up to Bateman's Bay is the same distance and only a few minutes longer than the north route)
      • Monaro Hwy heads south to Bombala

Bombala region

  • Bombala Platypus Reserve
  • Coolumbooka Nature Reserve
  • drive options:
    • Monaro Hwy which passes down the west side of the South East Forests NP (option to take the sealed Imlay Rd east to Eden) to Cann River in Victoria
      • South East Forests NP
        • created in 1997 to protect the last stands of old growth forests in the state
        • covers 116,000 hectares, stretching inland from Eden, along the Great Escarpment for 50-60km, to the adjacent escarpment around Bombala and Nimmitabel
        • the forests had remained virtually untouched until the late 1960's when a Japanese company was granted a 20yr lease to clear fell the forest and export 450,000 tonnes of pulpwood annually.
        • highest peaks are White Rock (1096m) and Wog Wog (1139m)
        • 2WD access may be problematic after heavy rain
        • camping at Bombala Caravan Park
        • 500m forest walk at Pipers Lookout in the Bemboka section to the north
        • short walks in the Tantawangalo section at Six Mile Creek and at Nunnock Swamp
        • Coolangubra section
          • Myanba Gorge easy 2km return walk with two lookouts
          • Pheasants Peak walk strenuous 5hr, 5km return walk
        • Genoa section
          • Wog Wog Mountain - 4.8km, 5hrs, hard walk 520m ascent, descent without tracks
          • Neenah Gorge walk 7.6km 6hr, mod walk 260m ascent, descent but requires landowners permission
          • Genoa Wilderness Walk 38km return, 4 days, hard, 160m ascent, descent - only possible if river levels are low and avoid in frosts as cold air falls into gorge and hypothermia is a major risk
          • Northern Genoa River Walk - 14.8km return, 7hrs, mod. 100m descent, ascent but requires rock hopping and wet feet
    • Delegate Rd heads south-west to Delegate then enters Victoria to become Bonang Rd
      • Bonang Rd is joined by McKillops Rd which heads north-west meandering along the Deddick River to McKillops Bridge where the Deddick River joins the Snowy River in Deddick Valley, it then ascends over the ranges then down to the Snowy River Rd / Gelantipy Rd
        • heading south on the Gelantipy Rd takes you to W Tree Falls Natural Features and Scenic Reserve, Murrindal and Lilly Pilly Cave Reserve, Potholes Cave Reserve then down to Buchan Caves then either south-west to Bruthen or Nowa Nowa near Lakes Entrance, or south east to Orbost
      • Staying on Bonang Rd takes you south to The Gap Scenic Reserve which gives you options of either:
        • going east to the Erinundra Plateau Old Growth Forest
        • going west to continue along the Bonang Rd which will take you to Orbost
      • see also: Gippsland

Merimbula region

  • Merimbula and nearby Pambula and Tura Beach are summer beach and fishing resort towns, especially for Victorians looking for warmer sea waters
  • Myrtle Mountain
  • Yurammie section of South East Forests NP
    • 140km west of Merimbula the last 20-30km on gravel roads
    • Wolumla Peak Trail - 8.2km return, 4hrs mod., 300m ascent and descent - majestic sections of old growth silvertop ash and nice views
    • Goodenia Rainforest Walk - 1.2km but return is steep

Eden region

  • Two Folds Bay - a historic whaling port
    • whaling commenced in 1820's and severely depleted the population within 40 years
    • official whale watching season is 1st Sept to end of Nov
  • Towamba River
  • Nullica
  • Egan Peaks
  • Boyd Town
  • Ben Boyd NP
    • 1883 Green Cape lighthouse (two cottages for accommodation)
    • 10,485 hectare coastal NP declared in 1971
    • 40km of colorful (red iron deposits), rugged coastline with rock formations and sea caves due to extensive geological folding
    • highest point is Haycock Hill at 252m
    • Two Folds Bay separates the most recent sedimentary basement rocks in the north from some of the oldest metamorphic rock formations along the NSW coast to the south of the bay, folds are evident at Red Point below Boyds Tower and on the rock platform on the southern side of Saltwater Bay
    • one of the coldest, driest and windiest sections of the NSW coast
    • Long Beach and Quoraburagun Pinnacles circuit walk great early morning for light on pinnacles, 1hr return 2km circuit
    • Severs Beach 1km return walk
    • North Long Beach 600m return
    • Haycock Point to Barmouth walk - 6km return, 2hrs, easy, 35m ascent, descent; Haystack Rock;
    • Light to Light Walk 30km, 3 days, easy walk 55m ascent/descent starting at Boyds Tower and ending at Green Cape Lighthouse
  • Nadgee Nature Reserve
    • 20,000 hectare coastal reserve extends south to Mallacoota in Victoria and is the only coastal wilderness in NSW and access is limited - you will need permit to camp overnight
    • sandflies, mozzies and ticks are problematic and care needs to be taken to avoid spreading dieback
    • nearly the whole reserve (except gullies and 30ha) was burnt in 1972 and the Timbillica region was again affected by fire in 1980
  • Mount Imlay NP
    • 28km from Eden to picnic area
    • My Imlay Summit Track 3hrs return walk, 6km, steep, nice views
  • Coopracamba NP
australia/nsw/sapphire_coast.txt · Last modified: 2024/04/12 14:52 by gary1

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