Spot passing whales as you journey on foot through unspoilt wilderness. Hike for an hour close to town or spend days on a coastal walk in our national parks.
1. Camel Rock to Murunna Point via Horsehead Rock
Distance: 1.5 kilometres return.
Sapphire Coast icons, Camel Rock, Horsehead Rock and Murunna Point are unique formations that tower above the sea just north of Bermagui. As you stroll the clifftops, you'll be among some of the oldest rocks in New South Wales, and admiring one of the biggest lakes in New South Wales, Wallaga Lake.
The track is rough, and steep in places but there is beach access at either end, and public facilities including toilets, viewing platforms and a children's playground at Murunna Point. Camel Rock is patrolled in summer and pets can enjoy free time in some areas.
Australia's only coastal gold field, Montreal Goldfield, is opposite Camel Rock. Tours are held daily, with activities such as panning, water divining and kids dress-ups.
Directions: Camel Rock Beach is 10 kilometres north of Bermagui on Wallaga Lake Road.
2. Haycock Point to Barmouth Beach, Ben Boyd National Park
Distance 4.8 kilometres return (1 to 2 hours)
This coastal walk has elevated views of Merimbula Bay, Pambula River Mouth and Lennards Island. The path takes you from the windswept coastal headland, through melaleuca and banksia forests to the white sands of Pambula River Mouth. A vibrant landscape, it’s also a great place to see wallabies, kangaroos and goannas, who may share the path with you or meet you on the beach.
The picnic area at Haycock Point has free gas barbecues, sheltered picnic tables, toilets and grassy area.
Directions: Via Haycock Road, 9km south of Pambula or 8km north of Eden on the Princes Highway. Unsealed. Haycock point is 13 kilometres from the Princes Highway.
3. Kangarutha Walking Track, Bournda National Park.
Distance: 9 kilometres.
The Kangarutha Track is a challenging day walk along the remote, rugged headlands between Merimbula and Tathra.
The path is clearly signposted and skirts the coastline of Bournda National Park. Spot sea life from from the cliff tops, explore pockets of rainforest and look for animals on secluded beaches. If you like to set a brisk pace you can do this walk in 3.5 hours, but if you plan on taking it slower leave 5 hours or do the walk in stages. Kianinny Bay at Tathra to Boulder Bay (1.7kms) or Wallagoot Lake Boat Club to Turingal Head (1.8km).
Directions: From Tathra: Park the car at Kianinny Bay, the walk begins at the footbridge.
From Turingal Head carpark: Head to Wallagoot Lake Boat Club via Sapphire Coast Drive and Wallagoot Lake Road. Pass the boat club, park at Turingal Head carpark then take a short walk to Wallagoot Gap and look for the signs leading you north.
4. Green Cape Light Station to Pulpit Rock
Distance: 4 kilometres
It's wild. It's rugged, and if you really like it you can stretch your legs on a 30 kilometre walk all the way to Boyd's Tower on Twofold Bay. The whales come so close to this 7 kilometre promontory that you can hear them breathe and splash about. It's a thrilling place to watch all kinds of behaviour like breaching, feeding, tail and pectoral slaps and group behaviour.
Green Cape delivers one of our most expansive and unspoilt views, including landmarks like Balawan (Mount Imlay), Disaster Bay and Wonboyn Lake and north almost all the way to the fishing port of Eden.
Pack a picnic for this one, Green Cape is about 45 kilometres south of Eden and you won't want to leave in a hurry. There are also tours of the light house, and accommodation in the refurbished keeper's cottages.
Directions: Green Cape Light Station is 44 kilometres south of Eden. Take the Princes Highway to Edrom Road (18km), follow it to Green Cape Road (8km), then take the unsealed Green Cape Road for 21 kilometres.
5. Tura Beach Headland
Distance 2 kilometres return.
Tura Beach Headland is one of the longest headlands on the Sapphire Coast (after Green Cape and Haycock). It's narrow as far as headlands go, so you can pop from one side to the other to look north and south as you make your way to the point. The track is rough, but easy to follow and takes you through tall coastal heath before you reach the geological wonder that is Tura Beach Headland. It's a good one for the kids and the dog. You might be lucky to discover the natural ocean pool is full, but it depends on conditions. More information here.
Directions: From Sapphire Coast Drive: Turn onto Tura Beach Drive at Tura Beach. Turn left onto Pacific Way, right onto Golf Circuit and left onto Headland Drive. Look for the car park.
7. Wajurda Point, Mimosa Rocks National Park
Distance 1 kilometre return
Watch the waves roll by while whales play outside Nelson Bay. The path to Wajurda Point leads you through a forest of spotted gums and coastal heath to a small but breathtaking lookout. The panoramic views of the coast and Nelson Beach are quite a treat. In fact it's a coastal quartet that makes for a fabulous day at the beach in the warmer months. Read our blog.
While you are here explore Nelson Lagoon, it is one of the prettiest on the coast, and take the stairs to Moon Bay for a swim in the waves.
Directions: Find Mimosa Rocks National Park via Tathra-Bermagui Road and Nelson Lake Road. Follow the signs to Moon Bay. The road is unsealed by suitable for 2 wheel drives.