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Bournda National Park

“It always blows me away that even during the Christmas holidays, when elsewhere is packed, I can still walk along any of the Bournda beaches and not see a soul.”

Bournda National Park is a natural playground on the Far South Coast, packed with options to entice explorers of all ages.

Get away from the crowds and drive to Turingal Head, then wander down to Wine Glass Bay and spend the afternoon picnicking by the beach. Discover secluded beaches and spectacular cliffs along the rugged coastline on the Kangarutha walking track. In the warmer months, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a passing whale.

Hobart Beach makes a perfect base, with excellent camping facilities and loads of activities to keep the kids entertained. Enjoy swimming in the calm waters of Wallagoot Lake. Scour the nearby coastline and Bondi Lake on short walking tracks, or head off to explore on your bike.

If you love sailing or just some gentle paddling, check out the northern shores of Wallagoot Lake as well. Launch your boat and indulge in some waterskiing on the glassy waters. And, of course, the waterways of Bournda offer fantastic fishing and birdwatching opportunities, too.

Highlights
 

Why you should visit

Bournda National Park is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

The land of generations
Bournda has been a special place for the Dhurga and Yuin people for thousands of years, with its plentiful food supply and quarry for making tools. As you explore the park and its wildlife, it’ll be no surprise that ‘Bournda’ means ‘place of tea tree and kangaroos’. 

Ships ahoy
There’s plenty of fascinating heritage in Bournda, dating back to the 1830s when European settlement of the district began. Today, you can still see anchor bolts at Kangarutha Point, which was established as a port with Kianinny Bay in 1859. It's also believed the existing track to the point, and parts of the coastal walk, were once used to supply ships anchored there, and transport produce and passengers.  Some building remains can also be found around Games Bay, which was cleared for dairy farming by settler Mr Games.

Birdwatchers’ haven
With around 200 species of birds in the area, Bournda is a birdwatcher’s paradise. The estuarine wetlands at the eastern end of Wallagoot Lake provide roosting and feeding areas for a large variety of waders and waterfowl. Keep your eyes out for threatened species like the little tern, hooded plover and pied oystercatcher. Bondi Lake is the largest freshwater lake situated behind coastal dunes in the region, and is another important habitat for waterbirds.

Get active
With so much to do, there’s no excuse not to get active in Bournda. The beaches and waterways offer a range of options for watersport enthusiasts – waterskiing, boating, paddling, sail boarding, fishing, swimming and surfing. The coastal walk is perfect for hikers and those hoping to spot migrating whales. And for cyclists, the roads throughout the park are an extensive network to navigate on your bike.

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Getting there

 Car

From Tathra:

  • Travel south towards Merimbula on Sapphire Coast Drive

From Bega:

  • Take the Tathra Road (Snowy Mountains Highway) toward Tathra
  • Turn right onto Sapphire Coast Drive and continue south towards Merimbula

From Merimbula:

  • Travel north towards Tathra on Sapphire Coast Drive

 Opening times

Bournda National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to extreme weather or fire danger.

 Fees

Vehicle entry fees

In this park, vehicle entry fees are $7 per vehicle per day. The park has coin-operated 'pay and display' machines - please bring correct coins.

 Close to

Bournda National Park is close to:

  • Tathra (10km)
  • Merimbula (15km)
  • Bega (20km)
    Canberra (253km)

 Public transport

For information about public transport options, visit the NSW country transport info website.

 Bike

Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

Weather and climate

 Visiting through the seasons

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Bournda National Park. Here are some of the highlights:


Spring (Sept, Oct, Nov)

  • Enjoy the colours of wildflowers and the take in the smells of spring as the park comes alive. Head to the lookout at North Tura, find a sunny spot and look out for whales passing in the distance.

Summer (Dec, Jan, Feb)

  • Discover the water activities on offer. Paddling at Bournda Lagoon, sailing on Wallagoot Lake, fishing at Wine Glass Bay or surfing and swimming at any one of the secluded beaches.

Autumn(Mar, Apr, May)

  • As the weather cools but the waters are still warm, it’s a great time to enjoy the Kangarutha walking track. Swim along the way at secluded beaches. It will feel like you have the place to yourself.

 Temperature

Summer

  • The average temperature ranges between 13°C and 27°C
  • The area's highest recorded temperature in summer is 44.5°C

Winter ­

  • The average temperature ranges between 2°C and 18°C
  • The area’s lowest recorded temperature in winter is -8.1°C

 Rainfall

  • The wettest month on average is March, the driest is August.
  • The area's highest recorded rainfall is 730.9mm in one day

Safety

Merimbula

Phone: (02) 6495 5000
Email: FSCR@environment.nsw.gov.au
Street address: Corner Sapphire Coast and Merimbula Drives, Merimbula NSW
Opening hours: 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday and some weekends during peak holiday periods

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Bournda National Park. Photo: A Brown/NSW Government