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Little Bay to Smoky Cape

Important information

Alerts for Hat Head National Park: upcoming fire bans


Updated: 31/10/2014 03:17 PM

“For us, a 10km walk is long enough, so we leave a car at both Smoky Cape and Little Bay to avoid walking the return leg.”

If you’re an adventurous walker, you’ll love the Little Bay to Smoky Cape walk.

This 10km coastal track begins near Little Bay picnic area in Arakoon National Park, near Kempsey on the north coast of NSW. Start at historic Overshot Dam, where you can feed the ducks before setting off. Then simply follow the ridge to The Gap Beach and Smoky Cape tracks.

As you walk you’ll come across beautiful, diverse scenery including heathland, rainforest and grassy woodland. Depending on the season, you might see wildflower displays or spot whales from the cliffs.

When you arrive at Smoky Cape, head to Captain Cook’s lookout for a picnic lunch and a tour of the lighthouse. Or you can always do the walk in reverse and finish at the picnic area at Little Bay.


Getting there

Getting there:

Little Bay to Smoky Cape starts at Little Bay picnic area in the Trial Bay Gaol precinct of the adjoining Arakoon National Park. To get there:

From South West Rocks:

  • Follow Phillip Drive (it becomes Wilson Street)
  • Turn right onto Gladstone Street which becomes Carri Street
  • Continue along Carri Street until you reach Little Bay picnic area
  • Follow the signs to Overshot Dam where the track begins

Alternatively, if starting from Smoky Cape

  • On entering Hat Head National Park:
  • Take the South West Rocks Road
  • Follow the signs to Smoky Cape lighthouse
  • The walk begins near Captain Cook’s lookout

Get driving directions


Vehicle access:

Sealed road - 2WD vehicles - All weather


Parking is available at Overshot Dam, the nearby Little Bay picnic area or near Captain Cook’s lookout at Smoky Cape.

Important info


10km (one-way)

Time suggested:

4 hours each way



You should know:

  • You can park your car at either Little Bay or Smoky Cape and walk from there
  • Starting at Overshot Dam at Little Bay, follow the ridge to The Gap Beach and Smoky Cape tracks. A one-way journey can take up to four hours.
  • It’s important to pack plenty of water as well as extra sunscreen
  • You may wish to bring your camera and keep an eye out for whales and birds as you go

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- Alerts

Hat Head National Park

upcoming fire bans

Fire ban (Saturday 1 November) A total fire ban has been declared by the Commissioner of the Rural Fire Service which includes this park. The total fire ban applies on Saturday 1 November for the entire 24 hour period. Total fire ban rules apply. This ban may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible.
Find out more information about fire bans in parks and reserves including your responsibilities:

Small delicate purple flower. Photo:Debby McGerty