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Nadgee wilderness walk

Nadgee Nature Reserve

Overview

Nadgee wilderness walk is a spectacular 50km walk from Merrica River to Mallacoota, with coastal views. It's great for birdwatching, whale watching and camping.

Where
Nadgee Nature Reserve
Distance
50km one-way
Time suggested
3 days 14hrs
Grading
Hard
Price
Free
Please note
  • Strong rips and currents may be present at any of the beaches within the nature reserve. Swimming is not recommended in unsupervised beaches.
  • The maximum number of hikers taking the Nadgee wilderness walk is 30 at a time. Maximum group size is eight.
  • Walkers staying overnight require a permit. Applications for permits are available by calling the Merimbula NPWS Office on (02) 6495 5000.
  • Walking opportunities in this reserve are suitable for experienced bushwalkers who are comfortable undertaking self-reliant hiking
  • This reserve is in a remote location, so please ensure you’re well-prepared. Bring appropriate clothing and equipment including topographic map and compass and/or GPS and advise a family member or friend of your travel plans.
  • Please be aware that tracks can be indistinct, difficult to follow, or unmarked in certain places.
  • Record arrival and departure at the registration station located at the track head facility
  • Clean boots using the boot-cleaning station at Merrica River trackhead facility prior to entering the nature reserve
  • Check the weather before you set out as the road to Merrica River trackhead can be become boggy when it rains
  • The weather in this area can be extreme and unpredictable, so please ensure you’re well-prepared for your visit.
  • In heavy rain, Merrica River may flood, making it impassable until the river goes down.
  • Fires are not permitted from December to March. This may be extended during times of drought. Please check with the Merimbula NPWS Office.
  • You are encouraged to bring gas or fuel stoves. They are faster, easier to use in wet weather and preserve the landscape.
  • A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters
  • There is limited water available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own supply for drinking and cooking.
  • There is no mobile reception in this reserve

If you’re looking for the ultimate coastal hike, Nadgee wilderness walk could possibly be the one. Not for the faint-hearted, it’s a four-day 50km hike along untouched pieces of southern NSW coastline from Merrica River to Mallacoota, and well worth experiencing.

In a truly isolated and spectacular environment, you’ll discover remote beaches, rugged coastline, tranquil lagoons and shifting sand dunes. As you walk, you’ll easily become a birdwatcher - hundreds of seabirds can be seen along the way, such as short-tailed shearwaters, sooty oystercatchers, hooded plovers and gannets.

Eastern water dragons are often seen sunning themselves on warm stones by creeks. And while pods of dolphins often mingle along the beaches, whales can be seen making their annual migration between September and November.

You’ll need to be an experienced backpack camper to explore the entirety of this walk. Little Creek Estuary, Bunyip Hole and Nadgee River campgrounds, to name a few, are great places to settle down for the evening. You’ll often hear the night-time calls of powerful and sooty owls.

With so many natural wonders to see on Nadgee wilderness walk, this multi-day hike along the south coast of NSW is the ideal antidote to modern life.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

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Edward River canoe and kayak trail, Murray Valley National Park. Photo: David Finnegan.

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Mountain pygmy possum (Burramys parvus). Photo: Cate Aitken
Nadgee shore, Nadgee Nature Reserve. Copyright: NSW Government.