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Ben Boyd National Park

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Learn more about why this park is special

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

Rugged flora

Ben Boyd National Park. Photo: John Spencer

The park's vegetation reflects its location in the driest, windiest part of the state's coastline. You'll see stretches of coastal heath beside sea cliffs and scrub shaped by salty with patches of tall coastal forest and wet forest gullies. Some parts of the park reach less than 100m above sea level.

  • Haycock Point to Barmouth Beach walking track The walk from Haycock Point to Barmouth Beach in Ben Boyd National Park takes in whale watching, scenic coastal views, wildlife and birdwatching opportunities.
  • Light to Light walk Begin this multi-day walk at Boyds Tower down the far south coast, and end at Green Cape Lighthouse. Stop for a swim and the opportunity to spot seals, seabirds and whales.

Meet the locals

Wild flower, Ben Boyd National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Several threatened species take refuge here. North of Pambula River there's an important population of yellow-bellied gliders, listen carefully for their trademark crackles and shrieks. This area is also great for birdwatching. Along the coast look out for seabirds, especially the beautiful white bellied sea eagles.

  • Green Cape Lightstation tour Visit this fantastic whale-watching spot near Eden, in Ben Boyd National Park. Sit on the headland with Green Cape Lightstation behind you, and enjoy the ocean view before you tour the lightstation.
  • Haycock Point to Barmouth Beach walking track The walk from Haycock Point to Barmouth Beach in Ben Boyd National Park takes in whale watching, scenic coastal views, wildlife and birdwatching opportunities.
  • Light to Light walk Begin this multi-day walk at Boyds Tower down the far south coast, and end at Green Cape Lighthouse. Stop for a swim and the opportunity to spot seals, seabirds and whales.

What we're doing for Biodiversity in this park

Fascinating coastal heritage

Bittangabee Bay ruins, Ben Boyd National Park

The first shore-based whaling station on mainland Australia was set up at Twofold Bay in 1828. Benjamin Boyd established a competing business and built a private lighthouse, Boyd's Tower, and a township, Boydtown, before being declared bankrupt. The coast was the site of many shipwrecks. The Green Cape Lighthouse commenced operation in 1883 but shipwrecks continued, including the Ly-ee-moon that sank in 1886. You can pay your respects to some of the 76 victims at a graveyard a short walk from the lighthouse. There are also regular guided tours of the lighthouse.

  • Davidson Whaling Station Take a guided tour at historic Davidson Whaling Station – discover how killer whales helped the Davidson family. And when you're done, finish the day with a picnic at the nearby beach.
  • Green Cape Lightstation tour Visit this fantastic whale-watching spot near Eden, in Ben Boyd National Park. Sit on the headland with Green Cape Lightstation behind you, and enjoy the ocean view before you tour the lightstation.

Aboriginal history

Bittangabee Bay, Ben Boyd National Park. Photo: John Spencer

The Traditional Owners and Custodians of Ben Boyd National Park, the Yuin people, have lived in the area for thousands of years. On the Pambula River Walk you can see ancient Aboriginal sites — one midden has been proven to be over 3,000 years old. At Twofold Bay, the Yuin people had a? special relationship with the killer whales. The killer whales drove humpback whales into shore, the people used spears to kill them and killer whales and people shared the meat. The Aboriginal people later taught European settlers to work with the killer whales in the shore based whaling days of Twofold Bay. Find out more about this fascinating history at Davidson Whaling Station Historic Site.

  • Severs Beach Severs Beach, in Ben Boyd National Park in the whale watching town of Eden on NSW’s Sapphire Coast, offers Aboriginal heritage, fishing, beach walks and more.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • White-bellied sea eagle. Photo: John Turbill

    White-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)

    White-bellied sea eagles can be easily identified by their white tail and dark grey wings. These raptors are often spotted cruising the coastal breezes throughout Australia, and make for some scenic bird watching. Powerful Australian birds of prey, they are known to mate for life, and return each year to the same nest to breed.

  • Yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Photo: Peter Sherratt

    Yellow-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus)

    The yellow-tailed black cockatoo is one of the largest species of parrot. With dusty-black plumage, they have a yellow tail and cheek patch. They’re easily spotted while bird watching, as they feed on seeds in native forests and pine plantations.

Plants

  • Grey mangrove. Photo: Shane Rumming

    Grey mangrove (Avicennia marina)

    Grey mangrove is the most common and widespread mangrove found within intertidal zones across Australia, and throughout the world. Growing to a height of 3-10m, they thrive best in estuaries with a mix of fresh and salt water. They excrete excess salt through their long thick leaves, and absorb oxygen through their aerial root system.

  •  Black sheoak. Photo: Barry Collier

    Black sheoak (Allocasuarina littoralis)

    The black sheoak is one of a number of casuarina species found across the east coast of Australia and nearby tablelands. Growing to a height of 5-15m, these hardy Australian native plants can survive in poor or sandy soils. The barrel-shaped cone of the black sheoak grows to 10-30mm long.

  • Old man banksia, Moreton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    Old man banksia (Banksia serrata)

    Hardy Australian native plants, old man banksias can be found along the coast, and in the dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone mountain ranges of NSW. With roughened bark and gnarled limbs, they produce a distinctive cylindrical yellow-green banksia flower which blossoms from summer to early autumn.

Look out for...

White-bellied sea eagle

Haliaeetus leucogaster

White-bellied sea eagle. Photo: John Turbill

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

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Saltwater Creek Bay, Ben Boyd National Park. Photo: Ingo Oeland