Ben Boyd National Park

Overview

Ben Boyd National Park, near Eden, offers whale watching, fishing and beach camping. Stay in heritage lighthouse accommodation or enjoy the scenic Light to Light walk.

Read more about Ben Boyd National Park

Ben Boyd National Park invites you to discover its intriguing history. From Aboriginal middens to a heritage lighthouse, the park holds loads of historic surprises just waiting for you to discover.

Its finest attractions, though, are not man-made. With rare wildlife, sheltered inlets and 45km of stunning rocky coastline, the park’s rugged beauty is a sight to behold. Walk one of the park’s easy tracks, like the Pambula River walking track or Pinnacles track. If you’re feeling adventurous, head out on the multi-day Light to Light walk and enjoy the colourful display of rocks that stand out against the sapphire blue water of the Pacific Ocean.

This is a great place for a daytrip – there are lots of picnic spots and plenty of places to go fishing. The park’s lofty lookouts are excellent for whale watching – head to Davidson Whaling Station Historic Site if you’re interested in finding out more about the area's whaling history.

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/ben-boyd-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Ben Boyd National Park.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    The park is accessed from the Princes Highway. From Eden you’ll be travelling north to the northern section of the park and south to the southern section. From Merimbula you’ll be travelling south to the park. From the Princes Highway:

    • Take Pambula Beach Road from Pambula to access the park north of the Pambula River
    • Take Haycock Road, north of Eden, for the northern section of the park

    or

    • Take Edrom Road, south of Eden, for the southern section of the park

    Park entry points

    Parking Show more

    By bike

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

    By public transport

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

    Best times to visit

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

    Autumn

    Camp at Bittangabee Beach campground and see lyrebirds performing their characteristic dance and tail display.

    Spring

    Visit Green Cape Lighthouse or Boyds Tower to spot whales migrating south to their Antarctic feeding grounds - you might even see females with young calves.

    Summer

    Plan a camping trip to Saltwater Creek - to enjoy the lagoons and beautiful surf beach.

    Winter

    Take the Light to Light walk when it's nice and cool and the banksias are in bloom.

    Facilities

    Maps and downloads

    Fees and passes

    Park entry fees:

    $8 per vehicle per day applies in the southern section of the park (south of Eden). There is no park entry fee for the northern section of the park (north of Eden). The park uses a self-registration fee collection system. Please bring correct change.

    • All Parks Pass - For all parks in NSW (including Kosciuszko NP) $190 (1 year) / $335 (2 years)
    • Multi-Park Pass - For all parks in NSW (except Kosciuszko) $65 (1 year) / $115 (2 years)
    • Country Parks Pass - For all parks in Country NSW (except Kosciuszko) $45 (1 year) / $75 (2 years)
    • Single Country Park Pass - For entry to a single park in country NSW (except Kosciuszko). $22 (1 year) / $40 (2 years)

    Annual passes and entry fees (http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/passes-and-fees)

    Safety messages

    However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    Prohibited

    Pets

    Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the OEH pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Nearby towns

    Eden (31 km)

    Eden is a historic whaling town, ideal for a whale-watch tour. It's built around a promontory that juts into Twofold Bay.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Pambula (50 km)

    Pambula is a historic river village in majestic rural surroundings. The town is at the mouth of the Pambula River among forests and lakes.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Merimbula (57 km)

    The main coastal towns of the Sapphire Coast include Bermagui, Tathra, Merimbula and Eden. This stunning coastline has sparkling beaches and bays, lakes and national parks, all accessible via excellent walking tracks and coastal drives. You'll find beaches just perfect for surfing, swimming and walks.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    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.

    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.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Ben Boyd National Park has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents. Here is just some of the work we’re doing to conserve these values:

    Preserving biodiversity

    Ben Boyd National Park supports programs that monitor, help recover and secure threatened bird populations. The area targets pest impacts, limits disturbance from recreational users and undertakes frequent monitoring. Fire safety is also a priority. As Ben Boyd National Park is located in the driest, windiest part of the NSW coast, fire management approaches are also frequently reviewed.

    Conservation program

    BioNet

    Uniting technology with the vast collection of information on biodiversity in NSW, BioNet is a valuable database open to any user. From individual plant sightings to detailed scientific surveys, it offers a wealth of knowledge about ecology and threatened species in NSW. 

    Managing weeds, pest animals and other threats

    Pests and weeds have a significant impact to the ecosystems within Ben Boyd National Park. Risk assessments for new and emerging weeds are carried out as an ongoing initiative within the park. Pest management of wildlife like foxes and wild dogs, and weeds such as sea spurge, is an important part of the work NPWS does to protect the integrity of biodiversity which exists within Ben Boyd.

    Conservation program

    Containment of sea spurge

    A highly destructive coastal weed, sea spurge has spread around Australia since it was first recorded as an invasive species in 1927. On the NSW South Coast, collaborative containment efforts have made major inroads in combatting this weed as it progresses northward.

    Developing visitor facilities and experiences

    Ben Boyd National Park works to keep visitors informed with as much knowledge of the area as possible, including public road access. As a priority, and an ongoing task, the park grades roads according to which type of vehicular road access is appropriate wherever necessary along public access roads nearby. Ben Boyd National Park is committed to the development of visitor facilities for the enjoyment and safety of its customers . Ongoing grading and maintenance of roads takes place in this park.

    Managing fire

    NSW is one of the most bushfire prone areas in the world as a result of our climate, weather systems, vegetation and the rugged terrain. NPWS is committed to maintaining natural and cultural heritage values and minimising the likelihood and impact of bushfires via a strategic program of fire research, fire planning, hazard reduction, highly trained rapid response firefighting crews and community alerts.

    Conservation program

    Hazard reduction program

    Managing fire-prone NSW national parks requires a three-pronged approach, including fire planning, community education, and fuel management. When it comes to fuel like dead wood, NPWS conducts planned hazard reduction activities like mowing and controlled burning to assist in the protection of life, property and community.

    Sunset over sea and Ben Boyd National Park. Photo: A Brown/OEH