Crowdy Bay National Park
Learn more about why this park is special
Crowdy Bay National Park is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:
During World War II, the Australian author Kylie Tennant moved to Laurieton where she met the reclusive Ernie Metcalfe, a farmer who grazed cattle on Diamond Head. Ernie built Kylie a timber slab hut to use as a writer's retreat. In return, Kylie portrayed Metcalfe and Crowdy Bay in the book The Man on the Headland. Kylie Tennant donated the hut and the surrounding land to Crowdy Bay National Park in 1976. If you're walking along the Metcalfe walk, stop to have a look inside Kylie's hut, or you could set up camp at one of the shady campsites at Kylie's Hut walk-in campground.
This spectacular environment is truly something to write home about. If you can't find the words, try these - panoramic, breathtaking, even gobsmacking. Then again, you'll probably be too busy exploring the tracks, gazing agape at the huge rock arches, communing with wildlife or throwing a line to write lines on a postcard.
- Crowdy Gap walking track The short and sweet Crowdy Gap walking track in Crowdy Bay National Park, near Taree, offers a stroll through rainforest with scenic views and the chance to see koalas.
- Diamond Head Loop walk Diamond Head loop walk offers scenic coastal views across Crowdy Bay National Park. Expect beaches, lookouts, and glinting rock faces, giving Diamond Head its name.
The Birpai People have climbed the headlands, swum in the rivers, crossed the sand dunes and walked the beaches of Crowdy Bay National Park for thousands of years. The sea and forest areas were a rich food source for the Birpai People, providing fish, shellfish, wallabies and berries. The park protects a number of Aboriginal sites, like shell middens and campsites, the oldest of which are about 6,000 years old. The park continues to be an important place for local Aboriginal people today.
Gifts of nature
The views may grab the headlines, but within the park are more secretive delights that change with the seasons. These include rolling dunes that spring to life with wildflowers and migratory birds that populate the lagoons. There are lots of great lookouts to spot whales from as they migrate along the coast in winter or watch ospreys and falcons circle in the skies. Not to mention, kangaroos, koalas and cockatoos galore. Christmas visitors will receive an extra gift, Crowdy Bay's famous festive season blooms of Christmas bells.
- Mermaid lookout track Mermaid lookout track takes you on a tour of Crowdy Bay National Park's secret surprises. Secluded coves, sweeping beaches and mountain views await you on this short hike.
- Metcalfes walking track Get up close with nature on Metcalfes walking track, which links Indian Head and Kylies Beach in Crowdy Bay National Park. It's a family friendly hike and the kids might even spot a koala.
Plants and animals you may see
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.
Brown-striped frog (Lymnastes peronii)
One of the most common frogs found in Australia, the ground-dwelling brown-striped frog lives in ponds, dams and swamps along the east coast. Also known as the striped marsh frog, this amphibian grows to 6.5cm across and has a distinctive ‘tok’ call that can be heard all year round.
Lace monitor (Varanus varius)
One of Australia’s largest lizards, the carnivorous tree-dwelling lace monitor, or tree goanna, can grow to 2m in length and is found in forests and coastal tablelands across eastern Australia. These Australian animals are typically dark blue in colour with whitish spots or blotches.
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.
Grass tree (Xanthorrea spp.)
An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.
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