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Tomaree National Park

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Learn more about why this park is special

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

Birdlife and koala country

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), Tomaree National Park. Photo: John Turbil

The park's beaches and rocks support sooty oystercatchers and the swamps support active populations of wallum froglet populations of migratory shore birds including the eastern curlew and red-necked stint. See if you can spot the passing bar-tailed godwit - this long-beaked bird holds the record for the longest non-stop flight; 11,000km without a break. Visit in winter to see colourful lorikeets and honeyeaters feeding on wildflowers in the coastal heathland and in summer you'll see migratory tropical species including cuckoos and rainforest pigeons. Look close at the surrounding shoreline and you may find green turtles and dugongs. Tomaree National Park also offers the opportunity to see one of Australia's iconic animals up close. See koalas feasting on swamp mahogany in and around the park, or in the trees around One Mile Beach carpark.

  • Wreck Beach walk The short walk to Wreck Beach offers a private alternative to the beaches of Port Stephens, with opportunities for picnicking and whale watching.

Aboriginal heritage

Big Rocky walk, Tomaree National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Tomaree National Park is the traditional land of Worimi People and provided a range of resources, including food, medicines and shelter. The ancient landscape of the park is part of the cultural knowledge and 'Dreaming' stories of the Worimi People and remains an important Aboriginal place today. A walk along the beaches of Tomaree National Park are a walk along ancient travel routes used by Worimi to travel north and south through their Country.

What we're doing for Aboriginal culture in this park

Ancient landscape

The northern section of Tomaree National Park has 4 peaks, the largest being Tomaree Head at 162m high. Overall, the landscape is the residual surface of a peneplain uplifted during the tertiary period (65 to 1.8 million years ago) and subsequently eroded, leaving the more resistant volcanic rocks as small hills. Port Stephens is a flooded river valley. The western sections of the park are sand deposits of fluvial and estuarine origin.

  • Tomaree Head Summit walk Take a guided tour along Tomaree Head Summit walk, absorbing views of Port Stephens and the north coast. When you reach the summit, enjoy a relaxing lunch on the bench by the lookout.
  • Wreck Beach walk The short walk to Wreck Beach offers a private alternative to the beaches of Port Stephens, with opportunities for picnicking and whale watching.

Military history

Tomaree Head gun enplacements, Tomaree National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Follow in the footsteps of Australian soldiers on the trail to Tomaree Head. The historic Fort Tomaree played an important role in the defence of Port Stephens during World War II, including Tomaree Head that was solidly armed with gun emplacements. You can take a guided Discovery tour of the gun emplacements to find out more about this historic site.

  • Fort Tomaree walk Fort Tomaree walk is an easy walk that runs just below Tomaree Head Summit walk and takes you to the World War II gun emplacements, used in the defence of east coast Australia during World War II.
  • Point Stephens Lighthouse and Fingal Island Point Stephens Lighthouse on Fingal Island is one of a kind. Kayak or take a boat to the island to explore the lighthouse and historic ruins.
  • World War II gun emplacements Discover the military history of Port Stephens on a guided tour of the historic gun emplacements at Tomaree Head in Tomaree National Park on the north coast of NSW.

What we're doing for Historic heritage in this park

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Koala. Photo: Lucy Morrell

    Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

    One of the most renowned Australian animals, the tree-dwelling marsupial koala can be found in gum tree forests and woodlands across eastern NSW, Victoria and Queensland, as well as in isolated regions in South Australia. With a vice-like grip, this perhaps most iconic but endangered Australian animal lives in tall eucalypts within a home range of several hectares.

  • 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.

Plants

  • 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.

  • Smooth-barked apple. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    Smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata)

    Smooth-barked apple gums, also known as Sydney red gum or rusty gum trees, are Australian native plants found along the NSW coast, and in the Sydney basin and parts of Queensland. Growing to heights of 15-30m, the russet-coloured angophoras shed their bark in spring to reveal spectacular new salmon-coloured bark.

  • Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

    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.

Look out for...

Koala

Phascolarctos cinereus

Koala. Photo: Lucy Morrell

One of the most renowned Australian animals, the tree-dwelling marsupial koala can be found in gum tree forests and woodlands across eastern NSW, Victoria and Queensland, as well as in isolated regions in South Australia. With a vice-like grip, this perhaps most iconic but endangered Australian animal lives in tall eucalypts within a home range of several hectares.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

School excursions (1)

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Fort Tomaree, Tomaree National Park. Photo: John Spencer