Bongil Bongil National Park
Bongil Beach is a remote, walk-in beach, ideal for beach fishing and walking. It also offers scenic coastal views and bird watching in Bongil Bongil National Park, near Coffs Harbour.
- What to
- Drinking water, sunscreen, hat
Located between Bundagen Headland to the south and Bonville Creek, Sawtell to the north, Bongil Beach is ideal for nature-lovers who love uncrowded nature experiences. It's also a popular spot for beach fishing and birdwatching.
You’ll have to walk-in to reach Bongil Beach, but you'll be rewarded with 7km of golden sand and unspoilt coastline. It's a 1km walk through coastal forest along Palm Crossing trail from the eastern end of School Road. Or, you can follow the 1.5km Bongil Beach trail from the eastern end of Overhead Bridge Road.
Keep your eye on the waves, as you might see dolphins. On the shore, along the dunes, the bright pink flowers of the succulent pigface are sure to catch your attention. Look out for shorebirds including little terns, red-capped plover and pied oystercatchers scurrying across the sand.
This beach is unpatrolled and has rips and deep currents.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/fishing-spots/bongil-beach/local-alerts
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- in Bongil Bongil National Park in the North Coast region
Bongil Bongil National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
All the practical information you need to know about Bongil Beach.
Getting there and parking
Get driving directions
Bongil Beach is on the eastern edge of Bongil Bongil National Park. There are four options for getting there:
- Park at the eastern end of School Road and walk 1km from the locked gate, along Palm Crossing trail, to reach the beach.
- Park at the eastern end of OVerhead bridge Road and walk 1.5km from the locked gate, along Bongil Beach trail, to reach the beach.
- If you intend to cross the waist-deep water of Bonville Creek estuary from Sawtell, take extreme care, and only cross at low tide.
- You can also walk to Bongil Beach from Bundagen Head, near Mylestom.
- Unsealed roads
- 2WD vehicles
- All weather
Parking is available at numerous locations within southern Sawtell.
Maps and downloads
Fees and passes
A beach driving permit is required to drive on Bongil Beach. NSW National Parks annual passes do not cover beach permit fees.
Permits are $10 per vehicle. Available from the Mylestom Store, 16 George Street, Mylestom. Open daily 7.30am to 5pm. Phone 02 6655 4203.
Beach driving at Bongil Beach is possible with a permit as far as the southern side of Bundagen Head on North Beach. From that point, it’s walking only. NSW National Parks annual passes do not cover beach permit fees.
A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.
Bongil Beach is in Bongil Bongil National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
A place where one stays a long time
Bongil Bongil National Park is the traditional land of the Gumbaynggir people, whose ancestral lands extend from Grafton in the north to the Nambucca river in the south, and from the coast west to the headwaters of the Nymboida river. The park provided abundant seafood and bushtucker, and was a site for gatherings and sacred ceremonies.
- Bush tucker Bush tucker is a school excursion in Bongil Bongil National Park for Stage 5 (Years 9-10) students focusing on geography as a KLA. Join our Aboriginal Discovery rangers for an easy stroll along the forested banks of Bonville Creek to investigate the rich diversity of plants and animals in the park.
- Bush tucker Bush tucker is a Stage 4 (Years 7-8) school excursion to Bongil Bongil National Park, which focuses on geography as a KLA. Join our Aboriginal Discovery rangers for an easy stroll along the forested banks of Bonville Creek, to investigate the rich diversity of plants and animals in the park.
- Bush tucker Bush tucker in Bongil Bongil National Park is a school excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students with a focus on HSIE. Join our Aboriginal Discovery rangers for an easy stroll along the forested banks of Bonville Creek, to investigate the rich diversity of plants and animals in the park.
- Bush tucker in Bongil Bongil National Park Share the bush secrets of the traditional Gumbaynggirr People in Bush tucker – a Stage 3 (Years 5-6) excursion in Bongil Bongil National Park. Aboriginal guides will reveal their special connection to Country and their secrets for health, wellness and survival.
Beaches and waterways
The waterways within Bongil Bongil National Park carry water across the coastal plains from the steep foothills to the west, providing a home for many types of birds, animals and reptiles. For visitors, the waterways and beaches in Bongil Bongil National Park offer a range of water activities, including excellent fishing and kayaking. Try your luck on the Bonville river for flathead and whiting.
In addition to being home to one of NSW's largest koala populations, Bongil Bongil National Park also boasts more than 165 species of birds. The park provides breeding, roosting and feeding habitats for a number of migratory birds like the little tern and the pied oystercatcher. The Bundageree Rainforest walk is the best place to see the birds of the rainforest, like the dramatically beautiful wompoo fruit dove and the colourful rose-crowned fruit dove that makes a loud and explosive "hookco" sound.
- Pine Creek paddle route Adventurous canoeists, kayakers, and stand-up paddle boarders will enjoy this downstream route along pristine Pine Creek, a wildlife haven in Bongil Bongil National Park, near Coffs Harbour.
Plants and animals you may see
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.
Grey-headed flying fox (Pteropus poliocephalus)
The grey-headed flying fox is one of several threatened Australian animals and the largest Australian native bat, with a wingspan that extends up to 1m. Known to inhabit woodlands, rainforests and urban regions, these fascinating nocturnal mammals congregate in large roost sites along the east coast of NSW.
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.
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.
Blueberry ash (Elaeocarpus reticulatus)
The blueberry ash is a rainforest shrub which produces blue olive-shaped berries and spectacular bell-shaped flowers, which often appear on the plant together. It is a tall slender shrub or small tree found in rainforest, tall eucalypt forest and coastal bushland in eastern NSW, south-east Queensland and Victoria.