Kylies Hut

Crowdy Bay National Park

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Overview

Visit Kylies Hut along Metcalfes walking track in Crowdy Bay National Park, near Port Macquarie. The historic hut was used as a writer’s retreat by award-winning Australian novelist Kylie Tennant.

Type
Historic buildings/places
Where
Crowdy Bay National Park
Accessibility
No wheelchair access
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen, sturdy shoes, suitable clothing
Please note
  • Kylies Hut burnt down in the 2019–2020 bushfires and only the foundations remain. The hut will be rebuilt in 2021.
  • Eastern grey kangaroos live in this area of the park. They’re powerful animals, so please appreciate them from a distance.

While enjoying a day trip or overnight stay in Crowdy Bay National Park, Kylies Hut is well worth a visit. Set in a shady glen surrounded by coastal forest, you’ll pass paperbarks and sheoaks along Metcalfes walking track on your way to the hut.

Local farmer Ernie Metcalfe built the rustic hut for the novelist and journalist Kylie Tennant in the late 1960s. With a single room, verandah and stone fireplace, its appearance harked back to a time when Crowdy Bay was wild coastal heathland and swamp. It was during Kylie’s time here that she wrote The Man on the Headland, a novel influenced by her years spent living in the natural beauty of Crowdy Bay.

Sadly, the original hut was destroyed in the 2019-20 bushfires that burned through much of the area. It’s being reconstructed to preserve this important piece of history.

After you’ve explored the hut and surrounds, there’s plenty to see and do nearby. Picnic in the shade of the paperbarks or take a dip at Kylies Beach.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Nearby

  • Metcalfs walking track, Crowdy Bay National Park. Photo: Debby McGerty/NSW Government

    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.

  • Aerial view of Indian Head campground, Crowdy Bay National Park. Photo: Rob Mulally/DPIE

    Indian Head campground

    Indian Head campground near Port Macquarie is great place to set up your campsite. There are plenty of walking opportunities, resident kangaroos and the beach is nearby.

  • Campers setting up a tent at Kylies Beach campground, Crowdy Bay National Park. Photo: © Rob Mulally

    Kylies Beach campground

    Kylies Beach campground in Crowdy Bay National Park on the north coast offers quiet beachside campsites for caravans, trailers and tents.

  • Aerial view of Diamond Head campground and nearby Dunbogan Beach. Photo: © Rob Mulally

    Diamond Head campground

    The beachside campground at Diamond Head is one of the most popular places to stay in Crowdy Bay National Park. It includes caravan sites as well as picnic amenities.

Map


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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 https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/historic-buildings-places/kylies-hut/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Kylies Hut.

Getting there and parking

You can reach Kylies Hut from Indian Head campground or Kylies Beach carpark.

From Indian Head campground:

  • Follow the road on your right as you drive into Indian Head campground until you reach a gate
  • Kylies Hut is a short 150m walk beyond the gate

From Kylies Beach carpark:

  • Follow Kylies Beach Road past Kylies Beach campground to the carpark
  • Metcalfes walking track is on your left as you drive into the carpark. Kylies Hut is a 550m walk from here.

Road quality

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

There is parking at Indian Head campground and Kylies Beach carpark, where Metcalfes walking track to Kylies Hut begins.

Facilities

  • The nearest non-flush toilets are at Indian Head campground, 150m walk from Kylies Hut.
  • The nearest carparks are at Indian Head campground (150m) and Kylies Beach (550m).

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Beach safety

Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents. These beach safety tips will help you and your family stay safe in the water.

Bushwalking safety

If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus 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).

Wildlife safety

Keep yourself and our wildlife safe by understanding the risks of wildlife encounters and how to avoid them.

Accessibility

Disability access level - no wheelchair access

Permitted

Cycling

Mountain biking is permitted on public roads and some management trails.

Prohibited

Camp fires and solid fuel burners

Camping

Gathering firewood

Horses

Pets

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

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Learn more

Kylies Hut is in Crowdy Bay National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Gifts of nature

Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae), Crowdy Bay National Park. Photo: John Spencer

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.

Past present

Kylies lookout, Crowdy Bay National Park. Photo: Debby McGerty

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.

Postcard perfect

Split Rock, Crowdy Bay National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

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.

Writers' retreat

Kylies walk in campground, Crowdy Bay National Park. Photo: Debby McGerty

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 Metcalfe walking track, stop to have a look inside Kylie's hut.

  • Kylies Hut Visit Kylies Hut along Metcalfes walking track in Crowdy Bay National Park, near Port Macquarie. The historic hut was used as a writer’s retreat by award-winning Australian novelist Kylie Tennant.

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.

  • Brown-striped frog. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

    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, Daleys Point walking track, Bouddi National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    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.

Plants

  •  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.

  • 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.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)