North Head lookout

Murramarang National Park

Overview

North Head lookout offers a terrific vantage point of the Murramarang coast, with fine views in the winter for whale watching.

Type
Lookouts
Where
Murramarang National Park
Price
Free
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen

The spectacular cliffs along the Murramarang coastline are on fine display from North Head lookout. After following a well-formed track for 300m over gently undulating hills, you’ll arrive at a safe vantage spot with excellent views of the coastal headland and the wide blue sea. Bring the kids and a pair of binoculars – whales migrate past in winter, making this a perfect spot for whale watching. Pods of dolphins are often visible, too.

If birdwatching is an interest, North Head lookout is also a terrific place to see some of the 90 beautiful species that live in Murramarang National Park. Sea eagles and peregrine falcons like to make their homes in the cliff-faces and sometimes circle overhead – don’t forget to look up.

After taking your fill of the view, consider heading down to one of Murramarang’s gorgeous beaches and passing a lazy afternoon by the water’s edge.

Take a virtual tour of North Head lookout captured with Google Street View Trekker.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

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/lookouts/north-head-lookout/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about North Head lookout.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    North Head lookout is in the southern precinct of Murramarang National Park. To get there:

    • From Princes Highway, take Durras Road.
    • Turn right onto North Head Road and follow it to the end

    Park entry points

    Road quality

    • Unsealed roads

    Vehicle access

    • 2WD vehicles

    Weather restrictions

    • All weather

    Parking

    Parking is available at North Head campground, a short walk from the attraction.

    Best times to visit

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

    Spring

    Spring is a great time to dust off your hiking boots and take to the park's tracks. Try the Pretty Beach to Durras Mountain walk for spectacular views of the coast and ranges.

    Summer

    There's no better time to head down the coast and catch some sunshine. With crystal clear waters for swimming and snorkelling, a beach camping trip is the ideal way to enjoy the Aussie summer.

    Winter

    Birdwatching opportunities abound at this time of year, see if you can catch the courting displays of lyrebirds in the park's rainforest areas.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    16°C and 25°C

    Highest recorded

    43.3°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    7°C and 16°C

    Lowest recorded

    0°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    March

    Driest month

    August

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    275.3mm

    Facilities

    Drinking water is limited or not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.

    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.

    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).

    Water activities

    Beaches, rivers and lakes in NSW national parks offer lots of opportunities for water activities. Please take care in the water and find out how to help your family and friends stay safe around water.

    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

    Batemans Bay (1 km)

    Batemans Bay is a bustling coastal town with majestic seascapes. It's located on the estuary of the Clyde River.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Mogo (6 km)

    In 1857, the discovery of a single nugget sparked a goldrush in the Batemans Bay area that saw the town grow to a population of 10,000 virtually overnight. When the boom was over, Mogo stalled but has been rescued by tourism in recent times thanks to its collection of historic buildings and new attractions.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Moruya (12 km)

    Moruya is a historic dairy town on the Moruya River surrounded by dairy pastures and rugged national parks.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    North Head lookout is in Murramarang National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Bird watching

    Murramarang National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Birdwatchers are in for a treat; the park boasts more than 90 species of birdlife including three owl species, peregrine falcons, sea eagles, gannets, shearwaters, white-faced storm petrels, sooty oystercatchers, eastern yellow robins, satin bowerbirds, the rufous fantail and even a penguin colony. Look for the sea eagles and peregrine falcons soaring above the park’s cliffs and headlands and the rufous fantails and eastern yellow robins in rainforest gullies around Durras Mountain. You’re most likely to see sooty oystercatchers wading around the edges of lake areas.

    Native animals

    Australian King-parrot (Alisterus scapularis), Murramarang National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    There’s an abundance of wildlife living in Murramarang National Park, but by far one of the highlights is seeing eastern grey kangaroos that spend their days dozing near the beaches and by campgrounds until dusk when they gather to feed. In the moist forests of the park you might see lyrebirds fossicking in leaf litter. Look for the stately, strutting wonga pigeon with its pastel blue-grey back feathers and black dotted stomach. If you don’t see it, you may well hear its repetitive, deep ‘whoop, whoop’ call that carries through the forest.

    • Burrawang walking track Burrawang walking track, across Depot Beach Headland, features scenic coastal views, forests and birdwatching in Murramarang National Park, near Batemans Bay.
    • Richmond Beach Richmond Beach is one of Murramarang’s hidden treasures. Just 50m from the carpark on an easy walking track you can enjoy picnicking, swimming, snorkelling, fishing and paddling.

    Native vegetation

    Dark Beach walking track, Murramarang National Park. Photo:Michael Van Ewijk

    One of the really special things in Murramarang is the forest of majestic spotted gums; it’s one of the biggest continuous stands in NSW. With an understorey of burrawang palms, the forest stretches right down to the ocean and is truly a sight to see. You’ll easily recognise the spotted gums – they have a smooth, dimpled bark which is shed in summer to produce a mottled cream and grey ‘spotted’ appearance.

    • Dark Beach walking track Dark Beach walking track leads to a secluded beach with unique rock formations in Murramarang National Park. Ideal for fishing, swimming and snorkelling.
    • Depot Beach Rainforest walk Depot Beach marks the start and end of this easy walk through lush littoral rainforest. Go for a swim, surf, snorkel or paddle in the clear waters when you return.
    • Rock Platform walk - Depot Beach Rock Platform walk near Depot Beach is a short walk to fascinating rockpools offering excellent birdwatching and scenic ocean views of the South Coast, just north of Batemans Bay.

    Rich Aboriginal cultural heritage

    Pebbly Beach, Murramarang National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    Aboriginal people have a long connection with the Country of Murramarang National Park, and this continues to the present day. The south coast headlands have long been a focus for economic life, giving easy access to the food resources of both the sea and the land, and plants within the park provided medicines and shelter. There is much evidence of the past today, including shell middens, tool manufacturing sites and indications of a specialised industry producing bone points and fishing hooks. Take a walk around Murramarang Aboriginal Area, near Bawley Point - there's a complex of middens that are of great cultural value.

    • Then and now: Aboriginal culture This excursion experience has been updated and is now being delivered in line with the new NSW Department of Education Curriculum. We will be revising this excursion's name and information online soon. Contact your local national parks office for more information about the updated excursion.
    • Then and now: Aboriginal culture This excursion experience has been updated and is now being delivered in line with the new NSW Department of Education Curriculum. We will be revising this excursion's name and information online soon. Contact your local national parks office for more information about the updated excursion.
    • Then and now: Aboriginal culture This excursion experience has been updated and is now being delivered in line with the new NSW Department of Education Curriculum. We will be revising this excursion's name and information online soon. Contact your local national parks office for more information about the updated excursion.
    • Wasp Head walk This short walk leads to a spectacular view of Wasp Island and passes through historic Aboriginal sites of the area.

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    • Satin bowerbird. Photo: Ken Stepnell

      Satin bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)

      With vibrant blue-violet eyes and curious antics, the satin bowerbird is a favourite for bird watching and easy to spot as it forages for food in open forest. Relatively common across eastern Australia, in NSW they’re found in coastal rainforests and adjacent woodlands and mountain ranges.

    Plants

    • Blueberry ash. Photo: Jaime Plaza

      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.

    •  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.

    • Cabbage tree palm in Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer/OEH

      Cabbage palm (Livistona australis)

      With glossy green leaves spanning 3-4m in length and a trunk reaching a height of up to 30m, the cabbage tree palm, or fan palm, is one of the tallest Australian native plants. Thriving in rainforest margins along the east coast of NSW, in summer this giant palm produces striking spikes of cream flowers which resemble cabbages.

    • Wonga Wonga vine. Photo: Barry Collier

      Wonga wonga vine (Pandorea pandorana)

      The wonga wonga vine is a widespread vigorous climber usually found along eastern Australia. A variation of the plant occurs in the central desert, where it resembles a sprawling shrub. One of the more common Australian native plants, the wonga wonga vine produces bell-shaped white or yellow flowers in the spring, followed by a large oblong-shaped seed pod.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    School excursions (3)

    North Head lookout, Murramarang National Park. Photo: M Jarmon