Barmouth Beach

Ben Boyd National Park

Overview

Barmouth Beach is an easily accessible beach at the Pambula rivermouth, with opportunities for swimming, birdwatching, canoeing, fishing and family picnics.

Where
Ben Boyd National Park
Price
Free
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go birdwatching or whale watching
  • Strong rips and currents may be present at Barmouth Beach – take care in the water and please supervise children at all times.
  • A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters. Please note that netting and spear fishing are not permitted in the park, and you’re not allowed to collect crustaceans and marine animals from the rocks.

George Bass first landed at Barmouth Beach on 18 December 1797, seeking shelter from a gale. He travelled up Pambula River and marvelled at the beauty of the place. Since then, thousands of visitors have been inspired by the scenic views, whale watching and birdwatching around picturesque Merimbula Bay, on the spectacular NSW Far South Coast.

Located at the river mouth of Pambula, this family-friendly picnic spot is perfect for a leisurely lunch, with great swimming for the little ones. It’s also ideal for beach fishing, with salmon and tailor in the surf, and bream further up the river. The still water offers great canoeing opportunities and sea kayakers are often seen around the area.

Wildlife abounds in this area, so look for sea eagles, oystercatchers, whales and dolphins. From here, step out along the moderate walking track to Haycock Point.

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/swimming-spots/barmouth-beach/local-alerts

Park info

  • in Ben Boyd National Park in the South Coast region
  • Ben Boyd National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

  • Park entry fees:

    $8 per vehicle per day applies in the southern section of the park (south of Eden). There is no park entry fee for the northern section of the park (north of Eden). The park uses a self-registration fee collection system. Please bring correct change.

    Buy annual pass (//pass.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/).
See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Barmouth Beach.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Barmouth Beach is in the Haycock Road precinct of Ben Boyd National Park. To get there:

    • Follow Princes Highway south of Pambula
    • Turn left at Haycock Point Road
    • Turn left at the Barmouth Beach access road; you’ll see a sign.
    • A short path with steps takes you from the carpark down to the beach

    Park entry points

    Road quality

    • Unsealed roads

    Vehicle access

    • 2WD vehicles

    Weather restrictions

    • All weather

    Parking

    Parking is available at Barmouth Beach.

    Best times to visit

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

    Autumn

    Camp at Bittangabee Beach campground and see lyrebirds performing their characteristic dance and tail display.

    Spring

    Visit Green Cape Lighthouse or Boyds Tower to spot whales migrating south to their Antarctic feeding grounds - you might even see females with young calves.

    Summer

    Plan a camping trip to Saltwater Creek - to enjoy the lagoons and beautiful surf beach.

    Winter

    Take the Light to Light walk when it's nice and cool and the banksias are in bloom.

    Facilities

    Carpark

    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.

    Fishing safety

    Fishing from a boat, the beach or by the river is a popular activity for many national park visitors. If you’re planning a day out fishing, check out these fishing safety tips.

    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).

    Paddling safety

    To make your paddling or kayaking adventure safer and more enjoyable, check out these paddling safety tips.

    Permitted

    Fishing

    A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.

    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 pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Nearby towns

    Eden (12 km)

    Eden is a historic whaling town, ideal for a whale-watch tour. It's built around a promontory that juts into Twofold Bay.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Merimbula (6 km)

    The main coastal towns of the Sapphire Coast include Bermagui, Tathra, Merimbula and Eden. This stunning coastline has sparkling beaches and bays, lakes and national parks, all accessible via excellent walking tracks and coastal drives. You'll find beaches just perfect for surfing, swimming and walks.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Pambula (5 km)

    Pambula is a historic river village in majestic rural surroundings. The town is at the mouth of the Pambula River among forests and lakes.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Barmouth Beach is in Ben Boyd National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Aboriginal history

    Bittangabee Bay, Ben Boyd National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    The Traditional Owners and Custodians of Ben Boyd National Park, the Yuin people, have lived in the area for thousands of years. On the Pambula River Walk you can see ancient Aboriginal sites — one midden has been proven to be over 3,000 years old. At Twofold Bay, the Yuin people had a? special relationship with the killer whales. The killer whales drove humpback whales into shore, the people used spears to kill them and killer whales and people shared the meat. The Aboriginal people later taught European settlers to work with the killer whales in the shore based whaling days of Twofold Bay. Find out more about this fascinating history at Davidson Whaling Station Historic Site.

    • Severs Beach Severs Beach, in Ben Boyd National Park in the whale watching town of Eden on NSW’s Sapphire Coast, offers Aboriginal heritage, fishing, beach walks and more.

    Fascinating coastal heritage

    Bittangabee Bay ruins, Ben Boyd National Park

    The first shore-based whaling station on mainland Australia was set up at Twofold Bay in 1828. Benjamin Boyd established a competing business and built a private lighthouse, Boyd's Tower, and a township, Boydtown, before being declared bankrupt. The coast was the site of many shipwrecks. The Green Cape Lighthouse commenced operation in 1883 but shipwrecks continued, including the Ly-ee-moon that sank in 1886. You can pay your respects to some of the 76 victims at a graveyard a short walk from the lighthouse. There are also regular guided tours of the lighthouse.

    • Davidson Whaling Station Take a guided tour at historic Davidson Whaling Station – discover how killer whales helped the Davidson family. And when you're done, finish the day with a picnic at the nearby beach.
    • Green Cape Lightstation heritage tour Put yourself in the shoes of a 19th century lighthouse keeper at Green Cape Lightstation in Ben Boyd National Park. Explore the lighthouse's history and the fate of the Ly-ee-Moon on this guided tour.

    Meet the locals

    Wild flower, Ben Boyd National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Several threatened species take refuge here. North of Pambula River there's an important population of yellow-bellied gliders, listen carefully for their trademark crackles and shrieks. This area is also great for birdwatching. Along the coast look out for seabirds, especially the beautiful white bellied sea eagles.

    • Haycock Point to Barmouth Beach walking track The walk from Haycock Point to Barmouth Beach in Ben Boyd National Park takes in whale watching, scenic coastal views, wildlife and birdwatching opportunities.
    • Light to Light walk Begin this multi-day walk at Boyds Tower down the far south coast, and end at Green Cape Lighthouse. Stop for a swim and the opportunity to spot seals, seabirds and whales.

    Rugged flora

    Ben Boyd National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    The park's vegetation reflects its location in the driest, windiest part of the state's coastline. You'll see stretches of coastal heath beside sea cliffs and scrub shaped by salty with patches of tall coastal forest and wet forest gullies. Some parts of the park reach less than 100m above sea level.

    • Haycock Point to Barmouth Beach walking track The walk from Haycock Point to Barmouth Beach in Ben Boyd National Park takes in whale watching, scenic coastal views, wildlife and birdwatching opportunities.
    • Light to Light walk Begin this multi-day walk at Boyds Tower down the far south coast, and end at Green Cape Lighthouse. Stop for a swim and the opportunity to spot seals, seabirds and whales.

    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.

    • Yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Photo: Peter Sherratt

      Yellow-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus)

      The yellow-tailed black cockatoo is one of the largest species of parrot. With dusty-black plumage, they have a yellow tail and cheek patch. They’re easily spotted while bird watching, as they feed on seeds in native forests and pine plantations.

    Plants

    •  Grey mangrove, Towra Point Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

      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.

    •  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.

    • 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.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    School excursions (1)

    Barmouth Beach, Ben Boyd National Park. Photo: John Yurasek