Booti Hill and Wallis Lake walking track

Booti Booti National Park

Open, check current alerts 

Overview

Just 20km from Forster, this thrilling track offers a scenic day walk including beaches, Wallis Lake, and plenty of opportunities for swimming and whale watching.

Where
Booti Booti National Park
Distance
7.3km loop
Time suggested
2hrs 30min - 3hrs 30min
Grade
Grade 3
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note
  • The Booti Hill and Wallis Lake walking track can also be approached from Elizabeth Beach and Sunset picnic area on The Lakes Way.
  • Remember to bring your binoculars if you want to bird or whale watch

The Booti Hill and Wallis Lake walking track touches both the ocean and the shores of Lake Wallis. Bring your swimmers and make a day walk of it with beautiful views from the headland and plenty of wildlife to keep the camera active. 

Start at Ruins campground and travel clockwise, so the hardest part is knocked off early. Walk out to the stunning Seven Mile Beach and look for the signposted track – this climbs up the northern side of Booti Hill through twisted eucalypts. There are rest spots along the way, and a small opening with a scenic view of Seagull Point right before you enter some refreshing rainforest.

Eventually the track emerges onto the ridge-crest above Lindemans Cove and joins a fire trail that leads to a small clearing. Go straight ahead for Elizabeth Beach and a terrific opportunity for an ocean dip. If it’s winter, you might even spot a migrating whale. There are also tables and a barbecue just 100m along the trail, so don’t forget the picnic.

Back on the main walking track, branching west, cross The Lakes Way for a change of pace. The final 3.5km of the loop follow the shore of Wallis Lake, with striking lichens and graceful waterbirds aplenty.

Soon you’ll reach a grassy clearing with some marked graves. The Gogerly family are buried here; pioneer fishers once owned the land of the Ruins campground.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

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/walking-tracks/booti-hill-and-wallis-lake-walking-track/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

  • in Booti Booti National Park in the North Coast region
  • Booti Booti 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. Day passes are available from the Manning Great Lakes Area Office, Tea Gardens Visitor Information Centre, Bulahdelah Visitor Information Centre and the Hawks Nest Newsagency.

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

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Booti Hill and Wallis Lake walking track.

Track grading

Grade 3

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    2hrs 30min - 3hrs 30min

  • Quality of markings

    Sign posted

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    7.3km loop

  • Steps

    Many steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Booti Hill and Wallis Lake walking track starts from The Ruins campground in Booti Booti National Park. To get there:

  • Drive approximately 20km south of Forster along The Lakes Way
  • Turn left into the Ruins campground

Parking

Parking is available at Ruins campground, Elizabeth Beach, or Sunset picnic area, all accessible via The Lakes Way.

Best times to visit

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

Spring

See the park's magnificent wildflower displays as they bloom across the heathlands.

Summer

Swim at the seasonally patrolled Elizabeth Beach or kayak in Wallis Lake, whilst staying at the nearby Ruins campground.

Winter

Visit Cape Hawke lookout to watch whales migrating off the coast.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

15°C and 30°C

Highest recorded

45.2°C

Winter temperature

Average

5°C and 20°C

Lowest recorded

-5°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

March

Driest month

September

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

280.2mm

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).

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 dogs and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Learn more

Booti Hill and Wallis Lake walking track is in Booti Booti National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A haven for birds and birdwatchers alike

Elizabeth Beach picnic area, Booti Booti National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Booti Booti National Park features a substantial number of amphibians and reptiles, including red-bellied black snakes, brown snakes, rose-crowned snakes and blue-bellied swamp snakes. Goannas are regular visitors to The Ruins campground and picnic areas, and you may even be lucky enough to see a land mullet or water dragon. The unusual peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and Wallis Lake also provides an outstanding habitat for over 210 species of birds, including rainbow and scaly-breasted lorikeets, yellow-faced honeyeaters and silvereyes, as well as a number of waterbirds, including pelicans and the endangered little tern.

  • Cape Hawke lookout Just five minutes from Forster, the Cape Hawke lookout offers spectacular 360-degree views along the coast from the top of a dedicated tower, perfect for whale watching.
  • Elizabeth Beach picnic area A short drive from Forster, Elizabeth Beach picnic area offers a great spot to relax near a beach popular for swimming, surfing, and whale watching in winter.
  • Sailing Club picnic area An alternative to the ocean-front options of Booti Booti National Park, Sailing Club picnic area offers a shady rest spot on the shore of Wallis Lake.

Aye, Captain

Cape Hawke lookout, Booti Booti National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Captain Cook first sighted Cape Hawke on May 12, 1770, and named it in honour of the First Lord of the Admiralty, Edward Hawke. The famous explorer and surveyor John Oxley later passed through the area in 1818. The first European inhabitant was Captain J. Gogerly, who sailed between Forster and Sydney ferrying timber, oyster shells, and sandstone. Today you can pay respects to Captain Gogerly and some of his relatives at their gravemarkers, across the road from the Ruins campground.

Spirituality, identity and lifestyle

Boomerang Beach, Booti Booti National Park. Photo: Ian Charles

Booti Booti National Park holds important cultural significance for the Worimi Aboriginal people, who have lived on and used the land and waters for many thousands of years. Dozens of Aboringal sites exist within the park, including artefact scatters, stone quarries, tool sites, and shell middens. These are important markers of Aboriginal history in the region, demonstrating how land, water, plants and animals contributed to and continue to have significance for Aboriginal identity, spirituality, and lifestyle.

Education resources (1)

School excursions (3)