Crowdy Gap walking track

Crowdy Bay National Park

Overview

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.

Where
Crowdy Bay National Park
Distance
0.8km return
Time suggested
15 - 45min
Grade
Grade 3
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 birdwatch or whale watch
  • A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters
  • Toilets and picnic facilities are located at Crowdy Gap campground
  • Picnic facilities are also situated at Abbey Creek picnic area

This beautiful short walk through coastal rainforest links Crowdy Gap campground to Crowdy Beach, just north of Taree. Located in the southern area of Crowdy Bay National Park, Crowdy Gap walking track is an ideal nature trail for the kids, with great opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife-spotting.

Passing through rare coastal rainforest of turpentine and scentless rosewood, you might glimpse a regent bowerbird or a swift parrot. Remember to keep looking up in the branches of nearby gums, as you might just be lucky enough to see a koala.

There are sweeping views along the coast, with Diamond Head to the north. Don’t forget your swimmers as the clear blue waves will be very enticing on a hot summer’s day. While taking the hamper and heading up the beach to Abbey Creek picnic area, don’t forget to scan the horizon for signs of dolphins.

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/walking-tracks/crowdy-gap-walking-track/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Crowdy Gap walking track.

Track grading

Grade 3

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

    15 - 45min

  • Quality of markings

    Sign posted

  • Gradient

    Flat

  • Distance

    0.8km return

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Crowdy Gap walking track starts at Crowdy Gap campground in the southern precinct of Crowdy Bay National Park. To get there:

  • Via Harrington, drive along Crowdy Head Road and Crowdy Bay Road.
  • Via Moorland, drive along Coralville Road and Crowdy Bay Road.
  • Via Laurieton, drive along Diamond Head Road, Coralville Road and Crowdy Bay Road.

Parking

Parking is available at Crowdy Gap campground.

Best times to visit

Crowdy Bay National Park generally enjoys a warm subtropical climate. However outside of winter the temperature can reach above 30C, so be sure to carry sunscreen, a hat and plenty of water. Drinking water is not available within the park. Winter days and nights can be cool to cold, particularly in exposed areas of the park.

Spring

Wildflowers paint the dunes and heath in spectacular colour during spring.

Summer

Swimming, boating and fishing – enjoy the delights of Crowdy Bay's magnificent beaches Look out for the festive Christmas Bell blooms.

Winter

Remember your binoculars and camera to experience the sight of migrating whales.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

19°C and 25°C

Highest recorded

43.3°C

Winter temperature

Average

10°C and 19°C

Lowest recorded

-1.7°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

February and March

Driest month

September

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

310mm

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 + 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).

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

Forster (41 km)

Dominated by water sports Forster is the centre of the Great Lakes area.

www.visitnsw.com

Laurieton (20 km)

Located at the base of North Brother Mountain in Dooragan National Park, Laurieton is one of the villages that make up the Camden Haven area on the North Coast of NSW. Laurieton is 30km south of Port Macquarie and offers an idyllic holiday spot for families, nature-lovers and anyone who enjoys a holiday by the beach.

www.visitnsw.com

Taree (28 km)

Taree is a major mid North Coast city, ringed by superb beaches. It's situated on the Manning River and set against rolling hills.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Crowdy Gap walking track 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 the Metcalfe walk, stop to have a look inside Kylie's hut, or you could set up camp at one of the shady campsites at Kylie's Hut walk-in campground.

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)

View the natural arch on the Diamond Head Loop walk. Quick access is via the track head at Indian Head campground. Photo: Debby McGerty