Maitland Bay track

Bouddi National Park

Overview

Maitland Bay track is one of the central coast's most popular bushwalks. This short, steep walk takes you downhill to the beautiful Maitland Bay and its shipwreck.

Where
Bouddi National Park
Distance
2km return
Time suggested
15 - 45min
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
Please note
  • This walk requires a moderate fitness level as it’s quite steep and includes some steps.
  • You might like to stop for a swim at Maitland Bay, so bring your swimmers and towel. It's also a good idea to bring insect repellant to ward off mosquitoes.

Maitland Bay track is one of Bouddi National Park’s most popular bushwalks. This short, steep walking track begins at Maitland Bay Information Centre. It then winds downhill to the secluded Maitland Bay, past the Bullimah Spur track junction, rock landings, gullies, Hawkesbury sandstone and Bouddi Grand Deep rainforest.

Stop to swim, look for shells or simply dip your feet in the water. If it’s low tide, head to the bay’s eastern end to see remains of the PS Maitland, tragically wrecked in 1898. Allow 15–20 minutes to walk down the hill and 30–40 minutes to get back up. Some find it tough going on the return, so you may wish to walk the flatter 3km to Putty Beach and have someone pick you up there.

Take a virtual tour of Maitland Bay track 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/walking-tracks/maitland-bay-track/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Maitland Bay track.

Track grading

Grade 3

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

    15 - 45min

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    2km return

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Maitland Bay track begins at Maitland Bay Information Centre in the Maitland Bay precinct of Bouddi National Park.

To get there from Gosford:

  • Follow Central Coast Highway towards Erina
  • Turn right onto Avoca Drive and continue through Kincumber
  • Turn right at Empire Bay Drive
  • Turn left into Cochrone Street and then right onto The Scenic Road
  • The centre is located opposite the intersection of Maitland Bay Drive and The Scenic Road

Parking

Parking is available at Maitland Bay Information Centre.

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.

Visitor centre

Nearby towns

Gosford (46 km)

Gosford is a great destination for a family day trip or holiday. It's situated on Brisbane Water National Park and surrounded by state forests, lakes and beaches.

www.visitnsw.com

Killcare (9 km)

A quiet costal town on the NSW Central Coast, Killcare is a great location for a beach getaway. The surrounding Bouddi National Park offers a variety of walking and cycling tracks, lookouts, picnic and camping areas, as well as secluded beaches such as Putty Beach, Little Beach and Lobster Beach.

www.visitnsw.com

Sydney City Centre (95 km)

No trip to Sydney is complete without spending some time in the city’s beautiful parks. Whether it’s in central areas like Hyde Park or the Royal Botanic Gardens or further out in Centennial Parklands, there’s plenty of green space to go out and enjoy.

www.sydney.com

Learn more

Maitland Bay track is in Bouddi National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A coastal gem

Mount Bouddi walking track, Bouddi National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Located south-east of Gosford, the park spans over 1,500 hectares, including the fully-protected Bouddi National Park Marine Extension area. As well as offering pristine beaches and marine habitat, the park's coastal position boasts million-dollar ocean views, which are best enjoyed from one of its lookouts.

  • Bouddi coastal walk Located near Gosford, Bouddi coastal walk is known for its beaches, boardwalk and birdlife. Go whale watching, picnic or swim at Maitland Bay, or simply absorb the ocean views.
  • Gerrin Point lookout Experience stunning views at Gerrin Point Lookout, a short walk from Putty Beach in Bouddi National Park on the NSW central coast. Enjoy whale watching during the winter months, birdwatching or just absorb the view.
  • Monday Meanderers: Little Beach Come on a 3km guided walk to Little Beach in Bouddi National Park, on the NSW Central Coast. We'll pass through beautiful forest on the way to the beach.

A natural paradise

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

A variety of animals and birds live in Bouddi National Park, enjoying its quiet beaches and native vegetation as much as its visitors do. Remember to take your camera as you may be lucky enough to spot a resident sea-eagle, echidna or tree frog. Plus, photos of the park's fascinating rock formations provide excellent memories of your visit. The 300-hectare Bouddi National Park Marine Extension protects the park’s diverse marine life and is one of Australia’s earliest Marine Protected Areas. The park also offers great whale watching opportunities from one of its many lookouts– spot humpback whales between May and July and again in September and October and southern right whales from late July.


  • Box Head track This easy walk winds through bushland to the Box Head lookout, offering scenic views across the Hawkesbury River and cross Broken Bay and Lion Island to Sydney.
  • Gerrin Point lookout Experience stunning views at Gerrin Point Lookout, a short walk from Putty Beach in Bouddi National Park on the NSW central coast. Enjoy whale watching during the winter months, birdwatching or just absorb the view.

Culturally fascinating

Bouddi Ridge Explorer, Bouddi National Park. Photo: Kevin McGrath

The park and surrounding area contain numerous Aboriginal sites, more than 100 significant sites have been recorded, with more still likely to be found. Rock shelters adorned with engravings and Aboriginal art, grinding grooves, middens and other archaeological deposits are fascinating to behold, and make a visit to Bouddi National Park a very special experience.

  • Daleys Point walking track Daleys Point walking track offers easy walking, spectacular views and a place to take in the natural beauty and unique Aboriginal cultural heritage of Bouddi National Park.

So many outdoor activities

Gerrin Point lookout, Bouddi National Park. Photo: Nick Cubbin

Bouddi National Park is the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors – both in water and on land. From abundant walking tracks, mountain biking trails, fishing spots, campsites, picnic areas and beaches just waiting for swimmers, surfers and snorkellers, this park really does have it all. You can even join an adventure tour.

  • Bouddi coastal walk Located near Gosford, Bouddi coastal walk is known for its beaches, boardwalk and birdlife. Go whale watching, picnic or swim at Maitland Bay, or simply absorb the ocean views.
  • Bouddi Ridge explorer Try the awesome Bouddi Ridge Explorer mountain biking trail in Bouddi National Park near Gosford. Looping several smaller track the 10km trail offers great variety and scenery.
  • Maitland Bay track Maitland Bay track is one of the central coast's most popular bushwalks. This short, steep walk takes you downhill to the beautiful Maitland Bay and its shipwreck.

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.

  • Superb fairy wren. Photo: Ingo Oeland

    Superb fairy wren (Malurus cyaneus)

    The striking blue and black plumage of the adult male superb fairy wren makes for colourful bird watching across south-eastern Australia. The sociable superb fairy wrens, or blue wrens, are Australian birds living in groups consisting of a dominant male, mouse-brown female ‘jenny wrens’ and several tawny-brown juveniles.

  • Sugar glider. Photo: Jeff Betteridge

    Sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps)

    The sugar glider is a tree-dwelling Australian native marsupial, found in tall eucalypt forests and woodlands along eastern NSW. The nocturnal sugar glider feeds on insects and birds, and satisfies its sweet tooth with nectar and pollens.

Plants

  • 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.

  • Smooth-barked apple. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    Smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata)

    Smooth-barked apple gums, also known as Sydney red gum or rusty gum trees, are Australian native plants found along the NSW coast, and in the Sydney basin and parts of Queensland. Growing to heights of 15-30m, the russet-coloured angophoras shed their bark in spring to reveal spectacular new salmon-coloured bark.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

Looking along the beach to the headland. Photo: John Yurasek