McBrides Beach walking track

Booti Booti National Park

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Overview

Take a short stroll down McBrides Beach walking track to reach remote and picturesque McBrides Beach, the perfect spot for an oceanside picnic.

McBrides Beach walking track is located off Cape Hawke Drive in Booti Booti National Park, about 10 minutes’ drive from Forster. This 600m walk has sections with stairs and descends through regenerating littoral rainforest. After about 25 minutes you’ll emerge onto beautiful and isolated McBrides Beach, nestled between rugged cliffs.

You can picnic and swim at McBrides Beach but camping is prohibited.

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted on the beach or walking track.

If you’d like to explore this area some more, head back up the track and make the short stroll over to Cape Hawke lookout. Climb the tower to enjoy stunning panoramic views along the north side of Cape Hawke.

Nearby

  • Coastal views from Cape Hawke lookout in Booti Booti National Park. Photo credit: John Spencer © DPIE

    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.

These maps give a basic overview of park attractions and facilities, and may not be detailed enough for some activities. We recommend that you buy a topographic map before you go exploring.

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/mcbrides-beach-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/).

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about McBrides Beach walking track.

Learn more

McBrides Beach 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)