Merrica River nature trail
Nadgee Nature Reserve
Those seeking a bushwalk through pristine landscapes and along deserted beaches swimming, fishing and picnicking on the way – should head to Merrica Creek nature trail.
- Nadgee Nature Reserve in South Coast
- 8km return
- Time suggested
- 5 - 7hrs
- Grade 4
- What to
- Sunscreen, hat, drinking water
- Please note
- At the beginning of the walk, ensure your rinse your shoes at the boot-cleaning station to avoid bringing phytophthora or weeds into the reserve.
The area around the river mouth is virtually untouched, and those who explore the Merrica River nature trail will be rewarded by a changing landscape and the joy of discovery.
This is a long walk, so you’ll also want to bring your swimmers for a dip where the river meets the ocean – after you’ve crossed the creek, passed the waterfall and rockpools, and followed the fire trail through the eucalypt forest. Here, you’ll also see the vast expanses of beautiful Disaster Bay.
As you’re walking, watch for eastern water dragons sunning themselves on stones near the creek or marvel at the hermit crabs feeding on the beach at low tide. Merrica River also has a pair of resident sea eagles who can often be seen patrolling the river and coast for food.
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/merrica-river-nature-trail/local-alerts
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- in Nadgee Nature Reserve in the South Coast region
Nadgee Nature Reserve is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
All the practical information you need to know about Merrica River nature trail.
Grade 4Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
5 - 7hrs
Quality of markings
Some bushwalking experience recommended
Short steep hills
Quality of path
Formed track, some obstacles
Getting there and parking
Merrica River nature trail is in the northern precinct of Nadgee Nature Reserve. To get there from Eden:
- Travel south along the Princes Highway for 22.5km
- Turn left on Wonboyn Road and follow it for 8.7km
- Turn right into old Old Bridge Forest Road and travel for a further 5.6km
- The Merrica River carpark and track head is located across the Merrica River causeway
Check the weather before you set out as the road to Merrica River nature trail can become boggy when it rains.
Parking is available at Merrica trackhead facility, east of the Merrica River crossing.
Best times to visit
There are lots of great things waiting for you in Nadgee Nature Reserve. Here are some of the highlights.
Autumn is a great time to enjoy Nadgee, with the mild climate favouring walking and picnicking, flower spotting and birdwatching.
Try your luck spotting humpback whales as they migrate south to the Antarctic on any of the beaches and headlands within Nadgee Take one of the many walks – short or long – and view the beautiful wildflowers .
Relax by the pristine beaches and rivers within the reserve.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
17°C and 22°C
10°C and 16°C
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
Drinking water is not available in this area so it's a good idea to bring your own.
Maps and downloads
A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.
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.
NSW national parks are no smoking areas.
Merrica River nature trail is in Nadgee Nature Reserve. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
A spring treat
The vegetation in Nadgee has been almost undisturbed since European settlement. In the heath, you'll see the red and pink flowers of the common heath, masses of orange banksias, and the white blooms of the wedding bush. As summer approaches, breathe in the sweet aroma of the cream flowers of the giant honey myrtles that grow near Wonboyn Lake and the beach. With its combination of coastal heath, forest and shoreline, Nadgee is inhabited by many different species of birds. From catching glimpses of tiny wrens and ground parrots in the heathlands to staring awed at soaring white-bellied sea eagles along the coastline, you'll need your binoculars to make the most of bird watching opportunities.
- Greenglade picnic area From Greenglade picnic area you can explore one of the most magical and deserted beaches in Nadgee. Try your luck at fishing and spend the day relaxing at this convenient spot.
- Jewfish walk The easy Jewfish walk takes you through the forest to the edge of Wonboyn Lake, where you can enjoy swimming, birdwatching, fishing and picnicking.
- Merrica River nature trail Those seeking a bushwalk through pristine landscapes and along deserted beaches swimming, fishing and picnicking on the way – should head to Merrica Creek nature trail.
Whatever part of Nadgee you explore, you'll be rewarded with pristine landscapes and stunning vistas. The reserve sits within Australia's Coastal Wilderness, which runs from the south coast of NSW to East Gippsland in Victoria, one of the 16 areas named as Australia's National Landscapes because of their natural, cultural or spiritual significance. It really is a special place.
- Bay Cliff walking track Bay Cliff walking track offers families and bushwalkers an easy hike along the beach and the past the lake. Enjoy birdwatching and fishing along the way.
- Nadgee wilderness walk Nadgee wilderness walk is a spectacular 55km walk from Merrica River to Mallacoota, with coastal views. It's great for birdwatching, whale watching and camping.
People of the land
The area of the reserve is part of the lands of the Bidawal people and shared with the Dtharwa and Monaroo people. Aboriginal people have a long spiritual and cultural association with the area around Nadgee. Before settlement, they would travel from as far away as Wollongong, Mallacoota and Monaroo to places like Bay Cliff and Greenglade. Middens can be seen around Wonboyn Lake and along the shore.