Nadgee wilderness walk
Nadgee Nature Reserve
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.
- Nadgee Nature Reserve
- 55km one-way
- Time suggested
- 3 - 4 days
- Grade 5
- Trip Intention Form
It's a good idea to let someone know where you're going. Fill in a trip intention form to send important details about your trip to your emergency contact.
Camping fees apply, please contact NPWS Merimbula on (02) 6495 5000 for more information.
- Please note
- The maximum number of hikers taking the Nadgee wilderness walk is 30 at a time. Maximum group size is eight.
- Please be aware that tracks can be indistinct, difficult to follow, or unmarked in certain places. in heavy rain, Merrica River may flood, making it impassable until the river goes down.
- Record your arrival and departure at the registration station located at the track head facility.
- Clean boots using the boot-cleaning station at Merrica River trackhead before you enter the nature reserve.
If you’re looking for the ultimate coastal hike, Nadgee wilderness walk could possibly be the one. Not for the faint-hearted, it’s a four-day 55km hike along untouched pieces of southern NSW coastline from Merrica River to Mallacoota, and well worth experiencing.
In a truly isolated and spectacular environment, you’ll discover remote beaches, rugged coastline, tranquil lagoons and shifting sand dunes. As you walk, you’ll easily become a birdwatcher - hundreds of seabirds can be seen along the way, such as short-tailed shearwaters, sooty oystercatchers, hooded plovers and gannets.
Eastern water dragons are often seen sunning themselves on warm stones by creeks. And while pods of dolphins often mingle along the beaches, whales can be seen making their annual migration between September and November.
You’ll need to be an experienced backpack camper to explore the entirety of this walk. Little Creek Estuary, Bunyip Hole and Nadgee River campgrounds, to name a few, are great places to settle down for the evening. You’ll often hear the night-time calls of powerful and sooty owls.
With so many natural wonders to see on Nadgee wilderness walk, this multi-day hike along the south coast of NSW is the ideal antidote to modern life.
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/nadgee-wilderness-walk/local-alerts
- 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 Nadgee wilderness walk.
Grade 5Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
3 - 4 days
Quality of markings
No directional signage
Short steep hills
Quality of path
Rough track, many obstacles
Very experienced bushwalkers
Getting there and parking
Nadgee wilderness Walk is in the northern precinct of Nadgee Nature Reserve. To get there from Eden:
- Travel south along the Princes Highway for 22.5 km
- Turn left onto Wonboyn Road for 8.7km
- Turn right onto Old Bridge Forest Road for 5.6km (signposted Nadgee Nature Reserve)
- Turn left onto Newtons Road and travel to Merrica River (approximately 9km)
Check the weather before you set out as the road to Merrica River trackhead can become boggy when it rains.
Parking is available at Merrica River trackhead, 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
There is no drinking water in this reserve. You'll need to bring your own supply of water for drinking and cooking.
Maps and downloads
Walkers staying overnight require a permit. Applications for permits are available by calling the Merimbula NPWS office on (02) 6495 5000.
A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.
Camp fires and solid fuel burners
Fires are not permitted from December to March. This may be extended during times of drought. Please check with the Merimbula NPWS office. You are encouraged to bring gas or fuel stoves.
NSW national parks are no smoking areas.
Eden (38 km)
Eden is a historic whaling town, ideal for a whale-watch tour. It's built around a promontory that juts into Twofold Bay.
Merimbula (289 km)
The main coastal towns of the Sapphire Coast include Bermagui, Tathra, Merimbula and Eden. This stunning coastline has sparkling beaches and bays, lakes and national parks, all accessible via excellent walking tracks and coastal drives. You'll find beaches just perfect for surfing, swimming and walks.
Pambula (279 km)
Pambula is a historic river village in majestic rural surroundings. The town is at the mouth of the Pambula River among forests and lakes.
Nadgee wilderness walk 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.