Nunnock Swamp and Grasslands walking tracks

South East Forests National Park

Overview

Go to South East Forests National Park near both Nimmitabel and Bombala for a day walk through the Far South Coast hinterland. Go birdwatching or camping at Alexanders Hut.

Where
South East Forests National Park
Distance
15km loop
Time suggested
8 - 9hrs
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water
Please note
This park is in a remote location and weather can be unpredictable. Please come well prepared and tell a family member or friend about your travel plans.

Nunnock Swamp and Grasslands walking tracks incorporate 15km of interconnecting walking tracks in the Far South Coast hinterland, allowing you to opt for either a long or short walk.

Perched on the escarpment edge and connected by two campgrounds, this network of tracks spans an array of scenery and offers something for bushwalkers, birdwatchers, photographers and campers alike.

Wilkinsons walking track (4.8km) offers a peek into the past, beginning at historic Alexanders Hut, where you can also set up camp overlooking naturally treeless frost hollows. Connect from this track to Nunnock campground via the Keys walking track (2km), which leads you from grassland to snow gum woodland.

Roam the swamp’s edges on the 4km Nunnock Swamp walking track, enjoying the shade of the surrounding tall eucalypts. To connect from here to the Keys Walking Track, take the 300m-long Link Track, and follow the markers through the grass.

Choose the 2.5km Cattlemans walking track to retrace the stock route used by stockmen of yesteryear as they transported cattle from the Monaro to the coast.

Lace up your walking shoes for a spring or summer visit, and see colourful wildflowers sprinkling the grasslands. Chances are you’ll spot wildlife whichever time you walk, with marsupials, reptiles and birdlife all going about their business in their respective habitats along the way.

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/nunnock-swamp-and-grasslands-walking-tracks/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Nunnock Swamp and Grasslands walking tracks.

Track grading

Grade 3

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

    8 - 9hrs

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Flat

  • Distance

    15km loop

  • Steps

    No steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Nunnock Swamp and Grasslands walking tracks are in the Tantawangalo precinct of South East Forests National Park. To get there:

From Nimmitabel:

  • Drive south for 10km along Snowy Mountains Highway
  • Turn right onto Monaro Highway and follow for 4km
  • Turn left onto New Line Road and follow for 19km
  • Turn left onto Packers Swamp Road and follow the brown and white signs to Nunnock Swamp.

From Bombala:

  • Drive east for 19km along the Mount Darragh Road
  • Turn left onto Tantawangalo Mountain Road and follow the brown and white signs to Nunnock Swamp

Road quality

Check the weather before you set out as the road to Nunnock Swamp can become boggy when it rains.

Parking

Parking is available nearby at Nunnock Camping Area, Nunnock Northern Platform and at Alexanders Hut.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in South East Forests National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

Head to the Bombala River in the early morning or late afternoon to see platypuses - look for circular ripple patterns in the water.

Spring

See Nunnocks Swamp and grasslands in its spring bloom glory.

Summer

A great time for a walk in the park – try the easy Goodenia Rainforest walk through a lush gully of ferns covered by a dense canopy of tall lilly pilly trees.

Winter

After a day exploring, get cosy in front of an open fire at historic Alexanders Hut, Nunnocks Swap.

Facilities

Drinking water is limited or not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

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.

It’s a good idea to bring a topographic map and compass, or a GPS.

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

Bega (38 km)

With its forests, lush pastures and a coastline sculpted into a succession of wonders by the sea, the Sapphire Coast is a perfect holiday destination at any time of the year. Set in a valley at the junction of the Bega and Brogo rivers and surrounded by rich dairy country, Bega is a handsome, historic town that's the rural centre of the Sapphire Coast and gateway to the lush Bega Valley. Visit the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre, housed in a faithful reproduction of the original, tells the story of cheese-making production in the area.

www.visitnsw.com

Merimbula (65 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.

www.visitnsw.com

Nimmitabel (38 km)

Nimmitabel is a small township on the edge of the Snowy region. The rolling plains are amidst a rich, fertile agricultural zone. The Court House and Lock-Up Museum, that chronicles the history of the town.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Nunnock Swamp and Grasslands walking tracks is in South East Forests National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Ancient connections

The mountains of South East Forests National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

South East Forests National Park is part of the traditional country of the Yuin People, who had a diverse economy and cultural links with neighbouring Aboriginal clans and tribes. South East Forests National Park and the surrounding area provided a diverse food source of animals and fish, a rich resource for weapon and tool construction, as well as a source of medicines and transport. The park protects a number of Aboriginal sites and remains an important landscape for Aboriginal people today.

Old-growth

View from Pipers lookout, South East Forest National Park. Photo: John Yurasek/OEH

In the early 19th century, explorers, miners, squatters and timber getters led the way into the area that is now South East Forests National Park. The forests within the park were utilised as resources for many years up until the 1980's when their transition to national park commenced. The old-growth forest contains eucalypt trees in their final cycle of growth; trees that provide many different types of nest or home sites for wildlife. Some animals, like large forest owls and glider possums depend on these forests for hollows that develop over long periods of time. Pipers lookout in the northern part of the park is a good place to see old growth forests. Take the short loop walk to see magnificent views of Bemboka and the Bega Valley below, and walk through towering old growth forest.

Rock on

Forest stream, South East Forests National Park. Photo: John Spencer

South East Forests National Park protects unique physical features that are sure to appeal to budding geologists, keen photographers and nature-lovers alike. The huge granite tors at Pheasants Peak are the result of volcanic activity and millions of years of weathering and erosion. For a close up view, take the challenging Pheasants Peak walk, you'll also be rewarded with stunning views towards the Snowy Mountains and down the south coast escarpment. Don't miss the elliptically shaped Jingera complex at Jingera Rock near the town of Wyndham; a sheer syenite rockface that is the first reported complex of its type in Australia.

  • Goodenia Rainforest picnic area Combine a barbecue with birdwatching at Goodenia Rainforest picnic area, near Merimbula. The easy Goodenia Rainforest walk starts from this scenic picnic area.
  • Myanba Gorge walking track Myanba Gorge walking track is a short walk near Bombala with wheelchair-friendly access to the first lookout. It’s great spot for birdwatching and an idyllic place for a picnic.
  • Nunnock Swamp and Grasslands walking tracks Go to South East Forests National Park near both Nimmitabel and Bombala for a day walk through the Far South Coast hinterland. Go birdwatching or camping at Alexanders Hut.
  • Pipers lookout A good place to stop for a picnic, but Pipers lookout in South East Forest National Park also features stunning views – take the easy boardwalk to see for yourself.
  • Up and down the Postmans track: Tag along 4WD tour Tag behind a NSW National Parks ranger in your 4WD, past swimming holes and walking tracks in South East Forests National Park, not far from Bega.

Wildlife haven

Small mushrooms,  South East Forests National Park Photo: John Spencer

Koalas, powerful owls and giant burrowing frogs are among the threatened species protected within South East Forests National Park. The park also shelters the state's only known populations of endangered long-footed potoroos. Head to White Rock picnic area and look for small conical pits in the ground - evidence of a potoroo's night-time search for fungus. If you're camping overnight at Six Mile Creek or Nunnock campgrounds, listen and watch for nocturnal creatures like gliders and possums.

  • Goodenia Rainforest picnic area Combine a barbecue with birdwatching at Goodenia Rainforest picnic area, near Merimbula. The easy Goodenia Rainforest walk starts from this scenic picnic area.
  • Up and down the Postmans track: Tag along 4WD tour Tag behind a NSW National Parks ranger in your 4WD, past swimming holes and walking tracks in South East Forests National Park, not far from Bega.
  • Waalimma picnic area Located near both Bega and Bombala on the NSW south coast, Waalimma picnic area in South East Forests National Park is great for birdwatching, bushwalking and camping.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Koala. Photo: Lucy Morrell

    Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

    One of the most renowned Australian animals, the tree-dwelling marsupial koala can be found in gum tree forests and woodlands across eastern NSW, Victoria and Queensland, as well as in isolated regions in South Australia. With a vice-like grip, this perhaps most iconic but endangered Australian animal lives in tall eucalypts within a home range of several hectares.

  • Swamp wallaby in Murramarang National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor)

    The swamp wallaby, also known as the black wallaby or black pademelon, lives in the dense understorey of rainforests, woodlands and dry sclerophyll forest along eastern Australia. This unique Australian macropod has a dark black-grey coat with a distinctive light-coloured cheek stripe.

  • Long-nosed bandicoot, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo: Narelle King

    Long-nosed bandicoot (Perameles nasuta)

    A nocturnal marsupial and one of the smaller Australian native animals, the long-nosed bandicoot is found across eastern Australia. Populations in the Sydney region have dwindled since European settlement, leaving only endangered colonies in inner western Sydney and at North Head, near Manly. The long-nosed bandicoot has grey-brown fur and a pointed snout which it uses to forage for worms and insects.

  • 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.

  • Southern boobook. Photo: David Cook

    Southern boobook (Ninox novaeseelandiae)

    The southern boobook, also known as the mopoke, is the smallest and most common native owl in Australia. With a musical 'boo-book' call that echoes through forests and woodlands, the southern boobook is a great one to look out for while bird watching.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

Nunnock Swamp and Grasslands walking tracks, South East Forests National Park. Photo: John Spencer