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Smoky Cape Range walking track

North Coast

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Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Smoky Cape Range walking track.

Track grading

Grade 4

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

    2 - 3hrs

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    5.5km one-way

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Rough track, many obstacles

  • Experience required

    Some bushwalking experience recommended

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Smoky Cape Range walking track starts at Little Bay picnic area in the Trial Bay Gaol precinct of the adjoining Arakoon National Park. To get there:

    From South West Rocks:

    • Follow Phillip Drive (it becomes Wilson Street).
    • Turn right onto Gladstone Street which becomes Carri Street.
    • Continue along Carri Street until you reach Little Bay picnic area.
    • Follow the signs to Overshot Dam where the track begins.

    Alternatively, if starting from Smoky Cape:

    • On entering Hat Head National Park:
    • Take the South West Rocks Road.
    • Follow the signs to Smoky Cape lighthouse.
    • The walk begins near Captain Cook’s lookout.

    Parking

    Parking is available at Overshot Dam, the nearby Little Bay picnic area or near Captain Cook’s lookout at Smoky Cape.

    Best times to visit

    This park's sweeping beaches are extremely inviting during summer, but its wildlife and walking tracks make it a joy to visit all year round.

    Spring

    A birdwatcher's delight as the heath shrubland bursts into a kaleidoscope of wild flowers and birds come from all around, listen out for the guttural call of glossy black cockatoos.

    Summer

    Take the Connors track beach walk to experience wildflower displays amongst the banksias .

    Winter

    Spot humpback and southern right whales migrating to northern waters between May and July.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    19°C and 26°C

    Highest recorded

    41.7°C (1968)

    Winter temperature

    Average

    13°C and 20°C

    Lowest recorded

    4°C (1997)

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    March

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    343.7mm

    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.

    Smoky Cape Range walking track

    Operated by

    Park info

    • in Hat Head National Park in the North Coast region
    • Hat Head 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. This park uses a self-registration fee collection system, please bring correct change.

      Buy annual pass