Square Head track 1

Cullendulla Creek Nature Reserve

Open, check current alerts 

Overview

This short walk offers rich rewards, leading to the entrance of Cullendulla Creek, perfect for an afternoon picnic and swim near the shorebirds.

Where
Cullendulla Creek Nature Reserve
Accessibility
Hard
Distance
0.8km return
Time suggested
15 - 30min
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
What to
bring
Hat, sunscreen, drinking water
Please note
Shore birds are best seen on low tide. It’s a good idea to check the tides charts beforehand. Remember to take your binoculars if you want to birdwatch.

Leading to the entrance of Cullendulla Creek, this terrific short walk touches swamp oak and spotted gum forest before revealing a peaceful beach and rest spot in sight of Cullendulla Beach and the Batemans Bay township.

Expect a moderate-to-steep gradient, but it’s worth it. Pack a picnic lunch and bring the kids along, or bring a birding guide and watch white ibises and black swans drift across the creek. In the warmer months, this is an ideal place for a swim, too; the small estuary beach is protected from onshore winds by Square Head, and the bay, though unpatrolled, is calm enough for swimming. If you fancy a round of fishing, turn left at the carpark and follow the other Square Head track instead.

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/square-head-track-1/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Square Head track 1.

Track grading

Grade 3

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

    15 - 30min

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    0.8km return

  • Steps

    No steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Square Head is in the eastern section of Cullendulla Creek Nature Reserve. To get there:

  • Take Cullendulla Drive east off the Princes Highway (signposted to Long Beach)
  • Take the turn on to Blairs Road and turn off into the nature reserve carpark
  • The walk starts right of the carpark and heads down the hill

Parking

Open plan parking is available.

Best times to visit

Spring

Migratory birds arrive from Russia, Asia, northeast China, and Europe for the warmer months, foraging on the sand flats where you can see them from Cullendulla Beach.

Summer

Break out the canoe or kayak and beat the summer heat with a refreshing paddle up Cullendulla Creek.

Winter

Make the short hike to Square Head to do the Mangrove walk, watching how the landscape changes in high and low tide.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

15.5°C and 23.5°C

Highest recorded

43.3°C

Winter temperature

Average

6.5°C and 17.2°C

Lowest recorded

0°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

March

Driest month

August

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

275.3mm

Facilities

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

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 Plus 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).

Accessibility

Disability access level - hard

Wheelchair access is available, though you will need strong assistance to return to the car parking area.

Permitted

Fishing

A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.

Recreational fishing is allowed in the bay. However, Cullendulla Creek is a sanctuary zone, so it’s a good idea to check the recreational fishing maps for permitted activities.

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

Batemans Bay (4 km)

Batemans Bay is a bustling coastal town with majestic seascapes. It's located on the estuary of the Clyde River.

www.visitnsw.com

Mogo (11 km)

In 1857, the discovery of a single nugget sparked a goldrush in the Batemans Bay area that saw the town grow to a population of 10,000 virtually overnight. When the boom was over, Mogo stalled but has been rescued by tourism in recent times thanks to its collection of historic buildings and new attractions.

www.visitnsw.com

Moruya (24 km)

Moruya is a historic dairy town on the Moruya River surrounded by dairy pastures and rugged national parks.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Square Head track 1 is in Cullendulla Creek Nature Reserve. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Aboriginal culture

Cullendulla Creek, Cullendulla Creek Nature Reserve. Photo: Mat Makeham

Cullendulla Creek holds several ancient Aboriginal midden sites, including rarely recorded mounded midden sites. The Mangrove walk is a great way to engage with the past lives of people here, weaving through areas where mud oysters, mussels and shellfish were once collected.

Birdwatchers' haven

Mangrove walk, Cullendulla Creek Nature Reserve. Photo: Mat Makeham

Cullendulla Creek Nature Reserve is home to mangrove estuary (and two mangrove species, the grey and river mangroves), forest red gums, littoral rainforest, and sea grass beds. The reserve is also a fish nursery for the Clyde River. Unsurprisingly then, a substantial mix of forest and shorebirds visit the area annually, including white ibises, curlews, two species of spoonbill and several of duck. Migratory birds come from as far away as Russia, taking refuge in the warm weather.

  • Cullendulla Beach track A secluded stretch of sand in the protected waters of Batemans Bay, Cullendulla Beach offers terrific swimming, birding and a great place to launch a canoe up the creek.
  • Square Head track 1 This short walk offers rich rewards, leading to the entrance of Cullendulla Creek, perfect for an afternoon picnic and swim near the shorebirds.

Remarkable dune formations

Cullendulla Creek Beach, Cullendulla Creek Nature Reserve. Photo: Mat Makeham

The nature reserve contains important and unusual dune formations called cheniers. Roughly parallel to the shoreline, these long, low (3-6m) and narrow ridges overlay estuarine mud and are of great scientific interest for the information they provide about the evolving landscape - some 7000 years worth of changes. There are nine beach ridges at Cullendulla; the most northerly two are cheniers. Though they're not directly visible to visitors, a fascinating boardwalk tracks through the mangrove estuary, accompanied by signs which offer a keen insight into the local ecosystem. For the best overview, visit in both high and low tide and compare the differences.

  • Mangrove walk An easy walk offering great birdwatching opportunities, Mangrove walk is partly along an elevated boardwalk, giving an insight into the unusual dune formations.

Education resources (1)