The Coast walking track
Wyrrabalong National Park
Enjoy scenic views and wildflowers along The Coast walking track near Bateau Bay. This is a great winter walk, and there are excellent spots for whale watching along this easy walk in Wyrrabalong National Park.
- Wyrrabalong National Park
- 3km one-way
- Time suggested
- 1hr 15min - 1hr 45min
- Grade 3
- What to
- Sunscreen, hat, drinking water
- Please note
- Remember to take your binoculars if you want to bird watch or whale watch.
Discover one of the Central Coast’s most beautiful walks. The Coast walking track runs through a narrow strip of forest between Forresters and Bateau Bay Beaches.
Setting out from Bateau Bay Beach picnic area, you'll wander along clifftops, past blackbutts and spotted gums, and absorb spectacular coastal views as you go. The best time to walk is between May and August, when you can do some whale watching from Crackneck lookout along the way. If you’re walking in spring, you’ll be treated to wildflowers coming into bloom, including ground orchids and flannel flowers, and you’re bound to spot birds all year round.
The return walk is about 6km, but if you’d like a shorter walk, try going one way, or you can break the walk up into shorter sections. No matter how you undertake it, you’re sure to find it rewarding.
Take a virtual tour of The Coast walking track captured with Google Street View Trekker.
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/the-coast-walking-track/local-alerts
- in Wyrrabalong National Park in the Sydney and surrounds region
Wyrrabalong National Park is open from 5.30am to 8pm during daylight saving and 5.30am to 6pm rest of year.
All the practical information you need to know about The Coast walking track.
Grade 3Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
1hr 15min - 1hr 45min
Quality of markings
Clearly sign posted
Short steep hills
Quality of path
No experience required
Getting there and parking
Get driving directions
The Coast walking track goes from Bateau Bay south to Forresters Beach. You can start the track at either end, or at one of the access points along the way, or including Crackneck lookout.
To start the walk from Bateau Bay:
- Take The Entrance Road and turn east into Yakalla Street
- Turn right onto Bateau Bay Road and then left into Reserve Drive
- The track starts from Bateau Bay Beach picnic area on Reserve Drive
To start the walk from Forresters Beach:
- Take The Entrance Road and turn east into Crystal Street
- Turn left into Kalakau Avenue, which becomes South Scenic Road
- Turn right into North Scenic Road, which becomes Cromarty Hill Road
- Park near the gate and follow the track up to the Wyrrabalong lookout, where the track begins
Park entry points
- Cromarty Hill Road See on map
- Parking is available at Bateau Bay Beach picnic area a short walk from the northern end of The Coast walking track
- Parking is available on North Scenic Drive, a short walk to Wyrrabalong lookout and the southern end of The Coast walking track
Best times to visit
There are lots of great things waiting for you in Wyrrabalong National Park. Here are some of the highlights.
A spring visit allows you to see gorgeous wildflower displays as you walk through the park.
It's summertime and the water's great – visit to surf, swim or snorkel in the park's superb beaches and it's a great time of year to fish for prawns and blue swimmer crabs at Tuggerah Lake.
Head to Wyrrabalong or Crackneck lookouts – these high headlands are perfect posts for watching whales on their northern migration.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
20°C and 25°C
10°C and 17°C
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
Maps and downloads
Bateau Bay (28 km)
Bateau Bay is one of the popular beachside villages along the Central Coast. It's a laid-back spot where you can enjoy the sea and sandy beaches. Why not hire a bateau - it's French for boat - and enjoy a spot of fishing.
Gosford (36 km)
Gosford is a great destination for a family day trip or holiday. It's situated on Brisbane Water National Park and surrounded by state forests, lakes and beaches.
Newcastle (44 km)
Newcastle is a harbour city surrounded by amazing surf beaches that are linked by a great coastal walk, the Bathers Way. The walk from Nobbys Beach to Merewether Beach takes about three hours and is a great way to explore the city.
The Coast walking track is in Wyrrabalong National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
North Wyrrabalong forms part of traditional Country of the Awabakal People, with south Wyrrabalong (cut off from the north by The Entrance channel) being Darkinjung Country. The park has a rich Aboriginal history and protects many significant cultural sites, including an extensive midden at Pelican Point. You can take a guided tour with Nyanga Walang to find out more about local Darkinjung history.
Red gum forest
The northern section of Wyrrabalong National Park protects the largest stand of Sydney red gums, or Angophoras, on the Central Coast. Explore the red gum forest and enjoy the shade of these magnificent native trees along the Red Gum trail in north Wyrrabalong. See how the forest changes depending on the season – trunks change from orange in summer to pinkish-grey in winter. Visit around December to see the trees adorned with white flowers, and spot honeyeaters in the branches in wintertime. The park is also an important haven for a variety of wildlife, including a number of threatened migratory birds that visit the coastal strip between Forresters Beach and Blue Lagoon in the park’s southern section. There’s even a population of marine turtles in Tuggerah Lake – if you’re lucky, you might see a loggerhead turtle; they have a large head in proportion to the rest of its body.
- Lillypilly loop trail The easy Lillypilly loop trail is a lovely rainforest walk on the NSW Central Coast. Enjoy birdwatching and scenic views over Tuggerah Lakes.
- Pelican Beach Road lookout Pelican Beach Road lookout offers scenic views over The Entrance and Pelican Beach and is a great spot for whale watching. The beach is popular for fishing and surfing.
The park's spectacular coastal lookouts - both north and south - are ideal vantage points for whale watchers. Bring your binoculars to Crackneck lookout in whale watching season and prepare to be astounded. Whales are frequently seen breaching and tail-slapping nearby. And watch for the blow as they surface for air - there's really nothing like it.
Plants and animals you may see
Australian pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus)
The curious pelican is Australia’s largest flying bird and has the longest bill of any bird in the world. These Australian birds are found throughout Australian waterways and the pelican uses its throat pouch to trawl for fish. Pelicans breed all year round, congregating in large colonies on secluded beaches and islands.
Brown-striped frog (Lymnastes peronii)
One of the most common frogs found in Australia, the ground-dwelling brown-striped frog lives in ponds, dams and swamps along the east coast. Also known as the striped marsh frog, this amphibian grows to 6.5cm across and has a distinctive ‘tok’ call that can be heard all year round.
Cabbage palm (Livistona australis)
With glossy green leaves spanning 3-4m in length and a trunk reaching a height of up to 30m, the cabbage tree palm, or fan palm, is one of the tallest Australian native plants. Thriving in rainforest margins along the east coast of NSW, in summer this giant palm produces striking spikes of cream flowers which resemble cabbages.
Old man banksia (Banksia serrata)
Hardy Australian native plants, old man banksias can be found along the coast, and in the dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone mountain ranges of NSW. With roughened bark and gnarled limbs, they produce a distinctive cylindrical yellow-green banksia flower which blossoms from summer to early autumn.