The Coast walking track

Wyrrabalong National Park

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Overview

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.

Where
Wyrrabalong National Park
Distance
3km one-way
Time suggested
1hr 15min - 1hr 45min
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
What to
bring
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 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/the-coast-walking-track/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about The Coast walking track.

Track grading

Grade 3

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

    1hr 15min - 1hr 45min

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    3km one-way

  • Steps

    Many steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get 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

    Parking

    • 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.

    Spring

    A spring visit allows you to see gorgeous wildflower displays as you walk through the park.

    Summer

    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.

    Winter

    Head to Wyrrabalong or Crackneck lookouts – these high headlands are perfect posts for watching whales on their northern migration.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    20°C and 25°C

    Highest recorded

    42.4°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    10°C and 17°C

    Lowest recorded

    3.4°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    February

    Driest month

    August

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    246mm

    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.

    Nearby towns

    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.

    www.visitnsw.com

    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.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    The Coast walking track is in Wyrrabalong National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Aboriginal culture

    Crackneck lookout, Wyrrabalong National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    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

    Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) breaching, Wyrrabalong National Park. Photo: Wayne Reynolds

    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.

    Whale watching

    Bateau Bay picnic area, Wyrrabalong National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    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

    Animals

    • Australian pelican. Photo: Rob Cleary

      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. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

      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.

    Plants

    • Cabbage tree palm in Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer/OEH

      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, Moreton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

      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.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    The Coastal Walking Track, Wyrrabalong National Park. Photo: John Spencer