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Tomaree Coastal Walk

Tomaree National Park

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Experience 27km of coastal hiking over 2 or 3 days along Tomaree Coastal Walk, in Port Stephens. Start on a high at Tomaree Head Summit, learn about Worimi culture, and stay at one of the holiday parks or accommodation options. 

No wheelchair access
27km one-way
Time suggested
2 - 3 days
Grade 4
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What to
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen, sturdy shoes, clothes for all weather conditions, mobile phone, first aid kit, dry bag, insect repellent, raincoat, snacks, tent, torch, towels

You can choose to tackle the 27 km Tomaree Coastal Walk over 2 or 3 days. We've included the 2 day itinerary below. If you're walking it over 3 days, you would just climb to Tomaree Head Summit and back on day 1 and start from Shoal Bay on day 2.

Day 1: Tomaree Head Summit to One Mile

Distance: 18 km
Time suggested:
7 to 8 hours 
Toilets at: 
Shoal Bay, Fingal Bay, Barry Park, One Mile Beach

Day 1 is a big one, so rise early and make your way through Shoal Bay to the base of Tomaree Head Summit if you want to catch a spectacular sunrise from the highest point around. It’s a 2 km return walk to the summit and back, but well worth it. Check out the World War II gun emplacements and the Gould's Petrel augmented reality experience while you're up there.

After returning to the base, follow the trackhead signage featuring the iconic totem of a white-bellied sea eagle and begin the journey south across the sandy shores of Zenith Beach. 

You'll traverse around the back of Quarry Hill where you might spot the resident echidnas on the hunt for ants. Listen out for wattlebirds and rare black glossy cockatoos in forests here. 

Fingal Bay is where you'll re-emerge, just in time for lunch and a swim if the weather is nice. We recommend swimming here if conditions are safe as it’s one of the few beaches with a lifeguard patrol.

Once you've had a well-deserved rest it's time to move on towards Barry Park which offers a spectacular lookout for whale watching as well as toilets and drinking water. The next section is the most remote part of the walk and this is your last chance to use any facilities until you reach One Mile Beach.  

If the day is getting hot you'll be grateful for the cool shade of the forests soon. See if you can identify the melaleuca trees in the swampy areas, or the red bloodwoods and twisted limbs of smooth-barked apple forests on the hillsides. Every now and then you'll pass through a clump of striking gymea lilies, identified by the red spike of a single flower towering metres above you in the winter months. 

If you happen to be walking in the cooler months, keep your eyes open for migrating humpback whales between May and November, as well as dolphins and sea eagles.

Near the end of your day, you can choose to take a short 200 metre side track down to a bay at Big Rocky, named for the dramatic volcanic red rocks that appear to have been violently pushed right up out of the earth. If you happen to arrive at low tide, you’ll be delighted by the wonders of the rockpools. It’s a great spot for a picnic and popular with those who enjoy fishing.

Once you reach the shores of Samurai Beach, you'll know that day 1 is almost done. Please note that Samurai Beach is clothing optional and also permits 4WDing on the sand. Climb up Middle Rock and follow the track away from the beach to end the day with a relaxing overnight stay at one of the holiday parks or accommodation options at One Mile.

Although there are no dinner options at One Mile you can order takeaway food to be delivered while you put your feet up and enjoy a well-earned rest. Or you might opt to take a short drive by bus, taxi, or car to one the many restaurants at Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay, or Anna Bay. 

Day 2: One Mile to Birubi Point

Distance: 9 km

Time suggested: 3.5 to 4.5 hours 

Toilets at: One Mile Beach, Boat Harbour, Fishermans Bay, Birubi Point

Today's hike is just 9 km so you might start the day with a visit to Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary or a swim at the south end of One Mile Beach where the surf lifesaving club is located.

You’ll enjoy salty air and sand dunes for miles as you follow the sea eagle totem on wayfinding signage along the coastline.

Take the winding sandstone track up the steps from One Mile Beach and into the eucalyptus forest. The walk guides you out across exposed coastal heathland populated with wrens and wattlebirds before you reach Slot canyon lookout which is sure to impress. Be sure to look for eagles and dolphins from this point, as well as migrating humpback whales between May and November.

Continue along the coastal rock platforms and enjoy the especially pretty section tracing rocky bays and beaches just before you reach the sheltered coastal village of Boat Harbour. This is a good spot to take a break, refill your drinking water, and use the facilities.

The next section traverses Kingsley Beach followed by the smaller, more secluded Little Kingsley Beach. Climb up the sandstone path into a thick, windswept forest of tea tree and wattles and you’ll soon be delighted to find a surprise bridge tucked away in a small ferny gully among the twisted red and pink branches smooth barked apple or angophora trees.

Fishermans Bay is the next coastal village where you have a chance to refill your drinking water and use the facilities. From this point you can spot the unmistakable golden hills of Stockton Sand Dunes in Worimi Conservation Lands to the south. Continue along the coastal rock platforms keeping an eye out for the wayfinding signage and the tiny bridges that guide you to yet another impressive lookout. Perched on the edge of the rocks over the ocean is Iris Moore lookout and picnic area, where you might get a chance to watch some rock climbers and abseilers on the cliffs opposite.

Your final wonder is the beautiful cultural artwork at Birubi Point Aboriginal Place, the ‘place of the Southern Cross’. Listen to the audio recording of Worimi artist, Gerard Black discussing the meaning of his artwork, ‘Matjarr nguka biinba’, as you learn the stories of this special place.

From here, it’s just a short stroll over to your final destination, Birubi Point where you can marvel at the sight of the largest coastal sand dune in the southern hemisphere. Reward yourself with a well-deserved swim at the patrolled beach, use the toilet facilities, and enjoy lunch. Congratulations, your 27 km adventure is complete.

Catch a bus or taxi back to your vehicle if you haven’t arranged a car shuffle from this location.

For those wanting to make the most of the afternoon, why not explore Worimi Conservation Lands further? You can try sandboarding, 4WD tours, camel rides, and more.

You can also choose to stay another night at one of the holiday parks or accomodation options in the area.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info


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