Yacaaba Headland walking track

Myall Lakes National Park

Overview

Yacaaba Headland walking track is a hard walk with scenic views over Myall Lakes National Park just north of Port Stephens.

Where
Myall Lakes National Park
Distance
7km return
Time suggested
2hrs 30min - 3hrs 30min
Grade
Grade 4
Price
Free
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note

  • The rocks on the steeper parts of the track can be very slippery
  • Toilets and picnic facilities can be found at Jimmys Beach reserve

If you enjoy a challenging walk and scenic views rolled into one, then grab your hiking boots and make your way to Yacaaba Headland walking track. This lightly challenging walk leads up and across the northern headland of Port Stephens, in the southern reaches of Myall Lakes National Park.

From the southern end of Bennetts Beach, the track climbs steeply and you’ll notice smooth barked angophoras giving way to gnarly banksias and grass trees. As the track veers north, take a break and admire the inspiring views up the coastline. On a clear day, the distant blue ridgeline of Barrington Tops is visible.

The track gets rockier and steeper, but along the forested ridge top you’ll be treated to coastal views of Seal Rocks and Tomaree Headland. Out to sea, Cabbage Tree Island, known as John Gould Nature Reserve, protects the only known breeding colony of one of the world’s rarest birds; the Gould’s petrel.

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/yacaaba-headland-walking-track/local-alerts

Park info

  • in Myall Lakes National Park in the North Coast region
  • Myall Lakes 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.

    The park has coin/card operated pay and display machines at Mungo Brush campground. NPWS visitor service officers regularly visit camping areas to collect fees from campers and sell annual passes. Day passes and annual passes also available from the Great Lakes Area Office, Bulahdelah and Tea Gardens Visitor Information Centres, and other local outlets.

    Bombah Point ferry fees may also apply (cash payment only).

    Buy a pass (//pass.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/).
See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Yacaaba Headland walking track.

Track grading

Grade 4

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

    2hrs 30min - 3hrs 30min

  • Quality of markings

    Sign posted

  • Gradient

    Very steep

  • Distance

    7km return

  • Steps

    Many steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Yacaaba Headland walking track is in the southern precinct of Myall Lakes National Park. To get there:

    • Follow Pacific Highway, north of Newcastle, past Raymond Terrace.
    • Drive for approximately 40km and turn right into Tea Gardens Road
    • Follow signs for Myall Way/Hawks Nest via Myall and Kingfisher streets

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Parking is available at Bennetts Beach or along Beach Road.

    Best times to visit

    There are lots of great things waiting for you in Myall Lakes National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

    Autumn

    A good time to visit when the weather is a little cooler and the park is less busy.

    Spring

    Magnificent wildflower displays as they bloom across the heathlands.

    Summer

    Look for dolphins swimming among the waves.

    Winter

    Head to Sugarloaf Point to watch for whales on their annual migration.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    19°C and 27°C

    Highest recorded

    41.5°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    10°C and 19°C

    Lowest recorded

    1.1°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    May

    Driest month

    November

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    257.8mm

    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

    Forster (48 km)

    Dominated by water sports Forster is the centre of the Great Lakes area.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Hawks Nest (8 km)

    Hawks Nest is a small and tranquil seaside town. It's set in majestic surroundings on the northern shore of the Forster Area.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Newcastle (21 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

    Yacaaba Headland walking track is in Myall Lakes National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Ancient connections

    Dark Point Aboriginal Place, Myall Lakes National Park. Photo: OEH

    Myall Lakes National Park is part of the Country of the Worimi Aboriginal people, who used the area's natural resources, like freshwater lakes, the ocean and native flora and fauna to live a traditional fisher-hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Much evidence of their long connection with this Country can be seen today throughout the middens in the park. The landscape of Myall Lakes includes important spiritual sites that are an important part of the identity of local Aboriginal people. Make sure you visit Dark Point Aboriginal Place while you're at visiting the park. This rocky headland has been of significance to Worimi people for at least 4000 years. The clans or nuras (family groups) within the Worimi people would gather together here for ceremonies and feasts.

    • Dark Point Aboriginal Place Dark Point Aboriginal Place, in southern Myall Lakes National Park, is a culturally significant site for the Worimi people with scenic coastal views across to Broughton Island.
    • Mungo walking track Mungo walking track offers a variety of Aboriginal and historic sites, diverse vegetation, and mountain biking in Myall Lakes National Park, near Hawks Nest.

    Go fish

    Violet Hill campground, Myall Lakes National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Fishing is a popular activity in Myall Lakes, with catches likely to include bream, whiting, Australian salmon, flathead and mullet. There are lots of great places in the park to throw in a line, like the beaches, lakes or rivers. Try fishing from your boat or for a relaxing day on the water you could try a spot of kayak fishing. At Myall Lakes you can also go camping, boating, swimming and canoeing. And when you’ve tried all of those, you can explore the park on foot, by 4WD or bike, stopping for a spot of bird watching or to enjoy a picnic or barbecue lunch along the way. Whatever your interests, there is bound to be something that takes your fancy.

    • Mining Road to Old Gibber Road cycling trail Mining Road to Old Gibber Road cycling trail is an easy bike ride within Myall Lakes National Park. You can complete the ride in one day or take your tent to camp overnight.
    • Mungo Rainforest walk Enjoy a short and easy rainforest walk with the birds in Myall Lakes National Park, not far from Buladelah. Afterwards, you can enjoy a picnic or barbecue at Mungo Brush.

    Internationally recognised wetlands

    Pipers Creek picnic area, Myall Lakes National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Since 1999, this internationally recognised wetlands site, has been listed under the Ramsar Convention due to its diverse mosaic of near-natural wetlands, within a relatively unmodified coastal lake system. There are 18 different wetland types with extensive interconnected lake and river systems within the forested wetlands and swamps that fringe the waterways, rocky and sandy shores, and offshore islands off the coastline. This wetland site houses a complex variety of habitats with rich biodiversity, including threatened species and migratory birds protected under international agreements. The Myall Lakes wetlands also have a high cultural and social value as they occur within the traditional lands of the Worimi Aboriginal people, where the varied wetlands, environments and abundant resources provided an ideal living environment. Evidence of this traditional occupation exists across the landscape, including the Dark Point Aboriginal Place.

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    • White-bellied sea eagle. Photo: John Turbill

      White-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)

      White-bellied sea eagles can be easily identified by their white tail and dark grey wings. These raptors are often spotted cruising the coastal breezes throughout Australia, and make for some scenic bird watching. Powerful Australian birds of prey, they are known to mate for life, and return each year to the same nest to breed.

    • Long-nosed bandicoot, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo: Narelle King

      Long-nosed bandicoot (Perameles nasuta)

      A nocturnal marsupial and one of the smaller Australian native animals, the long-nosed bandicoot is found across eastern Australia. Populations in the Sydney region have dwindled since European settlement, leaving only endangered colonies in inner western Sydney and at North Head, near Manly. The long-nosed bandicoot has grey-brown fur and a pointed snout which it uses to forage for worms and insects.

    • 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.

    • Wonga Wonga vine. Photo: Barry Collier

      Wonga wonga vine (Pandorea pandorana)

      The wonga wonga vine is a widespread vigorous climber usually found along eastern Australia. A variation of the plant occurs in the central desert, where it resembles a sprawling shrub. One of the more common Australian native plants, the wonga wonga vine produces bell-shaped white or yellow flowers in the spring, followed by a large oblong-shaped seed pod.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    Yacaaba Headland walking track beach hero, Myall Lakes National Park. Photo: John Spencer