Booti Booti National Park

Overview

Right next to Forster, Booti Booti National Park is comprised of an 8km penninsula between the ocean and a lake, complete with pristine beaches and rainforests. Explore the landscape on school excursion or day trip.

Read more about Booti Booti National Park

Made up of an 8km peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and stunning Wallis Lake, Booti Booti National Park was created in 1992 and covers 1,566ha of scenic headlands, beautiful beaches, refreshing rainforest, and 11km of estuarine foreshore right next to Forster. The name comes from “butibuti,” the local Worimi Aboriginal word meaning “plenty of honey.”

Plenty is certainly a common theme here – plenty of hiking, swimming, birdwatching, and whale watching in the winter as they migrate along the coast. There are plenty of opportunities to settle down in a picnic spot beneath the paperbarks, and plenty of surfing and mountain biking for the young at heart.

The beaches are an enduring favourite, with families and sun-lovers turning weekends into energetic gatherings. Add in terrific driving tours and some truly stunning lookouts like the one at Cape Hawke, and you have a park that appeals across the board. Booti Booti has plenty for everyone.

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/visit-a-park/parks/booti-booti-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Booti Booti National Park.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Forster:

    • Head south along the Lakes Way
    • It’s 20km to Ruins campground and the Great Lakes Park Office

    From Newcastle:

    • Head north on the Pacific Highway
    • Just past Bulahdelah, turn right onto The Lakes Way (signposted ‘Seal Rocks’).
    • Follow The Lakes Way for approximately 55km to Pacific Palms
    • Continue along The Lakes Way until you see Ruins campground and the Great Lakes Park Office on your right

    Park entry points

    Parking

    By bike

    Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

    By public transport

    A bus from Sydney or Newcastle to Forster can be stopped at the Ruins campground by asking the driver. Call Busways on 1800 043 263.

    For further information about public transport options, visit the NSW country transport info website

    Best times to visit

    Autumn

    The crisp sunny days of autumn are perfect for packing up a picnic or barbecue hamper and heading out for a day relaxing in the sun.

    Spring

    Magnificent wildflower displays as they bloom across the heathlands.

    Summer

    Swim at the seasonally patrolled Elizabeth Beach or kayak in Wallis Lake, whilst staying at the nearby Ruins campground.

    Winter

    Visit Cape Hawke lookout to watch whales migrating off the coast.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    15°C and 30°C

    Highest recorded

    45.2°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    5°C and 20°C

    Lowest recorded

    -5°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    March

    Driest month

    September

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    280.2mm

    Facilities

    Maps and downloads

    Fees and passes

    Park entry fees:

    $8 per vehicle per day. The park has coin-operated pay and display machines - please bring correct coins.

    • All Parks Pass - For all parks in NSW (including Kosciuszko NP) $190 (1 year) / $335 (2 years)
    • Multi-Park Pass - For all parks in NSW (except Kosciuszko) $65 (1 year) / $115 (2 years)
    • Country Parks Pass - For all parks in Country NSW (except Kosciuszko) $45 (1 year) / $75 (2 years)
    • Single Country Park Pass - For entry to a single park in country NSW (except Kosciuszko). $22 (1 year) / $40 (2 years)

    Annual passes and entry fees (https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/passes-and-fees)

    Safety messages

    However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

    • Beaches are unpatrolled, except for Elizabeth Beach, which may be patrolled at various periods throughout the year. Take great care when swimming as there may be strong hidden currents and never swim alone.

    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 OEH pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Nearby towns

    Forster (8 km)

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

    www.visitnsw.com

    Taree (43 km)

    Taree is a major mid North Coast city, ringed by superb beaches. It's situated on the Manning River and set against rolling hills.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Old Bar (50 km)

    As well as its beachside attractions, Old Bar is an ideal base for exploring nearby natural attractions. Crowdy Head National Park and the beautiful waterways of Myall lakes National Park are just two of the best.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Booti Booti National Park is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

    Spirituality, identity and lifestyle

    Boomerang Beach, Booti Booti National Park. Photo: Ian Charles

    Booti Booti National Park holds important cultural significance for the Worimi Aboriginal people, who have lived on and used the land and waters for many thousands of years. Dozens of Aboringal sites exist within the park, including artefact scatters, stone quarries, tool sites, and shell middens. These are important markers of Aboriginal history in the region, demonstrating how land, water, plants and animals contributed to and continue to have significance for Aboriginal identity, spirituality, and lifestyle.

    Aye, Captain

    Cape Hawke lookout, Booti Booti National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Captain Cook first sighted Cape Hawke on May 12, 1770, and named it in honour of the First Lord of the Admiralty, Edward Hawke. The famous explorer and surveyor John Oxley later passed through the area in 1818. The first European inhabitant was Captain J. Gogerly, who sailed between Forster and Sydney ferrying timber, oyster shells, and sandstone. Today you can pay respects to Captain Gogerly and some of his relatives at their gravemarkers, across the road from the Ruins campground.

    A haven for birds and birdwatchers alike

    Elizabeth Beach picnic area, Booti Booti National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Booti Booti National Park features a substantial number of amphibians and reptiles, including red-bellied black snakes, brown snakes, rose-crowned snakes and blue-bellied swamp snakes. Goannas are regular visitors to The Ruins campground and picnic areas, and you may even be lucky enough to see a land mullet or water dragon. The unusual peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and Wallis Lake also provides an outstanding habitat for over 210 species of birds, including rainbow and scaly-breasted lorikeets, yellow-faced honeyeaters and silvereyes, as well as a number of waterbirds, including pelicans and the endangered little tern.

    • Cape Hawke lookout Just five minutes from Forster, the Cape Hawke lookout offers spectacular 360-degree views along the coast from the top of a dedicated tower, perfect for whale watching.
    • Elizabeth Beach picnic area A short drive from Forster, Elizabeth Beach picnic area offers a great spot to relax near a beach popular for swimming, surfing, and whale watching in winter.
    • Sailing Club picnic area An alternative to the ocean-front options of Booti Booti National Park, Sailing Club picnic area offers a shady rest spot on the shore of Wallis Lake.

    Education resources (1)

    School excursions (1)

    What we're doing

    Booti Booti National Park has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents.

    Managing weeds, pest animals and other threats

    Pests and weeds have a significant impact to the ecosystems and habitats within Booti Booti National Park. Pest reduction of wild dogs is an important part of the work NPWS does to protect the integrity of biodiversity within this park.

    Conservation program

    Bitou bush threat abatement plan

    Bitou bush poses a serious and widespread threat to threatened species populations and ecological communities on the NSW coast. The NPWS bitou bush threat abatement plan helps to reduce the impact of weeds at priority sites using control measures such as ground spraying, aerial spraying, biological control and physical removal.

    Cape Hawke lookout. Photo: Shane Chalker