Murramarang Aboriginal Area

Overview

Located on the NSW South Coast, enriched with historic heritage, Murramarang Aboriginal Area has one of the largest and most important Aboriginal sites on the NSW coast.

Read more about Murramarang Aboriginal Area

Can you imagine what life was like 12,000 years ago? At Murramarang Aboriginal Area, it’s much easier than you’d think. This reserve protects the largest midden on the South Coast, and a lagoon to the north of the headland that, according to Dreamtime beliefs, is home to a serpent involved in the creation of the land. The midden covers several hectares and contains millions of stone artefacts as well as dense deposits of mammal, fish and bird bones and shells. Based on some of the rare finds – bone points and shell fishhooks – archaeologists believe the people of Murramarang had a sophisticated bone industry and fishing economy.

With its picturesque coastal setting, Murramarang Aboriginal Area is also popular for snorkelling, swimming, surfing, beach and rock fishing, and rock-pooling. A signed walk, with panoramic views, guides visitors through the site.

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/murramarang-aboriginal-area/local-alerts

Contact

  • in the South Coast region
  • Murramarang Aboriginal Area is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

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See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Murramarang Aboriginal Area.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Ulladulla:

    • Follow Princes Highway south to Termeil
    • Turn left onto Bawley Point Road and drive to its end
    • Turn right into Murramarang Road
    • About 2.5km down the road, you’ll come to Sand Mines carpark on the left.
    • There’s a 600m walking track from here to the boundary of the reserve

    Park entry points

    By bike

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

    By public transport

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

    Best times to visit

    There are lots of great things waiting for you at Murramarang Aboriginal Area. Here are some of the highlights.

    Spring

    The coastal vegetation comes to life when the wildflowers bloom, and the temperature is perfect for taking the Murramarang Aboriginal Area walk.

    Summer

    It's a great time for enjoying the sea, so take a dip in the ocean, snorkel off the rocks, or bring your board to catch a wave.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    16°C and 25°C

    Highest recorded

    43.3°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    7°C and 16°C

    Lowest recorded

    0°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    March

    Driest month

    August

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    275.3mm

    Maps and downloads

    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.

    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

    Bawley Point (1 km)

    Some of the beaches around Bawley Point are popular with surfers looking for the best waves along the coast. But there are plenty of other beaches where you can swim, picnic or simply watch kangaroos enjoying the surf.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Ulladulla (28 km)

    Ulladulla is close to several wonderful national parks. Morton National Park, to the west, is home to Pigeon House Mountain, a local landmark which is a popular climb. Murramarang National Park, between Ulladulla and Batemans Bay, has beautiful coastal walks, beaches and camping sites.   

    www.visitnsw.com

    Batemans Bay (40 km)

    Batemans Bay is a bustling coastal town with majestic seascapes. It's located on the estuary of the Clyde River.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Murramarang Aboriginal Area is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

    Vast Aboriginal history

    Murramarang Aboriginal Area walking track, Murramarang Aboriginal Area. Photo: Lucas Boyd

    There are very few sites on the NSW South Coast with this much heritage. Material found at Murramarang has been dated back to an astounding 12,000 years. The headland, with its rock platforms, fishing, and nesting sea birds, was an important meeting point for Aboriginal people. Large fires where people cooked their food would have been visible for miles, and some archaeological finds suggest people in this area ate whales and dolphins. These days, the area is still used by local Aboriginal people for fishing, recreational and educational activities. Signs along the walking track identify some of the most important features of the area.

    In a flap

    Wildflower, Murramarang Aboriginal Area. Photo: Lucas Boyd

    Because of the preservation of nature here and its proximity to the coast, Murramarang is a great place to go bird watching. There are many species of threatened seabirds - including the sooty oystercatcher and hooded plover - living on the beaches. Swan Lagoon is an important habitat for waterbirds, including the black swan, little pied cormorant and white-faced heron. Sea eagles and osprey can often be seen swooping over the water.

    First sightings

    Coastal views, Murramarang Aboriginal Area. Photo: Lucas Boyd

    When Captain Cook first spotted what he would later call Pigeon House Mountain from the sea, he sailed towards the coast to see if he could find a safe place to anchor. On 22 April 1770, he made his first sighting of Aboriginal people - some in bark canoes, others on land - here at Murramarang. Incidentally, the Aboriginal name for Pigeon House is 'Didthul', which is connected to the ocean through Dreaming stories. The first white settlers came to the area to graze cattle and cut timber in the late 1820s.

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Murramarang Aboriginal Area 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.

    Preserving biodiversity

    Murramarang Aboriginal Area promotes programs to monitor, help recover and secure populations of threatened shorebirds. The area targets pest impacts, limits disturbance from recreational users and undertakes frequent species monitoring. NPWS is committed to plant and animal conservation, and protects threatened, vulnerable and endangered species within all NSW national parks.

    Murramarang Aboriginal Area. Photo: Lucas Boyd Photography