Wallarah National Park

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Overview

Wallarah National Park, perfect for fishing, cycling, hiking, surfing and picnicking, is less than an hour’s drive from Newcastle and Gosford, yet completely remote.

Read more about Wallarah National Park

Wallarah National Park makes for a great day trip from Newcastle, Gosford, or Sydney. This tiny park offers mountain biking through the hills and forests of Yondeo trail or Scenic trail, hiking along rugged cliff tops on Coastal walking track, and the chance to reel in a big one from the rock platform at Pinny Beach. 

Located east of Lake Macquarie, and 2km from Swansea, Wallarah gives you the sense of a remote wilderness setting with the convenience of a nearby fish and chip shop if that big one gets away.

Why not spend a few days doing it all here? You can enjoy whale watching (July and August), birdwatching, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, searching for spring wildflowers, or exploring Wallarah’s different types of forest. Home to powerful owls, bentwing bats, and squirrel gliders, Wallarah is also important for conservation reasons. 

To enjoy this coastal area longer than a day book a spot at Freemans campground or Frazer campground, just 15 minutes away at Munmorah State Conservation Area.

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/wallarah-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

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

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Swansea:

    • From the Pacific Highway, turn left onto Bowman Street.
    • Continue along into Park Avenue and turn right onto Caves Beach Road
    • Continue until you reach the locked gate at the end of Spoon Rocks Road

    From Gosford or Newcastle:

    • Take the F3 to the Motorway Link (exit to Swansea), then continue along the Pacific Highway towards Swansea.
    • From the Pacific Highway, turn right into Bowman Street at the roundabout.
    • Continue along into Park Avenue, then turn right onto Caves Beach Road.
    • Continue until you reach the locked gate at the end of Spoon Rocks Road

    Please note that vehicles and motorcycles are prohibited in Wallarah National Park so you'll need to park outside the gates. Penalties apply for non-compliance.

    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 transport info website.

    Best times to visit

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

    Spring

    Wildflower viewing in the heath along the Coastal walking track.

    Winter

    Whale watching from the beach and coastal tracks.

    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.

    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.

    Cycling safety

    Hundreds of cyclists head to our national parks for fun and adventure. If you're riding your bike through a national park, read these mountain biking and cycling safety tips.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus 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

    Vehicles and motorcycles

    Vehicles and motorcycles are prohibited in this park. Penalties apply for non-compliance.

    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

    Swansea (4 km)

    Swansea is an energetic Lake Macquarie town with wonderful boating. It's situated on an isthmus between the lake and the sea.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Newcastle (30 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

    Cessnock (65 km)

    Some of the finest wines in the world are created in the Hunter Valley and its towns, gourmet food is acclaimed and luxury, boutique accommodations are matched by the most beautiful natural scenery.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

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

    Wild and free

    Yondeo trail, Wallarah National Park. Photo: Susan Davis

    Wallarah has an awesome collection of birds and animals due to the diversity of vegetation and habitats in the park. During the day, look out for sea eagles soaring along the coast, honeyeaters in the springtime flowering heath, lizards lolling on warm boulders, pods of dolphins in the ocean and passing whales during the winter months. At night, you may see the predatory powerful owl, a microbat, or the threatened squirrel glider that glides for up to 50m between trees. Bring along your binoculars to get a closer look at these natural beauties.

    • Coastal walking track The Coastal walking track links Caves Beach with the headland just south of Pinny Beach, giving spectacular views over the coastline and ocean along the way.

    Living Aboriginal culture

    Pinny Beach, Wallarah National Park. Photo: Susan Davis

    Bahtabah Local Aboriginal Land Council represents the Aboriginal community in the area that is now covered by Wallarah National Park. Physical evidence of Aboriginal people's lives in the area has remained in the form of middens found just south of Swansea. Only a few middens have been recorded, though it is probable that sand mining along this coast over the years has destroyed a large portion of middens that were there prior to European settlement.

    Happy wandering

    Pinny Beach, Wallarah National Park. Photo: Susan Davis

    There are various vegetation communities in Wallarah, including heathland, spotted gum and ironbark forest, open smooth-barked apple forest and palm gully rainforest with a canopy dominated by cabbage-tree palm. Follow the various walking tracks through the park to experience these. Keep an eye out for blooming wattle and the intriguing scribbly gum, whose attractive artwork is, in fact, the tunnelling journey of scribbly gum moth's larvae. By the way, the purple-flowered vine you'll see growing throughout the park is known commonly as happy wanderer.

    • Coastal walking track The Coastal walking track links Caves Beach with the headland just south of Pinny Beach, giving spectacular views over the coastline and ocean along the way.
    • Guided coastal hikes from Caves Beach Join CoastXP on a guided hike along the rugged coastline of Lake Macquarie in Wallarah National Park. Explore the Aboriginal culture, geology and plants and animals of this area with your expert guides.
    • Scenic trail Scenic trail is a challenging mountain bike ride - a steep scenic hike through coastal forest and heathland to views of the rugged coastline and access to Pinny Beach.
    • Yondeo trail A scenic walk or cycle on Yondeo trail in Wallarah National Park with places to picnic, birdwatching and whale watching opportunities and fishing at Pinny Beach.

    Don't just stand there

    Pinny Beach, Wallarah National Park. Photo: Susan Davis

    Do you like to surf, or are you more into fishing? Are you the type who loves to hike, or do you prefer cycling? Are you an ocean-gazer or a forest-walker? Wallarah allows you to do any or all of these activities, so bring your gear and enjoy this natural playground.

    • Coastal walking track The Coastal walking track links Caves Beach with the headland just south of Pinny Beach, giving spectacular views over the coastline and ocean along the way.
    • Scenic trail Scenic trail is a challenging mountain bike ride - a steep scenic hike through coastal forest and heathland to views of the rugged coastline and access to Pinny Beach.
    • Yondeo trail A scenic walk or cycle on Yondeo trail in Wallarah National Park with places to picnic, birdwatching and whale watching opportunities and fishing at Pinny Beach.

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Wallarah 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.