The best way to explore your surroundings is to walk, right? I do like a bit of walking, both for its physical benefits as well as the opportunities it offers in terms of discovery. There is something especially rewarding when you mix a certain level of exertion with exploration. Having lived in Sydney for a while now, I have walked many tracks and I have been looking for new ones. I came across some stunning photos of rock formations along the NSW Central Coast and decided I would tackle the beautiful Bouddi National Park Coastal Walk.
Bouddi National Park
Bouddi National Park lies along the eastern seaboard of Australia, 46 kms north of Sydney, on NSW Central Coast. The coastal walk is a relatively easy and diverse hike, stretching 8,5 kms from Putty Beach to McMasters Beach. You can find more information on the NSW National Parks website. Bouddi National Park was created at the initiative of Marie Byles, a conservationist and explorer who grew up on the Central Coast and became NSW’s first female solicitor. The park covers overs 1,500 hectares and extends into the Tasman Sea, therefore protecting land and marine habitats. A lookout was named after Marie Byles and views extend to Pittwater, Palm Beach and even the Sydney CBD.
What to See and Do in Bouddi National Park
The Bouddi National Park coastal walk offers some stunning views over the NSW Central Coast, a complex and alluring web of bays, beaches, inlets, lakes and hinterland areas. Just off the Scenic Road that meanders through the peri-urban area of the Central Coast, the Bouddi National Park coastal walk feels surprisingly secluded. The area lends itself to many outdoors activities, for a day, a weekend or longer.
The Bouddi National Park coastal walk is home to one of the last temperate rainforests of the NSW Central Coast and is an ideal place to view wildflowers, spot a plentiful birdlife and go whale watching in season. There are also some camping spots at Putty Beach and Little Beach.
The Bouddi National Park’s most prominent feature is its beautiful rock formations.
The Coastal Walk
At the time of my visit, the coastal walk was closed at Bouddi Point, due to track maintenance. I started the walk at Putty Beach and turned around at Maitland Bay, just before Bouddi Point. From Putty Beach to Maitland Bay is a 3 km walk, and probably the most attractive part of the track.
There is a boardwalk for some of the way, which makes for quite a comfortable walk.
You walk through thick bushland on the way down to Maitland Bay and the birdlife is plentiful. However in winter, or after some rain, the track can get quite muddy so I recommend wearing sturdy footwear.
The colourful rock formations are the reason for my visit to Bouddi National Park. Indeed, the different grades of colours are beautiful against the blue ocean backdrop.
There is a fine example of tessellated pavement on the side of the track. It is well signposted so you won’t miss it. More information on tessellated pavement here.
Gerrin Point Lookout offers stunning views over the coast and to Bouddi Point. It also gives you a good idea of the distance to Maitland Bay and a great opportunity for stunning photos.
Maitland Bay is a quiet beach that you may have to yourself. There was hardly anyone there on my visit and I found it to be very peaceful. That’s where you will see the most spectacular sights. Bouddi Point is at the north end of the beach.
Beyond Bouddi Point, the track continues to McMasters Beach and is mostly in bushland, so you can stick to the walk from Putty Beach to Maitland Bay. You can find a track at the end of Grahame Drive in McMasters Beach to join Little Beach. It’s not too easy to find and too late in the day for me.
Even if you don’t do all the walk, it’s worth visiting McMasters Beach and enjoy a coffee or a meal at the Barefoot Cafe for some beautiful views.
How to Get to the Bouddi National Park Coastal Walk
The Bouddi National Park is 46 kms north of Sydney, about an hour and a half drive. The best option is to drive, there are some public transport options, however this will take a lot longer.
From Sydney Central Station, catch the train towards Newcastle and alight at Woy Woy for Putty Beach. Or you can alight at Gosford for Little Beach.
Gosford to Little Beach, take the 64 to the 65 bus, get off near Namatjira Drive and then walk 25 minutes to the campground.
Woy Woy to Putty Beach, take the 64 bus to the 59 bus, get off near Beach Drive and then walk 9 minutes to the campground.
Woy Woy to Tallow Beach, take the 64 bus to the 59 bus, get off near Beach Drive and then walk 45 minutes to the campground.
As an alternative, and if you are visiting the Basin, you can take the ferry from Palm Beach to Wagstaffe but this will again lengthen your walk.
If you park at Putty Beach, there is a cost of $8, make sure you bring the right change.
Final Thoughts on the Bouddi National Park Coastal Walk
Bouddi National Park is a great option if you enjoy coastal views and want a medium grade. The only downside is the access to and from if you don’t have a car. Going back to your vehicle if you do the full length of the walk also requires planning. Aside from that, the track doesn’t seem to be overly busy like some of the Sydney walks.
And please, tell me about your experience hiking the Bouddi National Park Coastal Walk in the comments below !