If you have exhausted all of Sydney’s Coastal Walks, why not head a little further and do the Bouddi National Park Walk: one of the best coastal walks you can do along the Central Coast in NSW!
BOUDDI COASTAL WALK
– 8km one way (can do shorter 3km one-way walk if you prefer).
– located in Bouddi National Park – from Putty Beach to MacMasters Beach (or to Maitland Bay Beach if doing the shorter walk).
– relatively easy walk
A visit to Bouddi National Park makes a great day trip from Sydney! It is located along the southern part of the Central Coast, which is a 48km span of stunning coastline between Newcastle and Sydney from the southern part of Lake Macquarie to the mouth of the Hawkesbury River. The beaches along the Central Coast are incredibly beautiful but much less crowded than the ones in Sydney. There are also many great coastal walks you can do here.
BOUDDI NATIONAL PARK WALK – BOUDDI COASTAL WALK
The Bouddi National Park Walk is also known as the Bouddi Coastal Walk. It is without a doubt the best walk in Bouddi National Park.
At 8km one way it is not the shortest of walks, but the views out towards the ocean and overlooking the secluded beaches are absolutely incredible! In fact it was listed by the Australian Geographic as one of the best day hikes to do in Australia! You pass five stunning beaches throughout the walk. If you would rather not do the whole 8km (one-way) from Putty Beach to MacMasters Beach you can just do the first 3km of the walk, from Putty Beach to Maitland Bay Beach. This is actually the most picturesque part of the walk and you will see three of the beaches. The majority of this walk is quite flat and it hugs the coastline most of the way.
PUTTY BEACH TO MAITLAND BAY (3KM)
The coastal walk begins at the end of Putty Beach. Putty Beach is a large beach that lies to the east of Killcare Beach and offers stunning views across to Palm Beach, Barrenjoey Headland, Box Head and even Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park.
There are toilets just behind the beach, so make sure to make use of the toilets if you need them as the next ones are located at Little Beach 6km away. There is also a picnic area, BBQ facilities, a water refill station and a camp ground here.
You’ll find the sign for the start of the walk on the eastern side of Putty Beach. The walk starts by going up some wooden stairs and then following the dirt path. You then come to a rocky outcrop that you might want to explore a little – if you walk out it offers lovely views towards Putty Beach and Bullimah Beach, and there are also some really interesting formations on the ground.
The walk is then mostly along a boardwalk making it a fairly easy walk. You’ll also see some unusual tessellated pavement (flat rock divided into blocks) as you continue around the walk.
Not long after this you will see the path divides into two: one continues on the path towards Maitland Bay and another one is a 120 metre side track that will take you down to Bullimah Beach. Head down here to have a look at this gorgeous beach, have a swim or relax, and then when you are ready head back up the path and on towards Maitland Bay.
GERRIN POINT LOOKOUT
350 metres from where the side path joins back onto the main path is Gerrin Point Lookout. It is a little bit uphill to get here, but from here you can see across to Maitland Bay and you can also look out for dolphins and humpback whales if it is migration season.
Then walk goes mostly inland through bush and rainforest until you get to Maitland Bay Beach, so the views are a bit uneventful but it provides some much needed shade on those sunny days. You can take the detour up towards Bullimah Lookout on your left and then head down towards Maitland Bay Beach, which is just over 1km away.
MAITLAND BAY BEACH
Maitland Bay Beach is another lovely secluded beach. Note if you just want to visit Maitland Bay Beach the nearest car park is 1km away on the Maitland Bay Track.
Heading back to Putty Beach from Maitland Bay Beach
If you want to head back to Putty Beach from Maitland Bay Beach it will take around 45 minutes to walk back. You can either walk back the same way you came or you can take the Maitland Bay Track up if you want to take a different, slightly shorter walk back. Beware there are a lot of steps and it is quite steep but there are a couple of great viewpoints on this route that it is definitely worth it. Head to the top of the Maitland Bay Track, turn left at the car park and walk along The Scenic Road (yes that is the actual name of the road!) and then you will come to the Marie Byles Lookout that offers incredible sweeping views over Broken Bay.
To visit the second lookout turn left down Manly View Road then onto Babs Road. Walk all the way to the end and you’ll see a path between the bushes infront of you next to Jacqueline Avenue. Head down here and walk past the green house to your right. You’ll notice some giant boulders infront of you – step onto these and you’ll get n incredible aerial view of Putty Beach!
From here it is a 10 minute walk to the Putty Beach car park though the bush.
MAITLAND BAY BEACH TO LITTLE BEACH
If you are continuing the walk all the way to MacMasters Beach from Maitland Bay Beach it is another 5km: 3.5km to Little Beach and then 1.5km from Little Beach to MacMasters Beach. There are a couple of lookouts just past Maitland Bay Beach but apart from this the track is mostly going inland through bush so you won’t have many coastal views until you reach Little Beach. Make sure you have an offline maps as there are some side trails that lead off the path.
There are toilets, BBQs, picnic tables and a camping area at Little Beach.
LITTLE BEACH TO MACMASTERS BEACH
Follow the path from Little Beach on to MacMasters Beach (Mourawaring Moor Trail) – again the walk is inland as opposed to along the coast and it goes uphill. There are also some side trails you can take that provide nice sea views if you have the time (and energy!) to explore these too. The Coastal Walk then joins on to Beachview Esplanade. Head up here a couple hundred metres then take the footpath on your right between houses number 51 and 53. This path takes you down to MacMasters Parade and is known as the MacMasters Beach Walking Track. You’ll see a big set of stairs here on the right as the road bends round (by house number 37) – head down the steps and you’ll find yourself on MacMasters Beach. MacMasters Beach is really stunning and there is also a really nice ocean pool on the southern end of the beach you can have a swim in!
Where are there toilets along the Bouddi Coastal Walk?
- behind Putty Beach (near the camping area, also some near the picnic area)
- behind Little Beach (near the camping area)
- behind MacMasters Beach on Marine Parade
Where can you camp along the Bouddi National Park Walk?
Bouddi National Park is a great place for beachfront camping. It is actually one of only a few places that beachfront camping is officially allowed in New South Wales! The campsites within Bouddi National Park are extremely popular and do get booked out weeks in advance during the peak months, especially on weekends, so do book ahead. Note during the current times ALL camping in National Parks in NSW require prior booking.
Location wise, Little Beach is probably the best located as it is located right on the beach and is in between the other beaches, but it is not near a car park so you will have to walk with your belongings a fair bit to get here.
The most convenient campsite is probably Putty Beach Campsite as it is right next to the car park, so perfect if you have lots of stuff or you are with children.
Little Beach Campsite
There are only 6 spots at this popular spot and it is particularly popular with surfers. You can only camp in tents here (ie: there is no campervan access). There are basic toilets, BBQs and picnic tables here. The nightly rate for 2 people in a tent is $34. Click here to visit the NSW National Parks website and click here to check availability and book at Little Beach Campsite.
Putty Beach Campground
Larger than Little Beach Campsite with 20 spots, Putty Beach Campground is also only suitable for tent camping. The facilities are a bit better than at Little Beach and offer showers as well as a water refill station, on top of the BBQ and toilets. However you will have to walk a couple of minutes to the beach as it is not right on the beach. The nightly rate for 2 people in a tent is $34. Click here to visit the NSW National Parks website and click here to check availability and book at Putty Beach Campground.
How to get to Bouddi National Park:
Getting here by car is by far the most convenient way to get here. From Sydney CBD it should take you just over 1.5 hours to get to Putty Beach. Parking in the car park will cost you $8 for the day, or there is free parking behind Putty Beach along Putty Beach Drive.
If you want to reach Bouddi National Park by public transport, be prepared it will take at least a couple of hours. You will need to get the Newcastle train from Sydney Central to Woy Woy. Then from Woy Woy take the 59 bus to head to Putty Beach. Get off near Beach Drive then walk 10 minutes to Putty Beach. If you want to go to Little Beach take the 64 or 65 bus, get off near Namatjira Drive then walk 25 minutes to Little Beach. Alternatively you can take the L90 bus from Wynyard all the way up to Palm Beach and then take the ferry across to Wagstaffe and then walk to Putty Beach from here, but it is a 50 minute walk. Ferries also are fairly infrequent – check the timetable here.
If you are looking for other walks to do around The Central Coast, check out these walks:
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