White Sands Walk
Light to Light Walk
Haycock Beach to Barmouth Point
Light to Light Walk
White Sands Walk
White Sands Walk
The South Coast is breathtakingly beautiful. Stretching from Sydney’s south to the Victorian border, it’s the definition of untamed beauty with white-sand beaches, rugged rainforests and national parks nestled amongst charming fishing towns. And the best way to soak up the stunning scenery is by foot. From the beach to the bush, from short strolls to all-day hikes, these scenic South Coast walking tracks promise adventure and beauty, all rolled into one. Pick a path – any path – and start exploring.
Our edit of the best South Coast walking tracks
Let’s start with this breezy loop, which follows the white sandy shores of Jervis Bay. It begins at Greenfield Beach’s picnic area and passes by Chinaman’s, Hyams and Seamans Beach (swimwear is a must). As you walk, you’ll be spoilt by postcard-worthy coastal views, and if you’re lucky, you may even spot dolphins and whales frolicking in the sea. The return leg along Scribbly Gum Track moves away from the coastline and goes through the lush forests and woodlands, where you’ll spy furry locals like possums and kangaroos. If you’re in the mood for a longer walk, start from Plantation Point a little north of Greenfield Beach.
Length: 30km one-way
Time: 2-3 days
This multi-day South Coast walking track hugs the coastline from Boyds Tower on the far South Coast and finishes up at Green Cape Lightstation. It’s epic in every sense of the word, and usually takes a couple of days to complete (one way), but less-seasoned walkers often do it in sections. The trail is well-marked, but some of the terrain is tough, so you’ll want to wear proper hiking boots and bring lots of water. The reward? Stunning red-rock cliffs that tower over secluded bays and beaches, tea tree groves, forest and woodlands. The endpoint, Green Cape, is a hotspot for seals and whales. As for campsites, look into Bittangabee and Saltwater Creek, then rest your head at Telegraph Station Bunkhouse.
Time: 3 hours
This South Coast walking track takes in all the beauty of Jervis Bay National Park. It’s a little harder than it looks; it passes through soft sand dunes, which – as anyone who did Nippers as a kid will tell you – can be challenging terrain. Besides those sections, it’s quite flat. It kicks off at the Red Point picnic area and weaves its way through dunes and mangrove forests before ending at Carama Inlet on the northern edge of Jervis Bay National Park. You’ll be shaking sand out of your shoes at the finish line, but trust us when we say you’ll be doing it with a smile.
Time: 2.5 hours
If you’re a fan of birdwatching, you’ll love this South Coast walking track. Based in Bournda National Park, near North Tura, the loop takes you from the lagoon to the lake, passing waterways, rainforests and paperbarks along the way. As you hike, you’ll spot rare and colourful birds like the yellow-tailed black cockatoo and sea eagles soaring above, and maybe even a kangaroo or wallaby hopping around. You can swim and fish in both Sandy Beach Creek and Bournda Lake, which is a godsend on a steamy day. Leave yourself around 2-3 hours for this hike depending on how well you walk on sand.
Time: 2 hours
We love meandering down this South Coast walking track on the weekends. It begins at the Haycock Beach picnic area and winds its way along the clifftops, woodlands and rugged rock formations of Ben Boyd National Park. You’ll also be treated to views of the pristine beaches below. The track, which takes roughly two hours, is an ideal spot for both bird and whale watching, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled. On the ground, you may see echidnas, goannas and even the odd kangaroo. When you reach Barmouth Point, go for a swim or enjoy a siesta in the sun before turning around.
Sitchu tip: For an easy, breezy walk, try the tranquil Pambula River Walking Track. Also nestled in Ben Boyd National Park, the 1.2km (return) trail passes by rivers and coastal woodlands, and its lookouts are perfect for whale watching. If you like, you can tack this on to the Haycock Beach to Barmouth Point walk.
Time: 3-4 hours
Close to Kangaroo Valley, this South Coast walking track is a weekender’s dream: it’s easy, flat and wonderfully scenic. As you may have guessed, it’s named after the three unique views it takes in. In a pinch, you can break it up into separate walks, but there’s something special about soaking up all three at once. The track follows the Brooks Plateau and Moolatoo Trig trails through lush woodlands, before hitting the first lookout at Lake Yarraunga. The next is Tallowa Dam and the last is Shoalhaven River and its gorgeous gorges. While you walk, you’ll see vibrant wildlife and wildflowers blooming in winter and spring.
Length: 14km one-way
Time: 5-6 hours
Stretch it out, because this one’s a bit of a trek! Described as an “extended day walk,” this South Coast walking track is one of the best – and that’s a pretty big call. While it’s mostly flat, there are a couple of sharp ascents so you’ll want to lace up your good hiking boots. Start at the Wodi Wodi Track (Coalcliff) or Sublime Point Track (Austinmer) and then jump on the 11km Forest Walk. You’ll thread through a rare clifftop rainforest and dry eucalypt forest, but don’t forget to look down: the panoramic views of the coast will make your jaw drop. When you reach the Sublime Point lookout, climb down the ladder to Lady Fuller Park and flop over onto the grass for a well-earned BBQ. You can even do what the locals do and ask a friend to meet you there for a ride home!
There is no denying that the South Coast delivers in a big way when it comes to the great outdoors. If you loved our round-up of the best South Coast walking tracks, then make sure you jump across to the 10 Best Central Coast Walks and the Hiking Trails to Explore on Sydney's Northern Beaches.