TRAVEL DESTINATIONS

NSW MIDCOAST AND MYALL LAKES NP

Beach driving and lakeside camping havens.

Beach driving, fishing boating and camping are easily accessed in the south section of Myall Lakes National Park, near the NSW coastal town of Buladelah, just north of Newcastle. 

Covering 190 kilometres of pristine coastline, from Hawks Nest (Jimmy’s Beach) in the south to Crowdy Head in the north, this stretch of the NSW MidCoast region is an ideal playground for 4WD, camping and boating enthusiasts. 

Beach Vehicle Access Permits and brochures showing vehicle access points are available at local Visitor Information Centres, the Council Customer Service Centre and some bait and tackle stores. MidCoast Council now has 30-day Beach Vehicle Access Permits for the entire region, which is ideal for shorty-stay visitors.  The Council says all permit fees contribute to maintaining beach access points, dune rehabilitation and weed control.

MidCoast beach rules are enforced by Council Rangers and the NSW Police Force. The maximum beach speed is a 40km/h, with pedestrians always having right of way and vehicles must stay at least 15 metres away from pedestrians.

Vehicles must also drive between the tide marks, which means remaining below the high tide mark and above the low tide mark. Vehicles are not permitted to drive on vegetation, sand dunes or bird nesting areas.

First-time visitors to the Myall Lakes region are blown away by the beauty of an area that’s so close to major population centres. The Lakes nestle behind beachfront dunes and offer a combination of protected and open water scenery. Beach driving, surfing and fishing are popular pursuits on the ocean front and fishing and boating head the lake activitites.

The Myall Lakes area was internationally listed in 1999, under the Ramsar Convention Code, which records the world’s most significant wetlands.

The Myall Lakes wetlands are in near-natural condition and are home to regional and migratory birds that are covered by the Japan-Australia and China-Australia Migratory Bird Agreements.

Spectacular Bombah Broadwater, Two Mile Lake, Boolambayte Lake and Myall Lake form an interconnected series of lakes that used to be an ancient river bed. The dunes are much newer, with the inner ones being laid down before the last glacial period and the outer barrier formed during the last ice age, when sea levels dropped. The rainforest area at Mungo Brush is fed by an underlying basalt deposit that has produced fertile soil.

 

Lakeside and beachfront driving

The suggested drive through the southern section of Myall Lakes National Park starts at Bulahdelah and finishes at Tea Gardens, but it can be just as easily run in the northerly direction. The narrow bitumen winds through pastoral land for a short distance, before becoming graded gravel that leads to the Bombah Point Ferry.

The Ferry crosses a narrow stretch of water between Bombah Broadwater and Two Mile Lake, which connects to Boolambayte Lake and finally, Myall Lake, in the northern section of the Park.

The road from the Ferry through to Tea Gardens is now sealed and the old north-running, sand mining road that was a connecting track to Seal Rocks was closed permanently in 2006. However, beach access is still allowed, with an entry onto the ocean front at Mungo. Off-road vehicles are permitted north of Mungo as far as Big Gibber headland. Drivers must stay on the beach and there is no access to the old mining road.

Another beach entry is at Lemontree, just north of Hawks Nest, on the Mungo Brush Road. Beach driving is allowed as far north as Dark Point. There is a 4x4 track to Sandy Point, but no beach access.

The Myall wetlands are home to thousands of birds and the best way to see them is on one of the many bush walking trails around the lake front and through the coastal marshes. The Dark Point walk leads across large dunes to an aboriginal midden and to the Little Gibber Headland.

Further south, at Port Stephens, the Yacaaba Headland walk provides spectacular views ofthe entire Myall Lakes region. It’s also a great whale watching site.

The turnoff to Myall Lakes National Park is Crawford Street, Buladelah, signposted Myall Lakes National Park 11km. Only 100 metres further on there’s a three-way intersection and our drive takes Ann Street, which is also Bombah Point Road (keep the beautifully restored Bulahdelah Court House on your right). This road may be closed briefly after very heavy rain.

The turnoff to Korsmans Landing camping area is 8km before the Bombah Point Ferry, which operates every 30 minutes, seven days a week, from 8am until 6pm. 

There are fuel and supplies available at Bulahdelah, Hawks Nest, Tea Gardens and Raymond Terrace, and the longest distance between these points is 60km, plus any beach klicks you may drive.

There are camping areas at Korsmans Landing, Bombah Point, Boomeri, The Wells, White Tree Bay, Dees Corner, Mungo Brush, Banksia Green, Stewart & Lloyds and Tea Gardens. Some other camping spots are accessible by water or walking only.

Park day-use and camping fees apply and beach driving permits are required -contact NPWS Pacific Palms (02) 6591 0300 8.30am – 4.30pm Mon-Fri. There’s a ferry fee at Bombah Point.

Note also that the beaches in Myall Lakes National Park are unpatrolled and boating weather can change suddenly. A tide chart is necessary for safe beach driving and can be picked up at service stations, information centres and tackle shops.

 

Glamping

Myall Shores Resort is one of the Eco-Point Chain of environmentally sensitive establishments that offer a close to nature experience, with minimal environmental impact.

After a few nights of camping it was pleasant to drive into the Resort at Bombah Point and check into a beach-facing villa. (Yes, we always pay for our accommodation on travel trips.)

The villas are arranged along the southern side of spit of land that ends at Bombah Point, tucked in behind melaleuca trees that screen the sun and the sea breeze. There is a boat ramp suitable for launching small boats, among the trees.

Myall Shores Resort boasts a huge swimming pool, convention facilities, a famous restaurant and activities that range from archery for kids to fishing expeditions. Boat and kayak hire is available.

Our villa was laid out with two separate bedrooms and ensuites – one with a shower and one with a shower/bath – adjoining a common lounge/dining/ kitchen area. A wooden deck out front was furnished with a table and chairs and protected by a sunshade cover. There was ample parking for vehicles and trailers beside each villa.

We were impressed by the eco-friendly nature of this resort, built as it is only a metre or so above the water table, with the open waters of Bombah Broadwater to the south and a pristine creek to the north. The sewer system was particularly impressive, with large, sealed holding tanks beside each villa, plumbed to a pumping system that took waste well inland for treatment.

Myall Shores Resort also has a waterfront camping area, with powered sites.


 


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