Bouddi National Park


Bouddi National Park offers excellent opportunities for bushwalking with something suitable for all fitness levels. Exploring Bouddi on foot is a fantastic way to appreciate its beauty and variety.

Walking tracks

Bullimah Spur track

Beginning from Maitland Bay Information Centre, Bullimah Spur track offers a medium difficulty walk through Central Coast bushland, flanked by some of the park’s most impressive panoramas.

Descend along Maitland Bay track and down the stairs to Bullimah Spur track, which branches off to the right. The track junction is well-marked, so it’s easy to navigate your way.

Follow the ridgeline past a forest of towering red gums and note the lovely understory of ancient ferns. Along the way you’ll see spectacular views overlooking Putty Beach, Tallow Beach, and all the way out to Lion Island and even Sydney.

Near the end of the track you can see sweeping views over Putty Beach and the coastline to the south and the expansive Pacific Ocean.

Plant communities: dry eucalypt forests

Location:  shown on Maitland Bay map

Opening hours: The Bullimah Spur track is:

  • always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger

Rocky Point trail

Bouddi National Park offers plenty of mountain biking opportunities on well-defined trails, also suitable for walking. One of the best cycling routes for beginners is Rocky Point trail, a one-way trail beginning just off Wards Hills Road and finishing at Allen Strom lookout. There are stellar scenic views from Allen Strom lookout over Hardys Bay and it is great for birdwatching along the way, so be sure to bring your binoculars.

Rocky Point trail forms part of Bouddi Ridge explorer, which links several trails in a single loop throughout the park. The 10km loop combines ocean lookouts with beautiful forested tracks for a brilliant overview of the area.

Directions: Park at the trail head on Wards Hill Road (opposite Maitland Bay Drive). 

Rocky Point Walking Track

A fairly easy walk along a fire trail through beautiful Bouddi National Park. A carpet of flannel flowers blankets this area in early spring. 

Directions: From the gravel car park at the top hill of Wards Hill Road (opposite Maitland Bay Drive intersection), follow the fire trail marked Rocky Point Trail, about 50 m to the south through a smaller gate.

Follow the fire trail for approximately 1 km, before reaching Allen Strom Lookout on the ridge above Rocky Point. From here you'll see stunning views of Brisbane Water across to Brisbane Water National Park.

Mount Bouddi walking track

Starting at Mount Bouddi (Dingeldei) picnic area, Mount Bouddi walking track is a short and easy walk through beautiful bushland with spectacular coastal views, making it a must-do for anyone visiting Bouddi National Park.

With some short steep sections, this walking track leads through eucalypt woodlands dotted with grass trees and burrawangs. Watch for flashes of vibrant colour as parrots dart through the trees and listen for the uplifting laughter of the kookaburras. Before long the bush will open up with panoramic views of the coastline with Bouddi Point and Maitland Bay bombora before you.

If you’ve still got energy to burn there’s the option to return via Bouddi Coastal walk to the south, then follow Maitland Bay track and Strom loop back to Mount Bouddi Road. Otherwise retrace your steps with the option to enjoy a leisurely lunch at Mount Bouddi (Dingeldei) picnic area.

Plant communities: heathlands, grassy woodlands

Location:  shown on Maitland Bay map

Box Head track

Walking at Box Head in Bouddi National Park (Image: David Kelly/DECCW)Amble along the park’s most southern ridge, taking in breathtaking water views over the Tasman Sea and Hawkesbury River as you go.

Beginning at the end of Hawke Head Drive, Box Head track alternates between rugged bushland and open windswept heath.

Keep your eye out for hidden treasures as you walk – an assortment of birdlife flits amongst the red gums and the rocky outcrops host a variety of moss and dwarfed trees.

You’ll find clifftop patches offering panoramas, particularly at the end of the track from Box Head lookout, where you’ll enjoy fantastic views over Tallow Beach, Little Tallow Beach, Broken Bay, Lion Island and Sydney's northern beaches. The track is joined by Flannel Flower walking track and Tallow Beach trail, which descends to Tallow Beach campground.

Plant communities: dry eucalypt forests

Location:  shown on park map

Opening hours: The Box Head track is:

  • Always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger

View to Lion Island from Box Head in Bouddi National Park (Image: Doug Beckers/DECCW)

Flannel Flower walking track

Lobster Beach in Bouddi National Park (Image: DECCW)Acquaint yourself with Bouddi National Park’s beautiful and diverse vegetation on the Flannel Flower walking track. The best time of year to visit has to be spring; the flannel flower is in full bloom and the sight of their white petals are simply beautiful.

Running between Hawke Head Drive and Lobster Beach, the track meanders through towering angophora forest. Stand a moment in the shade of these mighty red gum trees before continuing on to the magnificent Lobster Beach lookout. There, you’ll be treated to commanding views over some of the Central Coast’s prettiest and most popular beaches, including Broken Bay, Umina and Pearl.

As well as taking you through stunning bushland and beachfront, this walking track provides public access across private property in one section. Please remain on the track at all times when you’re in this area. Keep an eye out for Box head track and Tallow Beach trail, which descends to Tallow Beach campground, which join the track.

Directions: From the locked gate at the end of Hawke Head Drive, walk downhill and take the first track that leads to the right (north). Note that the wide trail to the left leads to Tallow Beach and Box Head. The walk weaves its way under the angophora forest to a magnificent lookout, providing commanding views over Broken Bay, 'the Box', Umina and Pearl Beach. 

The trail then continues downhill and traverses the 'Pretty Beach Right Of Way'. This walking track provides public access across private property and has been granted by the owners in the interest of the community. Please respect the privacy of landowners by remaining on the track at all times. 

At the end of the Right Of Way (next to a timber fence), the track meets with the Lobster Beach Walking Track. From here you can turn left (uphill) past a series of timber stairs to Lobster Beach or right (downhill) to High View Road at Pretty Beach.

Lobster Beach in Bouddi National Park (Image: Deb Holloman/DECCW)

Maitland Bay track

Maitland Bay in Bouddi National Park (Image: Joel Winter/DECCW)Maitland Bay track is one of Bouddi National Park’s most popular bushwalks. This short, steep walking track begins at Maitland Bay Information Centre. It then winds downhill to the secluded Maitland Bay, past the Bullimah Spur track junction, rock landings, gullies, Hawkesbury sandstone and Bouddi Grand Deep rainforest.

Stop to swim, look for shells or simply dip your feet in the water. If it’s low tide, head to the bay’s eastern end to see remains of the PS Maitland, tragically wrecked in 1898. Allow 15–20 minutes to walk down the hill and 30–40 minutes to get back up. Some find it tough going on the return, so you may wish to walk the flatter 3km to Putty Beach and have someone pick you up there.

Plant communities: dry eucalypt forests

Cultural heritage: At low tide you can still see some remains of the PS Maitland at the eastern end of Maitland Bay. Wrecked at Bouddi Point in the early hours of 6 May 1898, the Maitland was travelling from Sydney to Newcastle. Whilst 36 persons were rescued, it's thought that 15 passengers and 12 crew died.

Location:  shown on Maitland Bay map

Daleys Point walking track

Daleys Point walking track in Bouddi National Park (Image: DECCW)Daleys Point walking track, in Bouddi National Park, offers spectacular scenic views and an opportunity to experience unique Aboriginal cultural heritage. Starting near Wards Hill Road, this signposted track follows the ridgetop through beautiful bushlands with some short steep sections, to Daleys Point Aboriginal Site. It is a moderately easy walk that can be enjoyed on a family day trip.

Winding through the woodlands, listen for the distinctive call of glossy black cockatoos. In spring, the bush is dotted with native wildflowers including the delicate white flannel flower.

Before you know it you’ll arrive at Daleys Point with spectacular scenic views over Cockle Bay Nature Reserve and Brisbane Water. Also known as Milligans Cave or Fish Hook Shelter, these sandstone engravings are an important Aboriginal site. While you admire and take in the significance of this special place, please remember to respect the surroundings so as not to damage engravings.

Directions: From the gravel car park at the top hill of Wards Hill Road (opposite Maitland Bay drive intersection), follow the fire trail north-west through the large gate. Continue, past two trails on the left and after1.6 km, head right at the 'Y' intersection. This trail leads you to Daleys Point Aboriginal site, which offers good views over Cockle Bay Nature Reserve and Brisbane Water.

Strom loop

Strom loop is a good option for families who enjoy walking or beginner cycling, and want to get a taste of Bouddi National Park. Strom loop can be completed as either a 5km round trip or a 3km one-way trail ending at Mount Bouddi (Dingeldei) picnic area.

Beginning at Maitland Bay Information Centre, follow Strom loop as it parallels the 2.5km stretch of Scenic Road. It’s a straightforward walking or cycling trail with scenic forest views and birdwatching opportunities. Most mammals in the park are nocturnal, but if you keep your eyes open you might be lucky to spot a swamp wallaby or echidna.

After taking advantage of the facilities in Mount Bouddi (Dingeldei) picnic area, you can return along Strom loop or make a loop via Scenic Road, North West Ridge trail, and Turkey trail. If bushwalking, you can use the link to Maitland Bay walking track instead or Mount Bouddi walking track.

Directions: Park at Maitland Bay Information Centre near the intersection of The Scenic Road and Maitland Bay Drive. Ride along the Strom Trail to Mount Bouddi Road. Turn right to visit the historic Dingeldei picnic area (you can also park here). Return along the Strom Trail, or make a loop via The Scenic Road (take care when riding on and crossing the road) and Turkey Trail.

Bouddi coastal walk

Coastal Walking Track in Bouddi National Park (Image: Bob Peters/DECCW)The 8km Bouddi coastal walk runs from Putty Beach to MacMasters Beach. Boasting beaches, boardwalks and birdlife, it’s known as one of the most beautiful central coast walks. This relatively easy hike is characterised by sweeping views, shady rainforest and inviting picnic spots.

There’s a photo opportunity around every corner on Bouddi coastal walk. You might see wildflowers or migrating whales from Gerrin Point lookout, along with the Bouddi National Park Marine Extension and the PS Maitland shipwreck at the eastern end of Maitland Bay. Stay overnight before you set off at Putty Beach campground or stop along the way at Little Beach campground.

Prefer a shorter walk? Break the walk into shorter sections:

  • Putty Beach to Maitland Bay (3km)
  • Maitland Bay to Little Beach (3.5km)
  • Little Beach to MacMasters Beach (1.7km)

Plant communities: heathlands, dry eucalypt forests

Location:  shown on Maitland Bay map

Maitland Bay in Bouddi National Park (Image: Joel Winter/DECCW)Putty Beach in Bouddi National Park (Image: DECCW)Bullimah Beach in Bouddi National Park (Image: David Kelly/DECCW)Gerrin Point and Putty Beach in Bouddi National Park (Image: David Kelly/DECCW)

Walking: events and activities

Commercial activity

Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures

Glenworth Valley is Australia's leading provider of outstanding outdoor adventure experiences.

Glenworth Valley offers a range of exciting adventure activities including guided and free range horse riding, quad biking, abseiling, kayaking, laser skirmish and camping. No prior experience is required and all activities are suitable for all ability levels with friendly and professional guides.

Glenworth Valley is located on a scenic 3000 acre wilderness property in the hinterland region of the New South Wales Central Coast, just one hour north of Sydney's CBD.

More info: Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures, Phone: 02 4375 1222 (international +612 4375 1222)