If your idea of the perfect day trip is to get away from it all in a pristine beachside location, Pebbly Beach could be the ideal destination for you. It’s an unspoiled expanse of national park that’s renowned for its friendly, beach-loving kangaroos who graze on the sand and laze around on the dunes unconcerned about the visiting humans in their patch of paradise.
Pebbly Beach is within Murramarang National Park, around 8km off the Hume Highway between Batemans Bay and Ulladulla.
Why you’ll love it
- Pebbly Beach is secluded, beautiful and peaceful. There are camping facilities and some short-term accommodation in the area but not the big parks, apartments and beach homes found at more populated areas along the coast, so the crowds tend to stay elsewhere.
- The waters are clear and fresh, and if you’re a surfer, you’ll love the waves.
- It’s the ideal place to kick back, admire the coastline and watch all kinds of wildlife in their natural environment. The birdlife is abundant, and the kangaroos are legendary. There are not too many beaches where you can lay out your towel or picnic blanket and relax on the sand with tame Eastern Grey kangaroos just metres away going about their business.
- There’s plenty to explore. At low tide, wander around the rocks and explore the shallows, or take a longer walk along the paths, which are a bushwalker’s delight. Two of our favourites are:
- Pebbly Beach to Snake Bay walk This walking track offers fantastic coastal views, caves, beaches and swimming through Murramarang National Park.
- Pebbly Beach to Durras Mountain walk This walk is steep, but it will reward you with beaches, incredible coastal views, and wildlife spotting, also through the national park.
- Pebbly Beach picnic area is nestled into a magnificent forest, and it’s the picture-perfect spot to enjoy a picnic with the added bonus of having roos for company. There are shelters and plenty of grass to spread out on, and barbecues to cook your fish or meat, and a toilet block nearby.
- If you’re in the area during whale watching season from May – November, head up to the headland to spot migrating whales. We’re told there are often pods of dolphins to be seen year-round as well.
- Birdwatchers are in for a treat; the park boasts more than 90 species of birdlife including three owl species, gannets, shearwaters, white-faced storm petrels, sooty oystercatchers, eastern yellow robins and even a penguin colony. We’ve spotted sea eagles and peregrine falcons soaring above the headlands.
If you are coming from Canberra, follow the Kings Highway through Bungendore, Braidwood and Batemans Bay, before heading north on the Princes Highway. Then:
- Take the Princes Highway to East Lynne
- Turn into Mt Agony Road for sealed access all the way
- Take the second right (at the roundabout,) just before the start of the dirt road
- Wind your way down the hill and you’ll see a parking area near the campground.
You can also reach Pebbly Beach via Pebbly Beach Road from the Princes Highway, but the road is unsealed and rough in parts.
When to go
Spring is a great time to dust off your hiking boots and try out some of the walking trails for spectacular views of the coast and ranges.
There’s no better time to catch some sunshine than summer, when the area’s crystal blue waters are perfect for swimming and snorkelling. If you’re into birdwatching, head down in winter when you might just catch the courting lyrebirds in the rainforest surrounding the area.
- Duration: allow 2 ½ hours to drive to the area from Canberra.
- Distance from Canberra: around 190km.
- Recommended for: nature lovers, bushwalkers, birdwatchers, photographers, or people with an interest in geology, as well as visitors to Australia keen to get up close to our unique native fauna.
- Cost: Park entry fees: Park entry fees apply: $8 per vehicle per day. The park has coin-operated pay and display machines and visitors are asked to bring correct coins.
- More information: Pebbly Beach Campground – Murramarang National Park
If you’ve been to Pebbly Beach, what do you like best about the area?