11 February 2018

Canberra Day Trips: Murramarang National Park

| Canberra Day Trips
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Murramarang National Park, via National Parks Explorer.

With 44 kilometres of dramatic coastline, Murramarang National Park is the ultimate spot to soak up some sun and explore the cliffs, headlands, scenery and pristine beaches of the south coast via an abundance of walking tracks and trails. Bring your swimmers, kayak or surfboard for water sports on untouched beaches, your binoculars to spot peregrine falcons and sea eagles, or your fishing rod to catch yourself something for dinner. And all around you, you’ll be able to soak up the spectacular rock formations, magnificent gum forests and abundant native animals and birdlife.

Murramarang National Park is on the list of most visited NSW coastal National Parks, and it’s not hard to see why. The beautiful, and mostly untouched area extends from just north of Batemans Bay to Merry Beach near Ulladulla. Apart from kilometres of coastline, it’s also home to the beautiful Durras Lake and pockets of warm temperate rainforest. It is surrounded by three state forests – Kioloa, South Brooman and Benandarrah. The biodiversity is exceptional, with over 200 species of birds, 39 native mammal species and over 400 flora species.

Why you’ll love it


  • There is plenty of rich Aboriginal cultural heritage to explore. Murramarang Aboriginal Area is a significant site to the north of the park, and is home to the largest midden on the south coast.
  • The walks and drives in the area are spectacular, especially those that take in the headlands. Popular bushwalks include the Durras Lake Discovery Trail and the steep but enjoyable Durras Mountain climb. Dark Beach walking track leads to a secluded beach with unique rock formations which is ideal for fishing, swimming and snorkelling. Depot Beach Rainforest walk is an easy path through lush rainforest. The platform walk near Depot Beach is a short walk to fascinating rockpools offering excellent birdwatching and scenic ocean views of the coast, just north of Batemans Bay.
  • Canoeing, kayaking, beachcombing, cycling and watching pods of dolphins swim offshore are other activities on offer.
  • Enjoy being in one of the rare spots in Australia where the spotted gums grow right down to the ocean, offering plenty of shade in the warmer months and a stunning backdrop for a nature escape all year round.
  • Go for a surf at popular surfing spots Wasp Head, and Depot, Pebbly and Merry Beaches. There are numerous walking trails near the beaches and apparently, it’s not unusual for nudists to enjoy a spot of swimming at Myrtle Beach.

Getting there

If you are coming from Canberra, follow the Kings Highway through Bungendore, Braidwood and Batemans Bay, before heading north on the Princes Highway. A short distance along, you’ll find several entry points to the National Park.

  • Take the Bawley Point Road at Termeil to get to Pretty Beach
  • Turn off at East Lynne onto Mount Agony Road, then take the right fork onto North Durras Road to get to Depot Beach
  • Take Durras Road, then turn right into North Head road to get to North Head

When to go

Spring is a perfect time for exploring the tracks around the park when the weather is mild and the water sparkling. In summer, add some swimming or water sports to your adventure as the water is warmer. Winter is a good time for birdwatching, especially in the park’s rainforest areas.

Key details

  • Duration: allow 2 hours to drive to the area from Canberra
  • Distance from Canberra: around 160km
  • Recommended for: nature lovers, bushwalkers, birdwatchers, photographers, people with an interest in geology or Aboriginal culture
  • More information: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
  • Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted in the national park.
  • 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.

There’s a surprise around every corner at Murramarang National Park. Have you discovered any hidden gems you’d like to let others know about?

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