Mimosa Rocks National Park
Natural volcanic sculptures appear everywhere among the rugged coastal headlands, cliffs and rock stacks.
Best access routes
Whether you're coming from Tathra in the south, or Bermagui in the north, you can get to the park from the main Tathra-Bermagui Road. Side roads will take you to all areas of the park. Roads in the park are unsealed but suitable for 2WD cars. Roads are narrow and winding, and may become slippery after rain.
Road quality: unpaved sections
Facilities & things to do
>>4WD & trail bike touring
>>Canoeing & boating
>>Picnics & barbecues
Safety in the park
Visitors should be aware of the risks associated with bushfires in the Australian bush, particularly during summer. In the event of a bushfire, the safest place is likely to be on the beach. Fire control crews may be some distance away, and vehicles caught on narrow roads in the forest, by fallen trees or lack of visibility due to smoke, only make their job harder.
You should also be aware of the potential dangers in the ocean waters adjoining the park.
Ticks are often prevalent in the bush, particularly in the spring and after rain, so take precautions to prevent being bitten. Some venomous snakes are found in the park, including black, brown and tiger snakes, as well as death adders.
Roads in the park are fairly narrow and winding, so take it easy and watch out for other vehicles, pedestrians and wildlife.
Native plant communities
>>Reptiles and Amphibians
Culture & history
History in the park
The park area since colonisation
The first European to see this striking stretch of coastline was George Bass, who put ashore at Mogareeka Inlet in 1797.
White settlers arrived in the Bega Valley in the 1830s, attracted by its grazing and farming potential. One of them, Dr George Imlay, was found dead on the Bega side of the mountain that now bears his name (Dr George Mountain). You can see a memorial plaque beside the road just east of Tarraganda.
Bega township was established in 1851, and in its earliest years the town traders used Moon Bay as a regional port. Timber and sheep products were shipped from its sheltered waters. You can still see a log-slide and mooring ring. Tathra wharf was built in the 1860s, but the scarcity of water held back the development of a town until 1876.
Over the last 120 years the land now in the park has been used for a range of economic ventures. Logging, agriculture and fossicking have all come and gone. Oyster farming continues in the waters of some lagoons next to the park.
Timber getting and other forest industries had occurred in most of the reserves in the region, with sawlog and sleeper cutting common in the area of Mimosa Rocks National Park. You can still see the remains of sawmilling and other forest industries throughout some sections of the park. There are also various remains of mining in the area, which wasn't extensive or long-term.
One of the major challenges for the NPWS, the conservation movement and the government in the late 1960s was the protection of a significant proportion of the state's remaining natural coastal lands before they were lost to development.
At that time very little of the coastline was protected in reserves, and development pressures were increasing. Once-remote areas of the coast were being affected by residential and tourism developments, and forestry activities were affecting native forests.
The south coast received its fair share of attention with areas of coastal Crown land being set aside for reserves under the National Parks and Wildlife Act. The first major breakthrough came in 1970 following the completion of investigative work on the south coast. This led in July that year to the government announcing its decision to protect 37 kilometres of ocean frontage in the region by establishing conservation reserves over some 21,450 hectares of coastal land.
History of the park
Mimosa Rocks National Park had modest beginnings in 1973, when 628 hectares of coast between Picnic Point and Bunga Head were gazetted. The area has grown since then, with land added to the park from a number of sources.
Some was purchased under the Coastal Lands Protection Scheme, some was former Crown reserve, and other areas were donated by the late Sir Roy Grounds, the late Ken Myer and his wife Yasuko Myer, and by Professor David Yencken, who later became President of the Australian Conservation Foundation.
The upper catchment of Nelson Lagoon, which makes up the south-west part of the park, was formerly part of the Tanja West State Forest. It was added in April 1982 after a long history of management for timber production. Several other areas of the park were also formerly state forest.
The Bega-Tathra Conservation Society was one local group who lobbied for many years to have much of the park declared
Information for this National Park has been supplied courtesy of The New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service