Wyrrabalong National Park
Divided into two sections, Wyrrabalong National Park conserves the last significant coastal (littoral) rainforest on the Central Coast. Rocky cliffs pounded by the sea alternate with sandy beaches and you can enjoy dramatic coastal vistas from several lookouts. A network of walking tracks will help you explore the varied landscape of the park, while the picnic areas are a place to rest and enjoy your surroundings.
This park is near...
The Entrance (5 km)
Best access routes
The park is on the Central Coast of NSW, about 110 kilometres north of Sydney, within day trip distance. It's in two parts, one on each side of The Entrance. To get to the north section go north from The Entrance via Wilfred Barrett Drive. To reach the south section of the park, drive along Bateau Bay Rd, which is off The Entrance Road.
Road quality: paved
Facilities & things to do
>>Picnics and barbecues
You can get to Tuggerah Lake and the littoral rainforest section of the park by walking the 4.6 kilometre Lillypilly Loop Trail. This circuit will take you under a canopy of towering corkwoods and cabbage tree palms and also has views over the wetlands. If you want to see the beautiful Red Gum Forest, walk the 2.3 kilometre Red Gum Trail returning via the 1.3 kilometre Burrawang Track. This circuit follows a network of old mining exploration trails leading onto the rim of the main sand dune. The route then descends onto the floor of an old blow-out where it crosses several smaller dunes before returning to the carpark. The 0.7 kilometre Tuggerah Beach Trail is popular with fishers and surfers. The 0.9 kilometre Wetland Trail provides a link to Evans Rd, Toukley, and access to swamp mahogany and paperbark fringed wetlands. Beautiful wildflowers grow along most of the trails and they are at their best from July to September.
The Coast Walking Track is 3.5 kilometre long and links Blue Lagoon with Wyrrabalong Lookout via Bateau Bay Beach and Crackneck Lookout. The track ranges through a blackbutt woodland near the beach to a spotted gum forest at Crackneck Lookout. The 1.6 kilometre section between Crackneck and Wyrrabalong lookouts has some spectacular views. You can also walk along the rocks from Bateau Bay to Forresters Beach when the seas are calm and the tide is low. This return journey of about 6 kilometre passes over boulders and close to a unique grey mangrove colony growing on the rock platform.
Picnics and barbecues
There are no amenities in North Wyrrabalong.
At south Wyrrabalong, there's a shady picnic area next to the north carpark behind Bateau Bay Beach. A short distance away at the south carpark there are some toilets. You'll also find picnic areas at the Crackneck and Wyrrabalong lookouts.
In North Wyrrabalong there's a lookout at the end of Pelican Beach Rd with a view over Pelican Beach. Along the Red Gum Trail you will find viewing platforms offering wide views of the mountains and Tuggerah Lake. From Crackneck and Wyrrabalong lookouts in South Wyrrabalong you'll see panoramic views of the ocean and surrounding areas.
Extensive rock platforms at either end of Bateau Bay Beach are excellent places to fish when the seas are calm and the tide low. Pelican and Tuggerah beaches are popular unpatrolled surfing and fishing areas. Please note that all rocks facing the ocean can be dangerous, even when the seas appear calm. Detailed information about water quality at beaches in and around this park is available in the Wyong Shire Council section of the 2003-4 State of the Beaches report.
This park is made up of two scenic and forest-clad sections of coastline. The southern part has high headlands, cliffs and rock platforms while the northern section is sandy.
A beautiful and unusual feature of North Wyrrabalong is the Red Gum Forest, a large open forest growing on the dunes. With the red gums are banksias, burrawangs and more than 100 other species which together form an intricate mosaic. Remnant coastal (littoral) rainforest mingles with open scrubland on another part of the dunes. The rainforest patches contain a wide variety of species including cabbage tree palms, hard corkwood, bangalay and the endangered magenta lillypilly. There are significant wetlands between the dunes and Tuggerah Lake, over which broad-leaved paperbarks, swamp mahoganies and cabbage trees tower.
South Wyrrabalong is characterised by woodland on the plateau and shrubs and closed heath dominated by coastal banksia and she-oak on the windswept slopes. Sweet wattle, false sarsaparilla, sunshine wattle, wedding bush, pink match heads and flannel flowers are some of the wildflowers which bloom between July and September.
A rich variety of animals rely on the winter fruit of the bangalow palm and the hard corkwood growing in the rainforest. Swamp mahoganies and other flowering eucalypts provide nectar for many birds, including rainbow and musk lorikeets, mammals such as flying foxes, and the rare squirrel glider.
The most common mammal in the park is the brown antechinus. Other mammals include the northern brown bandicoot, ringtail possum and the New Holland mouse. The northern dune system is home to diamond pythons, Gould's sand goannas and sand swimming lizards.
Wyrrabalong is a good place to watch whales, which can often be spotted off the coast during winter. Humpbacks are most common but you might also see a rare southern right whale.
Culture & history
North Wyrrabalong forms part of the territory of the Awabakal people. South Wyrrabalong, cut off from the north by The Entrance channel, was Darkinjung land. Surveyor Felton Mathew gave the name Wyrrabalong, adopted from a local Aboriginal language, to the most prominent hill between Sydney and Newcastle by this name in 1831.
The land and waterways, and the plants and animals that live in them, feature in all facets of Aboriginal culture – including recreational, ceremonial, spiritual and as a main source of food and medicine. They are associated with dreaming stories and cultural learning that is still passed on today. We work with local Aboriginal communities to protect this rich heritage.
To find out more about Aboriginal heritage in the park, you can get in touch with the local Aboriginal community. Contact the park office for more details.
History in the park
An 1896 reservation 'on account of coal' led to preservation of the southern section of the park, while the north was protected from development by poor sandy soils and lack of access. This changed in 1965 when the construction of Wilfred Barrett Drive brought sandminers into the area. In a series of disputes between 1968 and 1976 the North Entrance Preservation Society fought in the courts to save the area from sandmining. While the eastern side was mined and is now slowly regenerating, the beautiful and majestic Red Gum Forest was saved. In 1984 a group of Central Coast conservationists established a Wyrrabalong Committee, which together with the North Entrance Preservation Society successfully lobbied for gazettal of the two areas as a national park in 1991.
Information for this National Park has been supplied courtesy of The New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service