My Coast – Bouddi National Park

The A-Z of the Central Coast, NSW, Australia

Welcome to the second instalment of my fortnightly photo blog exploring my local area. This week I will take you to one of the many beautiful national parks in the Central Coast area, the Bouddi National Park.

B-Bouddi National Park

It is located on the pacific coast at the south end of the Central Coast region. It covers an area of  15.32 km2 (5.9 sq mi).  Part of the park is extended out into the ocean meaning that the area has protected land, shore and marine habitats.

View of Maitland Bay Head looking south towards Barrenjoey Lighthouse
If you are a fan of the outdoors life Bouddi National Park is the perfect place for you to visit. There are many different activities to choose from including bushwalking, cycling and swimming for the active types. If you want take it a bit easier there is fishing, and of course lazing around on the beach if that’s your thing!

Our seat for lunch

We took a trip to Bouddi on a beautiful autumn Sunday lunchtime. We drove into the Mount Bouddi (Dingeldei) picnic area. There is a sheltered picnic area that was already full of people cooking on the barby, so as it was a sunny day we decided to sit on a rock looking out at the trees to have our sandwiches. The kids loved it and was a great way to start our adventure for the afternoon.

We saw this sign and thought the walk would be easy!

After we had lunch we decided it was time for a bushwalk. We saw the sign above that said Maitland Bay 1.5kms and thought excellent this will be a nice easy walk for the kids, and we will get to enjoy the beach in no time!! This didn’t prove to quite be the case as we were soon to find out. I wasn’t best prepared with my footwear. I was wearing thongs or flip flops, depending on what side of the world you live on, which would prove to be my undoing later in the walk.

Bottlebrush, which is native to the park

The walk descended a path that wound it’s way through the bush. After a series of sharp climbs and descents, and stopping lots of times to look at various “funny coloured” mushrooms, that my daughter wanted to pick up, but I didn’t think was such a good idea, we seemed to be making good progress. We were getting hot now and everyone we stopped coming the other way said it was only 10 minutes more to the beach, even though it was a lot more!

The beautiful view of Maitland Bay that greeted us as we peered through the trees
After an hour of walking, we made it to a clearing and were greeted with the spectacular view of Maitland Bay. We were so proud that the children actually managed to walk all the way even though some of the steps were bigger than my son!

We carried them down the final steep descent to the beach and it was time to run on the beautiful golden sands of the beach and into the ocean. The small waves lapping over our feet and up our legs provided instant refreshment from the sweat we had worked up.

The unspoilt golden sands of Maitland Bay Beach

After playtime, it was time for the kids to have a rest and hopefully a bit of a siesta before the trek back up to the car. It gave me a chance to go off down the beach and take a few shots. The beach is only reachable via walking tracks on each end so it is very unspoilt, and consequently there was not a huge amount of people, definitely my type of beach.

The bush backs directly onto the beach. From the south end, the Bouddi Coastal walk goes off in the direction of Gerrin Point Lookout towards Killcare, while on the northern end the track goes round Caves Bay towards Little Beach, where there is a campground.

Perfect spot for an afternoon nap
I returned back to where I had left my family to rest. Unsurprisingly no sleeping had happened and they were all raring to go after they finished a spot of tree climbing. The enthusiasm for the walk back lasted about 2 minutes. We then realised that it would be a long slog back up the track carrying the children. I decided to do it bare foot, as I had had enough of slipping with my thongs on during the descent.

The sun was now feeling twice as hot as it had done coming down. We made our way back up the hill breaking up the carrying of the kids with them trekking with their own sticks. This brought some well-needed humour to the situation, as well as slowing progress down, as my son Ryan insisted on saying “stick” and planting it in the ground, like he was a General claiming territory, on every step!

Time for a quick snap of my daughter in the tree
The trek back to the car took another hour and by the time we reached the top we were all exhausted and Ryan had fallen asleep in my wife’s arms. We really enjoyed the afternoon. It was hard work, but Maitland Bay Beach was well worth the effort. The 1.5km walk had turned into a 4.7km round trip according to GPS on our phone, not a bad effort for a 1 and 3-year-old, not to mention 2 forty-somethings!

Thanks very much for reading.If you would like to be notified of my next post in 2 weeks time, where the destination will be Catherine Hill Bay, please click the link on the right.


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