Crowdy Bay National Park
Crowdy Bay National Park is the perfect spot to experience some of the best the New South Wales coast has to offer.
The park is located on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales near Port Macquarie and is 271km north of Sydney. Camping fees as well as day pass National Park entry fees apply. You need to bring your own firewood if you wish to enjoy a campfire or you can purchase firewood at the Diamond Head Camp ground National Parks and Wildlife (NPWS) Office.
The warm subtropical climate of the mid north coast makes this park ideal to be enjoyed all year round. Aside from beach camping, there are excellent opportunities for snorkeling, swimming, accessing limited beaches with 4WD vehicles, plus picnic areas for day trips as well.
The wildlife here is a real treat. You're welcoming committee upon arrival is likely to be some large goannas, Eastern Grey kangaroos along with a chorus line of native birds.
As well as these outgoing locals, you might also be fortunate enough to spot koalas, possums, snakes, large majestic birds of prey such as White Bellied Sea Eagles and tortoises.
From your vantage point on the Indian headland you can also spot whales migrating in late autumn and late spring, while dolphins can be seen all year round.
The area is well known for the beautiful rock formations of Diamond Head, lovely coastal plains, wetlands, beautiful beaches, rainforests and coastal heaths, plus a wide variety of wildflowers and banksias.
This National Park is located in the traditional lands of the Birpai Aboriginal people, and remains of aboriginal shell middens and campsites still exist today. The area has strong cultural significance to the aboriginal people.
Captain Cook, who sailed past this coastline on the Endeavour in May 1770, recorded that he saw a crowd of aboriginal people on the headland, which he named ‘Crowded Head’. This later led to the wider area being called Crowdy Bay.
The area became a National Park in 1972, after conservationists opposed the mineral sand mining that had been undertaken since the 1960’s. Since it has become a National Park there have been many regeneration programs to restore the damage from this activity.
Australian Author Kylie Tennant
Probably the most well known part of the history of Crowdy Bay National Park comes in the form of Australian author Kylie Tennant.
Kylie lived in Lauriton for some time, eventually purchasing land from local Bushman and farmer Ernie Metcalfe, who would help her build a hut there where she could write. She fell in love with the area, and her award winning “The Man on the Headland” tells of Ernie and the Crowdy Bay area.
Kylie donated her hut and land to National Parks in 1976, and it has been restored and maintained for visitors to the Park.
There are several different camping areas within the Crowdy Bay National Park, each with its own unique character. Our favourites are:
- Indian Head Camp Ground – This is only a small camping area, but it serves as the start of some of the main walking tracks, including nearby Kylie’s Hut and the Headland loop.
- Kylie’s Beach Camp Ground – This camp site is much bigger, offering more private camp sites. The camp sites are not allocated, which means you can set up within the area where you like. You can also access the beach with a 4WD vehicle and pass.
- Diamond Head Camp Ground – The Park Office is located at this camp ground, where you can pay your entry and camp fees and purchase firewood. This camp ground also has flushing toilets and cold showers, boasts a nice open area, and is located right on Dunbogan Beach. The sites here are allocated, and it tends to be the most popular camp site so can be busy.
Your choice of campsite depends on your own personal preferences, so it can sometimes pay to drive around and look at the different sites to see what you like before you commit!
This special place is so tranquil and quiet, it is the perfect spot for solitude and creative pursuits, no wonder Kylie Tennant came here to write in peace and fell in love with it!
For more information, visit the NPWS website.