There are a few different ways to get the small but picturesque Little Beach in Bouddi National Park, which is about an hour north of Sydney. As we’re staying for a week at MacMasters Beach, I’m going via the very first part of the Bouddi Coastal Walk, which runs along the coast all the way to Putty Beach. A steep path goes up between houses to reach MacMasters Parade, which you then follow for 100m before the end of the road and the start of the Bouddi Coastal Track.
The walking path through the bush only lasts for about 300m before reaching Beachview Esplanade, where the official route follows the road. You can also continue along a firebreak behind the houses, avoiding the road-walking. Either way takes you to the end of Beachview Esplanade, where the Bouddi Coastal Track resumes. The next section is along the Mourawaring Moors fire trail, which follows the edge of Bouddi National Park and passes a couple of side-tracks which I plan to explore on the way back.
After 700m the firetrail ends, and the steep Little Beach Walking Track (with lots of sandstone steps) descends to Little Beach. There’s a few glimpses of the beach as you near the bottom of the track.
Little Beach is, as the name implies, a fairly small beach. It’s a bit rocky, but fairly sheltered, and possible to swim although it’s one of the least nice beaches for swimming. There’s a grassy area behind the beach, with a campground (Little Beach is one of three Bouddi National Park campgrounds) and picnic table.
To the north of Little Beach is a long rock shelf, with lots of rock pools.
You can continue along the shore for about 0.5km at low tide; at high tide you may get wet feet!
Eventually the rock platform reaches a heap of rocks beneath the high cliffs. I had hoped to complete a circuit by returning along the coast, but this would be impossible (even at low tide).
It’s then back the same way, but with a couple of short side-trips off the Mourawaring Moors fire trail. The first detour is down the 72 Trail, a fairly short and sandy trail. It ends just before the edge of the cliff – a rough path goes a few metres further right to the cliff-edge, from where there are sweeping views over the ocean (and a long fall if you slip!).
The second side-trip is down the slightly longer Second Point Trail, which goes to the end of Mourawaring Point (also known as Second Point).
You need to continue a bit beyond the end of the firetrail along a bush track to get some great views over MacMasters Beach, Copacabana and Tudibaring Head. There isn’t a cliff here and the track seems to continue for a while – I made the mistake of continuing though the scrub before the path completely vanished, and ended doing a bit of bush-bashing before giving up on finding an alternate path back to the main trail.
Once back at the junction of Second Point Trail and the Mourawaring Moors fire trail, it’s an easy walk back down to MacMasters Beach.
0.0km MacMasters Beach Surf Life Saving Club 0.2km Start of Bouddi Coastal Walk 0.5km Beachview Esplanade 0.8km Bouddi Coastal Walk (Mourawaring Moors fire trail) 0.9km Junction with Second Point Trail (1.2km return) 1.1km Junction with 72 Trail (0.6m return) 1.6km End of firetrail. Narrow track down to Little Beach 2.0km Little Beach 4.0km MacMasters Beach
More information on Little Beach
For more information on Bouddi National Park including all the bushwalks, picnic areas, beaches and the best lookouts, have a look at the Guide to Bouddi National Park.