Maitland Bay is my favourite beach around Sydney, and one that I’ve visited many times – often as part of the Bouddi Coastal Walk or the Bullimah Spur Loop. Today it’s an “out and back” walk on the Mount Bouddi Track from the Mount Bouddi (Dingeldei) picnic area; it’s not the shortest way to get there, but I think it’s the nicest track down to the beach. The track immediately starts to descend a set of concrete steps from the parking area, through tall forest.
The Mount Bouddi Track (also called the Bouddi Spur Walking Track) continues to descend very gently, before ascending slightly as it passes Mount Bouddi. It’s a bit of a stretch to call this a mountain and there is no obvious peak – although to the east of the track there is a large rock platform with some filtered views of the ocean through the trees.
The track descends gently again down the ridge, still through tall forest that provides lot of shade, for another 500m.
The Mount Bouddi Track is more exposed for the last 500m, when it starts descending more steeply and the tall trees are replaced by coastal heath.
Near the bottom of the ridge is the junction with the Bouddi Coastal Walk: to the left (east) is Little Beach, and straight ahead is Maitland Bay. The crescent-shaped Maitland Bay soon comes into view.
The track follows the top of the cliffs, with a short detour providing a view over the rocky coastline on the southern side of Bouddi Point.
A final, steep set of steps brings you down to the beach at the eastern end of Maitland Bay, near Bouddi Point.
It’s a beautiful and generally calm bay: its south-southwest orientation protects it from heavy swell, while the fact you need to walk 1-2km means it never gets busy. On the busiest weekend, I’ve seen 20-30 people on the beach. Today we share the beach with two other people.
If you follow the rocks around Bouddi Point (low tide is best), you’ll spot the remains of the SS Maitland, a paddle steamer. Wrecked on the the bombora off Bouddi Head in 1898, the rusted remains of the boiler from the SS Maitland still sit on the eastern rock platform.
It’s always harder work going back up the hill, although after the first steep section it’s a relatively easy and pleasant walk back to the car.
0.0km Mount Bouddi (Dingeldei) picnic area 1.3km Junction with Bouddi Coastal Walk 1.6km Bouddi Point 1.8km Maitland Bay (+400m if looking at SS Maitland shipwreck) 3.6km Mount Bouddi carpark
More information on Mount Bouddi Track and Maitland Bay
- National Parks (NPWS) – Bouddi Visitor Guide [PDF]
- National Parks (NPWS) – Mount Bouddi walking track
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.