An easy loop bushwalk, the Murramarang Aboriginal Area Walking Track near Bawley Point traverses an area of Aboriginal cultural and historic significance. Although it’s not the most exciting landscape, the trail passes a few swimming beaches and has lots of interpretative signage. The access trail also provides access to Racecourse Beach, so the small carpark on Murramarang Road can get fairly busy.
The track goes to the northermost tip of Racecourse Beach, where it enters the Murramarang Aboriginal Area.
You can do the 3km loop in either direction; I’m going clockwise and doing the “inland” section first (the recommended direction is anti-clockwise, but I don’t see any reason for this). There’s lots of kangaroos around, keeping an eye on me as I set off.
The boardwalk passes an information board, before crossing an open grassy area. (There are regular markers indicating the route.)
The boardwalk soon turns into a sandy trail, as it enters low coastal heath. There’s frequent interpretative signs explaining the indigenous history of the area, and some raised platfoms providing a view over the coast. It’s a pleasant walk, but in some ways a little underwhelming as despite the interesting signage there is no evidence remaining of indigenous occupation.
At the northern end of the Murramarang Aboriginal Area Walking Track is the site of the first European homestead in the area. “Murramarang” housed 18 adults and 5 children in 1849, before being sold to William Yates and Evan Evans in 1854. It remained in the Evans family until 1918 when it was sold to Lindsay Wilson. There were a few (unsuccessful) commercial ventures before the land was declared as part of the Murramarang Aboriginal Area in 1967.
The track descends a short distance to the southern end of Murramarang Beach, a relatively long beach.
In the distance, the breast-like peak of Pigeon House Mountain (Didthul) can be seen above the trees – this is another south coast bushwalk I’d highly recommend.
The route crosses Murramarang Point, a small, rocky headland, to reach the very small Cat and Kitten Beach (unfortunately there’s no interpretative signage to explain how this beach got its name)!
The trail continues across Wilfords Point, a much bigger headland. The path initially snakes its way through low grassland…
…before traversing lichen-covered rocks at the northern end of the headland.
The Murramarang Aboriginal Area Walking Track then reaches Bull Pup Beach, another beautiful and isolated beach.
The last headland is Bull Pup Point, before the Murramarang Aboriginal Area Walking Track reaches Racecourse Beach and re-joins the access track back to the main road.
Although the indigenous aspect of the bushwalk was a little disappointing, it’s worth doing this loop for the coastal scenery and beautiful beaches. There’s very little shade along the walk, so go early or late in the day if you can.
More information on the Murramarang Aboriginal Area Walking Track
The entire bushwalk is about 4km in length – the 2.2km quoted on the NPWS Web site doesn’t include the access track needed to reach the Murramarang Aboriginal Area Walking Track. You can easily do the walk within an hour, but it’s best to allow a couple of hours to allow a few stops at the many beaches and to read the signage.
- National Parks (NPWS) – Murramarang Aboriginal Area Walking Track
- Australian Hiker – Murramarang Aboriginal Area Walking Track NSW
Getting to the Murramarang Aboriginal Area Walking Track
The start of the walking track is just north of the Bawley Point township, on Murramarang Road; look for a small parking area. The start of the trail is signposted. Bawley Point is about three hours south of Sydney, between Ulladulla and Batemans Bay.