The Best Coastal Walk in NSW: Bouddi Coastal Walk

NSW is home to many amazing walks. Whether you’re looking for beautiful mountains, dramatic forests or coastal walks, we have it all here. With this being said, we have one of the best coastal walks in Australia here in NSW, located on the Central Coast. The Bouddi Coastal Walk is on the Bouddi Peninsula near Woy Woy and offers some of the most draw-dropping scenery in NSW and Australia. This walk alternates between boardwalks and dirt walking tracks and is generally considered a moderately challenging hike due to its steep descents and hike length.

The Bouddi National Park is a great day trip from Sydney and is located only 1 hour north of Sydney, and offers some of the best views on the Central Coast. This coastal walk is undoubtedly one of the most scenic walks in the area and in NSW, offering unobstructed views of dramatic headlands and private beaches. During the winter, this walk also becomes one of the best spots in NSW to see whales migrating from Antarctica.

bouddi coastal walk

The Bouddi Coastal Walk is a long day walk clocking at 16kms out and back. This would take you from Putty Beach to Macmasters Beach. The walk, however, can be broken into smaller walks for those looking for a smaller hike – Putty Beach to Maitland Bay (three kilometres); Maitland Bay to Little Beach (3.5 kilometres); or Little Beach to MacMasters Beach (1.7 kilometres).

Bouddi Coastal Walk

Length: 16kms return Grade: Moderate

Putty Beach

The Bouddi Coastal Walk starts and ends at Putty Beach, this is the largest beach on this hike. Putty Beach offers surreal views of Palm Beach, Barrenjoey Headland and Lighthouse, as well as Box Head and other parts of the Bouddi National Park. This beach also features a campground where toilets, picnic tables and BBQ facilities are available, and there is also a water refill station. At the base of this Campground, you’ll find a sign that marks the start of this track. At this sign, head east and follow the beach towards the headland. After approx 200m on the beach, you’ll find yourself at the base of a wooden staircase. This is where the fantastic views are going to begin!

Follow the path at the end of the stairs and look towards the ocean, and you’ll have some room for exploration. This is the tesselated pavement, which Bouddi National Park is well known for.

Tesselated Pavement
Tessellated pavement in Bouddi National Park

The Tesselated Pavement in Bouddi National Park is a fantastic sight to see. If you choose to venture out on the tesselated pavement you’ll see views of Bulimah Beach and Putty Beach. It’s important to note that there are no railings on this outcrop, and care should be taken.

Once you’re done exploring, jump back onto the path and you’ll start the most enjoyable part of this coastal walk. The 2.6km stretch from Putty Beach to Gerrin Lookout is almost all on boardwalks and is a great family-friendly hike on the Central Coast! Because of this, it is a busy section, but you’ll see why.

After approx 1km you’ll be greeted by a fork in the boardwalk. Head right, and you’ll be taken down the Bulimah Beach or stay straight and towards Maitland Bay.

Bulimah Beach
Bulimah Beach
Staircase down to Bulimah Beach

At this fork, take the right and head down the stairs to Bulimah Beach. This detour will add approx 300m to your walk but is worth it. Bulimah Beach is a beautiful secluded beach in the Bouddi National Park. This beach is the perfect spot to stop for a dip, have some lunch or take in the sights.

Once you’re done exploring this little area, head back up the stairs and onto the main track.

Bulimah Beach
The Beautiful Bulimah Beach
Gerrin Lookout
Bouddi coastal walk
At the Gerrin Lookout

Once you’re back on the main track, head uphill towards the Gerrin Lookout. This is one of the steeper sections of this walk; once you reach the top you’ll find a man-made lookout. This lookout overlooks the pacific ocean and is a pristine whale-watching location! From here, you can also see many of the headlands in the Bouddi National Park, as well as Maitland Bay.

This ends the coastal part of the walk (for now). Here is where many families and people will turn around as the boardwalks end and the trail gets a bit tougher. The path from here heads more inland rather than walking on the edge of the cliff. There are still plenty of view opportunities off-track, just be mindful of where you step, as there are no railings off-track at all.

Gerrin lookout Boudi national park
Maitland Bay
Maitland Bay
Maitland Bay

Stay on the track for approx 1.6kms and you’ll be taken to a T intersection. If you choose to go left, you can either head up to Kilcare and visit the Maitland Bay Visitor Centre, or you could even join the Bulimah Spur trail, which is 1km up the hill. If you turn right at this intersection, you’ll head down to Maitland Bay Beach.

This beach is a beautiful secluded beach and is a popular walk from the visitor centre. The beach is 600m long and is backed onto dense bushland. It’s a picture-perfect location, so you can see why it’s popular.

The beach is named after SS Maitland, which unfortunately sank in 1898 and took 27 people with it. During low tide, you can still see remains of this shipwreck on the eastern side of the beach.

If you choose to continue on this walk once arriving at Maitland Bay Beach, you’ll need to walk the 600m along the beach towards the next headland. There is a staircase here that will take on back onto the Bouddi Coastal Walk.

maitland bay
Little Beach

Once on this headland, it is 3.5 km to Little Beach Campground. The track from here gets a little trickier from here. You’ll follow the Bouddi Coastal Walk for approx 1.5 km until you reach a small outcrop where the coastal walk meets up with the Bombi Moor Firetrail. From here, there are fewer viewpoints as most of the track is inland, and they will require venturing off of the main track. Once on the Bombi Moor Firetrail, stay on this track for approx 600m until you reach a fork in the road. If you stay on the fire trail you will have the opportunity to take the tracks back to the cliff edge and take a less trafficked route to Little Beach Campground.

If you turn left here, you’ll stay inland and follow the Old Quarry Trail for another 1km. At the fork of this road, you’ll head right and head toward Little Beach Campground on the Little Beach Trail. Follow this trail for 700 meters downhill until you reach Little Beach Campground.

This campground is one of the most popular hike-in campgrounds on the Central Coast and bookings are required to camp here as it does fill up quickly. This beautiful campsite offers beautiful views and a secluded beach that few see.

There are toilets, BBQs, picnic tables and a camping area at Little Beach.

Macmasters Beach
secret lookout central coast
On Second Point Trail, overlooking Macmasters Beach and Copacabana

On the far side of Little Beach Campground, you’ll find the Little Beach Walking Track which is again inland. This track joins the Mourawaring Moor Trail, which you will stay on for the remainder of this hike. There are a few side trails that are worth exploring, such as the Second Point Trail, which offers some of the best views on the Central Coast and Macmasters Beach! Read about that trail here.

The Bouddi Coastal Walk, however, will bring you out on Beach View Esplanade. Walk along this residential street for 300m, and on your right, you’ll find the final stretch of the Bouddi Coastal Walk. The Macmasters Beach Walking Track. This track will take you down to the base of the headland and to Macmasters Beach Rockpool. This is their perfect spot to cool off and rest after a long hike.

if someone is picking you up, tell them to meet you at the Macmasters Beach Surf Living Club and take in the views from one of the most scenic suburbs on the Central Coast.

If you do this as an out-and-back hike, you’ll return the way you came.


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