SHORT WALK: Haycock Point to Barmouth Beach
In the space of an hour and a half, you can stroll along the ancient and rugged coast to the eucalypt lined, aquamarine waters of Pambula River Mouth.
As dawn broke over ancient Haycock Point we were settled in on the headland with a cuppa, sharing the coastal view with several families of Eastern Grey Kangaroos.
The panoramic views across Merimbula Bay are breathtaking, and we could see all the way down to Terrace Beach in the south.
With the morning sun at our backs, we headed through the heathland and into a banksia forest filled with rosellas, wattle birds and other winged critters all singing out to herald the sun. It's a wildlife haven, and you've every chance of meeting an echidna or goanna on the path, and in late winter and spring it's a great trail for spotting migrating whales.
Every few hundred meters a little track tempted us from the path, leading us to panoramic views of the ancient rock formations and dramatic coastline. The coastline dates back to the Devonian era, some 3-400 million years ago and the red, brown and quartz veined rocks hold many insights for the earth history lover.
The banksias give way to stringy bark and box eucalypt forests and among them were Aboriginal middens containing all manner of shellfish, including the native Angassi Oyster that’s being cultured by some local oyster farmers in Pambula and Merimbula Lakes.
Middens a little further along the river have been carbon dated and are 6000 years old at their deepest points.
The track is for the most part, a gently undulating, easy walk for the whole family. The descent to Bar Mouth Beach is steep but landscaped with stairs and a bridge and your reward is that you'll probably have it all to yourself as we did. The beach has early European history too, as explorers George Bass and Matthew Flinders sought shelter there in December 1797, while exploring the coast in a longboat, little more than a large rowing boat.
The entire walk took us around two hours, with a picnic breakfast at Bar Beach, and lots of stops along the way to gaze over the changing coast.
You can easily spend a whole day in this part of Ben Boyd National park, so consider throwing in a fishing rod, the cricket set and some food to barbecue.
Distance: 4.8km return
Access: Ben Boyd National Park. Via Haycock Road, 9km south of Pambula or 8km north of Eden on the Princes Highway. Unsealed.
Other things to do at Haycock Point
The beach is popular with fishermen, who target salmon and tailor so consider checking the tides and throwing in your fishing rod.
More info on dropping a line and boating here.
Rocky shore ramble
The rock formations and pools of Haycock Point change dramatically with the tides and are among some of the best and most accessible on the Sapphire Coast.
Earth history lovers will delight. More earth history can be found here on our Geo-Trail.
There are excellent facilities including free gas barbecues and fire barbecues, shaded picnic tables, toilets and a big grassy area that’s perfect for games. Sydney Rock Oysters make the perfect accompaniment, and there are tastings, sales and a river tour at Pambula River. Check out the Oyster Trail.
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