Wonboyn Lake, the gateway to our wildest coastline

Sapphire Coast NSW - The FilmWe had a lot of fun making this video, we hope you enjoy watching it! (3:04) #sapphirecoast #newsouthwales #seeaustralia Visit NSW #whaleon Posted by Sapphire Coast NSW on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

We recently snorkelled a gorgeous sheltered spot south of Eden called Baycliff, at the mouth of Wonboyn Lake. If you've been to Green Cape Light Station you'll know Baycliff as the towering headland in the middle of the long beach at the back of Disaster Bay.  It's rugged, remote and rich with life.

A lazy float along the tide takes around 15 minutes each way, and the water is crystal clear, shallow enough to stand at times and filled with fish. We saw rubber lipped morwong, black fish, trevally, whiting and old wives, huge schools of tiny juvenile fish and loads of wild blue mussels, which we grabbed and cooked for dinner (see our favourite recipe here).

The other side of Baycliff, a 5 minute walk away, offers access to deeper water, surf, and bigger fish. We tried a bit of surf and rock fishing here but were mostly content to explore the rocky platform and laze about on the beach.

Wonboyn is a small village 30 kilometres south of Eden, the last before the Victorian border, and is particularly significant for bushwalkers, birdwatchers and fishermen. It's settled on the shore of Wonboyn Lake, a 10 kilometre long estuary that produces some of the fattest Sydney Rock Oysters in the country and has seen some record catches of flathead and bream over the years. You can buy oysters from Kel & Carolyn Henry at their little oyster shed near the boat ramp, or if you're after fishing tackle and basic supplies head to the Wonboyn General Store.

Wonboyn is also the gateway to Nadgee Nature Reserve, the Sapphire Coast's most remote and wild national park. It is home to epic overnight bushwalks and unmatched diversity, and adjoins Corajingalong Wilderness Area and (eventually) Mallacoota.

Directions to Baycliff

Jewfish Walk: Less than 1 kilometre return, Jewfish Walk takes you through eucalypt forests and along boardwalks to the lake's edge where the fish might be on the bite.

Greenglade Picnic Area:  Just south of Baycliff, Greenglade is one of the most magical and deserted beaches on our coast.

Merrica River Nature Trail: A 9km return walk through bushland to the beautiful Merrica River, just south of Wonboyn. The river intermittently closes when sand builds up along the beach.

Nadgee Wilderness Walk: A 50 kilometre walk for experienced back packers.

Baycliff as seen from the Disaster Bay lookout on the Green Cape Peninsular.


Looking north from Baycliff.


Exploring at Merrica.


Jewfish Walk.


Wonboyn Lake Boat Ramp.


Nadgee Wilderness Walk, with views to Gabo Island near Mallacoota. Image: Matthew McCrudden.

View all blog posts