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We regularly commute up and down the Pacific Highway, and as more towns have been bypassed it has gotten quicker. The downside? It’s easier to miss some of the special places that are off the beaten track. So, last week we decided to take a detour at the Hawks Nest exit, North of Newcastle and Port Stephens.

What we found was a lovely surprise.


What’s the best place you’ve discovered when you’ve detoured off the beaten track? Let me know in the comments after this article!


This article is all our own experience. Everything we did was paid for by us, and no part of it was free or subsidised. That said, some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means that I get a small commission if you click it and make a booking or purchase. I hope that you’ll use these links anytime you need to book a place to stay or activity! These small commissions help me to keep travelling so I can write and film more travel guides for you. I would never recommend anything I don’t or would not personally use!

Matt Looking To Broughton Island from Myall National Park.
Matt Looking To Broughton Island from Myall National Park.

After turning off, it’s a short drive into the town of Tea Gardens. Yes, that is a town. If you don’t believe me, check it out on the map below.

Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest and Winda Woppa

Driving through the town, it turned out to be bigger than we expected, even featuring a golf course at Hawks Nest – the two towns kind of merge together, sort of. Once we reached the end of the road, a right turn took us down to the town of Winda Woppa through Hawks Nest while a left turn heads to Myall Lakes National Park.

We decided to visit Winda Woppa since we were there anyway. It’s just a housing estate, but it is surrounded by water, with the Karuah River on one side near where it empties into the Pacific Ocean and the Myall River on the other before it joins the Karuah at Corrie Island.

Myall River at Winda Woppa

Here you can find beautiful, sheltered white sandy beaches that are 4WD accessible with crystal clear water. Looking across the wide river mouth you can see Tomaree Mountain, Shoal Bay, Nelson Bay, Port Stephens all the way to Soldiers Point.

4WD Tracks on Jimmys Beach Looking to Port Stephens
4WD Tracks on Jimmy’s Beach Looking to Port Stephens

A lot of the houses here are available for holiday letting, so while it was quiet during our visit, I suspect it gets busy in Summer, and why not with such a gorgeous beach.

There were only a few people at Jimmys Beach
There were only a few people at Jimmy’s Beach.


Boats Lined Up at Winda Woppa on the bank of the Myall River
Boats Lined Up at Winda Woppa on the bank of the Myall River.

After doing a circuit of Winda Woppa, we headed back into Hawks Nest and stopped at the Tea Gardens Hawks Nest Surf Life Saving Club to take some pictures of the nearby islands. The beach here is called Bennetts Beach, and it is not as sheltered as in the river mouth, but the sand is brilliant white. It looks like it’s the perfect spot for a swim with some waves!

Passing through Hawks Nest town centre on our way to Myall Lakes National Park, we decided to stop off at the Hawks Nest Takeaway shop. There is an IGA here and a few other small stores, but it was getting late, and not much was open except for the supermarket. We grabbed ourselves a burger each and sat down to a late lunch / early dinner.

They were some excellent burgers.


Heading out to Myall Lakes National Park from Hawks Nest means heading north on Mungo Brush Road at the golf club, back where we had previously turned off into Hawks Nest and Winda Woppa. It’s only a short drive to the national park boundary, and it is a little confusing. On the Myall Lakes National Park website, it indicates that there is a park day use fee of $8 per vehicle, but there is nowhere at the park entrance to pay this fee, so we are still a bit unclear on exactly how it works or if the charge only applies for campers.

Due to our time constraints, namely, the sun going down and crossing the Bombah Ferry before it ceased operating at 6 pm, we decided to skip the first few stops in the park. I was disappointed we didn’t have time to go into Dark Point, but I was pleased that we pulled into the Hole in the Wall car park to check it out. The name is what caught our attention.

From the parking lot, it’s a 25-metre walk to Mungo Beach. There are some big dunes along the coast here, and this happens to be one of them. The path opens out to a picnic area at the top of a dune giving you a brilliant view of the beach, Broughton Island and the other smaller islands just off the coast.

Broughton Island from Hole in the Wall Picnic Area

The beach here is the same white sand as Hawks Nest, beware of the drop!

Watch Your Step at Hole In The Wall


As we continued along Mungo Brush Road through the park, we saw a turn-off to the Mungo Brush Campground, but as the sun was starting to get low already, we didn’t check it out. It’s located right on Bombah Broadwater, between the Myall River and Two Mile Lake, with the ocean only a short distance away so it should be a great beach camping spot.

The Mungo Brush Campground turn-off is about halfway through the park to the ferry, and between the two are some other smaller campgrounds.

The Bombah Point ferry runs every half hour, and we got there just as it reached the opposite side.

Bombah Ferry at Bombah Point
Bombah Ferry at Bombah Point

So I took the opportunity to have a bit of a wander and found a sandy alcove hidden amongst the reeds that looks like somewhere you might find a boat hiding. It turned out that there were a couple of boats hiding there!

Boat in the Reeds at the Bombah Point Ferry
Boat in the Reeds at the Bombah Point Ferry

The ferry costs $6.50 for cars, and there are cheaper rates for foot passengers and bikes.

Bombah Point Ferry Prices
Bombah Point 渡轮价格

Once it’s time to board, the operator will direct you on and where to park.

Vehicle Leaving the Bombah Point Ferry
离开 Bombah Point 渡轮的车辆

The ferry takes about 10 minutes to get from one side to the other and only fits six cars at a time. Fortunately, though, the operator tells us that if there are more than six waiting, he comes straight back for them rather than forcing them to wait another half hour.

The Bombah Point Ferry carries 6 cars
The Bombah Point Ferry carries six cars

While you are on the way across, the operator will collect your payment. It’s cash only, so make sure you have some on you.

Parked right at the front of the Bombah Point Ferry
停在 Bombah Point Ferry 的前面

If you are fortunate like us, you might even get treated to sunset while you cross.

Sunset as we crossed the Bombah Point Ferry
当我们穿过 Bombah Point Ferry 时,夕阳西下

At the other side, at Bombah Point, you’ll find the NRMA Myall Shores Holiday Park. It boasts villa style accommodation as well as glamping, and camping. You will also find a pool, lake access, and on-site dining at the Barefoot Cafe and Pizza restaurant, the only restaurant within Myall Lakes National Park.

Heading past the resort on Bombah Point Road, it doesn’t take long before bitumen gives way to gravel. Soon the National Park ends, and you enter cattle and sheep grazing areas with stunning sunset vistas across the Myall River. Minutes later, the bitumen is back, and we arrived in the town of Bulahdelah where we merged back onto the Pacific Highway and continued our journey north.

I was amazed at how easy to access this scenic hideaway town is, and how close it is to Newcastle. It’s worth the detour off the highway, even if it’s just a quick trip.



Myall Lakes National Park Day Trip - A Detour off the Pacific Highway

首次发表于: May 13, 2018 @ 22:54



旅行货币和货币换算: 我们同时使用 向上银行明智的 通过支持 Apple Pay 和 Android Pay 以及出色的应用内客户支持,在您旅行时获得最佳货币兑换率。

航班: 我们检查了几个网站的不同价格。从澳大利亚出发,我总是直接检查澳航的奖励航班,但除此之外,我会检查并比较航班费用 天巡.检查替代路线和日期总是值得的,尤其是在有多个中途停留选项或附近替代机场的情况下。

住所: 我们通常通过预订 雅阁 因为我们发现他们的价格最低,取消政策+忠诚度福利效果最好。我们也用 爱彼迎 时。

汽车出租: 我们用 欧洲汽车展 将租车价格与 Europcar、Budget、Hertz 和 Avis 等所有大型国际品牌进行比较。我们通常最终使用 阿维斯 要么 欧洲汽车 因为他们提供最优惠的价格(请务必查看他们当前的优惠折扣),并且都使用相对较新的车队维护他们的车辆。

旅游与活动: 我们通常会尝试通过这些第三方网站之一预订活动 领航者获取指南 & 客路 由于他们灵活的取消政策(为我们在 COVID 后旅行节省了很多钱)和价格保证(通常比直接预订更优惠的价格)。我们也通过预订 红气球 偶尔会有更多独特的澳大利亚和新西兰活动。

《Myall Lakes National Park – A Detour Off The Pacific Highway》有3条留言




Matt in Noumea

Matt专职从事数字营销业务, TerraMedia。不过,在业余时间,他喜欢和妻子一起旅行,所以他们通常都会做很多事情。

您可以阅读有关马特及其故事的更多信息 这里.