About this walk
This walk covers part of Tomaree National Park.
Be mindful that the bus back to Newcastle leaves very infrequently. Make sure you don't get stranded in Nelson Bay without transport.
It takes about 6 hours to complete the full 17 kilometre walk, with plenty of breaks and photography stops.
A brisk walker can do this much faster, but consider that there's a lot to see along the way.
Getting there and back
Get the train and bus to Nelson Bay using transportnsw.info. Plan your return trip from Nelson Bay at transportnsw.info.
Along the way
Exit the bus at Nelson Bay's shopping arcade.
From the shops, make your way to the harbour. You will pass the tourist information centre along the way.
Follow the harbour to the right towards the beach.
At the end of the beach continue along the road to the next beach.
Follow the next beach past the holiday park to reach Shoal Bay. There is a possible detour to the lighthouse.
Follow Shoal Bay to Mount Tomaree at the far end.
From the end of Shoal Bay's beach, cross the car park to get to the park entrance.
At the entrance to Mount Tomaree various maps detail the trails to take to the sights.
From the entrance of the park, follow the path towards Mount Tomaree.
Steep staircases lead up to the top of Mount Tomaree.
The view is well worth the climb and you can survey the next part of the walk from the top.
Back at the car park follow the signs towards the Wreck Beach and Box beach to continue the coastal walk.
Follow the firetrail past both beaches, optionally taking a detour onto either.
After the firetrail crosses the road at Box Beach, look for the signs to Fingal Bay.
Past the hill, watch for a sandy trail to the right to the Fingal Spit.
Climb across the dune to get to the beach and the spit. Please resist the temptation to cross the spit.
Instead follow the beach to the right to the Fingal Bay surf club.
From the surf club, follow the bike path to the right back towards Shoal Bay.
At the corner of Marine Drive and Government Road, don't follow the road to the right, but continue straight on along the firetrail instead.
The firetrail end on on Kerigan Street. Continue straight on down this street, following its curve to the left.
Kerigan Street joins Fingal Street and this leads back Nelson Bay's harbour. The bus leaves from the parking lot behind the arcade.
What to bring
- Check the national parks website for possible detours, closures and restrictions.
- Install an OpenStreetMap app for Android or iOS and preload the area.
- Download the GPS data if your device can import it.
- Print out this map and get a better one from a visitor information centre if possible.
- Be sure to leave enough charge in your phone's battery for emergency calls.
- Bring plenty of water, comfortable shoes, a hat and SPF 30 sunscreen.
- Also bring a light windbreaker/raincoat in case you get caught out in the rain.