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Walking the Wilderness Coast

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Parks Victoria does not guarantee that this data is without flaw of any kind and therefore disclaims all liability which may arise from you relying upon this information
Long walk / Multi day walk
Medium walk / Day walk

The Wilderness Coast Walk extends 100km from the Eastern Shores of Sydenham Inlet in Croajingolong National Park, to Wonboyn in the Nadgee Nature Reserve, NSW.

The walk can be accessed from a number of locations along the coastline. Two-wheel drive access is available at Bemm River, Thurra River, Wingan Inlet and Shipwreck Creek. Please check on road conditions prior to entering the park.

Parks Victoria and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service require walkers to book in order to manage numbers and minimise visitor impact on these remote areas.

Permits

The maximum group size is eight. Walkers staying overnight or those who camp using watercraft for access require a permit.

In Victoria, the walk begins in Mallacoota. There are no camping opportunities between Mallacoota and the Sandpatch Zone.

1. Sandpatch Zone
This section extends from Shipwreck Creek to Wingan Inlet, approximately 26km. Some sections include beachwalking, and along coastal heathlands. There is no vehicle access to this section of the walk. Mallacoota 8822-N is a good map to purchase to help plan this section of your trip.

2. Rame Head Zone
This section extends from Wingan Inlet to Thurra River approximately 22km. Note if you are intending to stay at Wingan Inlet, you should book this stay in the Rame Head Zone. There is an area dedicated to overnight hikers doing the Wilderness Coast Walk at this campground. Please camp in this area. No water is available at any time of year in this section. The walk is mainly beachwalking, with a small amount of walking through coastal forest. Cann–Point Hicks Map 8722-N s a good map to purchase to help plan this section of your trip.

3. Clinton Rocks Zone
This section extends from Thurra River to Bemm River, approximately 28km. Crossing may be required at Sydenham Inlet and Tamboon Inlet may need to be negotiated if open to the sea. Boat transport may need to be arranged, or low tide required to safely cross the inlet. There is a large section of rocks to negotiate at Clinton Rocks. Cann–Point Hicks Map 8722-N is a good map to purchase to help plan this section of your trip.

 Advance bookings are required. 

 Book your stay

Permits for the Wilderness Coast Walk to the east of Mallacoota are obtained from NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service office at Merimbula. Click here for more information or call (02) 6495 5000.

Walking and camping

Along the coast there are a number of designated campsites. A two night limit applies to all remote sites.

The Sandpatch and Cape Howe Wilderness areas were proclaimed in 1992, to ensure that landforms, native plant and animal communities are left unaltered or unaffected by the influence of European settlement of Australia. As a result, there are no signposts or walking track markers and in some sections the track becomes ill-defined due to thick vegetation.

Walkers should be well equipped, experienced and confident in navigating from topographic maps before attempting the walk. Before starting your walk you will need to source maps, tide charts, weather reports and relevant track notes.

Phone coverage is unlikely, with only some coastal peaks offering reception. Use of a personal EPIRB is encouraged.

Minimal impact bushwalking

Walkers should practice minimal impact bushwalking, to maintain the remote environment and wilderness experience for others. A campsite should be left as if no one has been there. Remember - carry in, carry out.

Please do not formalise campsites, such as using timber washed up from the sea to construct picnic tables and seats, as this undermines the wilderness experience for other visitors.

Clean boots and camping equipment thoroughly prior to entering the area to reduce the likelihood of weed seeds or the destructive fungus Phytopthora being inadvertently walked in.

Toilets

There are only a few toilet facilities provided at established campgrounds along the walk. A hand-trowel is recommended so you can bury solid waste to a minimum depth of 15cm, 100m from water sources. This will help to prevent diseases like giardia and also protect the highly valuable water quality of the undisturbed water catchments along the walk. Please carry out tissues, sanitary pads, tampons and condoms.

Wash 50m away from creeks and lakes, and pour the waste water on the ground to filter through the soil. Detergents, toothpaste and soap (even biodegradable types) harm fish and other aquatic life. Use gritty sand and a scourer instead of soap to clean dishes.

Food

Wildlife such as Brushtail Possums and Lace Monitors have sharp claws and teeth which they will use to access your food. Seal your food in locked containers as they are both great tree climbers.

Warnings

  • Water availability along the walk is seasonal and if collected should be boiled or filtered prior to consumption. It is essential that you carry an adequate supply of water with you.
  • River crossings are best attempted at low tide and as far upstream from the river mouth as possible. After heavy rain, streams and lakes may be swollen and open to the ocean making crossing dangerous. The dangers of crossings may also be exacerbated during high tides. Crossing river entrances and creeks requires extreme care and up to date weather and tide observations are essential to avoid disappointment and unnecessary risks.
  • Weather conditions may change rapidly and temperatures may be lower than expected in coastal areas. Ensure that you are adequately prepared. Carry extra provisions with you in case of an emergency. Be practical with your itinerary, do not over extend yourself and risk injury.
  • Bites from sandflies, mosquitoes, marchflies and ticks are common. Use insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to avoid insect bites. Snakes may be encountered and the wearing of gaiters is recommended.

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