Narooma Bay Walk
Experience | South Coast | New South Wales

Narooma Bay Walk

Sunshine, Seals and Stingrays

by Susie Baber  |  11 December 2022

7km return | easy

The south coast of NSW is a beautiful area with stunning coastlines and lovely little towns. An area that deserves more time to explore than we have currently devoted.

We did have a very fleeting visit to picturesque town of Narooma to visit some friends we hadn’t seen for a long time, and managed to squeeze in an afternoon walk around the Bay.

Starting from the northern breakwater that marks the entrance of Wagonga inlet you can almost reach out and touch the southern breakwater over the fast-flowing tidal water. This is our destination, so close and yet so far.

We pulled ourselves away from the views along the sand and surf to head back past Wogonga Beach and the playground in Apex Park. There are several people gathered at the fish cleaning station near the Narooma boat ramp and we wandered over to have a look at what all the fuss was about. It was indeed worth the stop – a seal was sunning itself on the grass and a stingray was doing circuits in the shallows looking for food, coming right up onto the rocks next to the boat ramp. If this was an indicator of what we had to look forward to, it was going to be a great walk around the bay.

Just to the right of the boat ramp is the beginning of the Mill Bay Boardwalk. This 350 metre timber walkway hugs the shore line from here around to Mill Bay. Tucked between the tree lined shore and the crystal-clear waters of the bay, it is the perfect way to appreciate the natural beauty of Narooma while watching schools of fish and stingrays swimming in the water below. The boardwalk is an easy, level and accessible walk that anyone can enjoy.

When you reach Mill Bay boat ramp a walking path heads up the hill and briefly along the side of the Princes Highway, down to the bridge. On the edge of the water are some old boat sheds converted into seafood shops and restaurants to tempt your taste buds.

Once you are over the bridge follow the path alongside the mangroves and through the Federation Arch into Ken Rose Park. The walking track continues past the caravan park along the foreshore lined with Norfolk Island Pines before meeting Bluewater Drive.

In the channel along Bluewater Drive you will see day cruise boats and fishing charter vessels lined up ready to take tourists out. Montague Island is just 8km off the coast and day trips offer an opportunity to experience some spectacular wildlife. The island is home to hundreds of seals, dozens of bird species and a colony of penguins. Depending on the time of year you can go snorkelling or diving with the seals, watch whales on their annual migration and tour the historic lighthouse.

At Rotary Park there are toilets and a water bottle refill station, then take the walking track up the hill to Bar Rock Road. You will be walking along a narrow verge here but there isn’t much traffic and at the end you will find a carpark and a lookout that was worth the walk. Bar Rock lookout offers spectacular ocean views over the breakwaters and out to Montague Island. Looking inland you get a lovely outlook over to Bar Beach and the Wagonga Inlet with turquoise blue water to rival any tropical island.

From the lookout follow the path downhill a viewing platform that is currently closed due to a rockfall and stairs that lead to the road below. On your right is Australia Rock – a natural hole in a rock shaped remarkably like our wide brown land (minus the poor Tasmanians). There are conflicting explanations about the origin of Australia Rock – some say it is simply the natural result of thousands of years of erosion while other believe that the hole was created inadvertently when a ship was moored to the heads with large chains. In heavy seas the chains wore away the rock to create the shape you see today.

But the highlight of this walk, for me anyway, is yet to come. At the end of the road the walkway continues out along the southern breakwater wall where you will find dozens of seals basking on the rocks and swimming in the swirling current, unperturbed by the tourists lining the path to watch them. Sitting and watching these delightful animals play and interact with each other made my day.

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