Start at Bemm River on the sandy shores of Croajingolong National Park. You can finish your trek at Mallacoota or extend your hike across the New South Wales border into Nadgee Nature Reserve.
Explore isolated beaches, sand dunes and vast estuaries as you trek the rugged coastline. Be prepared for a true wilderness experience that will see you scrambling over rocky headlands and boulders, crossing river estuaries (which may require swimming), walking long stretches of sand, and hiking through thick vegetation on ill-defined paths.
This walk is not for the faint-hearted. Hikers need to be experienced and prepared for challenging conditions. The walk is divided into three zones and you will need experience and confidence navigating from topographic maps.
Advance bookings are required for camping along the walk. Groups are limited to eight people and a two-night maximum applies at remote campsites to protect the natural environment.
The section of the Wilderness Coast Walk east of Mallacoota must be booked through NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Call the Merimbula office on (02) 6495 5000.
This section spans from Shipwreck Creek to Wingan Inlet and is about 26km. You will walk along open beaches and coastal heathlands. Purchase Mallacoota 8822-N map to help plan this section of the walk.
Rame Head Zone
This section spans from Wingan Inlet to Thurra River and is about 22km. It covers mostly beaches and some coastal forest. Purchase Cann – Point Hicks Map 8722-N to help plan this section of the walk.
If you plan to camp at Wingan Inlet, book this stay in the Rame Head Zone. The campground has an area dedicated to overnight hikers completing the Wilderness Coast Walk. No water is available any time of year in this section.
Clinton Rocks Zone
This section spans from Thurra River to Bemm River and is about 28km. There is a large section of rocks to negotiate at Clinton Rocks. Purchase Cann–Point Hicks Map 8722-N to help plan this section of the walk.
This section involves crossing the entrances of Sydenham Inlet and Tamboon Inlet. Boat transport may need to be organised, or low tide required, if these inlets are open to the ocean. Call Parks Victoria to check latest conditions.
How to get there
Walk the Wilderness Coast
The walk can be reached from a number of locations along the coastline. Two-wheel drive access is available at Bemm River, Thurra River, Wingan Inlet, Shipwreck Creek and Mallacoota Inlet. Check road conditions before you arrive at the park.
Before starting your walk, you will need to source maps, tide charts, weather reports and relevant track notes.
When you're there
Bemm River to Clinton Rocks, 14km
Clinton Rocks to Thurra River, 14km
Thurra River to Wingan Inlet, 20km
Wingan Inlet to Benedore River, 14km
Benedore River to Mallacoota, 18km
Mallacoota to Nadgee (NSW), 55km
Walking and camping
The Sandpatch and Cape Howe Wilderness areas were proclaimed in 1992 to ensure landforms and native plant and animal communities were 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.
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.
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 before entering the area to reduce the chance of weed seeds or the destructive fungus Phytopthora being walked in.
There are only a few toilet facilities 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 protect the highly valuable water quality of the undisturbed water catchments along the walk. Please carry out tissues, sanitary products and all other rubbish.
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.
Water availability is seasonal and cannot be guaranteed. No water is available in the Rame Head Zone any time of year. You must carry an adequate supply of water with you. Consider pre-organising water drops along the walk, and boiling or filtering water if found along the way.
Store your food in locked containers. Wildlife such as Brushtail Possums and Lace Monitors have sharp claws and teeth, which they will use to get to your food.
Phone coverage is unlikely, with only some coastal peaks offering reception. Use of an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) is encouraged.
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. 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 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.
Need to know
Walk the Wilderness Coast
Change of Conditions
Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.
Croajingolong National Park
Planned aerial shooting operations targeting deer – Cape Howe (Croajingolong National Park)Parts of the Park will be closed during these dates while aerial shooting operations targeting deer are undertaken.17-21 October 202224-28 October 202227-31 March 20233-7 April 2023See attached map for details.
Attachments: Croajingolong NP _Cape Howe aerial shooting information (485KB)
Croajingolong National Park information update 7 February 2023Point Hicks Road is closed south of Bald Hills.The following eight areas are closed because of the 2019/2020 bushfires and coastal erosion caused by ongoing heavy rainfall. Visitors are unable to access the Point Hicks Lighthouse, Thurra River Campground, and nearby walking tracks. Parks Victoria continue to maintain surveillance and security of these areas. Please continue to monitor this site for updates and change of conditions.· Point Hicks Lightstation· Thurra River Bridge· Thurra River Campground· Mt Everard Walking Track· Dunes Track· Saros Track· Sledge Track· West Beach TrackThe Wilderness Coast Walk is closed between Bemm River and Wingan Inlet Campground.The following walking tracks are closed:· Wingan Inlet Rapids WalkThe following jetties around Mallacoota are closed:· Kingfish Point· Gravelly Point· Swan Lake· Clinton Rocks Track· Cicada Trail· Gale Hill· Betka Track· Miners Track· Lakeview Track· Howe Flat Track· Howe Hill Track· Barracoota TrackThe water supply at Wingan Inlet Campground water trough was damaged by floods. Campers are advised to not rely on the trough for water resupply while camping.
Planned aerial shooting operations targeting deer – Croajingolong National ParkParts of the Park will be closed during these dates while aerial shooting operations targeting deer are undertaken.17-21 October 202224-28 October 202227-31 March 20233-7 April 2023See attached map for details.
Attachments: Croajingolong aerial shooting info sign (499KB)