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12 exquisite, lesser-known bushwalking tracks to explore on the South Coast

Here’sa list of hikes to add to your bucket list in 2017.
Nanjing Night Net

If you’re keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read thesebushwalking safety tipsbefore you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

KANGAROO VALLEY, Three Views Walking Track: As the name suggests, Three Views walking track incorporates three cliff-edge viewing points, each boasting a different sight. Spend the day walking the easy 9.5km return track that follows the Brooks Plateau and Moolatoo Trig fire trails through open woodland and heath to your choice of viewing points. You’ll enjoy incredible views of Lake Yarrunga, Tallowa Dam and the Shoalhaven River and gorges, along with spectacular wildflower glimpses in late winter and spring.

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NAROOMA, Nargal Lake walk: Dalmeny Narooma Bushwalkers recommends a track about 10km south of Narooma. Located on the eastern side of Corunna Lake in the Eurobodalla National Park, the walk can be varied but around 10km easy. The track starts east of the Princes Highway, leading to a headland called Bogola Head (with magnificent views up and down the coast) and into open woodland and grassland. A track heads south towards Nargal Lake, a fresh water home to turtles, black swans and other animals. At the coast, scramble over sand dunes and back onto Fullers Beach. Head south along the beach (low tide is best), pass by some rocky outcrops and down to a primitive campground surrounded by coastal forest. A scenic dirt road named Honeysuckle Road leads into the campground and back to the starting point.

NORTH NOWRA, The Grotto: This is a beautiful walk with steep entrances and exits zigzagging down 45 metres from the cliff tops to the banks of the Shoalhaven River. Drive from Nowra via Illaroo Road, McMahons Road, Hanson’s Road, Gunyuma Crescent and Yurunga Drive. Just past Kareela Crescent around the bend you will find a spot to park 3 or 4 cars off the road. There is a Danger sign there warning about the cliff tops in the vicinity. You will see two signs: to the Lookout and The Grotto. Firstly, go to the lookout and see a magnificent view of the river, the golf course and Nowra district through the tree-tops. Now take the right track to The Grotto. Another track to the right is where you will come out at the finish of the walk. Keep left and zigzag down a steep set of rocky steps almost to the river level. Go right, as the way to the left goes to a gate for the Nowra Golf Course. Take great care with children on the walk down.

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MERIMBULA, Sandy Creek loop: This breathtaking walk through Bournda National Park, near North Tura, takes you from the lagoon to the island, passing through rainforests, paper barks and dry sclerophyll forests. The 6km walk is described as “moderately challenging”. Park entry fees apply.

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FAR SOUTH COAST, Pambula River Walking Track: Located in Ben Boyd National Park, this easy walk (about 1.2km return) provides stunning views of the Pambula Rivermouth. Strong rips and currents may be present at this beach, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services warns.

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FAR SOUTH COAST, Haycock Point to Barmouth Beach: Also in Ben Boyd National Park, this stunning walk winds along clifftops and estuaries and is great for both whale and bird watching. Keep an eye out for echidnas, kangaroos and goannas on the ground. It is a moderate walk.

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EDEN, Light to Light walk. The whole walk, which starts at Boyds Tower and takes you 31 kilometres to Green Cape Lightstation – usually takes a couple of days one way, but people sometimes do it in sections. The views are stunning and Green Cape is one of the best spots for whale watching.

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EDEN, Mount Imlay Summit walking track: A challenging walk from Burrawang picnic area to the summit of Mount Imlay, with a steep 3km climb to the top (or a 6km loop). On a clear day you can see Mallacoota to the south and Narooma to the north from the top of the mountain. Suitable for experienced bushwalkers.

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TATHRA, Kangarutha walking track: This challenging 9km walk in the Bournda National Park dips in and out of picturesque bays and takes about three-and-a-half to four hours. National Parks advises there are various access points to Kangarutha walking track, so it can be broken into smaller walks such as Kianinny Bay to Boulder Bay, Wallagoot Lake Boat Club to Turingal Head, or part of the way to White Rock Quarry.

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TILBA, Mount Gulaga Walk: Charted and named Mount Dromedary by Captain Cook in 1770, this spiritual peak was renamed Gulaga after the State Government handed it back to the Aboriginal custodians. Take the gravel path from Pam’s Store in Tilba Tilba and continue up the mountain.

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MORUYA: Bendethera Caves Walking Trek: Part of the Deua National Park, this walk through ruggedly beautiful terrain is an eight-kilometre round trip and only accessible by four wheel drive via Moruya.

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BATEMANS BAY, The Corn Trail: This moderate to difficult walk through Monga National Park “crosses high mountain ridges and deep rainforest valleys”. For access from the top, NSW suggests following the Kings Highway for 40 kilometres before turning left into River Forest Road to the Dasyurus Picnic Area.

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WOLLONGONG, Clover Hill trail: This walk through rainforest leads to numerous waterfalls on the Macquarie Rivulet and is a popular canyoning location for the wild at heart, according to Bushwalk the Gong. Jump Rock is further downstream and is a popular location in summer, where – as the name suggests – you can climb up and jump into the chilly natural pool below. Photo: Jenae Johnston

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Photos: NSW National Parksand Wildlife Service, Visit NSW, Tim the Yowie Man

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