Approximately 3hrs and 53 minutes from Sydney (on a good day), there’s a place called Crowdy Bay – that really isn’t all that crowdy.
Though I’d like to make sure this place stays quiet – I’m ready to let the cat out of the bag.
Things to See in Crowdy Bay National Park
Our first stop in Crowdy Bay was the local Coles, where we bought a rack of lamb, sweet potato, some fruit, and herbs for the camp oven roast that evening.
1. A quick and easy four-wheel-drive along Sandy Point Management Trail
On our way to Diamond Head beach, we pulled off the gravel road to see if the Sandy Point Management trail was a four-wheel drive track. We smashed through a few muddy pits, and made our way to the end of the trail, where we hopped out of the car, got swarmed by mosquitoes, and jumped straight back in to continue our journey to Diamond Head beach.
The verdict: If you’ve got time to waste and the gate is open, pop down the trail. Otherwise, continue along the main road.
2. Spot goannas at Indian Head campground
We poked around all of the campsites to make sure we selected (and paid for) the ultimate spot. Indian Head campsite doesn’t really have the views like the others, it’s surrounded by tall trees, but you can access the Diamond Head walking trail from here.
Slap on some insect repellent before you walk through the bush – it was a bit damp when we hiked through there, and I got attacked by mozzies.
When we were there, a family had left their caravan unattended, and unfortunately left a whole carton of eggs out on a fold-away table. Two goannas were waddling around the campsite, and made their way over to the caravan to treat themselves to a few eggs.
Rule #1: Never leave food out. It’s an open invitation for wildlife to come runnin’.
3. Diamond Head Loop walk
Starting at either Indian Head campground or Diamond Head campground, this 4.3 kilometre loop trail has earned itself the title of my favourite coastal walk in NSW. It doesn’t draw the crowds like Bouddi National Park, it’ll never be anywhere near as crowded as Bondi to Coogee, and it’s where you’ll see the natural arch get battered by the waves.
We didn’t do the whole walk. Admittedly, we only walked from Indian Head campground, and it took about 10 minutes to get to the natural arch. When you get there, don’t just stand up the top, find an existing overgrown path to follow, and walk through the prickly bushes. We found a rocky surface closer to the water, where we sat and ate our sandwiches, watching the waves roll through the archway below.
If you’re lucky, you might spot some whales off the coast, too!
4. Diamond Head Beach
I’ve seen a few pictures of two-wheel-drive vehicles driving along Diamond Head Beach, and while I wouldn’t take my own car there, it seems it’s a popular spot for camper-vanners to park up for the evening – on the hard sand of course.
We didn’t drive on the beach (for once), we only went to Diamond Beach to purchase our permits for Kylie’s Beach campsite and a bag of firewood for the evening. But afterwards, we walked down to the beach for a dip in the water, and a stroll across the rocks to Diamond Head.
My advice? Keep your pluggers on, carry them over to where the rocks are, and you’ll probably find the rock scramble a lot easier.
Or just toughen up.
5. Sunrise and Sunset from Kylie’s Beach
Be sure to get your permits, and find a spot early during Summer. We picked a nice little spot on the grass under a few trees where we were able to hang our wet towels to dry.
There are cold water showers here, and they are free, so jump on it if you’re sandy – or just plain filthy after a few days of not having this luxury! There are also toilets here, with toilet paper – a real treat, that’s for sure!
Back to the good stuff – we got up early and ran to the beach with a cup of coffee to watch the sun rise over the ocean.
Boo-hoo if you’d rather sleep in.
Where we stayed:
- Kylie’s Beach will cost you $12 per adult, per night.
- Buy your permits from Diamond Head Beach.
- There are 70 camp spots – don’t be fooled, these will fill up over long weekends.
- There are no marked sites, it’s more-or-less use your noggin and don’t camp on top of someone else.
- There are cold showers and toilets.
Have you been to Crowdy Bay? What was your favourite part?