Maitland Bay in Bouddi National Park

Bouddi National Park

We recently did a help exchange in an organic farm on the Central Coast of Australia. One of the perks of help exchange, Couchsurfing, and housesitting is that we were able to explore hidden gems that we most likely wouldn’t have visited since they’re not as popular as say, Byron Bay. Bouddi National Park is a small chunk of preserved nature. Boasting secluded beaches, cliffs, and rainforest, the park is an excellent weekend getaway. Located about 40km north of Sydney, Bouddi National Park offers camping, bushwalking, swimming, fishing, whale watching, and just soaking up the sounds of nature! The first thing we noticed when we arrived was that the air felt significantly cleaner than Sydney.

We’ve been eyeing the ocean views from Rob and Sue’s balcony but didn’t make it out until the last day due to the weather being heatstroke-inducing or torrential downpours a majority of our stay.


View of Maitland Bay from the balcony

Trail to Maitland Bay

The trailhead is near the information center, which is only open on the weekends. There is a parking lot but rarely any cars parked.

The downhill trail is a little steep, but well marked and an easy trek through the bush for 15-20 minutes. We stopped to admire the sturdy red gum tree and the recently shed bark, which created a mosaic of brilliant reds on the Earth. At least when we went, the bay was deserted and peaceful. The best part were the sandstone cliffs with swirling patterns of golden shades.

We knew we were close when we heard the calm waters. When we arrived at the bay, it was deserted and peaceful (perhaps because it rained heavily that day). The waters are calm and safe for swimming, but exercise caution as there are no lifeguards. Since we’re not big swimmers, we spent most of the time playing on the sandstone cliffs with swirling patterns of golden shades.

While I wouldn’t recommend driving out of your way to visit this bay, it is a must-do if you happen to be in the area. There are several walks in the area and plenty of little towns and beaches to visit. The Central Coast is a refreshing respite from the busyness of Sydney. Although there are frequent trains from Sydney Central to Woy Woy or Gosford, there is limited public transportation to the trailheads. Having your own transportation is recommended to explore this area.


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