Bournda National Park is a very special part of our beautiful Sapphire Coast. We first discovered this area in May 2012 at the start of a 2 week holiday on the NSW South Coast. It is situated between Tathra and Merimbula, 15 km SE of Bega, and covers 2590 hectares. The Park was declared in 1992. ‘Bournda’ means ‘place of teatrees and kangaroos’ in the local aboriginal dialect. This is a photograph of a map of Bournda National Park from ‘The NPA Guide to National Parks of Southern NSW’ by Peter Wright.We camped at the Hobart Beach Campground for 4 days and were very impressed with the amenities, especially the hot showers! Being May, there were very few campers and we had the place mostly to ourselves, except for the bell miners, wonga pigeons and choughs!!
The campground is situated on the southern shore of Wallagoot Lake, a large saltwater estuary on Monck’s Creek, which was last opened up to the ocean in June 2008. It is stunningly beautiful, especially at sunrise and sunset.There are a number of short walks from the campground to the local beach and brackish Bournda Lagoon, formed by alluvial deposits from Margaret Creek; freshwater Bondi Lake and the 210 m high Bournda Trig to its west; and Scott’s Hut, a relic of former agricultural days. The latter is of bush post and beam construction with sapling rafters, slab walls, three rooms, a timber floor and an iron gable roof. The central room has a large stone fire place with an iron chimney. The hut was constructed in 1890 by Thomas Scott. It was originally one of two buildings and was used as a kitchen, dining and storage area.
You can also drive from the northern side of Wallagoot Lake to Turingal Head, the southern end of the Kangarutha Track, which follows the coast 9 km north from Wallagoot Gap to Games Bay, then White Rock, Kangarutha Point, Boulder Bay and Wild Horse Bay before ending at Kianinny Bay, just south of Tathra.
We walked the first third of the track to Games Bay. The Games family cleared the land here back in the early 1900s for dairy farming and growing rockmelons for seed. It is a beautiful walk, with plenty of interesting geology, flora and fauna, as well as stunning coastal views and delightful little rocky coves and rugged headlands 30 – 40 m high. The underlying rock is mainly rhyolite, a solidified lava from a volcanic eruption almost 400 Million years ago.
Here are some photos from our walk :
Wallagoot Lake from the North :Turingal Head and Wallagoot Gap :
The bush track through Coast Banksias and architectural tunnels formed by Bracelet Honey Myrtle :
Stunning coastal scenery looking north to Games Bay and south to Bournda Island :Games Bay :
What a wonderful place for a feast! An aboriginal midden on the headland at Games Bay :Conch shell and orange lichen :
A possible aboriginal stone artefact and a rock covered with a variety of lichens and mosses :
Most of the park supports a Dry Eucalypt forest of Woollybutt, Silvertop Ash, Blackbutt, White Stringybark and Yellow Stringybark, as well as Forest Oaks. Pockets of Gallery rainforest – Coachwood, Lilly Pilly, Sassafras, Rusty Fig, Cabbage Tree Palms, Wattles and Pittosporum, ferns, orchids and vines – line the creeks at Boulder Bay, Games Bay, Sandy Beach and Margaret Creek.
Photos of the local flora :
Bracelet Honey Myrtle (Melaleuca armillaris) and Coast Banksia (Banksia integrifolia) :
Hakea macraeana and Sunshine Wattle (Acacia terminalis subsp angustifolia) :
The fruit of Sweet Pittosporum (Pittosporum undulatum) top and Hairy Pittosporum (Pittosporum revolutum) below :Orange fungi (Pycnoporus coccineus) and catkins of the male Sheoak (Casuarina cunninghamiana) :Calocera sinensis and a Correa reflexa :
Sandpaper Fig (Ficus coronata) and Rock Orchids (Dendrobium speciosum) :Photos of the animals and birdlife :
Stalked Sea Tulip (Pyura gibbosa gibbosa) and Porcupine Fish :
Little Pied Cormorant and a White-Faced Heron :White-Breasted Sea Eagle and an Eastern Grey Kangaroo :
Roo Footprints and a Swamp Wallaby :Red-Necked Wallabies :
The next day, we drove up to Tathra and the northern end of the track at Kianinny Bay. See my post : https://candeloblooms.com/2016/01/21/the-jewel-in-the-crown-tathra-and-kianinny-bay/From there, you can access the rough 4WD track south to White Rock, a white pipeclay deposit used in brick manufacture from the 1960s till the early 90s.These unfortunate, but very well-camouflaged, flathead were left behind in their own rock pool, high on the rocks at White Rock.
The Bournda National Park management plan is well worth reading for a more in-depth description of the geology, flora and fauna and Aboriginal and European history. See : http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/planmanagement/final/20140029AmendBourndaNPandNR.pdf.
It is also worth consulting the Bournda National Park website on : http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/Bournda-National-Park and http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/Walking-tracks/Kangarutha-walking-track.
The website of the Bournda Environmental Education Centre ( http://www.bournda-e.schools.nsw.edu.au/), which is run by the Department of Education and Training and operates within the park, is also well worth visiting, especially as it provides a wonderful resource guide for local plant identification, the Bournda Online Herbarium. See : http://www.bournda-e.schools.nsw.edu.au/ecosystems/terrestrial/. It also has much information about the terrestial and aquatic ecosystems of Bournda National Park.