Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Watangans National Park and Caves Beach

Friday afternoon and were packed ready to head north for the weekend. We have stayed clear of the Central Coast, partly due to the population of the area in summer and we try to avoid crowds when possible. But we have a long list of places we would like to see in the area, so we decided its time to head north.

Our first challenge was the Sydney traffic, although leaving earlier to try avoid this we were unlucky!!  and spent a couple of hours crawling the crowded roads of north west Sydney, but once on the Pacific Motorway an hour and half we arrive at Watangans National Park.

The road into the National Park was easy enough in our van, approx 10km of narrow dirt road. We drove past Balgalow campground which looked full, so we drove another kilometre up the road arriving at Gap Creek campground this also looked full, no parking spots for our van in the car park. We decided to park in the car park for the day area just for the night, as it was too late to go looking else where.

In the morning we looked around and there were more camping spots further along a track. As we were up early we ventured down to the Gap Creek Falls track. Im sure I had read somewhere this track was easy! I found it slightly challenging, but it was a beautiful walk and well worth it even the vertical track down and back.

We walked down the short and steep goat track to a point where we were jumping down huge boulders to the bottom. The gully was so surreal, very quiet and peaceful, although the waterfall was only a light trickle it was enough to keep Andy happy as he set up his camera. I continued to climb more rocks to explore what was around the corner. This place is amazing we sat for a while just enjoying the quiet of nature. (and thinking of the walk back up)

The actual walk up wasn't to bad, its steep but the track is only short so not to painful.
on the track down there also is the loop track which is a short 600mtr loop. We headed back to the van for a quick snack before our drive over to Caves Beach.

The 40 min drive to the coast was easy and we parked in the car park at the furthest end of the beach, so we enjoyed a beautiful walk along the beach heading for the caves at the southern end. It was low tide so we had easy access to the caves. The cliff faces and the rock formations surrounding the caves are awesome we spent a couple of hours exploring and taking lots of pictures. The area we parked in has picnic facilities and loads of room for relaxing in the sun. After having lunch we drove to Swansea Heads and looked out at the beautiful view of the lake entrance.


There are a few options for camping in the area but we decided to head back to Gap Creek campgrounds as its free and also allows contained fires. We set up for the night and enjoyed a few beers by the fire. The next day we drove to Monkey face lookout and Gap Creek lookout both breathtaking, over looking the Watagans National park and surrounds, from here we headed over to Boarding House Dam.

There is a boardwalk track here, we started to follow it past the Dam wall and over a bridge, the place has a relaxed feel to it, moss and ferns scattered everywhere, getting off track and following the river we wished we had worn proper shoes as it was so inviting to climb down to the water edge to explore the huge rocks with what looked like hidden caves and water holes beneath. This area of park has a picnic area, toilets, shelter area.

Unfortunately time was getting on and we had to head home. We will organize another trip this way soon but you need a lot more time explore this area.


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