Crowdy Bay may not sound like an idyllic getaway, but this little beauty is packed with epic photography spots and there’s barely a tourist in sight. Conor came to the bay searching for sunshine and views of the Natural Arch, pretty sure he came away with a whole lot more.
- Epic walking track
- 4WD beach driving
- Beginner surf breaks
Six months on the road and we were yet to enjoy two consecutive days of sunshine. We left Cairns with the intention of getting away from the monsoon, but got stuck in floodwaters for weeks and were then tormented by poor weather as we headed south.
With all of this bad weather, we’d grown a deep resentment for the weatherman who consistently promised weeks of sunshine but never delivered on more than one day. Yet as we arrived at our campsite we had a sense of optimism that Crowdy Bay National Park could break our curse and deliver the sweet sunshine that we’d travelled so far for.
Diamond Head Beach
As all good adventures begin, we were up early and made coffees in time to catch the sunrise over the ocean. As the water boiled, I walked out to check the sky for signs of dreaded rain clouds. To my delight, the stars sparkled all the way down to the horizon where they met the faint orange hues of the approaching day.
We walked out to the beach and took up our positions on the rocky headland for the show. It was by no means a sunrise for the ages, but to us it was pure bliss just to see beams of sunlight touch our skin and light up the sand between our toes.
As sunrise continued the rocky headland began to reveal itself. We found ourselves dwarfed amongst vertical rocky towers.
With the sun high in the sky we settled into a day on the beach. It was a glorious feeling after six months and 2500km of driving to finally get a sunny day. We even got an opportunity to hang up some clothes and finally dry out my pongy wetsuit and spearfishing gloves.
Many months of constantly being on the go had made me quite squirmish and I quickly felt the need to explore. Barefoot and eager, I made my way around the various lookout points along the headland walk, scoping for places to shoot sunrise the following morning. I got halfway along and noticed several tracks leading off the main track towards the ocean.
I followed one down, crisscrossing through thick grasses and across an exposed rocky slope to Diamond Head. The water smashed against the sheer cliffs as I crossed over an archway onto the most easterly point of the area. I ran back to camp to get Kate before hiking back down again just in time for sunset.
Stoked on an awesome first day we waddled back in the dark and tucked up in bed for another early start.
There was only one more thing I had to do before heading off, visit the Natural Arch. I’d done my research, and this was the spot that I had really come to see at Crowdy Bay. My eagerness the previous day had led me astray from what I had initially gone to the headland to see, so I was up again with the stars the following morning for an early hike.
Despite being in complete darkness, I managed to find my way down to the rocks near the arch and waited once again for the sweet sunshine. The sky was again clear and the soft morning light struck the arch from the side as the waves barrelled over the rocks close to shore.
We took our time packing up and had one more swim at the beach before heading off. We left with the strange feeling that maybe, just maybe, we were in for another sunny day ahead.
- 4WD (if you want to drive on the beach)
- Stuff for the beach
How To Get There
From Port Macquarie – head south 60km along the Pacific Highway and turn off left onto Jericho Road. Not long after the second left is Coralville Road that continues to be named Diamond Head Road. Continue to the clearly signed Diamond Head Campground. Be wary of large potholes along the road close to the campground.
- Beach 4WD
Easy – the Diamond head walking track is gravel with short gentle climbs.
The Diamond Headland Loop walk is a 4.3km return loop.
Get away from the crowds this weekend…