The Mount Yacaaba hike, just north of Port Stephens, was the challenge Joe’s mates needed.

 

Highlights

  • Epic views
  • Whale watching!
  • Beach walking

A Weekend Near Myall Lakes

Day 1 started as a group; the delegated breakfast-cooker (yours truly) organised the morning feast and brewed an army’s worth of coffee. But after the clean-up, we split. 

However, on day 2 we decided to stick together and pick a local hike.

The signboards at the campground mentioned the Mount Yacaaba walking trail; a challenging but short walk starting at the south-end of Bennetts Beach, 25 minutes away.

Some were a little wary of the trip; they weren’t ‘hikers’, but with a bit of ‘you’ll be right’, and some ‘no, you probably shouldn’t wear thongs’, we hit the road.

 

The Beach Track

Parking at Bennetts Beach car park, we started the trail walking south along Beach Road.

You can actually drive further down Beach Road to the Jimmy’s Beach Reserve car park and start here, which would avoid walking along the road (oops…sorry team!).

At this car park, we cut left and began the Yacaaba Spit ‘Track’ towards the bottom of Mount Yacaaba. I say ‘track’ but you’re actually just walking along the sand on the beach.

Almost 2km later, we reached the rocky base of Mount Yacaaba. A sign explained that the trail to the right lead up the Yacaaba Walking Track; 1km to the viewpoint or 1.5km to the summit.

Up We Go!

The trail is well-marked and trodden, so navigationally easy. However, the hiking was a little more difficult.

We were all already pretty knackered from the beach-walk, so this section up the mountain was particularly tiring.

The conversation dwindled as everyone puffed, panted, and swore up the sometimes-rocky trail, taking breaks (and taking in the sweeping views) at every opportunity. 

 

Hike up Mount Yacaaba for Stunning Ocean Views, photo by Joelle Barallon, seven mile beach, hawks nest, tea gardens, nsw

@curious.joe

 

The final stretch to the top was a heart-pumper, and you’d be forgiven for assuming that some of the group weren’t enjoying it – but the silence, smiles, and selfies at the top confirmed the opposite.

We were rewarded with a beautiful panoramic lookout over Bennetts Beach and Mungo Brush to the north, and Tomaree Headland to the south.

A family at the summit had even caught glimpses of breaching whales! 

Unfortunately, it was a hazy day for photography, so we took more mental pictures than digital ones and made our wobbly-legged way back down the mountain.

The wind had picked up and Bennett’s Beach was looking a little rough for a swim, so we high-fived and parted ways. Some of the group took the short side track (less than 500m) at the base of Mount Yacaaba over to Jimmy’s Beach for some sun while others went back to camp for a nap (me!).

Cheers to Us

Mungo Brush campsite is perched on the bank of Blackfellows Bay and offers plenty of areas to sit riverside to enjoy the sunset. Our group (almost instinctively) all arrived back to camp before sunset where we laid out picnic blankets, poured some wine, and took turns trying to get the best sunset-over-lake photos.

The conversation turned to the hike earlier in the day; those that had been apprehensive were now feeling proud, empowered, and even excited for future hikes.

FYI: The Myall Lakes system is tidal, so don’t put your picnic blanket too close to the waterline… it might get wet (trust me)!

Read more: Sand Dunes and Lunch at Dark Point Aboriginal Place

 

Hike up Mount Yacaaba for Stunning Ocean Views, photo by Joelle Barallon, seven mile beach, hawks nest, tea gardens, nsw

@curious.joe

Essential Gear

  • Shoes (not thongs)
  • Swimmers
  • Snacks
  • Water

 

How To Get There

Starting at Bennett’s Beach or Jimmy’s Beach Reserve, heading south towards Mount Yacaaba. The trail is marked from the south end of the beach.

 

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Swimming

 

Skill Level

Beginner

 

Distance / Time Taken / Elevation Gained

7km return / 2.5-3.5 hours / 239m