Please note! This hike is set to reopen in full from November 1st 2020! Yay!
Winding its way across coastal heathland, bright sandy beaches and the kind of red rocks you’d expect to find in the outback, the Light to Light walk in Ben Boyd National Park is a pearler of a track that’s the perfect intro to multi-day hiking.
- Pristine beaches
- Isolated campsites
- Spectacular views
- Cool rock formations
You’ve probably heard of the Light to Light Walk in Ben Boyd National Park. It’s a gorgeous coastal track in the far south of NSW, that covers about 30km of the best scenery a national park could offer. What you might not know, is that you don’t have to pull up stumps at the busy Bittangabee or Saltwater Creek campgrounds – you can bush camp along the way.
So if sleeping next to someone’s motorhome setup isn’t your thing, spread the walk over three days, and set up camp at the lesser-known Hegarty’s Bay and Mowarry Point. This turns the walk into something special — think secluded swimming spots, beachside brews and cliff-top brekky.
Day 1 – Green Cape Lighthouse to Hegarty’s Bay
Stoked to be adventuring again after a hectic few weeks of work, we arrived at Ben Boyd National Park around lunchtime on a Friday. Because we planned to walk south to north, our first stop was Boyd’s Tower, to stash Pat’s bike in the bush for the shuffle back to the car on Sunday. After dropping a GPS pin, we hit the road to Green Cape to start the walk.
From Green Cape to Hegarty’s Bay is about 10km. Like most of the walk, this section is a mix of green heathland, tangled scrub and spectacular ocean views. Although this is a coastal walk, there aren’t many beaches along this stretch, so we were excited to come across the tiny Bittangabee Bay Beach, just near the campground. After a quick dip, it was time to head back up to the cliff-line and on to Hegarty’s Bay for the night.
Hegarty’s itself is gorgeous – nice flat camping spots are tucked away between melaleuca trees, and it’s an easy distance from an ocean rock platform that makes the perfect dinner spot. We were lucky enough to have it to ourselves, so we quickly set up camp before heading down to the water to cook. Unfortunately, we only just made it past sunset before the mozzies became unbearable and we retreated to the tent!
Day 2 – Hegarty’s Bay to Mowarry Point
We woke up early to enjoy brekky by the ocean, and to leave plenty of time for swimming while still keeping the pace cruisy. This section takes you back up to the cliff-line for spectacular views across Hegarty’s Bay, before winding down to the impressive Saltwater Creek Beach. Once you’re done there, make sure to drop into the campground to refill your water supply from the tank.
Handy hint: you can find the tank tap at the BBQs, not at the tank itself.
We made it to Mowarry Point mid-arvo, and I’ve gotta say that after the track’s heathland and famous red cliffs, the large grassy clearing felt strangely civilised – almost like parkland. We opted to camp up in the clearing to enjoy the ocean view, but there are several campsites down on the beach below that are a real treat too.
Day 3 – Mowarry Point to Boyd’s Tower, and a bike shuffle out
After a quick breakfast, we packed up camp and hit the trail to Boyd’s Tower to allow plenty of time for the bike shuffle. This northern part of the walk is arguably the most beautiful. It covers more varied bushland, and includes some of the walk’s most iconic coastline views. The beaches just north of Mowarry Point are especially picturesque.
We’d been hoping to refill our water bottles at Leatherjacket Bay but the unseasonably dry weather meant that even after a decent bush-bash upstream, we were left with only a litre of water to share between us for the last 5km. Thankfully, Pat had left some water with his bike, but it was a hot day, so I felt slightly bad heading off for a nap at Boyd’s Tower while Pat set off on the two-hour pedal back to the car!
- Well-stocked hiking bag with three days worth of food
- Enough water for day one, and a filtration device/purification tablets to collect water en route. If walking in summer, make sure you stock up when you can — even reliable water sources can run low.
- Mozzie repellent — the mosquitos and march flies were fierce!
- Money to cover three days of park fees
- Binos if you want to bird watch
How To Get There
Ben Boyd National Park is about 30mins drive south of Eden, and is accessed from the Princes Highway. There’s a bit of dirt road in the park itself, but nothing a 2WD can’t handle.
Because the Light to Light is a single-direction walk, you’ll need to organise a car or bike shuffle. If you want to do the walk like we did, drop a bike somewhere in the bush around Boyd’s Tower, at the northern end of the walk, before heading down to Green Cape Lighthouse with your car. It’s about a 45 minute drive from one end to the other.
You can ride your bike pretty safely back down to Green Cape, by sticking to (pretty bumpy) National Park roads and avoiding the Princes Highway. The ride takes about 2 hours.
The Light to Light walk is perfect for beginners! The trail is easy to follow and is relatively flat with only gentle rises. Do make sure to check out some track notes, especially if you’re planning on collecting water in-between the established campgrounds. NSW National Parks grades it a 4.
Distance Covered / Elevation Gained / Duration
Approximately 30km / Minimal elevation gained / 3 days