As soon as the new Murramarang South Coast Walk was announced in early 2023, Jon and Mattie signed up to hike this beautiful 34km trail. Three days of meandering along this stunning route through forests and along beaches is a fantastic way to explore new parts of a familiar coastline.


We acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the Yuin people, who have occupied and cared for the lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Quick Overview

The Murramarang South Coast Walk is a 34km, Grade 4 point-to-point hike through Murramarang National Park along the NSW South Coast of Australia. Located two and a half hours’ drive from Canberra, and about four hours from Sydney, this hike takes three days to complete, with the option to camp the night before at Pretty Beach to extend your wilderness experience.

The History of the Murramarang South Coast Walk

The new Murramarang South Coast Walk is a complete 34km trail that’s linked up some previously existing trails along the coastline with some new sections.



It was opened to the public on the 28th of April 2023. While the Murramarang South Coast Walk’s history is quite short, the area itself is rich with the history of the Yuin people.

The Murramarang Aboriginal area contains the largest midden heap found on the South Coast, with clues of what life was like 12,000 years ago for the Aboriginal people living here.

How Do You Get to the Murramarang South Coast Walk by Car?

The Murramarang South Coast Walk starts at Pretty Beach campground, giving you the option of arriving the night before to set up camp and a leisurely start on your first day of hiking. Pretty Beach is just south of Bawley Point, and is two and a half hours by car from Canberra.



As this is a point to point walk, you’ll need to leave a car at the finish point at the northern end of  Maloney’s Beach to shuttle back to the start, or alternatively arrange for a mate to pick you up, or call a taxi from nearby Batemans Bay (budget around $200 for the trip).

Some of the camping options include a shuttle bus, more on that below!

Where to Camp Along the Murramarang South Coast Walk

You can walk the Murramarang South Coast Walk in a few ways.

Campsites Only

Cost: $55
Available: 7 days a week, March to November
Time: 4 days, 3 nights

Camping Package

Cost: $400 for up to two people
Available: Sunday to Wednesday, March to November
Time: 3 days, 2 nights
Inclusions: Campsites, transfer back to start, welcome tour

Cabin Package

Cost: $929 for up to four people
Available: Sunday to Wednesday, March to November
Time: 3 days, 2 nights
Inclusions: Cabin accomodation, transfer back to start, welcome tour

Thankfully, NSW National Parks have made the camping only option available seven days a week, so Mattie and I chose to bring our tents along for the full multi-day hiking experience.

Booking this camping version of the hike through NSW National Parks website gives you the first night’s accommodation at Pretty Beach campground, before you set out on the trail.

Designated campsites for Murramarang South Coast Walkers are set in a lovely bushy area with spacious and flat sites and a covered shelter with plenty of room to organise your gear should the weather turn bad. The amenities block here has hot showers, but make sure to bring your $1 coins to make use of them!

The next night will see you camping at Depot Beach campground, a lovely big area just a short stroll from a picturesque beach! Great amenities include free hot showers, a sheltered picnic area with BBQs and not one but two woodfired pizza ovens for the gourmet hikers out there!

The final night’s rest is at Oaky Beach campground – much of which has been newly constructed for the opening of the Murramarang South Coast Walk.

A raised tent platform, covered shelter, and simple drop toilets are all you’ll get at this campground, but this simplicity was a welcome change for Mattie and I despite the seemingly luxurious amenities of the previous nights.



We lucked out and had the entire site to ourselves – pure heaven after the rowdy school groups we encountered the nights before!

The tent platforms are nicely spaced for a sense of privacy, and the surrounding forest is so peaceful. Just make sure you bring some cord along to pitch your tent to the supplied hardware on the platforms – tent pegs won’t work, although you could probably re-purpose your guy ropes if you get stuck.

A freestanding tent is also advised and remember that there’s no water at this campsite.

Skill Level


The Murramarang South Coast Walk is listed as a Grade 4 hike. The main things to be aware of are the lack of mobile reception for long stretches of the hike, and the potential hazard of high tides or large waves inundating the many rock platforms you need to hike across.

It’s definitely worth researching tide times before you set out, and also checking in with the Parks staff at Pretty Beach and Depot Beach campgrounds for advice on tides and when you should tackle various sections.



Crossing the Durras Lake inlet can also prove challenging if it’s currently open to the ocean. Mattie and I followed the advice of a local surfer, and instead of attempting to cross the narrowest section with strong currents and quicksand underfoot, we waded out into the surf and skirted around the inlet.

The sand was much more stable, although we did get quite wet up to our waists… perhaps start walking from Depot Beach on the second day in your swimmers just in case!

If the inlet is flowing too strongly (such as after heavy rain) the staff will be able to advise you on the best options across – a boat service may be in operation.

You’ll need to fill up on water at the NRMA Murramarang Beachfront Holiday Resort where you’ll likely stop for lunch on the second day.

Carry up to four litres from here to see you through the rest of the hike including all of your cooking needs, as there’s no water at Oaky Beach.

You may also wish to bring some electrolyte mix or similar to flavour the water… it didn’t taste the best when we filled up. It’s recommended that you treat this water before you drink it.

Read more: How To Purify Water While Hiking

Beside the slippery tidal platforms and a possible river crossing, the track isn’t too challenging with well formed trails and no dramatic climbs. Obviously you’ll want a good level of fitness to carry your pack the full distance.

Distance / Duration / Elevation Gain of the Murramarang South Coast Walk

The Murramarang South Coast walk is officially listed at 34km in total, although Mattie and I clocked in at just over 37km with 826m of elevation gain.

There are a few little out and backs to look outs, and no doubt we clocked up a bit extra when backtracking to take photos! Expect to spend between 11.5 hours and 17.5 hours on the trail over the 3 days, depending on how fast you like to hike.

Essential Gear for the Murramarang South Coast Walk

The following is my suggested list of essentials for this hike, along with all your usual hiking gear and supplies:

  • PLB or Satellite Messenger – many sections of the walk have no mobile reception
  • Snake bite kit
  • Hat and sunscreen for the exposed beach sections
  • Swimmers and lightweight towel (not essential if you only plan on swimming at Myrtle Beach… a nudist beach where you may be lucky enough to spot a buff-rumped booby!)
  • Warm clothing for cool nights
  • A water purification method for all water along the hike
  • Tide times relevant to when you’ll be walking
  • Cord to fix your tent to the platform at Oaky Beach
  • $1 coins for a hot shower at Pretty Beach

Read more: Overnight Hiking Packing List

What it’s Like to Hike the Murramarang South Coast Walk

Day 1 – Pretty Beach to Depot Beach

Distance: 11.5km
Duration: 3-6 hours

Partly due to a large group of noisy school kids camped at Pretty Beach, Mattie and I decided to get moving early. We were so glad we did as the morning light as we set out along the first of many beaches and rock platforms was insanely beautiful.



A little cove worth looking out for just after Island Beach is Singing Stones Beach, where the large pebbles make a distinctive whooshing sound as each breaking wave washes back out to sea.

As you meander from isolated beach to dramatic rock platform to incredibly beautiful Spotted Gum forests, you’ll get a fairly good sense of what the Murramarang South Coast Walk experience is all about.

Pebbly Beach is a great spot for a morning tea or a lunch break as it has both BBQs and toilets. You’ll also be greeted by the world’s luckiest kangaroos – lazing in the sun on Pebbly Beach, barely twitching an eyelid as you approach for a photo (of course, don’t touch or feed them as that’s bad for any wildlife).



Once you leave the deceptively named Pebbly Beach (actually quite sandy) you’ll come to a much more pebbly cove just around the headland. This next stretch to Depot Beach will require you to keep an eye on the tides, as you’ve got a lot of exposed rock platforms to cover.

Read more: How to leave no trace 

If you left early like we did, you’ll have a fair bit of lazy time to spend at Depot Beach setting up camp, having a snooze and a refreshing arvo swim.

As the sun sets, take a wander around the southern headland to Sharkys Beach and great views of Grasshopper Island before cooking up a well earned feed.

Day 2 – Depot Beach to Oaky Beach

Distance: 17.5km
Duration: 6-8 hours

Day two will see you packing up camp surrounded by more curious and incredibly tame kangaroos. Head on over the hill through stunning Spotted Gum forest that’s packed with Burrawang trees at ground level and down to Calm Corner – the northern end of Durras Beach. This is one of the best spots along the trail for a swim so plan for it if that’s your vibe!



Durras Beach is loooong, but thankfully the sand is reasonably firm and you can get a good pace up. If Durras Lake is open to the ocean, I’d suggest wading out into the shallow breakers to skirt the inlet, rather than attempt to cross the narrow but fast flowing section with soft sand.

Punch along Durras Beach, then Cookies Beach, and you’ll reach a welcome rest stop for lunch – NRMA Murramarang Beachfront Holiday Resort.



Here you’ve got toilets, a cafe with great coffee and lunch options, and the reception area which also has a little store to top up on any essentials or snacks you may need.

You’ll need to fill up on water here (make sure to filter or treat it) for the rest of the hike too – 4L is the suggested amount, but our water tasted a little funny so flavoured Hydralyte tablets or similar are a good idea.

The afternoon of this biggest day of the hike traipses through some fantastic fairytale-esque forest just behind the resort, then continues onto a wilder section of the coast – jagged rock platforms and smaller rocky coves broken up with still more stunning Spotted Gum forest which just takes your breath away. Be sure to watch out for nudists (or strip off and have a dip!) at Myrtle Beach.

After nearly 18km you’ll be glad to see Oaky Beach, and duck up into the forest behind to set up camp on the newly constructed tent platforms.



A freestanding tent with some cord to attach your tent to the hardware on the platform is ideal, but having a nice flat, clean and dry place to camp in the surrounding forest is magic.

Make sure to keep any food or rubbish wrapped up in drybags in your tent, otherwise the cheeky local possums will have a field day!

Day 3 – Oaky Beach to Maloneys Beach

Distance: 7.5km
Duration: 2.5-3.5 hours

Your final day! The last leg is fairly easy after yesterday’s efforts. I guarantee you’ll still be loving the Spotted Gum forests you continue to walk through, with the occasional set of beautiful sandstone steps which have become the trademark of this walk.



The kangaroos and wallabies become a little less tame compared to those up around Pebbly Beach, but there’s still plenty of wildlife to watch out for, including the soaring White-Bellied sea eagle and a multitude of smaller bird species in the forest.

After rounding Three Islet Point, you can kick yourself for not choosing to book a night at Yellow Rock Beach House for your recovery from this beautiful hike… there’s always next time right?

Maloneys Beach, and the finish line, is just around the corner! If you’re not organised enough to leave a cool drink and a snack in your car, then I’d highly suggest stopping in at Saltwood Cafe in Kioloa, as you head back to Pretty Beach to pick up your car. The food and coffee there is superb, even when you don’t have three days of hiking under your belt!

Tips For Hiking the Murramarang South Coast Walk

  • Definitely pay attention to the high tide times and swell
  • Make sure you’ll be able to set your tent up without pegs on the tent platform at Oaky Beach
  • Bookings are essential through the NSW National Parks website


FAQs for the Murramarang South Coast Walk

Where is the Murramarang South Coast Walk located?

The start of the walk is located at Pretty Beach Campground, just south of Bawley Point on the NSW South Coast.

How do you get to the Murramarang South Coast Walk?

To get to the start of the walk at Pretty Beach campground, turn off the Princes Hwy at Termeil and pass through Bawley Point and Kioloa. It’s about 2 and a half hours’ drive from Canberra.

When is the Murramarang South Coast Walk open?

The Murramarang South Coast Walk can be booked between March and September.

Is the Murramarang South Coast Walk good for beginners?

This walk would be great for beginners only if accompanied by an experienced hiker. This is a Grade 4 route, meaning that hiking experience is recommended.

How long is the Murramarang South Coast Walk?

The Murramarang South Coast Walk is officially 34km long, although we walked closer to 37km in total.

Can you swim at the Murramarang South Coast Walk?

Yes! Definitely bring your swimmers for this one! Practise wild swimming safety at remote beaches.

Do you need a 4WD to get to the Murramarang South Coast Walk?

No – the start and finish of this hike is 2WD accessible.

Is the Murramarang South Coast Walk free?

You can walk sections of this walk for free (you may need to pay national park entry fees depending on where you drive to). However the three day hike as described in this article requires payment to secure your campsites each night.

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