The Nadgee Wilderness Walk ia an eye-boggler of a coastal hike that spans two states and 55km. The Nadgee Nature Reserve runs through the only remaining coastal wilderness in NSW before it crosses into a tucked-away corner of coastal Victoria.


Quick Overview

Nadgee Wilderness Walk is a 55 km one way, grade 5 hike that runs from the Nadgee Nature Reserve in New South Wales to Mallacoota in Victoria. The hike should take around 3-4 days to complete.


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


  • Epic coastal views
  • An abundance of wildlife – whales, dolphins, birds, snakes, fish
  • Solitude

Deep in the Nadgee Wilderness

Even at just 55km in length, the incredible Nadgee Wilderness Walk from Merrica River to Mallacoota traverses some of the most scenic coastlines that VIC and NSW have to offer. It’s easily achievable in three days but, if you have the time, making the trip over four days will reward you with a better chance to really explore the beautiful Nadgee Wilderness.

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!


nadgee Wilderness Walk Nadgee Nature Reserve VIC NSW Lachie Thomas, sand, rocks, horizon, water, walker, hiker, ocean

Day 1 – Merrica River Crossing to Little Creek

Distance: 14km

Starting at Merrica River Crossing near Wonboyn NSW, follow the fire track for roughly 10km through open forested hills, down to the sparkling emerald waters of Newtons Beach. Here you can enjoy one of the many pristine swims on the hike.

Continuing on, stroll through the lush rainforests and woodlands for a few kilometres to Little Creek, an epic campsite beside the water and only 200m from possibly the most incredible beach you’ve ever seen.

Read more: How To Poo in The Bush


nadgee Wilderness Walk Nadgee Wilderness VIC NSW Lachie Thomas, clouds, sand, rocks, horizon, water, walker, hiker, ocean

Day 2 – Little Creek to Cape Howe

Distance: 14km

The next day will take you through flowering heathlands of the Nadgee Nature Reserve, over rolling hills overlooking the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and down to the impressive sand dunes of Cape Howe on the state border.

Day 3 – Cape Howe to Lake Barracoota

Distance: 14km

Crossing into Victoria marks the start of long beach walks that will take you to the final campsite of Lake Barracoota, Victoria’s largest inland freshwater lake.

Day 4 – Lake Barracoota to Mallacoota

Distance: 12km

The final day will then bring you to Mallacoota where you can either organize a ferry transfer across the inlet or you can wait for low tide and swim/walk across the inlet (making for a much better story).

Read more: How To Use a PLB

The biggest challenge for hikers doing this track is often finding fresh drinking water, so make sure you bring purification tablets and call the Merimbula Parks Office before you walk to get an update on water sources.

Read more: How To Purify Water in the Bush

Walking in spring often helps negate this challenge and is also the time of year to see many flowers coming into blossom, as well as the migration of whales heading southwards.

Please note! There’s a limit of 30 hikers at a time on the Nadgee Wilderness Walk so if you’re keen to hike during a peak season, best to organise yourself early!


nadgee Wilderness Walk Nadgee Nature Reserve VIC NSW Lachie Thomas, hero, waves, dunes, person horizon

Essential Gear

  • Permit ($10pp per night) – contact the National Parks Merimbula Office for the application form
  • Backpack
  • Tent and sleeping gear
  • First aid kit
  • Food for 3-4 days
  • Map of the Nadgee Wilderness Walk

How To Get There

Nadgee Nature Reserve is approximately halfway between Melbourne and Sydney and takes about 6.5 hours on the Princess Highway to reach from either state capital.

Doing a car shuffle by leaving one car at Mallacoota and another at Merrica River Crossing will make your life significantly easier.

Otherwise, you’ll have to try your luck at hitchhiking from Mallacoota but bear in mind that if you get dropped off on the Princess Highway turnoff to Wonboyn it’ll still be a 20km walk on dirt roads to your car at Merrica River Crossing.

Skill Level

Intermediate – Advanced

Distance Covered / Duration

55km / 3-4 days