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Crowdy Bay National Park

Home > Sydney > Walks | Places of Interest | National Parks | Escape the City | Camping
by Rose (subscribe)
In the words of JR Tolkien "Not all those who wander are lost". My passion and loves are my family, travel and writing. I'm fortunate to be able to combine all three for an extraordinary life adventure....
Published August 10th 2017

"League after league the headlands curve up the coast of the continent. The white fingers of the sea play on them, each bluff giving out its unique note, making its own music."

These magical words, taken from the Australian writer Kylie Tennant's novel, The Man on the Headland, were inspired by the magnificent views and special place that is Crowdy Bay National Park.

Kylies beach campground
Haunting sunset


It is against this backdrop that we found ourselves at Kylies campground, at Crowdy Bay National Park, 271kms northeast of Sydney, north from Taree and south from Port Macquarie, NSW.

As you drive into the campground, it is the kangaroos who first greet you lying lazily in the sun and barely stirring as you enter the natural bush. Setting the scene for a relaxing afternoon ahead, we followed suit, finding our perfect camp spot and settling in, ready to unwind and begin exploring the new surrounds.

Much like visiting an old friend, Kylie, becomes a familiar and prominent host; as her name is synonymous with the local area. Not only does her presence echo in the campground, but the beach, a lookout and a hut are all named in her honour. In recognition, of her outspoken accolade for this inspiring beauty, it is not difficult to see how Crowdy Bay's landscape and the local people within it, evoked such raw feelings and held a special place in her heart.

Kylies hut
A writers hut set in a natural retreat


This was not our first visit to Crowdy Bay. At a mere 6 months old, we initiated our eldest son, now aged 7, to the great Aussie east coast road trip to Byron Bay. The camp site was a spontaneous and heartening find one evening after a long day's drive and we were eager to return for a second time.

A short walk from the campground takes you through an opening to a breathtaking view of the ocean beach. At 6 months old, I remember my baby son, clutching tightly to my husband's chest peering cautiously over his father's shoulders; eyes wide at the furious waves crashing before him. This time, still with some caution, he made his way over to the foaming water's edge and boldly climbed the rocks as if he had been doing it all his life.

Kylies beach; Crowdy Bay
Rock climbing at sunset


We arrived in time to see the golden reddish hues in the darkening sky reflect the evening shadows on the water below. Soon after it grew dark, we made our way back to our camp site to light the fire and toast our tender marshmallows, basking in the warmth and glowing embers of our carefully tended fire.

The kangaroos and the kookaburras made themselves visible while the resident koalas remained hidden from our view, despite our constant upward gazing, not one could we find. Nevertheless, the morning after, bought with it a close encounter with a kookaburra, an uninvited guest to our hot breakfast of coffee, eggs, and fresh fruit. Who could resist a mouth watering start to the day in the crisp clear morning sun?

Kylies campsite at Crowdy Bay
A surprise guest


This time, we enjoyed the day by the rocky beach, exploring and foraging for rocks and shells of all size, shape and colour. My husband took this opportunity for a run up the headland path to Kylies lookout, while we discovered hidden treasures and played tag with the waves.

We enjoyed a short walk of about 500m to Kylies hut, which is also a walk-in campground. A nature retreat many of us would be envious of today!

Despite the devastation of mineral sand mining in the area over several decades, the National Park's protection and regeneration program has enabled the scarred landscape to flourish. If only, Kylie could see it today....

Kylies beach crowdy bay NSW
The perfect beach walk


NOTE

National park and camping fees apply - pay at Diamond Head camps ground office. No booking required for camp sites.
Fires permitted - take care. While we were there, fire pits had been created everywhere. Be mindful of not creating more fire "pits" than is necessary.
Toilets and cold showers available.
No drinking water.
4WD on the beach with a permit.
Best time to go? All year round. Whale sightings possible in winter.
We enjoyed our winter time camping- pleasant days, mild - chilly evenings

Kylies camp ground; road trip NSW coast; campervan
Our go anywhere camper


For more information about the Author: Kylie Tenant (1912-1988)
Kylie was an Australian Novelist; Playwright; Critic; Historian; Author; Journalist;
You can find "The Man on the Headland" at Libraries Australia. Bring it with you on your camping trip!

It seems Kylie had a unique approach to her writing, often spending time in the location of where her books were set, living amongst the characters and environment that she wrote about. Her previous books have including subjects such as homelessness exposing both the richness and vulnerability of the human and often marginalised individuals.
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When: Open all year round.First come fire basis
Phone: (02) 6588 5555
Where: Crowdy Bay National Park
Cost: $8 daily park entrance fees per vehicle. Camping fees $12/adult & $6/child per night
Your Comment
What a lovely part of the coast Rose
by May Cross (score: 2|643) 69 days ago
Yes - I have friends in Port Macquarie and visit that area as I often as I can. You're lucky to have such a beautiful space.
by May Cross (score: 2|643) 68 days ago
Thanks May, have you been yourself? Good space to be in for writing!
by Rose (score: 0|6) 69 days ago
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