Ben Boyd National Park

Ben Boyd National Park, Hamilton Lund / Tourism New South Wales
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Ragged wave-worn cliffs, salt-pruned heath and banksia woodlands, beautiful beaches, historic buildings and a fascinating whaling heritage make Ben Boyd National Park a wonderful holiday destination. Located on the state’s south coast, in two sections, north and south of Twofold Bay, with the township of Eden in between, the northern part of the park is notable for its rocky coastline, while the southern part has historic sites to explore.

Fact file


From Pambula, just south of Merimbula, via Pambula Beach Rd or south on Princes Hwy then Haycock Rd (northern section); from Eden via Princes Hwy then Edrom Rd (southern section)

Best season

Spring to autumn


470 km south of Sydney; 20 km south of Merimbula and 8 km north of Eden (northern section); 33 km south of Eden (southern section)

Park information

  • NSWNPWS 1300 361 967
  • NPWS Far South Coast region (02) 6495 5000


10 485 ha

Visitor information

Eden (02) 6496 1953

Merimbula (02) 6495 1129, 1800 150 457

Featured Activities in the National Park

  • Watch for migrating southern right whales

    Gaze at Boyds Tower and survey the park and Pacific Ocean from the nearby cliff-top lookout

    Canoe on the calm waters of Pambula River

    Walk to the intriguing ancient rock formation of the Pinnacles

See Also

A look at the past

Whaling was a huge industry along this coast, beginning in 1828 and lasting for a century. Davidson Whaling Station, on Twofold Bay, was the longest operating shore-based whaling station in Australia and vestiges of the station remain. Farming also flourished in the district in the 1800s and cattle were shipped from Twofold Bay. Colourful entrepreneur Benjamin Boyd – landowner, grazier, and whaling-station owner – built the tower that still bears his name. When his business went bust in the 1840s, he headed for the Californian goldfields.

Natural features

The northern part of the park is distinguished by its craggy coastline and in particular the Pinnacles, a formation dating back 60 million years, where layers of white sand are capped with crumbling red clay. Follow the Pinnacles walking track for the best view.

Native plants

Open forest and woodland cover the park, with tall red bloodwood and blackbutt in the north and silvertop ash in the south, and occasional small fragments of rainforest surviving in moist gullies. On the windswept headlands, salt-pruned heath and scrub form a tough, low covering.


Keep your eyes peeled early in the morning or as dusk sets in for eastern grey kangaroos, and at night watch as ringtail possums scurry along the branches and the ground in search of sustenance. In all, 50 mammal species have been recorded, but most are shy and nocturnal. Near the coast, waterbirds and seabirds nest and feed – red-capped plovers, Australian shelducks, great cormorants and white-fronted terns are among the 200-plus bird species sighted here. And offshore there is also plenty of wildlife – migrating humpback and southern right whales cruise along the coast from June to November, pods of dolphins are regularly seen cavorting in the water and seals swim by.


Green Cape, Disaster Bay, Haycock Point and the lookout near Boyds Tower are all excellent vantage points for panoramic views and photographs. Pambula River and Saltwater Creek are ideal for stillwater canoeing, and sea-kayaking along the coast is also popular. There are a number of picnic spots with barbecues. For those with limited time, most of the park’s attractions can easily be reached by car.


The mild climate, terrain and historic sites make Ben Boyd excellent walking territory. Light to Light (30 km one way, 3 days, easy) is a trek from Boyds Tower to Green Cape Lighthouse, with Aboriginal and historic sites, splendid views and, in season, the chance to spot whales breaching offshore. There are numerous shorter walks: to Boyds Tower, the colourful Pinnacles and along the Pambula River. Pick up a list of walks from the NPWS Far South Coast (Merimbula) office.


The district is renowned for its first-class beach, bay and river fishing. Pambula River is known for bream and flathead, with salmon or tailor the likely catches on the northern beaches. Netting, spearfishing and collecting crustaceans and marine animals from the rocks is prohibited.

Historic sites and tours

History buffs will find much of interest in this area – Boyds Tower, built in 1847 as a lighthouse but never used (there is no access), the remains of the old Davidson Whaling Station and historic Green Cape Lighthouse, erected in 1883. Ask at NPWS Far South Coast (Merimbula) about guided tours.

Swimming and surfing

The quiet Pambula River estuary and beaches at Bittangabee and Saltwater Creek are favourite venues for swimming, and there are some great surfing breaks.


Bittangabee camping area

On the long-distance but easy Light to Light walking track (30 km, 3 days) in the southern section of the park, Bittangabee camping area offers swimming, snorkelling, fishing and diving. A shorter section of the track... Find out more

Hegartys Bay camping area (walk-in and bush camping)

This is a bush camping site with no facilities, along the Light to Light walking track north of Bittangabee Bay. Access either via Bittangabee Bay or Saltwater Creek to the north. Bring your own drinking water; gas/fuel... Find out more

Mowarry Point camping area (walk-in and bush camping)

With no facilities, this bush camping site is along the Light to Light walking track, 3 km north of Saltwater Creek. You can also walk in from the end of the road to the north, which passes by scenic Leatherjacket... Find out more

Saltwater Creek camping area

To get to Saltwater Creek camping area, follow the Princes Hwy 18 km south of Eden and turn onto Edrom then Green Cape then Duckhole rds. Turn east onto Saltwater Rd and follow it to the end. There’s fishing,... Find out more

See Also

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