Mimosa Rocks National Park
At Mimosa Rocks National Park, in the state’s south, a ragged coastline of volcanic rock has been hewn by weather and water into sculptural cliffs, rock stacks and jutting headlands. The park offers plenty of opportunities for recreation and relaxation.
Mimosa Rocks National Park lies on the state’s far south coast between Bermagui and Tathra. The 16 kilometre coastline, a succession of beaches tucked into coves and small bays, is backed by low timbered hills. Recreational activities are primarily beach-based – swimming, surﬁng, ﬁshing and snorkelling – although there are some enjoyable short walks. There is a choice of picnic and camping sites, some more basic than others but offering a little more solitude.
From Bermagui or Tathra via Tathra–Bermagui Rd (access via gravel roads, but suitable for 2WD vehicles; take care in the wet)
401 km south of Sydney; 23 km south of Bermagui; 10 km north of Tathra
- NSWNPWS 1300 361 967
- NPWS Narooma (02) 4476 0800
Bermagui/Tathra (02) 6493 3054
Featured Activities in the National Park
Walk from Aragunnu to see Mimosa Rocks
Camp at peaceful Gillards Beach
Watch for dolphins and whales in season swimming offshore
A look at the past
The ﬁrst Europeans to settle here arrived in the 1830s to begin farming. The township of Bega was established in 1851 and for some years timber and sheep products were shipped from Moon Bay. Over the next century logging, agriculture, fossicking and oyster farming all took place. The park was established in 1973 with just 628 hectares but has since been considerably expanded. Areas that were once clear-felled for timber production are gradually regenerating.
The park encompasses part of the territory of the Yuin tribe, who enjoyed its abundance of seafood and bush tucker. Signs such as shell middens and open campsites indicate that Aboriginal people lived in this region for at least 6000 years.
The park’s most distinctive natural feature is its rock formations, a mix of slate, granite, basalt and volcanic rock, folded, faulted and shaped by weathering over millions of years.
On the park’s eastern side along the coastal dunes and cliffs, shady bangalay trees (Eucalyptus botryoides), coast banksia and wattle thrive and giant honey-myrtle, drooping she-oak and coast rosemary are all typical. The hinterland is dominated by eucalypts, predominantly the peppermint-scented silvertop ash and stringybark, and as you move closer to the coastline, spotted gum. Small, sheltered gullies have created an environment where warm temperate rainforest species such as lilly pilly and a tangle of rusty leaf ﬁg survive.
The swamp wallaby, which inhabits areas of thick undergrowth in forest, heath or woodland, ringtail possums, koalas, long-nosed potoroos and several species of bats are the most common mammals. Birdlife is plentiful, with the park being an important stopover for migratory species, some from the Northern Hemisphere. In summer, look for the eastern curlew with its distinctive, long, downturned bill, probing in the shallow mudﬂats for food. Winter-ﬂowering plants, especially the coast banksia, attract honeyeaters and colourful lorikeets. Less common species include sooty and masked owls, and the hooded plover, a small bird that nests along the beach. Around 20 reptile species have been identiﬁed, including snakes such as the red-bellied black snake, diamond python and southern death adder. Warm-temperate water-skinks forage near the creeks.
Try some rock or beach ﬁshing, enjoy a picnic (there are gas barbecues at Aragunnu, Picnic Point, Bithry Inlet, Middle Beach and Gillards Beach), or take your camera and capture some of the coast’s unique rock formations and ocean skies.
There are plenty of short and easy walks. Nelson Lagoon Walk (300 metres one way, 18 minutes) is worth doing to see the lagoon and watch for birds (especially in spring). Mimosa Rocks Walk (1 km one way, 30 minutes) from Aragunnu links the southern and northern picnic areas. From the northern area, a wheelchair-accessible path and boardwalk (250 metres) lead to a lookout over the intriguing Mimosa Rocks, scene of an historic shipwreck.
Canoeing and kayaking
Keen canoeists willing to lug their canoe about 300 metres can paddle on Middle Lagoon or Nelson Lagoon although Wapengo Lake, which adjoins the park, is more readily accessible. Kayaking along the coastline is another option.
Swimming and surfing
The beaches are lovely but there are strong currents. There is patrolled swimming (in peak periods) at Tathra, Bermagui and Merimbula and some good surﬁng along the coast.
The headlands are good spots to watch for humpback whales (June–July when they migrate north, September–October when they return south).
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