Within walking distance from Longbeach Clifftop Retreat
Why should you visit?
Murramarang National Park is a special place, here are just some of the reasons why:
The park and adjacent coast are outstandingly attractive. It has some of the most diverse and well developed stands of rainforest south of the Shoalhaven River (Mills, 1988), with steep forested slopes falling to the sea and a variety of rugged, coastal landform features including cliffs, sandy and shingle beaches, islands and stacks.
Panoramic views of the coastline and west to the Budawang Range are available from Durras Mountain.
One of the really special things in Murramarang is the extensive areas of rainforest and the largest sample of majestic, spotted gum reserved under the National Parks and Wildlife Act. It is unusual to find temperate rainforest and spotted gum with an understorey of burrawang palms stretching right down to the ocean. It is truly a sight to see!
You’ll easily recognise the spotted gums – they have a smooth, dimpled bark which is shed in summer to produce a mottled cream and grey ‘spotted’ appearance.
Several rainforest species reach their southern limits in the park (Mills, 1988). These are Diospyros pentamera, Polyosma cunninghamii and Endiandra sieberi at Pebbly Beach, Archontophoenix cunninghamiana and Stenocarpus salignus at Depot Beach and Clerodendrum tomentosum at Oaky Beach. Because of the variety of habitats, the large area of relatively undisturbed vegetation in the park and the extent of naturally vegetated land to the west, the fauna is diverse and the park is important for protection of faunal populations in the central part of the south coast. Large areas of the park have not been affected by fire for long periods, allowing the development of mature vegetation communities which are valuable as habitats and for scientific comparison with more frequently burnt areas in adjacent state forests and on private land.
There’s an abundance of wildlife living in Murramarang National Park, but by far one of the highlights is seeing eastern grey kangaroos that spend their days dozing near the beaches and by campgrounds until dusk when they gather to feed.
In the moist forests of the park you might see lyrebirds fossicking in leaf litter. Look for the stately, strutting wonga pigeon with its pastel blue-grey back feathers and black dotted stomach. If you don’t see it, you may well hear its repetitive, deep ‘whoop, whoop’ call that carries through the forest.
Birdwatchers are in for a treat; the park boasts more than 90 species of birdlife including three owl species, peregrine falcons, sea eagles, gannets, shearwaters, white-faced storm petrels, sooty oystercatchers, eastern yellow robins, satin bowerbirds, the rufous fantail and even a penguin colony. Look for the sea eagles and peregrine falcons soaring above the park’s cliffs and headlands and the rufous fantails and eastern yellow robins in rainforest gullies around Durras Mountain. You’re most likely to see sooty oystercatchers wading around the edges of lake areas.
Rich Aboriginal Cultural Heritage
The park and reserves contain a large number of Aboriginal sites for a small area. Several have been investigated in detail. The sites located on the islands are particularly important as they are generally undisturbed and provide an opportunity for archaeological studies.
Aboriginal people have a long connection with the Country of Murramarang National Park, and this continues to the present day. The south coast headlands have long been a focus for economic life, giving easy access to the food resources of both the sea and the land, and plants within the park provided medicines and shelter. There is much evidence of the past today, including shell middens, tool manufacturing sites and indications of a specialised industry producing bone points and fishing hooks. Take a walk around Murramarang Aboriginal Area, near Bailey Point – there’s a complex of middens that are of great cultural value.
Threatened Park Species
Species listed in Schedule 12 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act as threatened which have been recorded in the park and reserves are the glossy black cockatoo Calyptorhynchus lathami, sooty oystercatcher Haematopus fuliginous, pied oystercatcher Haematopys longirostris, yellow-bellied glider Petaurus australis and green turtle Chelonia mydas. The long-nosed potoroo Potorous tridactylus has been reported but not confirmed. The offshore islands of the park and reserves support large breeding populations of little penguin Eudyptula minor, wedge-tailed shearwater Puffinus pacifus, short-tailed shearwater Puffinus tenuirostris and white-faced storm-petrel Pelagodroma marina and small populations of sooty oystercatcher, sooty shearwater Puffinus griseus and eastern reef egret Egretta sacra.
Walks in the Park
Enjoy one or more glorious short or long walks available in the Park