Crowdy Bay National Park was one of the best surprises I had during our 4,500km road trip along the NSW Coast. We went to 20 National Parks, including some of the most famous in the country. I had never heard of Crowdy Bay National before planning this trip; it’s one of Australia’s hidden gems.

Crowdy Bay

To be honest, the name sounded very unpleasant to me: I hate porridge and a mass of people. I am glad I didn’t stop at the first impression.

Crowdy Bay National Park ended up being one of my favourite stops on Australia‘s East Coast.

We didn’t spend a long time in this park, just a short afternoon on our way from Myall Lakes National Park to South West Rocks. It was just enough to enjoy some of the most beautiful landscapes on the East Coast.

We headed to Diamond Head campsite, where lovely wallabies welcomed us next to the beach. It’s an Australian cliche we will never get tired of; we love seeing iconic Australian wildlife.

Crowdy Bay National Parks Wallabies

From there, we walked:

Mermaid Lookout Track: 1.4km return; it took us 20 minutes. The beautiful views of the rocks are an excellent introduction to the rest of the park

On the beach: as it was low tide, we could walk to the rocks on the right part of the beach and it led us to a surprising cliff formation. Although it’s nothing too hard, I recommend bringing your shoes as those we saw doing it barefoot struggled.

Loop Walk via Indian Head: 4.3 km loop; it took us one hour at a rapid pace, but those not used to hiking uphill or downhill will need a lot more time (the sign indicates at least 2.5 hours). Our rapid pace gave us the extra time we needed to take a detour down to a natural arch surrounded by mini-canyons and beautiful cliffs. That’s when I fell in love with the place. Back up on the track, a little further, we saw another natural arch – this time not accessible – and a great lookout on a beautiful never-ending beach.

Planning a trip to Crowdy Bay National Park? If you don’t want to camp, I recommend staying in Port Macquarie. It is a lovely coastal city that I enjoyed visiting. Click here to view accommodations available*.

See for yourself the beauty of hiking in Crowdy Bay National Park:

Don’t you think it deserves a spot on Australia’s must-see list?

Have you travelled along Australia’s East Coast? What was your best surprise? Share your experience in the comments below!

Where is Crowdy Bay National Park?

Crowdy Bay National Park is in New South Wales, approximately 250km north of Sydney and less than one hour south of Port Macquarie. It’s only a short detour from the Pacific Highway between Brisbane and Sydney.

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CROWDY BAY national park - remarkable short hike australia's east coast - port macquarie


Eloise is the creator and writer of She writes about her experiences exploring exotic destinations and finding hidden gems closer to home. Her goal is to share tips and stories to inspire and encourage others to go on their own adventures. She loves outdoor and nature-based activities like scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, and sailing. She grew up in France and has lived in England and Turkey before calling Australia home for the past decade. So let's get ready for another adventure!

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  1. Megan Indoe

    I am dying to explore Australia! You’re absolutely right, you shouldn’t judge Crowdy Bay by their name! I would never visit thinking the same as you, that it would be filled with hoards of tourists! What stunning photos you’ve captured! I love the dramatic landscape, this is a photographers paradise!

    1. Eloise

      Thank you, Megan. I really wonder why they chose that name. There are sometimes really far-fetched stories behind names!

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