Richard from Fully Rad Adventure Tours organised one of the Wildside Adventure Races in the Camden Haven, and while he was here, he documented 5 Hike/Bike/Swim/Kayak/Raft Adventure Itineraries for us! Over to you, Richard...
At latitude 31°38'55"S and longitude 152°48'43"E, where the Camden Haven River meets the Pacific Ocean, lies the pretty coastal town of Dunbogan. Sitting at the southern end of the Port Macquarie Hastings region you can reach Dunbogan via the bridge across Camden Haven inlet of along the coastal dirt road from Diamond Head. The town is framed with water and the Crowdy Bay National Park making it the perfect base for getting back to nature and enjoying the great outdoors.
To help you rediscover your wild side here are 5 adventurous things to do in and around Dunbogan. They can take all day or half a day depending on how adventurous you are feeling.
You will need sturdy shoes, gloves and be ready to get wet.
Distance 5km with 500m of swimming. Half day or a Full Day if you explore more and stop for lunch on an island.
You can start this at any point but we started at the Dunbogan Jubilee Hall off Camden Head Rd. Head NE along the lagoon edge of the road be careful to watch for cars. There is no path but a wide road verge.
Opposite Scarborough Way there is an entrance to a bush track that takes you off the road and behind houses. There is another bush track opposite the beach access road that features remnants of coastal rainforest. You want to stay on Camden Head Rd until the left turn down to Trevor’s Corner. Here, if you are lucky, you may spot a dolphin and will most likely meet a fisherman or 2 as this is a popular fishing spot. From here is where it will get more adventurous and you will get wet.
It is important to be tide aware and carefully watch the flow of the water before entering. From the small sand track swim across to the island opposite. You can then access the rock wall and rock hop along the edge of the inlet. There are plenty of oysters in this area which is why you have your shoes and gloves on.
As you round the lagoon you will come to the point opposite where you started. Trek back down the island to the spot directly opposite the boat ramp. Watching for any boats on the water or being dropped off and being tide aware jump back into the water and swim to the boat ramp/jetty.
You will need sturdy shoes, hat and water.
Distance 6km. Half day or a Full day if you head down to the rock platforms and stop for lunch at Pebbly beach.
Start at Pilot Beach Reserve and follow the track up to the Camden Head Pilot Station. Where this track meets Camden head Rd there is a new track – the Perpendicular Point Walk. This will take you into the Kattang Nature Reserve. The Reserve is a spectacular location just waiting to be explored.
Surrounded on all three sides by Pacific Ocean, the majestic Perpendicular Point stands tall with 40m vertical cliffs plummeting to the sea below. The outstanding coastal views from the Point lookout make a perfect backdrop for a great photograph and will take your breath away.
On your way back take the track down to the Pebbly Beach lookout for another great photo spot. Make sure you take the long way back via the Flower Bowl Circuit to truly capture the beauty of the area.
You will need sturdy shoes, hat and water.
Distance 3km – Half Day
Wash House Beach is one of the most diverse rock platforms in NSW. The rocks of the Wash House Beach Rock Platform form part of the eastern extent of the geological feature known as the Lorne Basin. Exploring these platforms at low tide is a great way to learn more about the inter-tidal zone and relationship between the region and the sea. Before starting check the tides for the best time to go.
Head out from Pilot Beach Reserve, walk along the beach until you reach the platforms then explore to your hearts content. Make sure you keep a watchful eye on the water level and be careful where you step.
You will need a kayak, life vest, wet shoes, hat and water
Distance 6km (one way). Half day for a one way trip and full day for the return trip
Starting at Dunbogan Jubilee Hall before you head out make sure you have checked the tides and weather forecast. The start of this paddle is technical as you will need to cross the Camden Haven inlet. This can be busy with boats so take your time and pick your line carefully before crossing. The best option is to make a straight line across to the North Haven side. From there follow the water’s edge until you reach Sting Ray Creek.
Once you have reached the protective waters of the creek paddle up towards Queens Lake. This is a moderately challenging route and will get your heart rate up and blood pumping. The route is great for bird watching as you paddle past Henry Kendal Reserve.
At the end of the creek at Goat island you head across Herons Creek towards the finish at Queens Lake Sailing Club. You can double challenge by making the paddle an out and back turning at Goat Island and heading back towards Dunbogan. If you are paddling one way make sure you have a car waiting for you at the finish.
Also, to mix this up you could paddle from the Sailing Club to Dunbogan. Remember it is your adventure so feel free to mix it up.
You will need a mountain bike and gear + supplies.
Distance 14km (one way)
Make sure you ride single file on any roads and if paths are busy. Ride out from Dunbogan along the water’s edge and up to the bridge across the inlet. Cross the bridge and turn right into Apex Park. From this point there is a pathway the follows the water’s edge all the way past Laurieton to the Sting Ray Creek bridge. After bridge ride the path past North Haven and out to the North Haven Break wall. Watch for dolphins and walkers. There are plenty of lunch options in North Haven.
From North Haven Beach you head off track and on to Grants Beach coastal walk. This is a beautiful track through coastal heath, paperbark swamp forest, pockets of littoral rainforest.
The track ends at an unnamed beach track. Here you will need to carefully cross Ocean Drive and access the fire trail on the western side. Follow this trail up into Bonny Hills. Follow the back streets until the Bonny Hills skatepark and cross Ocean Dr at the crossing. From here Rainbow Beach is a short roll down the hill.