Tomaree National Park is located on Worimi Country in Port Stephens, NSW extending from Anna Bay in the south, to Nelson Bay and Shoal Bay in the north, and completely enveloping the seaside village of Fingal Bay to the east.
Tomaree, meaning ‘Place of the rainbow’ in the Gathang language spoken by the Worimi People of the area, is a treasure trove for anyone who enjoys exploring the great outdoors, perfect for nature enthusiasts, bird watchers, history buffs, hikers and mountain bike riders of all experience levels.
The Tomaree National Park surrounds the stunning Mt Tomaree with its breathtaking views, with these uniquely shaped mountains throughout Tomaree, as well as Fingal Island, being formed from rhyodacite outcroppings and are remnants of ancient volcanic eruptions.
Tomaree is a magical oasis that is bordered by the stunning waters of Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park, NSW's largest marine park to the north and east, and the Worimi Conservation Lands to the south which boast the 32km long, largest moving coastal sand dunes in the southern hemisphere.
There is an array of coastal trails throughout the park making it easy to go whale watching at one of the many vantage spots, hiking (with trails for all experience levels), mountain-biking along the fire trails scattered throughout, and you can also explore the historical significance of Fort Tomaree with an easy walk located near the base of Mt Tomaree.
Tomaree Walking Trails
This remarkable adventure, completed in 2023, allows you to immerse yourself in the diverse wonders of the region by linking coastal trails from the majestic Mt Tomaree in the north to Birubi Beach at the northern end of the Worimi Conservation Lands in the south. Stretching 27km one way, this grade 4 walk offers an enjoyable blend of breathtaking scenery and exhilarating nature experiences through sacred country along ancient Worimi walking routes. Whether you choose to complete it in a two or three-day hike staying in off-park accommodation along the way, or prefer to tackle short sections at a time, this epic journey is a true testament to the beauty of Tomaree National Park.
Part of the Tomaree Cultural Walk, this steep trek is not for the fainthearted! This walk takes you up to the spectacular summit of Mt Tomaree, allowing you to enjoy 360-degree views of the magnificent coast and country of Port Stephens. You won't want to forget the camera as this is as picture-perfect as anywhere can get!
This Grade 5 2.2 km return walk is one of Port Stephens' most popular walks for visitors, and although it generally takes most walkers 1.5-2 hours to complete, we recommend you allow for a little extra time during peak periods. It is also important to note that the trek includes stairs which can get slippery in the wet, so it is a good idea to check the forecast before heading to the summit.
This Grade 3 2.5km return walk that departs from the base of Mt Tomaree is best suited for walkers looking for an easier grade trek and families with younger children.
This is a great walk for lovers of World War II history as this trail leads you to gun emplacements used in the defence of the East Coast of Australia during WWII, with interpretive signage positioned along the way.
The sealed section of the beginning 700m of this track allows those with limited mobility to enjoy this walk. However, it is not completely accessible as there are some steep sections towards the end, and the path can also become slippery in wet weather.
This Grade 4 track is a relatively short 2km there-and-back option for those short on time or looking to spend some quality time at one of Port Stephens' most spectacular beaches. Taking 30 minutes to an hour, this walk travels over the coastal dunes, and through Tomaree Angophora forest on a trail that leads to the secluded cove of Wreck Beach. For those who like their beaches a little less crowded, this one is a must-do if you are seeking a picturesque Zenith alternative.
This walk is suitable for most ages and experience levels and provides a shorter trail option for those looking to picnic on the beach, swim, or whale watch before heading back.
Another suggested short option from the Tomaree Coastal Walk, although not short by any means, this half-day adventure takes you past the incredible beaches of Fingal Bay Beach and the Spit; and Box, Wreck and the famous Zenith beaches partly along a shared paved bike track.
With the option to stop off and enjoy lunch overlooking the bay from one of the many eateries in Shoal Bay, this is our pick for anyone looking for some spontaneity and variety along the way with a pick-your-path adventure waiting for you!
Another half-day short section of the great Tomaree Coastal Walk, this Grade 3 7.5km one-way four-hour trail, or 8-9 hours if embarking on the return trip, explores some of the best of the Tomaree coast.
Beginning from stunning Birubi with its large rolling sand dunes to the south at the Birubi Point Aboriginal Meeting Place, take some time to reflect on the sacredness of the land to the Worimi inhabitants whose history dates back over 60 thousand years before embarking along the mostly easy trail which will pass through the coastal heathland, gentle rolling hills, and coastal rocks to the stunning Kingsley and Little Kingsley Beaches, and then to One Mile Beach where you can enjoy a swim between the flags.
The walk also passes through the towns of Fishermans Bay and Boat Harbour, providing the perfect opportunity to refuel and refill if travelling light.
If you would like to learn more about the area and the native wildlife under the instruction of a local guide, then it is worth checking to see if the Tomaree National Park is running one of their guided tours whilst visiting the area. From walking tours to 4WD tours, you will find the perfect way to discover Tomaree with the added knowledge of a local ranger.
Mountain Biking through Tomaree
The fire trails within Tomaree surrounding Fingal Bay make for some incredible mountain biking! Fingal Bay is also home to the Port Stephens Multisport Festival TreX triathlon events each September that incorporate these trails as part of their course.
If you are biking with younger families, the sealed bike track from Fingal Bay Beach to Shoal Bay is a great option and allows you to enjoy the National Park and its nearby beaches without getting on the dirt.
Tomaree National Park is filled with a variety of native flora and fauna and a walk along one of the many trails will be sure to bring you up close to an array of spectacular vegetation and wildlife well worth the trip.
Some wildlife to look out for include passing by glossy cockatoos near Fingal Bay, sea eagles, lorikeets, honeyeaters, wallabies, and if you are lucky, a sighting of an elusive koala is certainly not unheard of! If you are following the coastal trails, make sure you look out to the shoreline where you may spot frolicking dolphins, green sea turtles or dugongs, and if you cast your eyes out further during the cooler months, you may just catch the passing humpback whales on their annual migrations.
Picnics & Fishing
Recreational fishing is allowed from some of Port Stephens' incredible beaches, but be sure to check with the Port Stephens - Great Lakes Marine Park Zoning before casting your sights on a fishing destination.
Bring along a picnic to enjoy on one of the many picnic areas or sandy beaches. You can find picnic tables at Fingal Bay's foreshore and Barry Park at the southern end, One Mile Beach, Boat Harbour, Fishermans Bay, Iris Moore lookout and picnic area, and Robinson Reserve near Birubi Point.
It is important though to leave only footprints and take all rubbish and belongings with you so as to not leave a trace - even apple cores, as feeding the native wildlife is prohibited (and bad for their health).
If embarking on a walk through Tomaree, it is important you come prepared and make sure that you are wearing appropriate footwear, especially on the higher-grade tracks. Bring along a bottle of water, and snacks, as well as remember your hat and to slip, slop, slap! We also recommend letting someone know where you are going or you can log your trip with a Trip Intention form, and check the National Parks & Service Alerts to see if there are any track closures or warnings before heading out.
If you would like to find out more about Tomaree National Park and the surrounding Worimi Conservation Lands, then some useful links are provided below:
Acknowledgement of Country
We acknowledge the original custodians of this land, the Worimi Peoples. We pay respect to them and their Elders past, present and future. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and continuing relationship with the land.
We honour their deep ancestral knowledge, their culture and their continuing contributions to the community and environment.
We stand in solidarity and seek to learn from their wisdom.
May we walk together on this land with respect, understanding and harmony.