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Our Tomaree Coastal Walk favourites (Part 1)

….from incredible ocean views, lush coastal forests, sandy stretches to rocky outcrops, the walk has so much to enjoy!

Chances are, if you’ve connected with us on social media platforms, you’ve witnessed our love for the Tomaree Coastal Walk. Stretching from Tomaree Headland, Shoal Bay to Birubi Beach, Anna Bay, this scenic route has stolen our hearts.

Exploring the Tomaree Coastal Walk is an absolute delight. It incorporates well-known trails such as the one to Tomaree Headland, and many new thoughtfully integrated pathways.

Our preferred way to experience this coastal gem is by selecting a section of the walk, parking nearby, and embarking on a leisurely stroll. We often opt for a loop walk – there are many opportunities to loop back to along stretches of the walk. And what’s a stroll without a perfect start or finish at a nearby cafΓ©? (It’s our little ritual!)

With numerous picturesque sections to explore, we’ve compiled a list of our personal favourites below, complete with our top coffee spots, because every great adventure deserves a caffeine fix, right? πŸ˜‰

Tomaree Coastal Walk is nestled within Tomaree National Park, meaning our furry friends unfortunately have to sit this one out. But fear not, we can hook you up with a trustworthy dog sitter! Additionally, the Walk does not permit bikes, whether road, mountain, or trail.

Tomaree Headland, Shoal Bay

This segment of the walk offers breathtaking views from Tomaree Headland, a perennial favourite among walkers. With vistas stretching across Shoal Bay, Port Stephens, and beyond, it’s easy to see why this spot is a must to see!

Recent enhancements, including upgraded pathways and widened staircases, have made the journey even more enjoyable. Plus, additional pathways now offer alternative routes down from the headland to the lush parkland surrounding Tomaree Lodge.

Personally, I find nothing quite as magical as witnessing the sunrise or early morning glow atop the headland. The ever-changing panorama in every direction never fails to take my breath away. Living here feels like a perpetual stroke of luck!

And what better way to savour the experience than with a post-walk coffee? Our go-to spot is the Zenith Cafe and Restaurant in Shoal Bay; or we opt for a takeaway and soak up the views of Shoal Bay from a picnic table across the road. It’s pure magic, every time! πŸŒ…β˜•

The view over Zenith Beach from Tomaree Headland, Tomaree Coastal Walk

Fingal Bay Beach loop

Prepare for a surprise! Nestled within the Tomaree Coastal Walk lies a hidden gem: the walk extension leading to Fingal Bay beach. Our chance encounter with this addition occurred during a stroll to Fingal Spit, where we caught sight of the viewing deck offering panoramic views of Fingal Bay.

This segment of the Tomaree Coastal Walk not only boasts stunning views but also offers a perfect loop option, ideal for a shorter walk. We recommend parking near the Fingal Bay Surf Club and then commence the walk from Fingal Bay to Shoal Bay, along the walkway. Keep an eye out for the Tomaree Coastal Walk sign on the right-hand side and continue in that direction. The path meanders through coastal woodlands, across a charming bridge, before leading to the scenic viewing platform overlooking Fingal Beach.

The view is truly breathtaking in both directionsβ€”north towards Fingal Spit and south along the coastline. It’s a true gem, as the viewing platform blends seamlessly with the landscape, easily missed from the beach below.

To complete the loop, simply walk back along the beach, eventually arriving at the Surf Club. And what better way to wrap up your excursion than with a refreshing treat or snack? Our personal favourite is a takeaway coffee from the Long Boat Cafe, finding a spot on the beach or at the nearby picnic table that overlooks the beach. (Go up the ramp near the Long Boat Cafe)

If time permits, consider indulging in a scrumptious lunch or dinner at Saltwater Restaurant, above Fingal Bay Surf Club. With its outstanding views, it’s the perfect spot to savour a meal while enjoying the coastal splendour.

The Fingal Bay section of the Tomaree Coastal Walk includes a viewing platform with stunning views north and south along Fingal Beach.

Fingal Bay to Big Rocky

The stretch of the Tomaree Coastal Walk from Fingal Bay to Big Rocky holds a special place in our hearts, particularly during the seasons of Autumn, Winter, and early Spring. Recently upgraded, this section now boasts a spectacular coastal route with unparalleled views of the ocean and rocky shoreline. Along the way, you’ll encounter a diverse array of seasonal flora: Gymea Lilies, coastal forests and many other Australian wildflowers. For me, Spring holds a special charm with the blooming of Flannel Flowers, painting the landscape with their delicate white petals and silver-grey foliage.

View of the coastal walkway, Gymea lilies and coastal flora with the blue ocean in the background.

This walk isn’t just for adults; kids will delight in spotting goannas, birds, and other wildlife along the trail. Plan for a leisurely pace and allocate around an hour each way, though we typically extend our outing by packing a picnic to enjoy at Big Rocky or snorkelling in Big Rocky’s bays. When you are close to Big Rocky, there is a small diversion to Little Rocky (it’s also signposted), which leads down to the northern end of the Big Rocky bay.

Blue rocky bays with a rocky outcrop island from where Big Rocky gets its name. Green coastal grasses and flora hug the bay.

Embarking on this adventure is easy, with two starting points to choose from. Begin at Barry Park at the southern end of Fingal Bay and follow the Tomaree Coastal Walk signs. Alternatively, drive down Boulder Bay Road, keeping an eye out for the Tomaree Coastal Walk sign on the right-hand side. Don’t fret if you miss it; the road is a dead-end, so you’ll circle back around and the sign will be on your left.

Upon your return to Fingal Bay, especially if it’s the weekend, treat yourself to a visit to Cellar Cafe. Quench your thirst with a refreshing beverage (or two!) and perhaps indulge in one of their mouth-watering pizzas to cap off your day.

Find out more about Big Rocky here:

Need any more information?

Feel free to contact us about anything you may wish to know about the Tomaree Coastal Walk. If you have some suggestions and recommendations that we have missed, we would love to hear from you!

Find more information about the walk here: Tomaree Coastal Walk | NSW National Parks

So where to next?

In Part 2 we will cover some of our other favourite stretches of the Tomaree Coastal Walk including: Boat Harbour; One Mile Beach to Samurai Beach; and Kinglsey Beach to Fisherman’s Bay.

No matter where you start or end, the walk has so much to offer!