Descriptions by Leanne Pinder
Sussex Inlet Riverside Walk/Cycle way - Chris Creek Bridge to Badgee Bridge
Wheelchair friendly - - Dogs, on leash, are allowed on this walk
The most well known and versatile walk is the shared cycle/walk way along the river from Chris Creek Bridge to Badgee Bridge. This walk which is cemented all the way, is flat and can be undertaken as a whole or in sections.
Between Chris Creek and Jacobs Drive there are two children's play areas - one at the Chris Creek end is a large climbing frame and the other, at the Jacobs Drive end is a well designed park. There are also public toilets and a public wharf near the Jacobs Drive end. This section has great river views, seats for resting and kangaroo spotting along the way.
Between this and the next section you can access the main street of Sussex.
In the next section between Jacobs Drive and Badgee bridge there are barbeques and shelters for picnics with views across the river to Christians Minde, the oldest house in the area. Seats are also provided along this section and birdlife abounds. There are public toilets about halfway along. There is also a shop/cafe towards the Badgee end. There are great water views of the Inlet towards St Georges Basin as you near Badgee Bridge.
Walk/Cycle way - Swanhaven, Dyball Reserve to Cudmirrah, Ski Beach
Both ends of this walk are wheelchair friendly, A gravel section in the middle of the walk may be a problem. - - Dogs, on leash, are allowed on this walk.
This shared cycle/walk way runs parallel to Springs Road so is a safe alternative for travelling to Cudmirrah.
The best way to access this walk is to go along Springs Rd, into Hoffman Dr. at Swanhaven and go to the end of the road via Lake Dr. There is a children's play area labelled Dyball Reserve with play equipment and picnic table (great for the kids).
A dirt road goes off to the right, down a small hill and into a park that is great for picnics. There are barbeques, picnic tables and toilets as well as the sandy shore of the lake. Black swans can be seen at different times, Pigeonhouse Mountain is in the distance and the sunsets are lovely.
There is a sign showing the way to the shared cycle/walk way. It is cemented at both ends but is gravel in the middle. There is a small incline to get the heart pumping and views over the lake. The walk goes all the way to Ski Beach and you can continue on to Cudmirrah with safety from the traffic. There are amenities at Ski Beach.
You can go to the end of the actual walkway and retrace your steps or go down onto the lakeshore and walk back along the lake.
South Sussex - Alamein to Haven walk
Dogs are not allowed on this walk, it is a National Park
This is more energetic. It is labelled "moderate-steps, 1km return".
It is usual to start on the riverbank near the Alamein Caravan Park. Walk along the waters edge (great views of the Inlet and river) till you reach the end of the park where you will find a set of stairs.
There are 125 stairs to start, with a rest area half way up. On the walk there are a few other sets of stairs going down and one lot going up. The track climbs past a rainforest remnant and over dunes covered with Banksias and Bangalays with filtered views of the Inlet and river.
There are no facilities along this track so take water with you. When you reach the Haven you can go along the newly constructed boardwalk and down to the waters edge for great views and depending on the tide (it needs to be low) walk right up to the Inlet bar.
To return you can walk right around via the rocks (watch the tide), along the beach to the surf club and back along the road to the start. Or you can do a circle by walking up the road from the Haven to the end, turn right , follow the road down the hill and back to the start, or return the way you came.
South Sussex - Lions Park, Lakehaven Drive Reserve to William Mulligan Reserve
Dogs, on leash, are allowed on this walk
Access is from Lakehaven Drive, South Sussex. The Lions Park is a good place to have a picnic breakfast, lunch or dinner as there are lots of picnic tables including the main one which is covered. It has 3 gas barbeques. There is a children's playground and toilets in this area.
The walk goes along the waters edge. It has great views of the entrance in the distance, especially if the sea is rough. Here you will find the main boat ramp in South Sussex, the one closest to the Inlet bar and the two pontoon wharves which can be accessed for fishing or for viewing schools of fish and an occasional stingray. There is the new fish cleaning table, where fishermen returning with the day's catch attract lots of pelicans.
From here walk along the waters edge to see great views of the river in both directions. There are seats for relaxing, two more jetties and a little salt marsh with a track with a couple of little bridges running through it and a sheltered picnic table. Just near here you will usually see lots of bird life. Black swans frequent this area in the early morning as well as ducks, pelicans and other waterbirds.
The walk will then take you along the front of the caravan park to the end of the reserve and to the Sussex Road boat ramp. There are toilets here as well. The reserve goes for a little further but it eventually runs into mangroves. Don't forget to have a look at the Marine Rescue boats while you are in the area.
There are two eateries here, one that is over the water where you can enjoy a meal and coffee and the other where you can either eat there or buy 'take away' for snacking on the way back. This is not an energetic walk but one that can take some time depending on what's happening. It is flat but the ground is a bit uneven.
Berrara - Fisherman Rock / The waterfall
Dogs are not allowed on this walk, it is a National Park
This walk is found at the end of Lakeland Drive at Berrara. Here you will find Berrara Lagoon Reserve. There are picnic tables, barbeques and a children's playground. Toilets are available at the carpark closer to the beach/lagoon entrance. There is a National Park information board and map at the beginning of the track, showing the whole walk and others available in the area.
It is possible to cycle the first section up to Fishermans Rock, it is about 650 metres and is flat ground suitable for young children walking. It goes through the bush towards a series of granite ledges. Just prior to Fishermans Rock you will find two picnic tables in shady areas with filtered views of the lagoon. On the rock ledge in this area you will find axe sharpening grooves, evidence of aboriginal habitation going back 4,000 years. Then of course there is Fisherman's Rock itself.
This is a good place for a picnic, fishing or just exploring. The wildflowers are pretty in spring. There are good views of the creek. You can return the way you came or continue on for a more energetic walk. Take water with you there are no facilities.
The Waterfall is 2.5kms (1 hour one way). Sections of the walk may be impassable after heavy rain or during high tides.
A short distance along there is a granite rock ledge that shows evidence of a small waterfall at times. After that the track winds through bushland with occasional glimpses of the creek. The track is reasonably well marked but is uneven, rocky and has rough steps in sections, sensible shoes are needed. It finally comes to a ford. There are times when you can walk across here and times when you have to wade. A short walk up and over a ridge and you come to a large granite outcrop. This is the waterfall. There are usually pools of water at least. It is interesting and a good place for a rest, picnic and a look around. It is usual to return via the same route.
Berrara - Walter Hood Monument
Dogs, on leash, are allowed along the beach, but the actual access to the monument is in a National Park, therefore no dogs allowed
It is usual to walk to the Walter Hood Monument via the beach at Berrara.
Allow about 2 hours but it is a nice walk on a mild day. The only difficult bit is climbing over the rocks at the end of Berrara Beach. There is a track around through the bush but it is often overgrown. After the rocks there is another hike up the beach till you come to Nerrindillah Lagoon where a marker shows the track to the memorial site.
Here you will find picnic tables and toilets (sometimes closed). Take water with you.
The monument is to the shipwreck of the Walter Hood. She was 172.2ft (52.43 metres) in length and had been a regular trader between London and Port Jackson for 17 years.
She had left London with a full cargo and three passengers. On the evening of April 26, 1870 she ran into a fierce gale and the ship began to labour heavily. The rigging and most of the sails had been torn away and with no way to control the vessel she was blown about in the sea. The next morning the storm still raged and the ship crashed onto rocks and commenced to break up about 200 yards (183mtrs) from the shore on the southern side of Wreck Bay.
Captain Latto was injured and later died. Several of those on board attempted to swim ashore, nine perished. Two more days and nights followed with the survivors battling for survival on what remained of the ship. They were eventually rescued by the "Illawong". Looters fought over the cargo, which littered the beaches for miles.
Of the thirty five crew, fifteen were drowned, the bodies of the Captain, one passenger and nine seaman were recovered and later buried on the beach. About a year later rough seas eroded the sand exposing the skeletons, which were then reburied well above sea level at the spot where the memorial now stands.
The memorial to the wreck can also be accessed by vehicle via Bendalong.
A Fossil Hunt at Berrara Cove
Why not go on a fossil hunt at Berrara Cove. Access is via steps at the corner of Beachway Ave. and Silver Sands Drive, Berrara. On the rock shelf between the cove and the inlet to Berrara Creek are many examples of interesting fossils and rock pools to explore. See how many different ones you can find.
The Wandrawandian Siltstone that forms the rock shelf is found from Gerroa in the north to rock platforms south of Ulladulla and inland to the Kangaroo Valley. The different kinds of fossils that are found in the rock date from about 270 million years ago.
There are four different types of fossils that are easily found at Berrara.
Sea Fan or Bryozoans are moss animals that were reef builders and formed mats on the sea floor. Only the skeleton is preserved but when alive each box like section was inhabited by an animal called a zooid.
Sea Lillies or Crinoids were actually animals that attached themselves to the sea floor or other objects. They are relatives to starfish and sea urchins. Each animal had a stem section and a flower like section at the top which usually disintegrated when the animal died. Usually only the stem is preserved.
Lamp Shells or Spirifer are the most common and lived in mud or were attached to the sea floor by a fleshy stalk that protruded from the shell's hinge. They fed on organic particles washed around by the ocean currents.
Bivalves Mulluscs or Pecten Shells which are similar to pippis and scallops burrowed in the mud on the seafloor. Because they lived upright both left and right valves were identical.
Although the fossils can be seen all over the rock shelf it is best to go at low tide as there is a lot more to see at that time as well as the rock pools with their living creatures.
Fossils can also be seen on the rocks at the entrance to the inlet and at Ulladulla.