Booderee National Park, ACT

You might not know that Booderee National Park is in the ACT. At Jervis Bay on the coast of NSW, there is a fragment of the ACT, and there you will find the Booderee National Park.

The Australian Capital Territory needed a port, and so we got a little piece of NSW at Jervis Bay. The beautiful south headland at Jervis Bay is also part of the ACT and has become the Booderee National Park.

Get a quick overview of Booderee National Park before you go with CyclOSM, which uses OpenStreetMap. Komoot is the best smartphone app. The ACT Government website for Booderee National Park is found here.

Stony Creek, end of Stony Creek Road, Booderee National Park

Booderee National Park: a piece of cake

The Booderee National Park lies between the small holiday town of Vincentia, NSW, and the coast. The park is managed by the local aboriginal community that have their community at Wreck Bay Village, in the south of the Booderee National Park. Directly north of this area is the Jervis Bay Airfield and to the north of that Jervis Bay Village with Jervis Bay Road cutting between. Both the village and the airfield are part of the HMAS Creswell.

Wreck Bay Village, Jervis Bay Airfield and Jervis Bay Village/HMAS Creswell are off-limits and divide the Booderee National Park into east and west.

Booderee National Park. Map: CyclOSM, date OpenStreetMap

The west section

The west section of the Booderee National Park is adjacent to St Georges Basin and Sussex Inlet, NSW. Bherewerre Beach is a spectacular 8 km of sand on the coast to the south. There is a nice camping area in Ryans Swamp at the end of this beach with a cave that you can walk into from Cave Beach. Further north in the middle of the peninsular is the pretty Booderee Botanic Gardens. Lake Windermere is a freshwater lake, fenced off to the north of this, and the source of freshwater for local towns. The town of Wrights Beach is adjacent to the park, on the north-west, in NSW.

Management trail, Booderee National Park

The east section

The most interesting section of the Booderee National Park is the east section. The flat and undulating Booderee National Park drops off into the ocean from high cliffs. Here you will find the sheltered Streamers Beach adjacent to a prominent peak (139 m) and 100 m towering cliffs. It is an impressive sight. Stony Creek has cut a gorge through the cliffs into the sea and can be walked at the end of Stony Creek Road. Cape St George Historic Lighthouse is just ruins but still worth a visit. The lighthouse was built in the wrong spot and proved more of a hazard than a benefit. In the end, it was demolished. The lighthouse is 67 m above the ocean on the cliffs and a short distance from Old Lighthouse Road. Do not miss Murrays Beach, south of Bowen Island (nature reserve), on Jervis Bay, the northeast end of the Booderee National Park.

Cabbage Tree Road, management trail, Booderee National Park

Mountain biking on management trails

One of the quirks of the ACT is that mountain biking is permitted in the Namadgi National Park on the management trails. This is also true for the Booderee National Park. Jervis Bay Road and Wreck Bay Road are the only asphalt roads. Cave Beach Road, Stony Creek Road and Old Lighthouse Road are gravel. These roads provide road access to the motorised public.

Management trails crisscross the park and are popular with walkers. As the park is very flat, it is unlikely you will need to get off the bike. The management trails are well compacted with occasional short stretches of sand or stone. Most of the popular areas are forested, providing some shade. It can get hot in summer, there is no local water, except in a few creeks after rain, but the sea breeze will provide welcome relief from the heat.

Cabbage Tree Road, management trail, Booderee National Park

Navigation

Booderee National Park has little if any direction signage so it is more than advisable to take maps. Phone coverage is non-existent, too. It is best to take your own navigation device. The products from Garmin with current maps would suffice.

The Booderee National Park has been mapped on OpenStreetMap and navigation can be provided on your phone with Komoot, which is a free smartphone app that can download OpenStreetMap for offline use. It is best to plan your route where you have mobile data and download the maps, as the navigation will then work without data. The routing software on the Komoot app requires mobile data for some reason. The Komoot app will provide turn-by-turn navigation. With the phone screen always on, the battery life is considerably shorter. It depends on your phone but about 4 to 5 hours could be expected. This is another advantage of Garmin GPS devices with a battery life of up to 20 hours.

Standard bushwalking advice applies at Booderee National Park. You will find snakes and biting insects. For those that fear getting lost, be assured that there is a park patrol at the end of the day. Youths from Wreck Bay Village drive in an old car along Booderee Circuit Trail looking for stragglers. That is what I call service.

Plenty of water and sun protection is essential. Booderee National Park

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