Tiny Bouddi National Park, on NSW’s central coast, was dedicated in 1935 after a campaign inspired by Sydney lawyer Marie Byles. She explored the area on foot in 1922 with three girlfriends, one a trouser-wearing pistol-toting lass named Ester Waite. What enthralled Ms Byles were the coastal cliffs: great walls of cracked sandstone battlements besieged by crashing waves. Wind-tolerant walkers can see this splendour on the 3.1km return walk to the tip of elongated Box Head promontory.
Divided into unequal north and south halves by an imaginary line between bay and beach, Bouddi NP protects 1500ha of the central coast. From the parking area on Hawke Head Drive, in south Bouddi, descend gently on a management trail that narrows as it eases past rocky outcrops. Then it’s down through a tunnel of orange-flowering banksia running out along the Box Head cliff line. It disgorges you among salt and wind-tolerant coastal heath near a drop-off that curls toes .
Through Broken Bay, which spreads its arms east of your stony aerie like the fingers of an open hand, the Hawkesbury River meets the sea after its 450km journey through Sydney history.
A worthwhile detour off the Box Head track down to the beautiful coloured cliffs on Tallow Beach lengthens this walk to 4.9km return.