Murramarang Coast [16]

By Bruce Easton

We all met at Racecourse Beach car park where we planned to finish the trip. Two cars were left here in the car park for safety then we did the car shuffle to Batemans Bay where we planned to leave from. (35 kms in 45 mins).

A quick trip through the surf and we were off! The swell was running around two metres so we had a bit of adjusting to do to our first camp. We meandered along the coast past numerous bommies checking out the detail of a very interesting coastline. On clearing North Head we were out into the open ocean. We had pretty open plans but Oakey Beach looked like a good place to camp besides which the swell wasn’t quite so scary on the right-hand-side of the beach. Nonetheless timing was critical to a safe landing! On arrival we met a small group of campers but lots of excellent sites were available.

Once set up I went out for a bit of surfing practice then back for a sumptuous dinner.

Day 2

The surf seemed bigger & getting away was going to be interesting. A good crowd had developed on the beach to watch the fun and games. Jacqui was nominated as the “offering to the water gods”.

Once set-up I waded out to give her a good shove & send her on her mission. Success! Ros our novice was next and appeared quite nervous but survived without event and was very pleased with herself. I was next in the venerable Klepper and though concerned I might not be quick enough to get out before a larger set broke, I reached the other two unscathed.

The paddle up to Durras North was great. We saw a seal and a pod of dolphins passed nearby as well as numerous penguins.

Lunch was at Dark Beach which was again an interesting landing with the swell up. It was interesting to see so many fishing people and quite a few surfers in these remote places. No doubt they were perplexed seeing us out in the ocean.

Again we were able to ‘free camp’ at the northern end of Durras North Beach just beyond the caves. The entry on the beach was sheltered by the headland and relatively straightforward. No doubt because we were a small group free camping was possible but a larger group may not have so much flexibility and may need to use commercial camp sites or plan carefully. Water was not easy to come by.

Day 3

We played in the surf and practised before packing up and making for Pebbly Beach and lunch. A great spot for a camp we indulged in the vein again!

More dolphins surfacing near Ros’s boat and passing under the bow added a fitting touch to more spectacular coastline. We had planned on a camp at Pretty Beach but surf was too big so we decided to round Snapper Point and look at Merry Beach. While a good swell was hitting it the left hand side offered an easy landing.

The friendly lady at this camp ground on hearing we had arrived by Sea Kayak gave us a $1 discount each. We found a nice site near the boats with a great view for a very pleasant evening.

Day 4

An easy launch off the beach into a glassy but rolling sea and the swell having dropped under a metre. Again we sighted dolphins and numerous penguins.

We put into Bull and Pup beach for a look as it is an aboriginal reserve. It has a few obvious middens of interest and a great bommie for those keen on surfing. We then headed on to Brush Island for lunch.

We decided to brave it and try the surf at Racecourse Beach which proved to be an anti-climax with all of us landing uneventfully.

Jacqui and I emptied our gear and we tool the two Pittaraks out for a 1/2 hour of fun before finishing the car shuffle to Batemans Bay and returning home after four days of great weather and fantastic company, beautiful coastline and a relaxing and indulgent four days.

This trip comes highly recommended …. just ask !!

This trip could be completed by an ambitious and well prepared group of paddlers as a two day trip. This would presume good weather and sea conditions and a self sufficient small group capable of paddling 20 kms each day.

  • Day 1. Depart Batemans Bay around Surfside Beach staying overnight at Durras North.
  • Day 2. Head North to arrive late afternoon at Kiola boat ramp (North side of O’Hara Head)

You would need to arrange a car shuffle and/or have two groups paddle from each end and meet for the camp at Durras North.