Enjoy your stay
Bangalay Retreat is the perfect location to explore the beautiful coastal forests and lakes and pristine beaches of the area.
For guests who enjoy walking, Bangalay Retreat is the perfect beginning for a coastal stroll, as short or as long as you wish. After only a short walk from the Retreat you can access the Murramurang Aboriginal Reserve at the northern end of Racecourse (Koorbrua) Beach. There you will find an easy track that passes middens and other sites of great Aboriginal cultural and historic significance. Heading north or south along Racecourse, you can discover many of the other glorious local beaches, such as Bull Pup, Cat and Kitten and Murramarang to the north, or Shell Beach and Kioloa to the south.
Snapper Point offers a superb vantagepoint for whale watching (season May-June; Aug-Oct). For a more challenging walk along a stunning variety of untouched beaches, rock platforms and coastal forest, the Pretty Beach to Pebbly Beach walk offers an unforgettable experience, and can be combined with the Durras Mountain walking track for those wanting a loop walk with some incredible coastal views and wildlife spotting.
To the north, the Nuggan Point walking track takes you through a coast dune forest, past coastal lakes and along sandy beaches. Further afield, the Pigeon House Mountain Didthul walking track is one of the best walks in Morton National Park and on the south coast. You’ll hike through forest, heathland and age-old sandstone before negotiating a series of ladders that lead you to the summit and a view that takes in the captivating sights of cliffs and gorges within the Budawang Wilderness, carved by the Clyde River.
These are some of our favourite local walks, but you can find a large variety of options to suit all tastes and levels of fitness at https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/
NATIVE ANIMALS AND BIRDS
There is an abundance of wildlife in the camp grounds, but by far one of the highlights is seeing eastern grey kangaroos that spend their days dozing near the beaches and by campgrounds until dusk when they gather to feed. You might also spot swamp wallabies, echidnas and wombats.
OUR ENDAGERED BIRDS
More than 90 species of birdlife can be found in the local area. Keep an eye out for Hooded Plover chicks on our local beaches over summer. This critically endangered species hatch on a number of South Coast beaches, including the beaches surrounding Bangalay Retreat.
These timid little shorebirds lay two or three eggs in a shallow nest scrape in the sand, just above the high tide mark. After four weeks, the tiny chicks hatch out and start roaming the beach looking for food. The parents accompany the chicks and attempt to protect them by distracting potential predators, but the little chicks must feed themselves. They need space to roam the beach to find food. Visitors to beaches can help the chicks survive by walking down by the waterline.
National Parks and Wildlife Service request people to be mindful of the hatchlings and to keep away from them and their nests. NPWS staff and Shorebird Recovery Program volunteers erect stake and string fencing and temporary beach signage to protect the nests and minimise disturbance to the birds. There are less than 70 hooded plovers remaining in NSW and they need our help to survive.
At Bangalay Retreat we recommend our guests sit back and observe our beautiful wildlife in their natural environment without tempting them with any food, as it will inevitably cause them harm.
RICH ABORIGINAL CULTURAL HERITAGE
Aboriginal People have a long connection with the Country of Murramarang National Park, and this continues to the present day. Indigenous People are believed to have lived on the south coast for at least twenty thousand years. The south coast headlands have long been their focus for economic life, giving easy access to the food resources of both the sea and the land. Plants within the landscape provided medicines and shelter. There is much evidence today of this history, including shell middens, tool manufacturing sites and indications of a specialised industry producing bone points and fishing hooks. Take a walk around Murramarang Aboriginal Area, to the north of Bangalay - there's a complex of middens that are of great cultural value to Indigenous People. Walk softly and do not disturb any cultural relics. Should you inadvertently stumble across one, please leave it where it is - and where it has been - for longer than we know.