Nature experiences in Forster

Tranquil Lakes, towering waterfalls, subtropical rainforest and the beautiful Pacific Ocean are the setting for outdoor experiences in Forster Tuncurry. With an abundance of natural beauty, here are some of the best things to do in the region.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Jul 2024 -
min read

Spot whales & dolphins along the coast

During the winter months whales migrate along the NSW coastline and there are lots of great vantage points on the Barrington Coast to spot them. Or you can head out on a whale watching boat trip with Gadhu Dreamland and get a closer look at these majestic mammals or join a dolphin cruise with Free Spirit Cruises.

Humpback whale, Forster

Humpback whale, Forster

Explore the watery wonderland of the Great Lakes  

Incorporating the 47,493-hectare Myall Lakes National Park, the Great Lakes is the state’s largest coastal lake system, a watery paradise for boaters and fishers. Rent a houseboat and spend a few days floating on the clear blue waterways of Wallis Lake with family and friends.  

Or for something more active, you can hire kayaks or take a kayak tour with Lazy Paddles and experience nature up close. Camping enthusiasts can bring along their tents and book a multiday hire, stopping off each day are riverbank locations to pitch up for the night.  

Anglers can enjoy line fishing from the shore and have the opportunity to catch bream, dusky flathead and sand whiting. Just be sure to purchase a NSW fishing license before hand.  

Boats cruising along the Coolongolook River at Wallis Lake, Forster

Wallis Lake, Forster - Credit: Dog Whistle

Stand under the tallest tree in NSW 

The region boasts the tallest known tree in NSW, the 76m Grandis, a magnificent flooded gum. You can find the tree in the lush coastal forests on the western edge of Myall Lakes National Park, a short stroll from Grandis picnic area. There’s lots of great bushwalking in the area too and it’s an excellent spot for birdwatching.  

Woman looking up at tall tree at Grandis picnic area at Myall Lakes National Park, Boolambayte

Grandis picnic area at Myall Lakes National Park, Boolambayte - Credit: John Spencer

Marvel at Ellenborough Falls 

Ellenborough Falls is the tallest single-drop waterfall in the state and one of the highest in the southern hemisphere. There are four ways to admire the 200m high falls, with varying levels of effort for each. The easiest is a viewing platform by the car park, and the hardest but most rewarding is from the bottom, after a descent of 641 steps (and 641 steps back up afterwards!).  

The towering Ellenborough Falls, on the mid NSW North Coast

Ellenborough Falls near Elands, Forster

Take your pick of stunning national parks  

The Forster Tuncurry region boasts a variety of national parks: the breathtaking surf beaches and coastal lakes of Myall Lakes National Park; Coorabakh National Park, with its ancient peaks, spectacular waterfalls and rich birdlife; Crowdy Bay National Park, home to impressive ocean and mountain views; and the ancient rainforest that meets the sea in Booti Booti National Park

Tapin Tops National Park offers incredible views from Rowley’s Rock Lookout, and is also home to Potoroo Falls. Another beautiful place to discover nature by kayak is the watery Brimbin Nature Reserve just north of Taree

Scenic coastal views across Elizabeth Beach, Booti Booti National Park

Elizabeth Beach, Booti Booti National Park


Discover magnificent coastal walks  

Enjoy spectacular forest trails and lookouts on the Headland Walking Track near Old Bar. This hike offers scenic views over Saltwater Beach and the Pacific Ocean. The Cabbage Palm Loop Walking Track passes through some of the region's tallest native palms in Wallingat National Park

Cabbage Palm Loop, Wallingat National Park

Cabbage Palm Loop, Wallingat National Park - Credit: John Spencer/DPIE

Make your way through an ancient and rare coastal rainforest along the Mungo Rainforest Walk and keep an eye out for the colourful native birds who call the forest home. 

McBrides Beach is a beautiful and remote beach that is accessed via the McBrides Beach walking track. The 600m walk passes through littoral rainforest and small creek beds with a number of stairs before you emerge onto the stunning beach. It takes around 25 minutes to get down and a little longer on the way back up.  

The 4km (each way) Bicentennial walk is a great way to see the Forster coastline, encompassing Pebbly Beach, the Tanks swimming hole, Bennetts Head Lookout, One Mile Beach and Burgess Beach. You can walk all, or part of this coastal trail and some sections are pram friendly.  

Stay overnight among the sounds of nature 

You’ll find camping options such as The Ruins campground in Booti Booti National Park and the beachside Diamond Head campground in Crowdy Bay National Park. Relax in comfort at heritage-listed Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse cottages in the Myall Lakes National Park or at nearby Treachery Camp which has cabins and a beach lodge along with camping.  

Scenic views of Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse and Sugarloaf Point, Seal Rocks

Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse and Sugarloaf Point, Seal Rocks - Credit: Richard A Stanley


Surf & swim at legendary beaches  

There is no shortage of beautiful beaches in Forster Tuncurry, with wide sandy surf beaches like One Mile Beach and Nine Mile Beach to calmer spots for swimming like Pebbly Beach and Forster Main Beach.  

The Tanks in Forster is a popular spot with families, with break walls protecting the shore creating a calm swimming hole.   

Aerial overlooking the scenic waters off Number One Beach, Seal Rocks

Number One Beach, Seal Rocks

Climb to the top of Cape Hawke Lookout 

Cape Hawke Lookout is the highest vista in Forster and offers 360-degree views of the ocean, Booti Booti National Park and Wallingat National Park. On a clear day you can see as far as Barrington Tops. It’s a 500m hike through littoral rainforest to reach the lookout platform, and then 420 steps up the 8.4m tower for the view.  

Cape Hawke lookout walk in Booti Booti National Park, Forster

Cape Hawke lookout walk in Booti Booti National Park, Forster - Credit: John Spencer/DCCEEW


4WD on the beach at Seal Rocks 

Experience the thrill of driving along the sand on the 2km Lighthouse Beach in Seal Rocks. You’ll need a 4WD and access is via a narrow single lane track. Once on the beach you can drive up to Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse and admire the gorgeous views of the coastline.  

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