Hat Head National Park is one of Australia's favourite outdoor playgrounds, home to diverse scenery ranging from golden beaches and rolling sand dunes to lush rainforest and wetlands. There are endless opportunities for exploring shady bushwalking trails or fishing for bream and bass.
Fringed by soft sand and aquamarine water, Hat Head Beach is a popular place to cool off in the South Pacific Ocean. At high tide, families can swim in sheltered Korogoro Creek and enjoy picnics on the sandy foreshore. For a history fix, sign up for a guided tour of the circa-1891 Smoky Cape Lighthouse.
The park is laced with scenic bushwalking trails, including the popular Connors Track, which showcases colourful wildflowers and fragrant banksia trees. In winter, watch for humpback and southern right whales breaching offshore. The park is also a paradise for birdwatchers, with the chance to spot hawks, eagles, spoonbills, black cockatoos, curlews and plovers.
Hat Head National Park is on the north coast of New South Wales, a five-hour drive from Sydney and one hour from Port Macquarie. Parking is available at most beaches, attractions and lookouts.