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Catherine Hill Bay Military Bunkers

GPS Route           Watch Video

Please check weather and ocean conditions before venturing out for this trail.

Parking on Flowers Dr at Catherine Hill Bay near the intersection of Mine Camp Road starts this trail of approximately 7km. This area of bush is off limits to vehicles such as 4wds and motor bikes and it is claimed there are trail cameras to capture those doing the wrong thing. This area is managed by NSW National Parks & Wildlife service’s and is part of Munmorah State Conservation Area and Wallarah National Park. While there are a large amount of trails through this area to explore and you could easily spend a couple of days doing so, I have concentrated on a single loop that includes the old Military Radio Communication Bunkers, a walk along the coast where you can take in views across the water and back into caves such as Nudie Cave and across a stunning rock platform which includes a massive rock pool that would be truly amazing for a swim on a nice summers day.

 

Starting on Mine Camp Road you can head North for a while, there are different sections you can turn off to head towards the bunkers but the trail I took opted for the 2nd right hand turn. Before turning off if you pay attention to your left you will also notice an old boiler of some sort in the scrub which was probably used either during the 2nd world war to provide power or to help with the transportation of Coal from the area. Heading to the right you venture up a bit of a climb, nothing too strenuous, but a steady climb until you reach the next road where you then turn left, this is the Radar Hill trail. This trail will take you back towards the top of Mine Camp Road via the Military Bunkers. You can walk in these bunkers and have a look as well as enjoy the view out across the coast. It is easy to see why this location was chosen as it would provide a brilliant view of incoming vessels during war time. You will also be standing, overlooking a quarry which we will get to the bottom of shortly.

The history of these bunkers is included in the video so I strongly suggest watching that before heading out on your own adventure.

Following the route a little further around the quarry you will find a section where you can walk right in to the bottom of it, just after an old dumped car on the left hand side and before you reach the locked gates for more National Park sections. Continuing along what is known as The Southern Headlands Trail towards the coast you come to a couple of beautiful rock outcrops where you can get views across the coast and up over Pinny Beach to the North. Doing a small loop at the end you will notice some smaller walks out onto the headlands where you will be standing and looking over Nudie Cave & Pinny Cave. Returning along the Southern Headlands Trail you finally turn onto Shark Hole trail heading South. Along this route you will follow to the left towards the coast and come out onto a stunning rocky outcrop where you can see back into Nudie Cave and down into Shark Hole which In its self is stunning. Stop and check out the ladder placed along the trail into a deep cavern which flows down into Shark Hole. As you follow the trail further you will come across a small stream which flows down into Shark Hole and you can follow this to climb down easily for a swim, to go fishing or just to enjoy. Please check the conditions before doing this though as rough seas could cause you to be swept into the water. From here you have the option to either follow the high trail, looking over the rock platforms or to follow across the rocks. I have done both now and both are stunning. As you head South past Drummer Hole I strongly suggest heading to the rocks and following this. You will come across a massive rock pool with crystal clear waters and an abundance of life. This would make an amazing spot for a swim or even a snorkel. Sections of this would be well over 6ft deep and is approximately 120m in length. Just be cautious of Blue Ringed Octopus when around the edges as this is the sort of place they would like to hide.

Heading back off the rocks into the bush I suggest taking the turn just before the cutting in the rocks as it is an easier walk however the trail just after the rock pool is a nicer view out over Catherine Hill Bay. The trail ahead while firm and generally dry leads you through some swampy areas full of Melaleuca (Paper Barked Trees). Follow this trail West venturing North a little way up and this will bring you back up to Mine Camp Road. Admittedly the Route I have shared does take you out through a locked gate across private property and then back along Flowers Rd. We have had no problems doing this but I would suggest following the trails rather than cutting through the property.

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