Last updated: August 26, 2020
The Maitland Bay track is a short but steep bushwalk in Bouddi National Park that winds its way down from the Information Centre to the stunning beach of Maitland Bay.
Be mesmerised by the beauty of the national park as you hike through the rainforest all the way to the yellow sand of Maitland Bay. Stroll along the beach to Bouddi Point and discover some of the remains of an old shipwreck.
|Maitland Bay Track|
|Distance:||1.8 km return|
|Distance to Bouddi Point:||3.6 km return|
|Time:||3-4 hours (depending on stops)|
|Grade:||Easy to moderate (steep parts)|
How to Get There
Parking is available at the information centre located at the intersection of Maitland Bay Drive and The Scenic Road in Killcare Heights.
Please note that parking in Bouddi National Park is $8 per vehicle for the whole day.
Maitland Bay Information Centre
Before you start the Maitland Bay walking trail, be sure to visit the small but charming information centre.
The building was once the Old Maitland Store and residence, one of the earliest homes in the Killcare Heights area. The store is associated with the history of Bouddi National Park and the development of Killcare Heights.
The information centre is open from 11am until 3pm in weekends and on public holidays. Facilities include a parking area, a public phone and drinking water.
Maitland Bay Track
The park boasts exciting bushwalks, several campgrounds and some of the most beautiful and secluded beaches in New South Wales.
The Maitland Bay Track is a popular walking trail in Bouddi National Park that takes you down to the picture-perfect beach of Maitland Bay.
The very well maintained track is just under 2km long (return) and has a few steep sections. As you hike down the hill through the forest, you get to enjoy great views of Maitland Bay and the surrounding gullies.
Be aware that while going down to the beach is very easy, going back up can be a bit of a challenge, especially for young children. It takes around 20 minutes to get to the beach, and around 40-50 minutes to get back up the hill to the car park.
Maitland Bay is one of the most secluded beaches in New South Wales. On a typical Sunday you would not easily find more than a handful of people on the beach, which makes you feel like you’re going back in time.
Remains of the S.S. Maitland Shipwreck
In May 1898, the coastal paddle steamer S.S. Maitland ran aground at the eastern end of Maitland Bay during a vicious storm.
Remembered as the “Maitland Gale”, this storm claimed the sinking of several other ships along the coast of New South Wales, but the Maitland disaster claimed the most lives.
Almost 120 years later, some of the remains of the shipwreck are still visible at low tide. It’s definitely worth walking the extra stretch from the end of the Maitland Bay track to rocky Bouddi Point to discover these historic remains.
It’s fascinating to see and makes you think about what the passengers and crew on board the S.S. Maitland must have gone through that night.
On Saturday 14th October, 1961, a monument was dedicated to commemorate the sinking of the S.S. Maitland as a maritime disaster. Erected right next to the information centre, the monument is a (replica of) the bell of the ship.
The bay was previously known as Boat Harbour, but was renamed Maitland Bay after the disaster happened.
Other Tracks Nearby
There are lots of walking tracks to choose from in Bouddi National Park, with some of them close to, and connecting with, the Maitland Bay track.
1. Bouddi Coastal Walk
One of the longest trails in the national park, the scenic 8km Bouddi Coastal Walk takes you from MacMasters Beach to Putty Beach. Maitland Bay is part of the Bouddi Coastal walking trail.
Boasting panoramic ocean views, beautiful beaches and several lookouts, the Bouddi Coastal walk is suitable for the more experienced hiker.
2. Stroms Trail
With the starting point right next to the information centre, the Stroms Trail is an easy 2.5km track that runs parallel to The Scenic Road. This track is also popular with cyclists.
3. Bullimah Spur Walking Track
This is another easy walking trail that branches off the Maitland Bay track. You’ll find the well-marked intersection after around 5 minutes.
The Bullimah Spur trail takes you to a lookout, about 1.6km from the intersection with the Maitland Bay Track. Enjoy spectacular views overlooking the ocean, Putty Beach and even all the way out to Lion Island.
Map and Route of the Maitland Bay Track
Parking is available at the Bouddi National Park Maitland Bay Information Centre, situated where Maitland Bay Drive and The Scenic Drive meet. Be sure to pay a quick visit to this charming little building and grab yourself a map of the area.
The Maitland Bay track starts just south of the information centre, not to be confused with the start of the Stroms Trail right next to it.
In the image below, the actual track is marked in grey, and the extra bit to the shipwreck at Bouddi Point is marked in red (highly recommended).