Last updated: November 25, 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 and isolated beach of Maitland Bay.
Be mesmerised by the beauty of the national park as you hike through lush rainforest 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 (map).
Please note that parking in Bouddi National Park will cost $8 per vehicle, which allows you to park there for the whole day.
Maitland Bay Information Centre
Before you start the Maitland Bay walking track, it’s worth to pay a visit to the small and 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 a drinking fountain.
Maitland Bay Track Notes
The park is home to various exciting bushwalks, several campgrounds, and some of the most beautiful and secluded beaches you can find in New South Wales.
One of those bushwalks is the Maitland Bay Track, a popular walking trail that starts at the information centre and leads to the picture-perfect beach of Maitland Bay.
This well maintained track is just under 2km long (return) and has a few steep sections. As you make your way down through the forest, you get to enjoy great views of Maitland Bay, Bouddi Point, and the ocean.
Be mindful 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, but it will take around 40-50 minutes to get back up to the car park via the steep walking path.
Maitland Bay itself is a beautifully secluded beach in Bouddi National Park. On a typical Sunday you won’t easily find more than a handful of people on the beach, which can be quite refreshing.
Keep in mind though that Maitland Bay Beach is unpatrolled, so please be careful if you’re planning to go for a swim.
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 caused 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 this 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 fateful night.
On Saturday 14th October, 1961, a monument was dedicated to commemorate the sinking of the S.S. Maitland as a maritime disaster. The monument stands right next to the information centre, and is a replica of the bell of the ship.
The bay was previously known as Boat Harbour, but was renamed Maitland Bay following the disaster.
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 walking tracks in the national park is the scenic 8km Bouddi Coastal Walk, between MacMasters Beach and Putty Beach, and also includes Maitland Bay.
With panoramic ocean views from start to finish, and beautiful beaches and several lookouts to take in, the Bouddi Coastal walk is a fantastic adventure.
2. Mount Bouddi Walking Track
The short but very scenic Mount Bouddi Walking Track starts at the Mount Bouddi (Dingeldei) picnic area, and meanders through beautiful bushland to the Bouddi Lookout.
The scenic Bouddi lookout point offers beautiful views of Maitland Bay and surroundings.
3. Bullimah Spur Walking Track
Similar to the Maitland Bay Track, the Bullimah Spur Walking Track also starts at the Bouddi National Park information centre, and heads south towards the Bullimah Lookout.
The views from the Bullimah lookout point of Broken Bay, Palm Beach, and Lion Island are absolutely stunning and very much worth the effort.
Map and Route of the Maitland Bay Track
Parking is available at the Bouddi National Park Maitland Bay Information Centre, located at the junction of Maitland Bay Drive and The Scenic Drive.
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, which is highly recommended.