NATIONAL PARKS & HERITAGE SITES
Pilot Hill, Harrington
– HARRINGTON BEACH STATE PARK
With 430 hectares of spectacular landscape Harrington Beach State Park spans from Harrington to the quaint village of Crowdy Head.
There are plenty of tourism activities waiting to be discovered such as fishing, surfing, hiking exploring the sand dunes, gazing into rock pools or simply taking in the panoramic views.
Uncover an abundance of flora and fauna such as small wetlands, native plant species, amazing rock formation and animal and bird life in their natural habitat.
– PILOT HILL
If you’re interested in historical facts, head to the nearby Pilots Hill and Lookout. A pilot station was built in 1860 to help guide ships over the treacherous sandbar and manned for nearly a century. There is no longer a Pilot Station other than a monument and small cemetery where the graves of some of the pilots and their families lie. It’s worth the walk to admire the view and learn some of Harrington’s early maritime history.
– CROWDY BAY NATIONAL PARK
With plenty to see and do, the Crowdy Bay National Park is beyond compare. With 9,519 hectares it is a sort out destination for beach camping, picnic areas, fishing spots, swimming surfing and walking tracks.
For lovers of wildlife you will not be disappointed. The park plays host to native animals such as, Kangaroos, Wallabies, Kookaburras, Goanna’s and keep your eyes peeled for the timid Koala. During spring the sand dunes are adorned with native wildflowers decorating them in vibrant colours.
The original settler’s of Crowdy Bay are the The Birpai People. The National Park was an abundant food source providing fresh fish, wallabies and native plants for nourishment. The park has a number of protected Aboriginal sites, one being roughly 6000 years old.
Be sure to visit the writers’ retreat built during WWII by Erine Metcalfe for Australian author Kylie Tennant. Ernie a farmer and grazier built a one-roomed, mahogany-slab cabin shaded by grand eucalypts as a writer’s retreat for Kylie, she then featured Metcalfe and Crowdy Bay in her book The Man on the Headland. In 1976 Tennant gave the hut and land to Crowdy Bay National Park. The hut can be found along Metcalfe walking track. Stop and take a peek inside it’s worth a look.
There are plenty of camping grounds to choose from within the park.
These include Crowdy Gap, Kylie’s Beach, Indian Head and Diamond Head. They are all well maintained and provide guest with amenities, showers, picnic area’s and BBQ facilities.
Crowdy Bay National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger. There is parking available and a small park entry fee applies which can be paid at the Diamond Head campsite office.
FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: National Parks and wildlife service
Crowdy Head Light House today
Crowdy Head Light House 1902
– CROWDY HEAD LIGHTHOUSE
Sitting 61 meters above sea level, The historic Crowdy Head lighthouse was constructed of stone in 1878. It was the last of a series of small lighthouses designed by James Barnet. Of the same design as the Tacking Point Lighthouse at Port Macquarie (which can be seen on a clear night), the Crowdy Head lighthouse was one of 133 being built along the Australian coast in this era. Originally manned by one lightkeeper until 1928 after which it was converted to automatic operation. The lighthouse is still active today and flashes every 10 seconds. The original Light house keepers residence was located next to the lighthouse, the footings are still visible today.
For expansive panoramic views visit the lighthouse reserve. Follow Crowdy Head Road, into Pacific Drive, then turn left into Elizabeth st which will take you to the lighthouse. There is a carpark at the top and plenty of space to explore. Looking north you can see beyond Diamond Head and the Three Brothers mountains (south, middle and north), which were named by Captain James Cook in 1770 as he sailed up the east coast. To the south you can see as far as Seal Rocks.