top of page

Bawley Point to Depot Beach with Brush Island loop

Updated: Jun 5

Bawley beach kayaking, the gantry and brush island sea kayaking

The best sunrise of the month gets the morning off right. Boat ramps are almost always a nice launch site and Bawley Beach is no exception. Today's conditions are moderate SE swell and light northerly wind. South, south-east or easterly swell are most common here and important you have experience landing in slight-moderate surf for this route on even the most calm day.

Beautiful sunrise makes the brisk 4.5km paddle to the south end of Murramurrang beach very enjoyable and slow with photo op's.

I expected this landing site to be much more protected from the swell than it was and a surf landing and launch required here. Easy but timing needs to be right to avoid getting wetter than you want to be at 7:30am.

This slideshow shows the following:

1: Brush island protected north side bathed in golden morning sun

2: The small inaccessible beach on the ocean facing east side of the island: 30+ seals on the rocks. Unmanned light station also visible.

3: Dithdul standing tall between the Brush island gap

4: Murramarrang beach south end offering slightly protected landing

Brush island is lovely to paddle around (approx 3km) with many seals, one king in particular is perched up high on a cliff face looking precarious and proud. The island is a protected nature reserve for populations of little penguins and species of shearwaters with no public access.

Bull pup beach usually looks gorgeous but is surrounded by a fortress of breaking waves today, easier landing here might be with an easterly swell.

I get a brief glimpse of a dolphin pod as I pass by a lone booger of the boarding variety. He waves and catches a couple of 3 footers while I break and hoe into my latest favourite paddling snack: boiled eggs dipped in ocean water (big recommend and thanks Phil).

For paddlers less confident with surf landings, your first break is here at the Kioloa boat ramp. It's 12km so far to the metre and the only truely safe landing thus far. Toilet facilities here in the Marine Rescue building to put the morning coffee. You could add in a camping option if you were well organised to stay at Kioloa Beach Holiday Park or Ingenia Holidays Merry Beach.

Example of the sandstone cliffs at the far south end of the Sydney sandstone basin, just north of Pretty beach. At low tide and with no swell you can explore around the rocks here for shells and there are many examples of honeycomb weathering in the rock from here south. Trigger warning: any trypophobiac explorers might like to keep to sandy areas for the next 10km, or a fun gag might be to not warn the afflicted to give them the "heebie geebies."

17km in and the next safe landing at O'hara Island beach where you can choose to get into the castaway character on a quiet day. Choose your own adventure here where you can paddle around the island or launch on the other side if conditions allow.

Great chance of seeing dolphins here, I've got a 100% strike rate from all of my visits with today no exception. Nesting pied oyster catchers are common here so be careful not to disturb.

Don't miss this little ripper, Singing Stones beach is a beauty and has never let me down though after heavy seas the rocks and sand can move around and damage the tune apparently.

My hot tip if time permits: walk south two more rocky knobs and there are a couple of forming caves under the rock which are like 50m long canyon/blowholes which are mesmerising to watch as you stand above them.

Pass Dawson's Island where Telstra phone reception is lost for the first time today. It's quite choppy passing the island on the west side with swell rounding the island from both sides so safer bet is ocean side.

Rounding Clear point brings you to around 21km. Onward to Pebbly beach and while you might be disappointed by the lack of pebbles, you'll be pleased to know that it's one of the best locations in NSW to achieve the quintessential Aussie photograph of a kangaroo on the beach.

The actual "Pebbly beach" is just a 600m paddle or walk south of here and is a really spectacular one! I found an exciting way to launch from the steep pebbles on a more recent trip. Then a lovely paddle into Depot Beach to round out 25km total for the day. A perfect distance with loads of stops along the way. I have found Depot beach and Grasshopper Island to be a fantastic whale watching spot from the kayak. On multiple occasions now I have seen humpbacks migrating north and south and most recently had a pair pop up so close I actually got sprayed with whale blow!

An incredible experience, but one that actually left my legs visibly shaking just after so I guess I must admit I was a tad frightened out there on my own with these incredible giants! Video below from 5 minutes before I got the up close and personal spooking!

217 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page