Cape St George Lighthouse Ruins and Munyunga Waraga Dhugan Trail

Munyunga Waraga Dhugan Trail, Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay, is a flat, easy 1.5 - 2.5 hour walk or 3.5 - 4.5 hour easy/medium walk (both routes are explained, below)…

By Tara Moss

Sep 16, 2012

* Warning: Geeky hiker stuff.

Munyunga Waraga Dhugan Trail, Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay, is a flat, easy 1.5 – 2.5 hour walk or 3.5 – 4.5 hour easy/medium walk (both routes are explained, below) with stunning cliff top views and access to the ruins of Cape St George Lightstation, built in 1860 and abandoned in the early twentieth century.

Booderee national park is owned by the Wreck Bay aboriginal community and is a very significant place for Koori people. $11 gives you entrance to the park (regular National Park passes are not valid here.) It is very beautiful and well worth entry.

The Trail: The Munyunga Waraga Dhugan Trail, (also called ‘Murrays Trail’) is flat, easy and well signed. Be ready for spectacular ocean views and lovely bush trails. Keep in mind that the area between Murrays Beach and Governor Head (about 20-30 minutes of the walk) is a view-free zone, unfortunately, as the park has designated all the area closest to the unstable cliff edges as revegetation area. The bushy vegetation growing here obstructs any potential view completely, but once you are out of that section it is stunning and worth the wait. The entire trail is well signed and the map at the parking lot will give you a fair idea of the area you will cover.

If you have more time and stamina, I highly recommend the walk to the lighthouse ruins. Follow the signs for the ‘Historic Lighthouse’. This will add about 2 hours to your hike. If you don’t wish to walk it, you can drive back up Jervis Bay Road to Wreck Bay Road and take Stony Creek Road (gravel paved) to the well signed lighthouse parking lot.

Cape St George Lighthouse had a sad history before it was abandoned in the early twentieth century. The site was chosen largely for the ease with which the lighthouse could be built but sadly the choice was not a good one. (They don’t call this area Wreck Bay for nothing.) This was the location of many tragedies at sea, and curiously this lighthouse was also the site of a number of tragedies on land. The people who lived at Cape St George Lightstation were eerily prone to tragic events and many lightkeepers and their children died here over the years in a series of unrelated events and horrific accidents. Don’t read the tales on the information board if you are sensitive to tragic stories of lives cut short. This was a truly unlucky place. It is now relegated to ruins and fenced in to avoid further tragedies.

My Gear: As usual I wore my trusty Scarpa Hiking boots and Ospery women’s hiking pack, which is wonderfully shaped to keep the weight off the back and distributed across the hips. I also wore my MacPac 100% merino wool hiking skirt and Icebreaker Siren Cami and my new T4 Tilley hat, making use of the chin straps for the windy conditions near the cliffs. It offered great sun protection for the hot afternoon stroll.

This walk is flat and clear, so any comfortable athletic shoes will be fine. Pack sunscreen and plenty of water. And enjoy.

Happy hiking.

(PS I have listed my gear because I find similar information helpful on other blogs. This post is not sponsored.)

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  1. Amber Mumma

    Hi Tara. Fab to see you blogging on Jervis Bay – I grew up there! We used to visit the lighthouse at least once per year to watch the whale migration (you may have seen some on their journey south?). As children my brothers and I would climb through the bars and scramble through the lighthouse ruin (clearly very dangerous, and I don’t recommend it). It’s full of graffiti and scribbles, which I absolutely loved to read. I’m glad to hear you had a great time!

  2. Michael Woodgate

    Keep them coming Tara. Very much appreciated. A friend and I are currently looking for new walks, and I enjoyed reading about yours.

  3. Trevor Smith

    Tara, came across your blog indirectly via Twitter. We live on the North side of Jervis Bay (Callala Beach). We have done many walks on the South side of the Bay. There are also some great walks on the North side, due to the vast expanse of crystal sand beaches. You can now catch a ferry between Huskisson and Myola and almost walk around the Bay. Thanks, Trevor.

  4. Marg McAlister

    Hi Tara,
    We’ve spent a lot of time in the Booderee National Park lately because friends of ours have bought – and are restoring – the Christians Minde guesthouse right opposite Sussex Inlet. We often go down there for a peaceful weekend, watching the kangaroos feed and the late afternoon sun on the water as we sip a few wines. Lovely.


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