Visit Moonee Beach near Catherine Hill Bay for a Coastal Paradise

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For exquisite coastal views, enchanting rock pools and calm swimming spots, check out Moonee Beach, near Catherine Hill Bay.  Just 15 minutes’ drive from Swansea, Moonee Beach is accessible from either the newly developed part of Catherine Hill Bay, or Munmorah State Conservation Area.  Being a fairly secluded spot, the beach is not patrolled but offers a pristine coastal area with lots to explore.

There are a couple of ways to access the beach, but both are on foot – there is no direct road access.  When we visited, we walked the Moonee Beach Trail (which is accessed from Snapper Point Road in Munmorah State Conservation Area). 

Moonee Beach Lake Macquarie

The trail is quite easy to find using Google Maps but isn’t well signposted from the road, so drive slowly to find it.  There is a small car park area at the start of the track.

Munmorah State Conservation Area

The track begins at the summit of a hill and meanders down through beautiful coastal heath to the beach. 

Moonee Beach Lake Macquarie Munmorah Beach

The trail is wide and relatively easy walking most of the way down, although it’s too rugged for pram or wheelchair access. 

Take your time as you walk – there are so many beautiful wildflowers and coastal views to take in. 

Moonee Beach Lake Macquarie
Wildflowers Moonee Beach

In the distance, you will see the newly developed section of Catherine Hill Bay.

Moonee Beach Catherine Hill Bay

The trail continues for about 2km.  Although it’s a fairly easy walk on the way down, the return trip is all uphill. 

Moonee Beach Munmorah State Park

So that we could maximise our time at the beach, we sent an adult back to pick up the car and drive it to nearby Catherine Hill Bay, which provides easier access.

Moonee Beach Lake Macquarie

Moonee Beach is bound by a crescent-shaped beach, with lots of sand and waves to the north, and rock platforms and Flat Island to the south. 

Munmorah State Conservation Area
Munmorah State Conservation Area

When we arrived at the beach, we headed south to explore. 

Munmorah State Conservation Area

The rock platforms are stunning, and host rock pools teeming with sea life.

Moonee Beach Lake Macquarie

The kids loved clambering over the rocks and looking for fish and crabs.

Moonee Beach Lake Macquarie

There is an amazing swimming spot between the rock platforms and the sandy beach at the southern end.  This area is constantly flushed by the ocean but is completely calm and sheltered from the waves. 

Moonee Beach Lake Macquarie

When we were there a few families were swimming and kids were snorkelling around looking for fish.  The water is shallow at first, but drops off quite quickly, so best to swim alongside younger kids.

Moonee Beach

Just past the rock platforms is Flat Island.  Although it isn’t actually an island (being connected to the land), it is a striking grassy peninsula jutting out from the beach. 

Moonee Beach Lake Macquarie

A short clamber up a dirt track takes you to the top of the peninsula, and you can walk right out to the end. 

Munmorah State Conservation Area

This was a real highlight for me – the coastal scenery on either side of Flat Island is just stunning, and it was an easy walk for the kids.

Moonee Beach

South of Flat Island is Ghostie’s beach, which boasts some stunning sea caves.  You can only visit the caves at low tide, so we missed out on the morning we visited.  It’s a great reason to plan a return trip though.

Moonee Beach is well worth a visit.  If you want to visit the beach without walking the Moonee Beach Trail, you can access it from the southern end of Breakers Boulevard at Catherine Hill Bay – have a look at Google Maps to see access points.  You will still need to walk along a bush track to get to the beach, but it is much shorter.

Good to Know

Amenities: There are no toilets or bubblers at Moonee Beach. If you want to walk the Moonee Beach Trail from Munmorah State Conservation Park, you will need to buy an $8 park entry ticket.  Access from Catherine Hill Bay is free. 

Distance: About 4km return if you walk the Moonee Beach Trail.  Access is shorter via Catherine Hill Bay – perhaps about 500m (although there are varying access points from Catherine Hill Bay of different distances – check Google Maps before you depart).

Bring: Bring snacks, drinks, sunscreen, insect repellent, hats, and enclosed shoes for the walk down to Moonee Beach.  If you want to explore the rock platforms and rock pools, take swimmers and some water shoes with you as there are oysters on the rocks.

Getting There: Access the Moonee Beach Trail via Snapper Point Rd in Munmorah State Conservation Area, or park on Breakers Boulevard at Catherine Hill Bay and walk along one of the beach trails.

For more information, visit the Munmorah State Conservation Area section on the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Want to know about more local family walks or beaches? Check out our list of Family Walks or our guide to Best Family Beaches on Newy with Kids.

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