Guerilla Bay Walking Tracks

by Jill Whiter
(Guerilla Bay)

White-bellied Sea-Eagle

White-bellied Sea-Eagle

White-bellied Sea-Eagle
Varied Sword-grass Brown Butterfly
White-bellied Sea-Eagle
King Parrot in Wattle

Guerilla Bay is a scenic coastal hamlet accessible from George Bass Drive, about 16 km south of Batemans Bay and the same distance north of Moruya, and Burrewarra Point is one of the many coastal reserves in the care of Eurobodalla Shire Council.

There are no facilities, apart from two picnic tables at the end of Bay Street. The working lighthouse on the headland was built in the early 1970s in response to repeated requests for a warning light above the jagged rock platforms that surround the Point. From dusk to dawn it signals four flashes on and four off, in a slow count. The cliffs are steep and dangerous and best not climbed unless you have the right climbing equipment and know what you are doing.

Burrewarra Point Walk

Turn east off George Bass Drive onto Burri Point Road and continue to the car park where the road ends.

Follow the walking track to the lighthouse, noting on your left the concrete Nissan hut of the wartime (1939-1945) radar unit, and the splendid northern vista from Peregrine Cove. Continue to the headland, fork left to the lighthouse, and right for sea viewing and to follow the path round the headland and along the southern cliffs. This rough path can take you all the way to Barlings Beach, though in places it becomes somewhat indistinct.

The headland part of the walking track is about 1.3 km long, forming a loop whereby it is possible to return to the car park. It is a sandy track meandering through a classic Eurobodalla coastal woodland, a combination of Banksia serrata, B. integrifolia, Eucalyptus sieberi, E. paniculata and Angophora floribunda; opposite the Nissan hut there is a fine stand of Callitris rhomboidea. Allocasuarina verticulata, A. paludosa and Casuarina glauca all grow in stands through the woodland and there are at least seven species of Acacia above a rich understorey of shrubs, grasses and wildflowers.

It is a prime habitat for a wide range of nectar-feeding birds, Red and Little Wattlebirds and many other honeyeaters, of which New Holland is the most common. Rainbow and Musk Lorikeets are common visitors to blossoming trees. A flock of Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos feeds on either Banksia blossom or cones, depending on the season, and a family of Glossy Black-Cockatoos feeds in the casuarina stands from spring to autumn. A Southern Boobook is a frequent visitor, joining the resident Tawny Frogmouths in nocturnal hunting. Most of the woodland birds are resident, prominent among them Eastern Yellow Robin, Variegated and Superb Fairy-wrens, Eastern Whipbird, thornbills and scrubwrens. The raptors, Collared Sparrowhawk, Brown Goshawk, Brown Falcon hunt at will, specially in the breeding season and during migrations. The headland forms an important migration and dispersal route for the spring and autumn movements of honeyeaters, Silvereyes and summer-breeding migrants such as Cicadabirds, Black-faced Monarchs, Rufous Fantails and the small cuckoos: Brush, Fan-tailed, Horsfield's and Shining-Bronze.

On the wind-bitten east and south-east facing open heath and low woodland, a steep and narrow path leads from the lighthouse to about half-way down the easterly promontory of Burrewarra Point. Here you'll find good sea views for one or two people with a head for heights.
The better, and safer, place for sea viewing is about 20 metres from the fork on the path leading to the southern promontory. Australasian Gannets from autumn to spring, perhaps a few Shy and Black-browed Albatrosses or an immature Pacific Gull in winter, always a White-bellied Sea-Eagle or two or a Peregrine Falcon and, if you are there at the right time and the passage is close inshore, the magnificent southerly migration of Short-tailed Shearwaters in the last days of September and early October. From the headland, it is possible to look west on a spring or summer day and watch a white-headed Square-tailed Kite quartering the woodland in search of a meal.

A Swamp Wallaby, a couple of Eastern Grey Kangaroos, perhaps a Red Fox can be encountered on early morning walks. Brown and Dusky Antechinus are active in winter, Short-beaked Echidnas, Lace Monitors and Diamond Pythons in summer. A pod of Bottle-nosed Dolphins and an Australian Fur Seal are often seen and the Point is a splendid vantage for watching the migrations of Humpback and Southern Right Whales in autumn and spring. It is also a destination for the butterfly fancier and hosts large hatches of Hesperiidae, some Nymphalidae, mostly Common, Banks' and Wonder Browns, Brown and Dusky Ringlets, Varied Swordgrass Brown and Meadow Argus, as well as a range of the grassland Blues, Lycaenidae, and some spectacular migrations of Australian Painted Lady and Caper White.

Guerilla Bay Walk

Turn left off Burri Point Road at the Guerilla Bay Road signpost and park where indicated; there is a narrow path and a series of steps to the beach.

Turn left off Burri Point Road onto Beach Parade, then right at Bay Street and park overlooking the little shingle beach and Guerilla Rock, which can be reached at low tide; be careful, the Rock is steep and unstable on the eastern side. There are a couple of picnic tables beside the car parking area.

The coastal woodland comes down to the dune and is home to the usual array of woodland birds including Spotted Pardalotes, Brown and Striated Thornbills, Grey Fantails, Crimson Rosellas, King Parrots and the ubiquitous honeyeaters. On the lagoon you will find a handful of Pacific Black Ducks, perhaps a family of Chestnut Teal and there might be Yellow Thornbills in the casuarinas. The two rock platforms, at the southern and northern ends of the beach are feeding areas for a pair of Eastern Reef Egrets, a White-faced Heron and a couple of Sooty Oystercatchers, while a Little Pied Cormorant and a few Great Cormorants might be loafing on Guerilla Rock. The reptiles, mammals and insects of Burrewarra Point extend to the Guerilla Bay hamlet. In and around the lagoon you might hear Common Eastern Froglets, Brown Toadlets, and the Tree Frogs, Brown, Peron's, Verreaux's among about ten recognised species of amphibians.

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