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How to Get to the Bottom of Horse Head Rock (at Low Tide)

How to Get to the Bottom of Horse Head Rock (at Low Tide)

Horse Head Rock is an incredible rock formation located in Bermagui on the South Coast of New South Wales. The phenomenally shaped landform, resembling a horse’s head, is a must-see attraction along the Sapphire Coast.

From personal experience, we think the best way to experience Horse Head Rock is by accessing the base of the amazing coastal landmark. But, it’s only safe to do this during low tide and low swell. And, even in favourable conditions, the walk is challenging and involves demanding and slippery terrain.

Of course, if the conditions aren’t favourable or you want to avoid the treacherous walk to the base of the rock; thankfully, there is a backup option for seeing the rock formation. You can simply do a clifftop walk to the Horse Head Rock Viewing Platform.

In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about visiting Horse Head Rock. We’ll tell you all about the walk to the bottom of the rock formation (Camel Rock Beach to Horse Head Rock Walk). Additionally, we’ll cover details about the Horse Head Rock Viewing Platform Walk.

About Horse Head Rock in Bermagui

Horse Head Rock is one of the most distinctive rock formations in Australia. Its resemblance to a horse’s head and neck is certainly uncanny. By seeing the incredible landform, images of a horse leaning over to sip water are easily conjured. As well, the sheer size of the rock and its beautiful coastal setting make it an outstanding natural attraction. The location is definitely a photographer’s dream!

Horse Head Rock in Bermagui, NSW

Sony Cybershot RX100 VII

Sony Cybershot RX100 VII

Capture epic photos and videos with the Sony Cybershot RX100 VII. This is hands-down the best compact camera. We love using this camera when we’re out and about as it’s lightweight, durable and easy to use.

Why You Should Visit Horse Head Rock

Other than its obvious natural beauty, there are other reasons to visit Horse Head Rock. It may be the ancient history of Horse Head Rock that motivates you to visit!

It’s believed that the rock formation is around 500 million years old, making it one of the most ancient rock edifices in Australia. Indeed, these Horse Head Rock facts are truly mindblowing. We’d understand if you want to visit just based on this information alone!

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details about accessing the bottom of the rock formation, let’s look at exactly where this landmark is located.

Where Is Horse Head Rock?

Horse Head Rock is located in Wallaga Lake, near Bermagui, on the South Coast of New South Wales. Specifically, the rock formation is found on Pebbly Beach. It’s around a 5–6 hour drive away from Sydney.

To help get your bearings, please click on the image below to access an interactive map of the location on Google Maps.

A screenshot of a map showing the location of Horse Head Rocks
Horse Head Rock map

Stay in Bermagui

Getting to the Base of Horse Head Rock

Undoubtedly, the best way to experience Horse Head Rock is to reach the base of it. That way, you can get up, close and personal with this immense rock formation. It also allows for the best photography of the attraction.

To reach the bottom of the rock formation, you’ll need to do a walk from Camel Rock Beach. Below, we’ll cover all of the necessary details about this walk.

Horse Head Rock

Camel Rock Beach to Horse Head Rock Walk

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 1.4km
  • Time: 40–60 minutes
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Trailhead: Camel Rock Beach Car Park

Essentially, it’s possible to walk from Camel Rock Beach to the base of Horse Head Rock. But, as mentioned, it’s only possible to do this walk during low tide and low swell (0–2 metres). So, before doing this walk, check the latest Camel Rock Beach tide times and height as well as the swell forecast.

Even at low tide and during a low swell, the walk is hard. That’s because of the terrain. After you leave the sandy beach at Camel Rock, you’ll mostly walk across and over slippery rocks. You’ll even have to scramble over some obstacles created by the rocks. So, before setting out to do this walk, be honest about your ability and only proceed if you’re an experienced walker. And, make sure you’re wearing proper footwear with decent grip.

Please note that it takes around 20–30 mins to walk between Camel Rock Beach and the bottom of Horse Head Rock. This is important to know when you’re timing the walk around tide times.

A screenshot of a map showing the Camel Rock Beach to Horse Head Rock Walk

Walk Highlights

Below, we’ll cover the highlight of the walk from Camel Rock Beach to the bottom of Horse Head Rock.

Camel Rock Beach

Your adventure starts at Camel Rock Beach, which is also known as Camel Rock Surf Beach. It’s a lovely beach in its own right. So, after exploring Horse Head Rock, you may want to spend some time relaxing and chilling out at the beach!

Camel Rock Beach

Camel Rock: The Other Famous Rock to See

At the northern end of Camel Rock Beach, you’ll find another outstanding rock formation called Camel Rock! This walk is definitely a 2-for-1 type of deal. Before even reaching Horse Head Rock, you’ll stumble upon another epic rock formation. Camel Rock is another ancient rock, around 470 million years old!

Read more: Camel Rock, Bermagui: The Complete Visitor’s Guide

Camel Rock near Bermagui in NSW

After admiring Camel Rock, you’ll continue the walk north. Although the walk begins on the sand at Camel Rock Beach, most of the walk takes place on slippery rocks. So, please take care!

Throughout the walk, you’ll see brightly coloured shells dotted across the sand and crabs darting in and out of the rocks. You’ll also pass several lovely rock pools. Even at low tide, you’ll feel the power and energy of the waves crashing nearby. So, expect to get a little wet! Eventually, you’ll reach the base of Horse Head Rock.

Continue a little further north so you can look back, in a southward direction, and experience a truly awe-inspiring, ground-level view of the rock formation.

The Bottom of Horse Head Rock

Once you arrive at Horse Head Rock, you’ll be simply blown away by this natural wonder. Indeed, it’s truly a photographer’s playground. Personally, Beck and I could have spent hours here, photographing, wandering and exploring. Of course, with the tides ever-changing, you can’t spend hours and hours there. But, even during a brief stop at the bottom of the rock formation, you’ll enjoy an unparalleled experience visiting Horse Head Rock.

After admiring the extraordinary natural attraction, you’ll simply retrace your steps to return to Camel Rock Beach.

Beck near the base of Horse Head Rock

The Other Option For Visiting Horse Head Rock

The other option for seeing the famous landmark is by doing the clifftop walk to the Horse Head Rock Viewing Platform. Below, we’ll look at more details about this walk.

Horse Head Rock Viewing Platform Walk

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 1.4km
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 15 metres
  • Trailhead: Camel Rock Beach Car Park

From the Camel Rock Beach Car Park, you can follow a section of the Murunna Point Scenic Walk, to reach the Horse Head Rock Viewing Platform. The lookout platform is easily accessed along this walking track. Although, there are many different points along the clifftop walk, where you’ll catch glimpses of Horse Head Rock. So, in reality, there are tonnes of unmarked vantage points you’ll pass to enjoy varied views of Horse Head Rock.

If you visit outside of low tide or surf conditions are otherwise unfavourable (moderate to high swell) and you can’t access the bottom of Horse Head Rock, you’ll have to settle for this walk. Admittedly, most people do this walk to the viewing platform instead of the walk to the base of the rock. That’s because this walk is much easier, quicker and without any tide restrictions, as you’ll walk along the clifftop above the beaches.

A screenshot of a map showing the Horse Head Rock Viewing Platform Walk

Walk Highlights

Other than enjoying serene coastal bushland and panoramic coastal views along the Murunna Point Scenic Walk, the obvious highlight is reaching the Horse Head Rock Viewing Platform.

Horse Head Rock Viewing Platform

From the Horse Head Rock Viewing Platform, you’ll enjoy a stellar view of the landform. If you can’t reach the base of the rock formation, then don’t worry, as the views from the official lookout are also excellent. Admittedly, after visiting the bottom of the rock formation, Beck and I didn’t complete this other walking option. But, it’s definitely a solid backup option for seeing the landform if you’re unable to access the bottom of it, for whatever reason.

Other Things to See Nearby

Undoubtedly, one of the best things to do in Bermagui is to visit Horse Head Rock (and Camel Rock for that matter). But, there are plenty of other great things to do nearby in and around Bermagui. During a visit to Bermagui, you’ll have to visit the famous Blue Pool as well as Bruce Steer Pool.

Otherwise, just north of Bermagui, you’ll find loads of great coastal attractions in Narooma. And, south of Bermagui, there are plenty of great things to see in the Mimosa Rocks National Park.

Read more: Bermagui Blue Pool – The Complete Visitor’s Guide

Bermagui Blue Pools
Bermagui Blue Pool

How to Get There

The easiest way to get to Horse Head Rock is to drive there as there is no direct public transport access to the beach. If you don’t have a car, we recommend hiring one for the day or for your South Coast NSW road trip.

Just so you know, Wallaga Lake Road is an unsealed dirt road. But, it’s flat, even and usually in good condition. Personally, Beck and I managed to drive a 2WD safely and soundly along this road.

In terms of public transport, you can get a bus to Wallaga Lake and then walk to the attraction. But, depending on where you’re travelling from, this could be a long and tedious journey. Plus, using public transport is less reliable for timing your visit with low tide to reach the bottom of Horse Head Rock. So, it’s definitely best to drive yourself, if possible.

Car Park Address: Wallaga Lake Road, Wallaga Lake, NSW 2546

Car Hire

If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.

To find out more about renting a car with Discover Cars, read our Discover Cars review and Discover Cars Insurance review.

Where to Stay in Bermagui

There is plenty of excellent accommodation near Horse Head Rock in Bermagui. Otherwise, you may be doing a day trip to the attraction from either Narooma or Bateman’s Bay. Certainly, you’ll find even more accommodation options in both Narooma and Bateman’s Bay.

Otherwise, if you’re looking for camping near Horse Head Rock, or, just the closest accommodation to the attraction, we highly recommend staying at the popular Big4 Wallaga Lake Holiday Park. The holiday park, offering cabins and tent pitches, is only a stone’s throw away from Camel Rock Beach.

Read more: The 4 Best Bermagui Holiday Parks (Caravan Parks)

Best Hotel: Bermagui Beach Hotel

Room inside Bermagui Beach Hotel
  • Beachfront property
  • Private balconies
  • Excellent restaurant on-site

Best Holiday Home: Harbourview House

Room inside Harbourview House
  • Great location opposite Bermagui harbour
  • Rooms with a courtyard or balcony
  • Private gas BBQ

Best Motel: Bermagui Motor Inn

Room inside Bermagui Motor Inn
  • Budget-friendly
  • Conveniently located in the centre of town
  • Various room types are available

Gear Essentials

Here are our travel gear essentials for your road trip along the breathtaking South Coast of NSW as well as other trips around the world!

Anker Portable Power Bank
Anker Portable Power Bank

Keep your phone, laptop and other accessories charged while you’re on the go with the Anker Portable Power Bank. We wouldn’t travel without this high-quality portable charger.

Sea to Summit DryLite Towel
Sea to Summit DryLite Towel

The Sea to Summit DryLite Towel is the best quick-dry microfibre towel. This compact, lightweight and super-absorbent towel is perfect for travel.

EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter
EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter

Having an EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter is one of the best accessories to travel with, especially if you’re travelling to multiple continents during your trip.

Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise Cancelling Headphones

If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly yet high-quality noise-cancelling headphones for travel, then look no further than the Anker Soundcore Space Q45.

Wise Multi-Currency Card
Wise Multi-Currency Card

We use the Wise Multi-Currency Card to pay online and when we travel abroad. It’s really easy to use and a lot cheaper than using bank cards. To order a free card, click the button below.

To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite travel gear, camera gear and hiking gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.

Please leave us a comment below.

We acknowledge and respect the First Nations people as the Traditional Custodians of the land/water that we visited and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Daniel Piggott

Dan is a travel blogger, physiotherapist, hiker, natural wonder seeker and world traveller. He loves writing travel guides to help his readers explore the most beautiful destinations in the world.

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