The Malabar Headland Walk is an awesome coastal walk in the Malabar Headland National Park, which is located in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. Starting at South Maroubra Beach, you’ll combine the Boora Point Walking Track and Western Escarpment Walking Track to form an epic circuit loop. That’s why the Malabar Headland Walk is also known as the Malabar Headland Circuit Walk. During the walk, it’s possible to add on a quick detour to the quaint Malabar Beach, which we highly recommend!
In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the Malabar Headland Walk. After describing the highlights of the Boora Point Walking Track and Western Escarpment Walking Track, we’ll discuss logistics. We’ll cover information about how to get there, answer some FAQs and briefly talk about the lovely area of Malabar in Sydney.
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Table of Contents
Malabar Headland Circuit Walk: Overview
Perched in between Maroubra and Malabar Beaches, the Malabar Headland National Park is an underrated natural haven in Sydney. The Malabar Headland Walk, AKA the Malabar Headland National Park walk is a superb short circular walk, which encircles the entire national park. By doing this walk, you’ll get to explore all of the attractions in the Malabar Headland National Park.
Basically, the Malabar Headland Walk combines two distinct trails in the national park. The Boora Point Walking Track is a coastal trail stretching from Maroubra to Malabar. That’s why it’s also known as the Maroubra to Malabar Walk. The Western Escarpment Walking Track is set away from both the coast and Boora Point Walking Track. The Western Escarpment Walking Track is perfectly positioned to form a circular walk when combined with the Boora Point Walking Track.
There’s only a short section of unspecified trail that you’ll need to navigate to connect the Boora Point and Western Escarpment Walking Tracks. This is at a point where you can briefly depart the Malabar Headland National Park to check out Malabar Beach.
Anyway, before we dive deep into a trail description, let’s look at the trail specs and a GPS-guided map. Indeed, below, you’ll find information such as the Malabar Headland Walk distance.
Malabar Headland Walk Map and Stats
- Type: Loop
- Distance: 6km
- Time: 1.5 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 75m
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead: South Maroubra Beach
- Map: AllTrails
Malabar Headland National Park Map
Just so you can get your bearings, here’s an interactive map of the Malabar Headland National Park.
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Malabar Headland Walk Opening Hours
Before we describe the key points of the trail, it’s worth noting that Malabar Headland National Park does close sometimes. The eastern section of the national park, including the Boora Point Walking Track, is closed on Saturdays from 7:30am and the first and third Sundays of every month due to ANZAC rifle range operations. So, you’ll have to plan this walk around these closures. To be on the safe side, check NSW National Parks local alerts before you go, just in case of any sudden or unexpected closures.
FYI – the Western Escarpment Walking Track remains open all year round.
Malabar Healand Walk Trail Description
In this trail description, we’re going to cover the highlights and key points of the Malabar Headland Walk. We’ll also talk about the detour (side trail option) to Malabar Beach and Malabar Ocean Pool.
South Maroubra Beach
The Malabar Headland Walk kicks off at South Maroubra Beach. At the southern end, you’ll find a flat orange-brownish rock platform, surrounded by darker scattered rocks on the shoreline. It’s a lovely spot to enjoy before officially joining the Boora Point Walking Track in the Malabar Headland National Park.
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Boora Point Walking Track (Maroubra to Malabar Walk)
From South Maroubra Beach, you’ll scramble onto the Boora Point Walking Track, which explores the eastern section of the Malabar Headland National Park. Certainly, the Boora Point Walking Track is the best section of the Malabar Headland Walk. You’ll enjoy marvellous views of the coastline from the boardwalk. But, there are also many opportunities to go slightly ‘off-trail’ to explore the remarkable coastal landforms.
FYI – there are no safety fences along the coast here, so be very careful when exploring these beautiful cliffs. Of course, with some common sense, they can be enjoyed safely.
Heading in a southerly direction, you’ll soon arrive at Magic Point. You’ll find a large sandstone platform with insanely carved-out rock formations. It’s such a raw, rugged and dramatic landscape.
Dragon Rock: Epic Coastline
One of the highlights of Magic Point is, what we’ve called, Dragon Rock. This is an unofficial name we’ve given to this coastal landmark. We’re convinced this rocky outcrop is shaped like the head of a dragon. What do you think? Well, you’ve got to use your imagination a little bit!
Around the corner from Magic Point, is the equally impressive Boora Point. Expect to see more stunning sandstone cliffs along the coastline. From Boora Point, you’ll see a vast green expanse of a golf course across the bay. Looking back in the direction of the Malabar Headland National Park, you’ll see some graffitied fortifications known as Malabar Battery.
You’ll only see remnants of the Malabar Battery, which, unfortunately, has been vandalised. The battery was built in 1943 during WWII as a coastal defence battery.
After enjoying the spectacular coastline along the Boora Point Walking Track, you’ll follow a straight section of the track, adjacent to Long Bay. Before heading away from the coast, towards the Western Escarpment Walking Track, we recommend adding a short walk to Malabar Beach and the Malabar Beach Ocean Pool. Essentially, you’ll leave the Boora Point Walking Track. Then, you’ll exit Malabar Headland National Park, following the footpaths that bend around Malabar Beach.
You’ll find Malabar Beach isn’t a surf beach like Maroubra Beach. It’s rather a calm small bay. Sitting between Boora Point and the Randwick Golf Course, feel free to wander and explore Malabar Beach and its ocean pool.
Malabar Ocean Pool
The Malabar Ocean Pool is certainly one of the lesser-known Sydney ocean pools. It’s tucked away at the southern end of Malabar Beach. To access the Malabar Ocean Pool, follow the paved footpath, lined with a white wooden fence, that bends around Malabar Beach. If the ocean pool is calling you, it’s time for a swim! Otherwise, if you want to continue the Malabar Headland Walk, you’ll want to head back to the national park.
Western Escarpment Walking Track
Once you’ve scoped out Malabar Beach and the ocean pool, retrace your step back to the Malabar Headland National Park. To complete the Malabar Headland Walk, you’ll head north to join the Western Escarpment Walking Track. By doing so, you’ll explore the western section of Malabar Headland National Park.
Initially, you’ll head through Cromwell Park before joining the Western Escarpment Walking Track. Set away from the coast, the Western Escarpment Walking Track consists of a boardwalk, that provides enthralling views of the coast. This track will soon lead you back to Maroubra Beach, signalling the end of Malabar Headland Walk.
How to Get There
The easiest way to get to Maroubra Beach for the Malabar Headland Walk is to drive there yourself. There’s plenty of free parking at Maroubra Beach. But, parking directly opposite the beach on Maroubra Parade has a four hour limit. So, we recommend parking on Bernie Kelly Drive near the South Maroubra Surf Life Saving Club. It’s free and unlimited. Google Maps doesn’t seem to recognise the street name, but it’s right by Arthur Byrne Reserve.
Of course, you’ll need your own set of wheels to get to this car park. If you don’t have a car, we recommend hiring one.
If you don’t have your own vehicle or don’t want to hire a car, it’s possible to get to Maroubra Beach, for this walk, by using public transport. We recommend using the Transport NSW Trip Planner to plan your journey. Depending on where you’re coming from, it’s likely, that at least for the final part of your journey to Maroubra Beach, you’ll need to catch the 350 or 396 bus.
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.
Malabar is a suburb in the southeast of Sydney, New South Wales. Other than having the Malabar Headland National Park, the suburb is primarily a residential area. Despite its close proximity to Maroubra, Coogee and La Perouse, Malabar remains a relatively quieter area (for Sydney anyway).
Indeed, Malabar Beach and Ocean Pool are fairly unknown and quiet beaches compared with many of the other beaches in the Eastern Suburbs. With that said, Malabar is a nice area to explore and visit as it won’t be as rammed as nearby areas such as Maroubra, Coogee and Bondi.
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Malabar Beach Cafe
If you’re looking to explore more of Malabar, you’ll definitely want to visit the Malabar Beach Cafe. Conveniently located across from Malabar Beach, the cafe serves up good grub and a decent coffee. After working up an appetite during the Malabar Headland Walk, this could be the perfect place for a bite to eat.
Below, you’ll find a few frequently asked questions about the Malabar Headland Walk.
How Long Is the Malabar Headland Walk?
The Malabar Headland Walk (combining the Boora Point and Western Escarpment Walking Tracks) is around 6km.
When Is the Malabar Headland Walk Closed?
It’s best to read the NSW National Parks local alerts for Malabar Headland National Park. Otherwise, read our Malabar Headland Walk Opening Hours section for more information about when it’s usually closed.
Are Dogs Allowed on the Malabar Headland Walk?
No, Malabar Headland National Park is a pet-free zone, just like all NSW national parks. You’ll find off-leash dog areas nearby at Pioneers Park and on-leash areas nearby at Arthur Byrne Reserve.
Accommodation in Sydney
Being based in Sydney, we didn’t need to look into accommodation. So, we can’t specifically recommend anything in the area. When searching for accommodation though, we always use Booking.com or use WikiCamps or Campermate for camping.
Hiking Gear Essentials
Here are our hiking gear essentials for this walk.
Osprey Skarab 30
The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.
Osprey Ultralight Raincover
A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.
BUFF Original Ecostretch
The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.
To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.
- Check whether Malabar Headland National Park is open: before heading out to do this walk, make sure the national park is open.
- You can do the circular walk in either direction: personally, we enjoyed walking in a clockwise direction. But, indeed, you can walk in either direction.
- Head to Pioneers Park: this is a nice park just outside the Malabar Headland National Park. It could be the perfect place for a picnic after the walk.