We began this walk at Hungry Head where steps descend onto the beach, part of which is leash free for your dog’s delight. You could just as easily begin at the Urunga Boardwalk.
Approaching the river mouth after walking north up the beach, climb up to the Urunga Boardwalk for lovely views of the Kalang and Bellinger River mouth, beaches north and south and inland towards Tuckers Nob and Bonville Peaks.
The Bellinger Bar is notoriously difficult to cross. A pilot station was established in 1868. The training walls and breakwater were built from the 1890s, but regular dredging was still required to keep the entrance open. A navigation lamp was placed at the entrance, and a crude plank way constructed in 1908 to allow access in all tides to the light the lamp. This was the beginning of the Urunga boardwalk.
Wider boardwalks with handrails replaced the original plankway in 1922, the 1940s, 1988. Extensions were added in 1999, 2006 and 2010 taking the boardwalk into the mangroves and all the way to the ocean beach.
There are intrepretive signs along the accessible boardwalk showcasing the history, wildlife and items of interest. Stop to watch the boats, fisherman and crabs. The boardwalk is a popular spot for photography, and Urunga lagoon is good for a swim.
Australian Wood Duck
Take a break in Urunga at the cafe, childrens playgrounds or picnic areas before strolling back to Hungry Head along the cycleway.
Look out for the sculpture of an Australian wood duck (Chenonetta jubata) “Warraaday”, which honours the significance of the area to the First Peoples, the wood duck, and a local elder. The beautiful sculpture was commissioned by Urunga Landcare and created by local artists Nick Warfield, Adrienne Hmelnitsky and Brentyn Lugnan.
If you are short on time, simply walk out and back on Urunga Boardwalk. If you have more time, take a short walk at the lovely Urunga Wetlands.