The top walks that Harrington locals love.

Home to sweeping beaches and stunning views, this is where the waters of the Manning River meet the Pacific Ocean after a 261km journey from Barrington Tops. Here's how to 'walk like a local' around tranquil Harrington.

Easy walks around Harrington.

At the northern mouth of the Manning River double delta, Harrington started life as home to the pilots who guided shipping across the treacherous sand bars. In 1894 a long breakwall was built to protect the entry channel for shipping, which now serves as a scenic walk and great fishing location.

The view from Pilot Hill at Harrington.
The view from Pilot Hill at Harrington.

1. Harrington Heritage Walk and breakwall

  • START: Harrington Hotel on Beach Street
  • DISTANCE: 5km
  • DURATION: 2 hours
  • GRADE: Easy

Meander along the water's edge where there are figures commemorating maritime pilots and early workers of Harrington, past the War Memorial Hall and the Pilot Station, a historical residence at 3 Beach Street.

At the end of this walk, the breakwall is hard to miss. It's 2.7km long with handy seating. The northern arm heads to the waves and the other arm heads south across the opening to the Manning River.

For an easy stroll, head along the south of the wall towards the gantry. The 1.6km path is concrete so it's relatively easy to push a pram or ride a bike.

2. Harrington Rainforest Walk

  • START: 200 metres north of Discovery Parks on Crowdy Head Road
  • DISTANCE: 700 metre or 10kms
  • DURATION: 10 minutes or 2 hours
  • GRADE: Easy/Moderate

The Harrington rainforest walk takes you through coastal rainforest atop old sand dunes. The subtropical rainforest has a great diversity of plant species and is the best remaining remnant of the local rainforest which once stretched north from Harrington to Crowdy Head. Sand mining in the 1960s-70s took its toll on the rainforest but the saving grace of the rainforest pocket was that it contained historical grave sites.

The walk takes you to Harrington Lagoon where you can turn around and return via the same track or continue onwards into Crowdy Bay National Park. This longer walk is 10kms and ends at Crowdy Gap Campground so make sure you have a pick-up arranged.

Cattai Wetlands boardwalk renewed after bushfire destruction.
Cattai Wetlands boardwalk renewed after bushfire destruction.

3. Cattai Wetlands Loop, Coopernook

  • START: Spring Hill Rd, Coopernook
  • DISTANCE: 3.3 km
  • DURATION: 1.5 hours
  • GRADE: Easy

If you've finished your walks around Harrington, then don't miss these nearby wetlands. The access road is just 1km north of the Harrington Road intersection with the Pacific Highway.

Cattai Wetlands is a hidden gem of the Barrington Coast. It provides sanctuary for over 180 different species of birds, kangaroos, wallabies and goannas. The walk is 2.3km round trip with stops along the way.

The following optional walking tracks are also available: Lookout Loop will add an extra 1.1km to your walk and provides stunning views of the Three Brothers Mountain; Forest Loop will add an extra 840m to your walk and provides a shady walk through coastal blackbutt forest.

Diamond Head loop walk.
Diamond Head loop walk.

4. Diamond Head Loop Walk, Crowdy Bay National Park

  • START: Diamond Head Campground
  • DISTANCE: 5km
  • DURATION: 2 hours
  • GRADE: Easy

Diamond Head Loop Walk is the ideal introduction to the splendour of Crowdy Bay National Park at the northern boundary of the Barrington Coast.

Starting at Diamond Head campground, you'll link up with the headland walking track and forest walking track for a walk packed with highlights making this park a national treasure.

The headland rises dramatically and offers panoramic views across Crowdy Bay, north to Perpendicular Point and south to Crowdy Head. In between are superb sweeps of golden sand and behind you are the majestic Three Brothers mountains.

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