Green Point and Cabbage Tree – the Wild Northern Corner of Jervis Bay
Getting there: from the BWR gatehouse in Currarong, head into the range on Lighthouse Road. To get to Green Point you need to turn right at the first junction you come to after entering the range. Follow it for a couple of kilometres and you’ll see turn-offs for Long Beach and Cabbage Tree. Green Point track has its own small carpark at the junction of Cabbage Tree Beach track.
The Beecroft Weapons Range (BWR) is an actively used Australian Defence Force facility that just happens to contain some of the most scenic coastline in the south coast. With Honeymoon Bay, Target Beach, Point Perpendicular, Long Beach and Cabbage Tree all contained within its boundaries, it’s a great place to visit, to relax, to go fishing, to drive your jet-ski or, like me, explore and take photographs.
Since the range is used by the Navy to hone their skills during the week, you can only get access at weekends and during school holidays. Access is via a guardhouse on the southern side of the range. The security guards will check your details, log your entry and make some broad inquiries about your plans. If it’s your first time to the BWR then they’re useful folks to get advice from too.
None of the roads in the range are sealed, but you definitely won’t need a 4WD to visit – the land is relatively flat and, as long you stick to the speed limit of 60kph you’ll have no dramas getting to your chosen beach. Over the course the summer the dirt tracks do degrade through heavy use and become corrugated. This can make your trip within the range a bit noisier and more uncomortable than usual, but it’s actually best to try and keep it around 50-60kph as when you travel slowly over corrugated tracks you’ll feel every bump and it’ll take you twice as long to get to your destination.
It is possible to camp within the BWR during the summer, but it’s so popular during the two month school summer holidays that they hold a lottery during the winter for pitches. If you didn’t apply via the lottery then you’re highly unlikely to be able to stay within the range. The popularity of the range is also an issue for day visitors and you will find that locations such as Honeymoon Bay nearly as over-crowded as Hyams on the opposite side of the bay.
However the range is quite a big place and if you’re prepared to explore a bit then you can escape the crowds. In particular the very western inside edge of the range is always much quieter. So if you’re planning a visit to the BWR and you can’t find a park at Honeymoon, here’s my guide to Green Point and Cabbage Tree.
Incidentally – the photo behind this text was taken at Cabbage Tree Beach – look how beautifully clear it is.
Beecroft Weapons Range
The Department of Defence’s Beecroft Weapons Range (BWR) covers 4,200 hectares of Beecroft Peninsul. BWR is owned and occupied by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and has been regularly used for Defence weapons and other training activities since the 1800s.
BWR is a gazetted Public Area under the Defence Act 1903, open to the public when not in use for Defence purposes. BWR is regularly used for Defence exercises and is closed to the public at these times for safety reasons. You can often hear the live rounds of ammunition impacting the range from the other side of the bay during target practice.
Green Point Track
Park your car at the small Green Point Track car park at the junction of Long Beach Road and Cabbage Tree Beach Road
Green Point Track is a short 2km (return) bushtrack that heads along a wide trail to the very edge of the BWR. The track leads down through the bush, past the famous Cabbage Tree palms to the edge of Hare Bay which forms the top part of Jervis Bay.
At the end of the track is a vehicle turn-around and a ramp down onto a small grassy clearing. If you turn right here, you can follow an indistinct bushtrack out into the mangroves on the edge of Hare Bay itself, but there’s not much else to see there.
Cabbage Tree Beach
Follow the road down Cabbage Tree Beach Road and you will come to a decent sized carpark which also has bike racks and a (portable) toilet. Remember to park your car under shade if possible.
One of the less well known beaches in Jervis Bay, Cabbage Tree is a delightful and scenic pocket beach just 110m in length. Thanks to its location, tucked away on the south-facing side of the Beecroft Peninsula, it is well sheltered and remains largely wind-free when most other beaches are blown-out.
The beach gets its name from the Cabbage Tree Palm. These plants have glossy green leaves spanning up to 3-4m in length and they can reach a height of up to 30m, making it one of the tallest Australian native plants.