Walk: Munmorah Great Extinction Event

This walk features the geology that encapsulates the end-Permian great extinction event at 252 million years.
  • What Coastal
  • When 18 Mar, 2018 from 09:45 AM to 03:00 PM (Australia/Sydney / UTC1100)
  • Where Frazer Beach
  • Contact Name
  • Contact Phone 9144 2703
  • Attendees Anyone
  • Web Visit external website
  • Add event to calendar iCal

To complement Anita Andrew's talk on Permian Triassic Mass Extinction, this walk features the geology that encapsulates the end-Permian great extinction event at 252 million years, also known as the Great Dying. This wiped out 96% of all marine species and 70% of terrestrial mammals plus the majority of insect families. There are myriads of sites devoted to it but Wikipedia's a good start.

This is a series of short walks on headlands, clifftops and through littoral rainforest. It isn't a continuous coast track so we'll meet at Frazer Beach park, car pool, and drive then to headlands and trackheads starting with Snapper Point (1 on map) followed by Wybung Head (2) to view superb coastal scenery and the relevant geology. We'll then do a 2 km walk (3) through heathland, woodland and swamp forest followed by a short loop through littoral rainforest (4). Finally we'll relax at beautiful Frazer Beach, have a snack and maybe swim depending on weather.

Click here to register – limit of 15 people

Date: Sunday 18 March
Time: 9.45 for 10 am start
Length: about 5 km (relaxing 5 h)
: Frazer Beach, parking space for 64 cars – gather at beach head by main car park: we'll car pool due to limited park space at some sites
Bring: lunch, snack, camera, binoculars, sunnies, sunblock, swimmers (if you'd like a swim), i.d. books on plants, birds etc
Weather issues: there won't be a cancellation unless the weather's really awful as it's easy to park and make short walks to clifftop viewpoints
Leader: John Martyn (0425 830 260)

Getting there

Follow the M1 north, 1.5 km past Warnervale Interchange turning onto the Doyalson motorway link road. Follow this for 15 km moving to right lane after Colongra Bay Rd intersection. Turn right onto Elizabeth Bay Drive at major traffic light intersection under footbridge (big brown signpost to Munmorah SCA). After 2 km turn left at roundabout onto Birdie Beach Drive which leads to the southern park entrance (careful of the monster speed humps). After a short distance, turn left onto Blue Wren Drive then shortly after, right onto Campbell Drive. Follow signposts for a further 5 km ending at Frazer Beach car parks. Allow about 1 h 15 min from Pearces Corner, bearing in mind the current M1 improvement roadworks speed limits.


  • Some of the most spectacular coastal scenery between Sydney and Newcastle
  • World class geology
  • Hugely varied flora ranging from coastal heathland to littoral rainforest, and probably lots of birds too

Last coal seam

The Vales Point coal (see the dark band in the photo below) is overlain by thin fossil soil and claystone breccia, then the white sandstone band was deposited as the 252 million year old end Permian extinction event began its major pulse; after that there was no more coal laid down in the Sydney Basin.