To Do – rent car, Lucayan National Park: Gold Rock Beach

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Gold Rock Beach at Lucayan National Park is one of the most beautiful beaches on Grand Bahama.  Located about 45 minutes from Lucaya and 1 hour from the cruise pier, you will spot a lone telephone on the left side of the road, and if you see a car parked on the side of the road,that is probably the park entrance.  Slow down and look left and you should see the sign and parking area.  There is a compost toilet at the entrance, but no facilities at the beach whatsoever.  There is a $3.00 per person park entrance fee.  Cross the street and walk the path about 1/4 mile through the mangroves to the beach.

The beach should be visited at low tide – at high tide it’s not really worth the drive out, as there are beaches equally beautiful much closer to town.  If low tide is at 1:00 PM, and you want to spend four hours at the beach, plan to arrive at 11:00 AM and stay until 3:00 PM to maximize your enjoyment.  Bring a cooler and towels with you because there is no food anywhere near the park.  Snorkeling is not good from the beach due to the sand, but you can see a few starfish, stingrays, sand dollars, sea biscuits, and the like.  If you swim really far out to Gold Rock Reef, there is good snorkeling out there, but it is a long exhausting swim and make sure you do the buddy system if you chance it.  Not really recommended, better to visit in a boat if you want to visit the reef.  As with all national parks in the Bahamas, taking any shells or artifacts of any kind from the water, beach, or park is strictly prohibited and strongly enforced.

Cruise passengers should visit the beach by rental car or with a tour.  Taxis will take you out there, but it is in the middle of nowhere and you can’t take the risk your taxi doesn’t come back to get you as agreed.  Hotel guests can usually arrange with a taxi to come back and get you at an agreed time, but make sure to bring a cell phone just in case.  Rental car for the day is recommended due to convenience and taxis are expensive to go out to the park.

The trip can be combined with a short trail to a couple of small water-filled caves in Lucayan National Park located across the street, or you can drive up a little further to the town of High Rock, where there are a couple of very nice beach hangouts – Bishop’s on the Beach and Diamond Sunset – to get some native food and relaxation on one of the island’s other beautiful white sand beaches.  You can get some nice photos of the lighthouse that used to be featured on Sands Brewery’s High Rock beer, relax in a hammock or a lounge chair, or talk it up with your friendly hosts.



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