ROYAL NATIONAL PARK
The greatest walk around Sydney I think.
Before any details about the trip; keep in mind that it is a National Park. Free to visit, enjoy & discover, so please National Park = respect the nature & take your rubbish with you. Seems like there were lot of people before you who enjoyed the view without rubbish & will be more people after you who would love to explore this amazing place without it too. So thank you & enjoy.
From Sydney city train station to “Cronulla”, you can take it from the blue line for AU$ 6, it is about 1 hour to go. From “Cronulla” you will have to take the ferry to “Bundeena”, there are one every hours from 5.30 am to 6.30 pm. It will be 25 mins. Then, you will find a board “Coast Tracks” & that’s it you start your walk.
Looks easy from the description above but we had a bit more difficulty… Let’s share it with you !!
4TH APRIL 2015, DAY 1
10.00 am train to “Cronulla”. We are ready & full of energy. The weather is not very good but we knew it before going for the trip. We went with light bags as the walk is long. When we arrived, it starting raining & of course no rain jacket in our bags, lucky as we are, we find AU$ 2 on the floor & then bought a plastic rain jacket.
We find the ferry after a little ( long ) detour & pay on the ferry a student package ( Oups, forgot our card !! 😁 ). Finally, we could see our sign with “Coast Track” writing on it.
DIRECTION ; JIBBON BEACH
We walked on a white sand, lots of wind, singing birds around us, sound of our steps & the rain falling on us. Arrived at “Jibbon Beach” with a very windy path. Time for photos & try to keep our eyes open as we can with the strong wind. We get back on the track & had a snack. Walking warm up our feet.
DIRECTION ; THE BALCONIES
Vast area of rocks on the ocean, the grey sky mixes with the dark blue waves of the ocean which break on the rocks under us. The colors of the flowers stand out around this rocky mass. The view is stunning, very enthusiast every second we move on for the next step…
DIRECTION ; THE WEDDING CAKE ROCK
Definitely I would suggest to recall it “Cheese Cake” !! The track to access the area changed every meter. From white sand to red sand, stones, pebbles, rocks to a grid platform … our feet dance on it like different beat. The scenery change as well, from dark green bushes, light green, yellowish bushes, trees everywhere to a very bright white rock. It is fantastic to be connected to the nature. Lots of Chinese are taking photos..
We supposed this is the “Wedding Cake Rock” then. We walked a bit further on the track to seat across the shape of the rock’s line. From there, we can see properly the shape of a cake. By speaking of food, we had our lunch in there. PS : If the Chinese still alive it is a miracle as they took ( 1 0000000000 … ) photos VERY close to the edge of the rock. Wind + Jump in the air = Sick to watch them ( Vertigo ). After our brake & some photos, we cooled so we went back on the track.
DIRECTION ; MARLEY BEACH
The way still so surprising, walking in edge of ocean, in bushes, in enormous puddles overhang by a wooden board, Staircases created by the nature, grids… When we reached a viewpoint, we met few people walking too but on the opposite way. When we asked them ; How long before the first camp for the night, we didn’t expect to have an answer like ; If you run, you will maybe be there in 4 hours before dark. BUT ( don’t worry reader ) they told us ; you can, illegally, walk behind the lagoon at Marley Beach, following the dunes, there will be a river to cross & go shelter from the wind & the rain in the lagoon. Let’s do it.
Behind the immensity of Marley Beach, an extent of sand dunes with trees which overhangs it, it is beautiful. We start to be cold & miserable. While we walk in this direction, the floor felt different suddenly for me & too late, I felt on dirty water covered foam hip-deep. I am freezing now !! We managed to cross the river & find a spot. My friend take up the tent while I change my clothes. Finally in the tent together, we tried to sleep early but we can’t. We do not have sleeping bags.. & it still raining, the floor in the tent is wet & cold. Good night 😉
5TH APRIL 2015, DAY 2
Total sleeping time : 2 hours. Acrobatic position to try to don’t die frozen. Going for a pee in the complete dark with a torch & hearing the wild life around… CHECK.
We close the tent, put back our shoes completely soak with water, walk back over the river. Good new : Sun is out. The light is just wonderful in this early morning. On the sandy dunes, we had find fresh footprints of Kangaroos & left behind us our footprints. We get back on track desperate for some sun to warm up.
DIRECTION ; LITTLE MARLEY BEACH
A little beach compares to Marley Beach but still very lovely. We had our breakfast there & enjoy walking naked feet in the ocean. After a little walk to continue, I saw my first Kangaroo jumping out of the bushes just in front of us.. Just a fantastic feeling to see the first one in the wild. I saw a second one just a bit later at the entrance of the forest, eating & watching us. I was able to walk slowly closer and closer to have a best shot of it. A beautiful mysterious animal. We walk along with a big smile.
DIRECTION ; EAGLE ROCK
The path is more difficult that day, the sun is strong & on that way, no shadows. The landscapes around us are breath taking so can’t complain.. Between painters’ pallets, rocks sculpture, surprising colors of magnificence, we are amazed. We crossed the road of a vertiginous waterfall on the walk & move to next step. Suddenly, we meet someone who asked us if we had seen the Eagle Rock… We don’t know but we are curious now & looked our photos from a little while ago & indeed, there is a rock with the shape of an eagle on one.. So let’s say : we saw it then !!
DIRECTION ; WATTAMOLLA
Started to have an arching back, long deep breath… We are suffering. Lost into the wild, we are desperate for a break when we hear the sound of a waterfall quit close. We walked a bit faster, enjoying the idea of having a rest near some water. Just before “Wattamolla Beach” there is a beautiful river who falls down & let us surrounded by a beautiful view of the green mountains..Breath taking. Bags falls down, lots of photos, walk down the rocks to have a better view.
We don’t want to move from here, we had our lunch in here. Seating on the rocks next to the waterfall… Warm sun on the back, sounds of water falling, nobody around.. Paradise. With difficulty, we move on to join the track to “Wattamolla”. Suddenly, we hear lots of voices, screams… We can see a parking, people jumping in the water with signs saying “Don’t jump”, noise, …. Okay, “Wattamolla” is done. NEXT
DIRECTION ; CURRACURRONG
The road is long & difficult, very sunny, no shadows & steep track.. No more civilization, just us into the wild. Curracurrong is a beautiful steam very fresh to cross. A refreshing pause for us to keep going. Drink a lot, full our bottles & walk .. always walking.
DIRECTION ; GARIE BEACH
I think it is the moment where every step were painful. We started to think that we will never make it into the end. The way is more hard & steep. The natural stairs looks like mountains more than real stairs. Knees, back & ankle are very painful at that stage. At the top of a mountain, we met people who asked us if it is as hard than the track they did. We understood why when we discover the path …It is a steep way down with huge stairs to arrive to the beach. I never been so slow on a way down… When we touch the sandy beach, we found a place of shade & have a snooze. It is a surfing beach with white sand.. It is beautiful.
Finally, we walk to the parking & rest area to ask some people if they can drive us to Otford as we can’t walk more. A person explined to us that the walk was about 5 hours more to Otford from here. Definitely, we need a lift ! Someone proposed us to ask the surf rescue as they are going to leave now. They accepted & a big thank you from us. They said to us to relax & it a hot dogs upstairs in their loft !! Crazy Aussie ! It is a very warm welcome for us. We jumped in the car & he dropped us to the train station.
Thanks to our, indeed, surf rescue ! A wonderful memory at the royal national park.
If you are as crazy as we were, please read carefully what comes next. I will feel less guilty if you do so ( ha ha ) Don’t forget :
– Sleeping bag,
– A warm jacket,
– Support for knee – ankle … what ever you feel like
– Don’t full your bag to much ( you are the carrier )
– & of course all the essential as bottles of water, food, etc…
You can find information about this track, in following this link. Enjoy & can’t wait to hear from your adventure !