Largely along service trails and well managed bush tracks, this walk goes from train station to train station through parts of southern Royal National Park. The bush track between Garrawarra and the Hacking River is incredibly beautiful as it winds its way down the hill through shrouded eucalypt forest and low lying scrub.
(open in app)
Cross sectional view of the Otford to Helensburgh bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Otford to Helensburgh bushwalking track
Overview of this walks Grading - Based on the AS 2156.1 - 2001
These details are new. This new feature still requires more testing and refining. Please use the 'Walker Feedback' for report specific issues. Please e-mail Matt if you have any general comments. Hope you find it helpful.
Under this standard, a walk is graded based on the most difficult section of the walk.
5 hrs 15 mins
Short steep hills (3/6)
Quality of track
Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)
Limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged) (4/6)
*This summary of grading information is new and still in testing
Some more detail of this walks Grading
Here is a bit more details explaining the grading looking at sections of the walk. Gradient
10km of this walk has short steep hills and another 3.1km is flat with no steps. The remaining (250m) has gentle hills with occasional steps.
Quality of track
10km of this walk follows a clear and well formed track or trail and another 2.8km follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles. The remaining (360m) follows a smooth and hardened path.
Around 8km of this walk is clearly signposted, whilst the remaining 4.8km has directional signs at most intersection.
Around 10km of this walk requires no previous bushwalking experience, whilst the remaining 2.5km requires some bushwalking experience.
This whole walk, 13km is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).
6km of this walk has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced) and another 3.6km is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats). The remaining (3.5km) has limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged).
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Otford Train Station
Otford Lookout Track: Moderate - road
Length = 804 m
Time = 24 mins
Climb = 97 m
Descent = -37 m
From the top of Otford Station, this walk follows the signs to 'Royal National Park' up some stairs. Once at the top of the stairs, the walk turns left and climbs up the steep concrete path for approximately 50m to the top, where it comes to the intersection marked as 'Station Rd'. This walk turns left and follows the flat dirt road, passing an intersection with another road on the left. The walk continues along to the next intersection, where it turns right onto Fanshawe Rd. This walk follows Fanshawe Rd up the long hill until coming to an intersection with an asphalt road signposted as 'Lady Wakehurst Drive'. At the intersection, this walk turns left and crosses the road, continuing for approximately 25m until coming to a car park and the entry into Royal National Park. There is a large green sign here saying 'Otford Lookout'.
The Squeeze Way and Burning Palms Tracks Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.88 km
Time = 43 mins
Climb = 118 m
Descent = -58 m
Veer right: From Otford Lookout, the walk heads up the stairs on the seaward side of the car park, winding up the hill and along the fenced of cliffs, keeping the ocean to the right as it steadily climbs up the hill. After a while, the track breaks away from the cliff and continues along the bush track, climbing up the hill until coming to an intersection marked with a signpost saying 'Werrong Beach'. Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the Coast Track along the bush track, winding up the long hill the the top, where it flattens out and continues along a well-managed bush track through a rather beautiful section of ferns. After quite a while, the track joins onto a flat service trail which it follows, undulating gently until it comes to the signposted intersection of the North Era bush track.
The Squeeze Way and Burning Palms Tracks
The Squeeze Way and Burgh Ridge track Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 3.03 km
Time = 57 mins
Climb = 71 m
Descent = -90 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Garawarra Farm' arrow along the service trail, winding through the bush for a short while before coming to the signposted intersection of the 'Lilyvale Track'. Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads along the hillside keeping the sea to the right of the track. After a short time, the track passes a small bush track that goes off to the right. (This sidetrack is about 20m long and offers some great views of the ocean and cliffs.) From the intersection, the track continues to undulate across the hillside before flattening out and soon coming to a signpost saying 'Cliff Track' and 'Burg Track'. Approximately 150m beyond this sign, there is a large gate and car park. This is signposted as 'Coast Track'.
The Squeeze Way and Burgh Ridge track
Garawarra Farm Carpark Walk: Easy - road
Length = 87 m
Time = 1 mins
Climb = 0 m
Descent = -2 m
Turn left: From the intersection, this walk heads across the car park, following the right-hand side for a short while before it comes to the signposted intersection of 'The Burgh Track', before reaching the paddock.
Garawarra Farm Carpark
Int of Lady Wakehurst Drive and Burgh Track Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.59 km
Time = 34 mins
Climb = 16 m
Descent = -171 m
Continue straight: From the 'Burgh Track' sign, this walk follows the sign away from the car park, keeping the paddock to the left. The track heads into the dense bushland, crossing a small creek and continuing along for a short while before coming to the intersection with the unnamed management trail. Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the bush track, heading west through the bush and away from the service trail. The track winds through the dense scrub for a short while, before starting to drop down a long hill, which gradually steepens as it continues down the scattered wooden steps. At the bottom, the walk comes to the intersection with Lady Wakehurst Drive.
Int of Lady Wakehurst Drive and Burgh Track
Int of Burgh and Hacking River Tracks Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 887 m
Time = 19 mins
Climb = 48 m
Descent = -18 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads north-west along the bush track, away from Lady Wakehurst Drive. The track soon passes two signs saying 'Burgh Track', following the one that also points to 'Helensburgh', passing two large boulders. The track soon tends downhill, following one of the tributaries of the Hacking River. The walk crosses the creek using the boulders as stepping stones. After a short climb up the bank, the track continues slightly further alongside the creek to an old disused management trail, marked by several signs pointing the way to 'Helensburgh'. At this point, the track turns and leads up the hillside to an intersection with the Hacking management trail, marked by a small trailmarker signpost.
Intersection of Hacking River Firetrail and Burgh Track
End of Halls Rd Track: Hard - servicetrail
Length = 3.47 km
Time = 1 hr 19 mins
Climb = 214 m
Descent = -114 m
Turn sharp right: From the intersection, this walk heads north along the management trail. The track undulates as it winds its way around the hill, tending west. Gradually, as the walk turns to the west, the track begins to rise steeply. The track goes up to the ridgeline and then flattens out for some time. The trail comes to an intersection and large fenced-in clearing (a tip), marked by a large sign saying 'Royal National Park'. Here the walk turns right to follow the fence for just shy of 500m before following a short track to the end of Halls Road.
End of Halls Rd
Helensburgh Railway Station Track: Moderate - road
Length = 1.18 km
Time = 24 mins
Climb = 25 m
Descent = -69 m
Turn left: From the end of Halls Rd, this walk heads south along the road, immediately passing Gardiner Pl on the right. After a while, the walk comes to a 'T' intersection with Parkes St. The walk turns right onto Parkes St, heading downhill along the footpath until reaching Tunnel Rd (signposted), opposite a 'Helensburgh' Station sign. The walk turns right and goes along Wilsons Creek Rd for a short while before turning left and taking the the steps down to Helensburgh Railway Station.
Fire Danger This walk passes Illawarra/Shoalhaven fire area which currently has a LOW MODERATE rating and No fire ban in place. (Tomorrow the Fire Danger Rating is LOW MODERATE, No fire ban.) (Downloaded 3 years ago) Please Note: Each park may have its own fire ban, this rating is only valid for today and is based on information from the RFS Please check the RFS Website for more information.
Region: Sydney & Surrounds Park feesCampingFacilities Current Park Closure information for Royal National Park Closure information last downloaded Sunday 27th of September 2015 07:00 AM Closed areas: The Coast track upgrade The Coast track will be undergoing construction works between Beachcomber Ave and Marley Beach over a 9 month period. Works include resurfacing, installation of raised board walk and stairs and will be undertaken between October 2015 and May 2016. During the works it will be necessary, at times, to close the Coast Track for visitor safety. Please be aware that during closures the full coast track walk will not be possible and you may need to plan your route to start and finish at a different location. The Royal National Park alerts page will be updated regularly so please check it before you leave home. Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please contact Royal National Park area office on (02) 9542 0632 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.
Closed areas: Wedding Cake Rock Access to Wedding Cake Rock is prohibited. National Parks and Wildlife Service has undertaken a geotechnical assessment of the rock, which found that there is high chance that it could collapse at any time. Safety fencing has been erected to protect the public while a more permanent solution is developed. This is a really beautiful location and a spectacular rock formation to look at, but the key is doing it at a safe distance from the edge.
Safety alerts: Audley precinct in wet weather Access across the Audley Weir may be closed due to river flooding during times of wet weather. During wet weather, NPWS advise park visitors to visit Live Traffic NSW to ascertain the status of the Weir crossing before commencing their travel to the park. During times of closure, access to Bundeena, Maianbar residential areas, Royal National Park Visitor Centre, including the Audley Dance hall and cafe, is via McKell Ave Waterfall.