Heading south, this walk covers the coastline of the Royal National Park and can truly only be described as amazing. With breathtaking coastal views from Bundeena to Otford this walk follows the cliffs along a well managed and signposted track. You will enjoy the truly fantastic views out to sea and along the cliffs. Make an early start for day two, it is bigger that it appears.
(open in app)
Cross sectional view of the The Coast Track bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the The Coast Track 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.
Very steep (4/6)
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, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
*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
19km of this walk has short steep hills and another 3.5km is very steep. Whilst another 3.5km has gentle hills with occasional steps and the remaining 1.5km is flat with no steps.
Quality of track
16km of this walk follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles and another 9km follows a clear and well formed track or trail. The remaining (2km) follows a smooth and hardened path.
Around 15km of this walk is clearly signposted, whilst the remaining 12km has directional signs at most intersection.
Around 17km of this walk requires no previous bushwalking experience, whilst the remaining 10km requires some bushwalking experience.
This whole walk, 27km is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).
Around 17km of this walk has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced), whilst the remaining 10km is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats).
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Catch the ferry to Bundeena
You can phone 131500 (the transport info line) for upto date running time info Use these links to plan your Ferry (and train) trip to the end of this walk.
Bundeena is a small township at the northern end of Royal National Park and the southern side of the entrance to Port Hacking. The town can be accessed by car or ferry. There are a few B&B's and other accommodation options and a number of cafes to choose from. Bundeena has a mixed atmosphere, partly a beach holiday community but also home to some permanent residents. There are two main beaches - Hordens Beach to the west and Jibbon Beach to the east. Both are nice beaches inside Port Hacking. More info
Bundeena Ferry Wharf
Int of Beachcomber Rd Service Trail and Coast Walk Track: Moderate - road,servicetrail,servicetrail
Length = 1.76 km
Time = 34 mins
Climb = 71 m
Descent = -23 m
From Bundeena Ferry, on Brighton St, this walk turns left into Loftus St, goes past Mary St and turns right into Bournemouth St. The walk turns left into Scarbourough St and takes the first right into Beachcomber Av. Beachcomber Av is followed south and gradually to the east until reaching the entry into the Royal National Park. This is marked by several large information signs. Continue straight: From the end of Beachcomber Av, this walk heads around the locked gate, following the 'Coast Walk' sign along the wide management trail. After about 50m, the trail passes a track (on the left) and continues until coming to an intersection with a wider sandy trail (on the left, which leads to Jibbon Head). Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the asphalt management trail heading towards the green signposts nearby, where it comes to the signposted intersection of the 'Coast Track'.
Int of Beachcomber Rd Servicetrail and Coast Walk
Bundeena Lookout Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 689 m
Time = 12 mins
Climb = 4 m
Descent = -27 m
Turn left: From the intersection, the walk follows the 'Coast Track' signpost along the wide, sandy bush track as it winds through the short, thick scrub for a while before arriving at the coast, where there are great views across the South Pacific Ocean.
Alt = 28 m
This unfenced, informal lookout is perched high on the cliffs, looking east over the South Pacific Ocean. The lookout is not signposted nor officially named, but provides great view south along the escarpment. Cliff edge may be unstable and fragile - keep a safe distance.
West Marley Beach Track: Moderate - bushtrack,beach
Length = 3.88 km
Time = 1 hr 19 mins
Climb = 136 m
Descent = -156 m
Turn right: From the lookout, this walk follows the bush track winding south along the coast line, keeping the ocean to the left as it winds in and out of scrub and across several rock surfaces. On a few occasions, the track will split into two and meet up again a short while later - just stick to the track closer to the coast. This walk follows the track markers until coming to a large gully, where it winds to the bottom via some steep rock steps. Once at the bottom, the track crosses the small stream at the wooden bridge and continues up the other side of the gully, climbing up the wooden steps and the hardened path to the top. From the top of the gully, the track continues along the path heading through the high heath for about 1.5km, until coming to an intersection with a management trail. This intersection is marked by a signpost saying 'Coast Walk'. Veer left: From the signposted intersection, the walk follows the coast, keeping the ocean to the left. The track winds down the long hill to the end of Marley Beach, and comes to a large green information sign. Continue straight: From the end of Marley Beach, this walk follows the coast along the beach until coming to the rock-shelf at the end. Marley Beach is very beautiful and, on a warm day, it would be a great spot to swim. On the rockshelf at the end of the beach, there are some shady spots to break from the walk. (At this, point there is also an intersection with a small bush track that heads up the hill and away from the beach.)
West Marley Beach
Little Marley Beach Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 678 m
Time = 12 mins
Climb = 9 m
Descent = -15 m
Veer left: From the end of the beach, this walk heads up and along the rock-shelf to following the coast as the bush track weaves in and out of the short heath for a short while. The track then comes to an intersection with an unmarked bush track going off to the right and away from the cliffs. Veer left: From the intersection, this walk follows the bush track winding along the coast, keeping the ocean and the cliffs to the left. The track winds down the hill for a while before coming to the end of Little Marley Beach.
Little Marley Beach
Alt = 3 m
Little Marley Beach, Royal National Park, is a yellow sand beach, approximately 140m long. The narrow beach faces north-east and has a rock platform at either end. The beach is not patrolled and has no other services. For information on this beach's pollution levels, follow the 'more info' link below. More info
Little Marley Beach
Wattamolla Dam Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 2.81 km
Time = 1 hr 8 mins
Climb = 174 m
Descent = -155 m
Continue straight: From Little Marley Beach, this walk follows the coast across the beach, keeping the ocean to the left as it climbs up the signposted bush track at the end to the clifftop. From here, the track follows the coast line for a short period before passing over numerous sections of metal footbridge. This continues through the scrub vegetation, with short periods where the track comes back onto the rockshelf above the cliff, until the track changes to purely being a well-managed bush track through the high scrub, as it winds along to the signposted intersection of the Coast Track. Veer left: From the intersection, this walk heads south-west along the bush track, heading down the long hill through the high scrub and down through some rocks, as it approaches the small swimming hole made by the dam in Wattamolla Creek.
Alt = 21 m
Wattamolla pool (or dam), Royal National Park, is a small water hole on Wattamolla Creek, above the lagoon. The pool is on the Coast Track near Wattamolla picnic area and offers a quiet spot for a dip and a rest. The pool is formed by a small, constructed sandstone dam and fed by a small waterfall above.
Northern End Wattamolla Picnic Ground Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 653 m
Time = 13 mins
Climb = 17 m
Descent = -31 m
Continue straight: From the creek, (which may become impassable after heavy or prolonged rain) this walk heads west (keeping the swimming hole on the left) along the bush track. The walk winds through the tall scrub and down the long hill until crossing the wide, shallow creek to the Wattamolla Picnic Ground on the other side.
Alt = 10 m
The Wattamolla Kiosk in the Wattamolla Picnic Area provides basic supplies for day visitors. The kiosk does not keep strict hours and opens depending on weather and demand. It usually opens on weekends at around 10:30am and closes between 4 and 6pm. You can buy ice-creams, drinks and some hot food. For more information, call Audley Kiosk on (02) 9521 2240.
Wattamolla Picnic Area
Alt = 9 m
Wattamolla Picnic Area is found at the end of Wattamolla Road, about halfway along the coastline of Royal National Park. The area is blessed with a great beach, a lagoon and some wonderful creeks and rocks to explore. The small beach faces west and is tucked away in a deep bay. The lagoon sits behind the beach and is lined with sand on one side, and cliffs and rocks on the other shore. The picnic area has large open grassy areas, with some shade provided by trees and some picnic shelters. There is a small kiosk (often open weekends), toilets, electric BBQs and two car parks. There is water here, but needs to be treated before drinking. There is a gate on the road that is locked at night, the gate is open from 7am to 8:30pm.
Northern End Wattamolla Picnic Ground
Overflow Carpark Walk: Easy - road
Length = 337 m
Time = 8 mins
Climb = 21 m
Descent = -4 m
Continue straight: From the northern end of the picnic ground, this walk heads through the car park and across the grass to the toilet block. Turn right: From the toilet block, this walk follows the signs to the Overflow Car Park. (This is the upper car park.) At the back of the car park, this walk comes to an intersection with a large management trail, with a gate and signpost saying 'Garrie 5.8km'.
Curracurrang Cove Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.41 km
Time = 26 mins
Climb = 28 m
Descent = -49 m
Turn left: From the car park, the walk follows the management trail climbing up the long hill. The walk passes two large water towers as it continues along for a while, before coming to a great lookout over the ocean, marked by a sign saying 'Curracurrang'. From the lookout, the walk continues along the cliff edge, keeping the ocean to the left as it follows the bush track. The track winds along the coast to Curracurrang Cove, where there is an intersection with another bush track that heads up and away from the ocean.
Alt = 6 m
Curracurrang Cove is a small cove about 1km SW of Wattamolla, on the coast of the Royal National Park. The cove faces east and is where Curracurrang Creek meets the ocean. The creek, the cove and the surrounding rocks provide great scenery, making this a relaxing place to stop and enjoy. There is evidence that Aboriginal people lived in this cove. There are a few middens in the area, some rock shelters and Curracurrang creek provides a near-permanent water supply. The cove was first occupied 7500 years ago and was used as a regular campsite by the Dharawal people. More info
Eagles Rock Lookout Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.95 km
Time = 44 mins
Climb = 108 m
Descent = -82 m
Turn left : Keeping the ocean to the left, the track climbs up out of Curracurang Cove and continues all the way up to the top of the large hill, winding through the thick heath across the top and down the other side to Curracurang Creek at the bottom. After crossing the creek, the track follows the bushtrack heading up short hill and along the bushtrack winding through the scrub for a short while before coming to the Eagle Rock lookout at the information signpost.
Eagle Rock Lookout
Alt = 33 m
Eagle Rock lookout is an informal lookout marked by an information sign on the Coast track in the Royal National Park. The lookout is about halfway between Garie Beach and Wattamolla. Eagle rock is a piece of the cliff line that looks amazingly like the head of an eagle, with the eye and all. The lookout is about 150m west of the Eagle Rock on the other side of Carracurrong Creek. Eagle Rock is often used as an icon for the Royal National Park. Carracurrong Creek also forms a waterfall into the ocean nearby.
Eagles Rock Lookout
Int. Coastal Walk and Curra Moors Brook Trail Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 139 m
Time = 3 mins
Climb = 9 m
Descent = -4 m
Continue straight: Keeping the ocean to the left the track follows the bushtrack heading through the heath along the coast for a short while until it comes to the intersection of the bushtrack at the end of the service trail, marked by the two post's where the sign has been pulled off.
Int. Coastal Walk and Curra Moors Brook Trail
Garie Beach Lookout Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 2.53 km
Time = 54 mins
Climb = 129 m
Descent = -64 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads along the bush track and the rockshelf, keeping the ocean on the left. This continues, with the track becoming a narrow trail that goes through the scrub. In various sections, metal walkways have been built to stabilise the environment in the area. This continues until reaching an intersection with a track, heading off to the right. Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the bush track around the left-hand side of the 'Curra Moors car park' sign, following the cliffs and keeping the ocean on the left of the track. After several hundred metres of high scrub, the track emerges out into the opening which has fantastic views of Garie Beach and the hills to the south.
Garie Beach Lookout
Alt = 102 m
Garie Beach Lookout is an unofficial lookout on the hill at the eastern end of Garie Beach. The lookout has no facilities and is simply a spot on the Coast track. The lookout provides great views looking southwest along the coast along Garie Beach, Royal National Park and down to Wollongong.
Garie Beach Lookout
North-East End of Garie Beach Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 508 m
Time = 13 mins
Climb = 6 m
Descent = -105 m
Continue straight: From Garie Beach Lookout, this walk follows the bush track heading down towards Garie Beach, winding down the long hill, descending the steep rock and wooden steps to the bottom of the hill where the walk continues through the grassy clearing to the end of the beach.
North-East End of Garie Beach
Int. Garie Beach YHA Trk Walk: Easy - beach
Length = 375 m
Time = 7 mins
Climb = 11 m
Descent = -5 m
Continue straight: From the end of Garie Beach, the walk follows the coast across the beach, keeping the ocean to the left until coming to the base of some timber steps, which lead up the hill on the right.
Int. Garie Beach YHA Trk
Garie Beach YHA Optional sidetrip: Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 341 m
Time = 10 mins
Climb = 48 m
Descent = -9 m
Veer right: From the intersection, this walk follows the stairs away from the ocean. The track winds up the hill steeply then continues for approximately 350m along the hillside, in and out of a gully, to rise up to the cabin signposted as 'YHA Garie Beach'. (Retrace your steps back to the main track, then turn right to continue along this walk.)
YHA Garie Beach - Destroyed
Alt = 46 m
**On 02/12/2010 this hut was completely destroyed by fire and plans for the future are not yet decided . Accommodation no longer available
Garie Beach YHA Youth Hostel, in Royal National Park, is a basic but comfortable cabin. The unstaffed and locked cabin is situated north of Garie Beach car park, high on the hill behind the next gully.
The cabin contains solar lighting, water, gas kitchen, a 'loo with a view' and the capacity to sleep twelve people. You need to provide your own bed sheets and toilet paper. The cabin costs $17.50/adult per night, with the potential to rent the youth hostel out for a week. The key must be picked up from YHA Kent St, Sydney, prior to arrival at the YHA. The key has a $50.00 deposit. To make a booking phone 9261 1111. More info
Int. Garie Beach YHA Trk
Garie Beach Car Park Track: Moderate - beach
Length = 312 m
Time = 6 mins
Climb = 5 m
Descent = -6 m
Veer left: From the intersection, the walk heads along the beach, keeping the ocean on your left, for approximately 200m to Garie Beach car park on the right.
Alt = 4 m
Garie Beach, Royal National Park, is a large, south-east facing, yellow sand beach. The beach is backed by steep headlands and gullies. There is a large car park at the end of Garie Rd for access to the beach. Garie Beach is popular for surfing, patrolled 9am-5pm from December to January. Facilities include toilets, kiosk, picnic tables, cold showers and Surf Life Saving Club. The water from the shower should be treated before drinking, this water comes from a tank and may be unavailable during dry periods. More info
Garie Beach Car Park
North Era Bush Campground Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.6 km
Time = 43 mins
Climb = 121 m
Descent = -121 m
Turn left: From the Garie Beach car park, the walk follows the sign to 'North Era', keeping the sea to the left. This track follows the base of the large grassy hill between the rocks and the ocean, to the Little Garie cabins and up past the Little Garie Community Hall. Continue straight: From the community hall in Little Garie, the walk heads steeply up the hill, following the track to the south-west. To prevent erosion of the hill, wooden steps have been installed. From the top of the ridge, the track continues down the other side, keeping the ocean on the left while winding down into North Era Bush Campground.
North Era camping ground
Alt = m
North Era camping ground, Royal National Park, is a large dune area situated directly behind North Era Beach. This camping spot is popular with surfers, and it also has a toilet and a cleared area to pitch your tent. A maximum of 36 people (12 sites) can camp here, so there is plenty of room for everyone. Open fires are not permitted, you can carry a fuel stove for cooking. A camping permit is required from NPWS before arriving (Phone:(02) 9542 068). Water is often available from the creek (treat before drinking), If dry you can walk to Garie Beach for water, although the water here may also be dried up, during a dry period it is best to carry all your water with you.
North Era Bush Campground
Int of Coast Track and Burgh Ridge Track (Sth) Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.12 km
Time = 27 mins
Climb = 96 m
Descent = -20 m
Continue straight: From the North Era Bush Campground, the walk heads up the grassy hill, keeping the ocean to the left. Just before the buildings, the walk comes to an intersection with a track on the right (which heads into the trees). Continue straight: From the top of the ridge, the walk heads down the hill, keeping the ocean to the left as it winds down between the cabins to the beach at the bottom. From here, the walk continues around the back of the beach following the coast, and up between the houses to the large clearing before the top of the hill. Here, the walk comes to an intersection with two rough bush tracks towards the top of the hill. Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads up the hill and through the ferns, heading up and away from the cabins but still keeping the sea to the left of the track. This continues until the track comes to a large sign saying 'Coast Track'.
Int of Coast Track and Burgh Ridge Track (Sth)
Burning Palms Beach (southern end) Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 939 m
Time = 18 mins
Climb = 4 m
Descent = -79 m
Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the sign to 'Burning Palms' along the bush track, winding down the side of the hill, past the cabins, then at the bottom the track joins onto a metal walkway that soon changes to a narrow bush track. This passes behind Burning Palms Beach until coming to a sign saying 'Otford via Palm Jungle'.
Burning Palms Beach (southern end)
The Squeeze Way and Burning Palms Tracks Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 3 km
Time = 1 hr 20 mins
Climb = 307 m
Descent = -83 m
Veer right: From the intersection near the rangers' hut, the walk follows the 'Otford' signpost along the defined bush track up and along the coast. After walking through grasslands for some time, the track comes to a very faint intersection with the Figure Eight Pool's track, just before the dense palm jungle. Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the bush track heading up into the palm jungle. After entering the jungle, the track is quite clear but in some places there are obstacles, such as fallen trees and branches. The track continues in this manner for some time before turning inland and climbing steeply up to the top of the large hill. At the top, the track flattens out and heads towards the ocean, soon arriving at an intersection with a management trail. At this point there are several signposts pointing towards 'Otford' and 'Carawarra Farm'.
The Squeeze Way and Burning Palms Tracks
Otford Lookout Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.88 km
Time = 43 mins
Climb = 58 m
Descent = -118 m
Turn left: From the intersection, the track follows the Otford arrow down the service trail, as it winds through the bush to the end where it becomes a bush track. From here, the track continues along the well-managed bush track through a beautiful section of ferns. After a while, this begins to gradually descend until reaching an intersection marked with a signpost for 'Werrong Beach'. Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the bush track, winding down the hill for a short while before coming to the fenced-off edge of the cliffs, which it follows keeping the ocean to the left as it winds down the hill. After a while, the track changes back to a bush track and continues down some wooden stairs to a car park signposted as 'Otford Lookout'.
Otford Train Station Track: Moderate - road
Length = 804 m
Time = 24 mins
Climb = 37 m
Descent = -97 m
Veer left: From the lookout and the car park, this walk follows the 'Otford Station' sign along Lady Wakehurst Drive to quickly meet Fanshawe Rd. This walk turns right onto Fanshawe Rd, which it follows down the long hill until it comes to the intersection of Station St. At the intersection, this walk turns left and continues along the road, passing the intersection with another road heading down to the right and coming to the 'T' intersection of the next dirt road. From here, the walk continues down the hill following the 'Otford Station' signs down the steep concrete path, and down the steps to the station.
Fire Danger This walk passes Greater Sydney Region 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) 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.