Royal National Park: Coast Track (South to North)

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Royal National Park

Royal National Park: Coast Track (South to North) is a 17 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Otford, New South Wales, Australia that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round.

Length17.0 miElevation gain2,982 ftRoute typePoint to point
BackpackingCampingHikingWalkingBeachForestViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeRockyNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (3)
Tips

The Coast Track is an incredible coastal walk/trek within an hour drive south of Sydney running from Otford to Bundeena in one of the most popular and spectacular of the NSW National Parks, the Royal National Park. Most hikers choose to go north to south from Bundeena to Otford, but some hikers may be interested in this alternate south to north trek. This route is either a long day trip or an overnight backpacking trip staying at a campsite like north era campground for example. A bush camping permit is required if you're camping and booking in advance for the campground is recommended. Bring plenty of water, especially in the summer. A handful of creeks are along the trail for those with water filters. There also some picnic areas along the way to stop and eat. There is a steep climb coming back out but the coastal views are unbeatable, and A number of wallabies can be sighted along the trail! This is an incredible, but demanding walk. A rewarding hike, although its entirety is not for the unmotivated. A great way to tick off a lot of must-sees in the park such as Otford Lookout, Figure Eight Pools, Garie Beach, Eagle rock, Marley Beach, Wattamolla Beach, Wedding Cake Rock and Port Hacking plus much more. Both ends are accessible by public transport, Otford Train station is a short walk from the trailhead in the south or alternatively at the north end by ferry to Bundeena.

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Reviews (116)
Photos (1,413)
Activities (84)
Completed (316)
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Rose Xu
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HikingGreat!No shade

Great but challenging trail! You will be climbing many stairs after the figure 8 section so bring plenty of water. The trail to Bundeena has sections of boardwalks which are good for walking.

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Rhys Williams
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Hiking

The trail is long! Take water, we went through 6ltrs each 27 degree day, probably underestimated my ability, but we made it 9hrs all up with a break

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Alex Naughtin
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Hiking

Great walk, great weather, got a bit overcast in the middle but luckily the rain held off and cleared up again 29km from bundeena ferry to Orford station done in 6hr 15mins

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John Belbeck
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HikingGreat!

This is a must hike if in Sydney or nearby. We took the train from Kings Cross to Otford- approximately one hour. Left early at 600am. The entire hike back to Bundeena was approximately 31 kms. Our weather was ideal, sunshine but only a max of 25C. Stunning coastline. Take plenty of water and a sandwich with snacks. There is only one place to buy water and food- at Garie Beach. But don’t rely on that. We each drank 3 litres of water. It’s amazing coastline and there are a few cabins on the way. These are from the 1920-30’s I believe. There are several good beaches to swim at, though on January 9 2021, we had huge numbers of bluebottles. We do this hike annually and love it each year. From Bundeena we took the ferry back to Cronulla- last ferry was 700pm. Then a train back to Kings Cross. A very enjoyable day.

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Nikki George
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HikingGreat!

Stunning hike ..traversing along the coast, dipping in to little outposts of small remote coast houses.. Lots of ascents , figure 8 pool is only possible to experience when tide & swell is low . Today swell was to large but tide was low, so unfortunately we could not visit.

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yue shi
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Hiking
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Dessy Dessy
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HikingGreat!

Trail is well maintained. Very pleased to explore it. Totally worth every steps

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Nasko Chernev
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HikingGreat!
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Ram C. Khanal
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Hiking

beautiful trail, did Otford to Bundeena in just over 6 hours. one of the best in NSW.

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Evan Andrews
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HikingGreat!
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Jansen Zhang
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Hiking

The classic. Easy, beginner friendly, a decent length and fantastic views most of the way as you follow the coastline. Have spotted some beautiful red belly black snakes sunning themselves around Burning Palms on several occasions. Lyrebirds and echidnas elsewhere, if lucky. As of Oct 2020 the tap at Watamolla I’ve previously used for water (treat first) seemed to be uninstalled. If permanent, suppose water could be gotten from the toilets at Watamolla or Garie... (treat first obviously).

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Hassan Raza
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Hiking
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Tim Stephens
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HikingGreat!

One of Sydney’s most iconic walks. Lots of side trip options on the way, including to the spectacular Werrong Beach.

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Adam Donaldson
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Walking
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Florence Cho
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Hiking

Long and have a bit of everything

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Stephen Tabrett
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HikingRocky

Did the track from Garrawarra Farm along Burghs Ridge down to burning psalms jungle, did a side trip to Figure 8 Pools, not recommended on a weekend or school holidays. Hiked from south to north and to the entrance to the walk at Bundeena end and back to Garrawarra Farm, a total of 51.4km in under 15hours

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Sir Bryce
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Hiking
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Sean Mills
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Nature tripsBugsGreat!MuddyNo shadeOver grownRocky

The trail is a pretty easy one depending on your fitness level, I personally completed it starting from the north and ending to the south, which is arguably harder as the steeper sections are towards the end of the hike. The trail has a lot of sections upgraded with grates to make walking easier, however the upgrades are recent and work is still being done. Water is hard to find for those unwilling to drink from the fresh water flowing into the ocean, but I refilled my canteens with the freshwater I found and haven't had a problem, so long as you use a bit of fabric to filter out the debris from the occasional leaf. Wildlife is common along the trail, and many people spotted echidnas and other beautiful little critters on their walks, myself included. The walk takes you across multiple biomes, including rainforest, sand dunes, beaches, rock pools/platforms, estuaries, coastal heaths, and palm forests. There are multiple exit points, however there is little to no cell service and so emergency help may take a while to arrive, if it does at all, it's advised to stick to the trail, away from cliff edges, and be wary of snakes and spiders, especially in summer Along the open heaths, hikers are exposed to the sun for several kilometers, so a proper hat and sunscreen is necessary, as well as plenty of water. To exit from bundeena, on Mondays to Fridays, there is a ferry every hour on the hour from 6 am to 7 pm, with no ferry at 1 pm On Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, there is a ferry from 9 am to 7 pm between September and May, and a ferry between 9 am and 6 pm between June and August. Access to Cronulla station is approx 500 meters from the dock.

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AHMAD hawchar
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Hiking

Amazing trail anyone can finish it in one day

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Karen Kustro
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Hiking
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Teresa Haczek
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Hiking

beautiful walk!

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Daina Byrne
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Hiking

hard with a hot day and pack on.

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Annemie Iles
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CampingGreat!MuddyNo shade

A must do hike. So beautiful to walk. it's August but saw three snakes, so they are out early.

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