Sydney Train Walks

From Cronulla via Royal National Park 10h / 30km to Otford

About this walk

This walk follows the Royal National Park Coast Walk.

It takes about 10 hours to complete the full 30 kilometre walk, with plenty of breaks and photography stops. A brisk walker can do this much faster, but consider that there's a lot to see along the way.

Getting there and back

Get the train to Cronulla and ferry to Bundeena using transportnsw.info. Plan your return trip from Otford at transportnsw.info.

Along the way

Exit the station and follow the road left to the tunnel underneath the tracks.

Continue towards the bay through the reserve to find the ferry dock. Take the ferry to Bundeena from there.

After a short ride across Port Hacking, the ferry will arrive at the Bundeena ferry dock.

From the Bundeena ferry dock make your way up the street and left past the public toilets.

If there is an extra hour to spare be sure to take the alternate route around Jibbon Head.

Follow the road to the start of Jobbin Beach and walk along it to the next headland.

At the far end of Jibbon Beach a marked trail leads up onto the headland to a self guided tour to the Aboriginal rock engravings.

A large viewing platform offers a clear view across the various rock engravings.

From the platform a bush trail leads past several lookouts to the tip of the headland.

The next stop along the track is Shelly Beach.

From the far end of Shelly Beach a grassy path leads up the headland. Follow the path to the left at the fork.

Where the grassy path emerges from the covering coastal heath, take care not to miss the side trail to the left.

Take the side trail to the left to continue following the coast, or follow the other direction back to the start of the Coast Track.

The left track follows the coastal cliffs closely. On the rocky platforms the trail can be hard to spot.

Eventually the trail brings you to the top of a deep gully just above the tide level. You can spot the trail continuing up the far end.

Cross the gully and find the rough trail back up the cliff on the far end.

From there the overgrown trail soon joins back up with signposts from the Coastal Walk.

Navigate the suburban streets towards the fire trail at the southern end of town

Follow the fire trail past the sign for the Jibbon Head trail. This the end of the optional loop across the headland.

The second sign reads Coast Track. Follow this to the well marked track along the cliffs.

The first landmark along the track is a deep gully with a creek plunging into the ocean.

Further along the track the square white rock formation of Wedding Cake Rock makers the perfect spot for a photo.

In the distance a large beach will become apparent over the tops of the coastal heath.

Eventually the trail descend down to Marley Beach, where large lagoon empties into the ocean.

Cross the lagoon and follow the beach all the way to the other headland.

A narrow path leads across the headland to the second Little Marley Beach.

From the far end of Little Marley Beach the well marked track continues along the steep cliffs.

Part of the track has been fortified with metal and plastic walkways to avoid erosion.

Near Wattamolla the walk heads away from the coast and becomes a bush trail through dense vegetation for a while.

The bush trail end at the top of a dam over Wattamolla Lagoon and continues across the picnic area on the other side.

Wattamolla Beach marks the halfway point for this walk and has public toilets available.

To continue the walk, find the signs across the car park of the picnic area.

Follow the directions to Curracurrang and Curracurrong at splits in the fire trail.

The walk crosses both water features in turn and there are lookouts to see the waterfalls near the track.

After Curracurrang and Curracurrong the track follows the coast to Garie Beach.

Be sure to follow the trail ahead through the dense vegetation instead of the directions to Curra Moors car park down the fire trail.

The trail eventuall leads to a high cliff overlooking Garie Beach. Carefully descend down to the beach.

On the far end of Garie Beach explore the surf club for refreshments and public toilets. Please mind that the tapwater is not potable.

From the sign at the surf club, follow the directions to Otford along the narrow path to Little Garie Beach.

At the far end of Little Garie Beach, a marked path meanders around the beach shacks across the headland and down the other side.

Similarly the track crosses the beaches, headlands and campgrounds of North and South Era.

At the top of the third headlands there will be a split in the track. The alternative to this walk leads to a fire trail along the top of the scarpment.

From the headland, keep following the coastal track to end up on Burning Palms Beach.

A rough path overgrown with vegetation goes around the beach and eventually leads into the palm jungle.

At the far end of the palm jungle the trail starts a long steep ascend up the escarpment.

At the top of the climb, the trail joins the fire trail along the escarpment. Follow it to the left towards Otford.

The fire trail ends at Otford Lookout, along the busy Lady Wakehurst Drive.

A little way up the road there is a gravel road with a sign to Otford Station. Even further is a cafe that may be open.

Follow the signs down this gravel road down to Otford Station. Mind that trains are not frequent there and the fastest connection anywhere may be from either platform.

What to bring

  • Check the national parks website for possible detours, closures and restrictions.
  • Install an OpenStreetMap app for Android or iOS and preload the area.
  • Download the GPS data if your device can import it.
  • Print out this map and get a better one from a visitor information centre if possible.
  • Be sure to leave enough charge in your phone's battery for emergency calls.
  • Bring plenty of water, comfortable shoes, a hat and SPF 30 sunscreen.
  • Also bring a light windbreaker/raincoat in case you get caught out in the rain.