A Packed Day in The Royal National Park

Nigel AbelloNigel Abello

A day trip with waterfalls, lookouts, campsites, coastal walks and spectacular views - this is your breakdown of how to tackle the Royal National Park.

Start your day off the right way. Wake up bright and early at 6-7am and prepare your gear. Remember you're about to spend the whole day in the Royal National Park, just south of Sydney so make sure you make the most of the day.

The night before you call your friends, see where they're at and organise between yourselves to car pool and drive down to the park. Feeling pumped for the day ahead of you, you grab a small backpack and fill it with your must-bring items:

Around 8am you get picked up by your best mates and embark on the road trip to the Royal National Park. You get in the car and realise that some of your friends haven't had breakfast yet (how typical of them yeah?) so you all decide to stop by a supermarket on the way. Soon after you notice that the stop-over is convenient because you can grab some snacks and lunch to carry whilst on your hikes in the park.

The drive only takes you just over an hour from Sydney CBD and you get to your first stop.

Audley Info Centre

Here you need to buy a car pass. Going through the national park isn't free but splitting a $12 car fee between you and your mates is nothing.

Here you check out the map and plot a journey for you all to cover in a day.

Bundeena Pier

On the drive to Bundeena, you're immersed in a wide range of fauna on the most scenic drive. Amidst the towering trees you get tiny glimpses of the coast which gets you hyped for the views you're about to see.

At Bundeena you notice this small local town in the heart of the national park. It blows your mind that these locals are able to live in this spectacular location with amazing coastal views and this local pier. Luckily for you there's a public bathroom you can use to get your hiking gear on. From the pier you make your way to the start of the coastal walk at the corner of Beachcomber Ave and Eric St.

The Balconies

Your main aim is to get to Wedding Cake rock. It's what all your friends have recommended you need to take a photo at and then upload it to Instagram. The walk there is around 4km that says around 1 hour on the map.

However, you and your friends pride yourselves on smashing that time and head down through the Balconies.

When you peer down the cliffside you can tell why they call it the Balconies for a reason.

The Waterrun

The entire coastal walk is blowing your mind. Every twist and turn seems to be an opportunity to stop and take a photo. The entire coast is so photogenic and you're lucky you chose a day with perfect weather.

The coastal walk isn't just all track. You notice it changes from walking on the sandstone, to a designated path, to rock-carved steps and then in between trees. The walk keeps you on your toes and constantly changes keeping you alert.

It's times like this that you wish you studied geology because there's so many different types of rocks and it's fascinating. You get an inclination that you're getting close to the goal because the rocks slowly start changing from a coarse reddish colour to a smooth white appearance.

Wedding Cake Rock

Alas, you make it to Wedding Cake Rock just before midday. It's fenced off but you saw so many photos on Instagram of people on the actual thing. You walk around the fence and be super quick on the unstable cliff. You get the shot for yourself and your friends and admire the beauty before you.

A solid walk for a solid view. Here you relax, have a few snacks and make memories with your mates. You're realising that time is flying by, there's still so much to do and you have to walk back to the car - so the journey continues.

You keep going and to you the walk back seemed faster than the walk there. You jump in the car and drive about 20 minutes to Wattamolla.

Wattamolla Beach

This place is out of mobile connection so it makes you feel like you're more in the wild. The car park is pretty full because you weren't the only ones with the great idea to head to the beach but it doesn't bother you.

The walk got you a bit sweaty and so everyone has been dying to jump in the water.

You jump in first and man was it worth it. The beach separates the ocean from Wattamolla creek which is a lot warmer in temperature. On the other side of the creek is Wattamolla Waterfall but at this time of year it's not the most spectacular sight you've ever seen.

Do you care that there's barely any water falling? No, not at all. You do however, see some crazy people jumping off from the waterfall which is about 20m high. Just like me, you're thinking to yourself maybe another day when I don't want to get injured.

But your mates and yourself decide to stay at Wattamolla for a few hours, have some drinks, grab some lunch and fall asleep in the midst of all the beauty.

Governor Game Lookout

You wake up from your nap and hoped for your sake that you put enough sunscreen on. It's already about 4pm and all your mates still want to find some lookouts to watch the sunset.

You all jump back in the car and drive to this little spot. It's a bloody amazing view of the coastal Tasman sea. The info board says that June and July are the best times of year to hopefully spot a whale migrating. Pity that you wanted to do this trip in summer though!

Otford Lookout

The last stop of the day is another short drive away. Lucky for you the sun is slowly setting and the rays of sunshine through the tall trees illuminates the road. The drive is mind blowing in itself but you have no idea for the view you're about to see. You're all getting tired and need something to cap off the amazing day you've had already.

This is only a snapshot of what you can achieve in one day.

This was actually my experience of going through the Royal National Park for the first time.

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Nigel Abello
Thanks for reading guys!

Nigel Abello

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