About Royal National Park
One of the oldest national parks of Sydney, the Royal National Park is blessed with bushwalking trails, beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife, littoral rainforests, and ancient Aboriginal cultural heritages. Founded in the year 1879, this NSW protected piece of land accounts for a total span of 160 square kilometers. The park features multiple entry points, a scenic ferry ride operating between Cronulla and Bundeena. If you want to get the best view of the Royal National Park, participate in at least one of its nature trails. There are many – The Coast Track; Karloo Walking Track; The Lady Carrington Drive; Forest Path; Bundeena Drive; Uloola Walking Track; and Loftus Loop Trail.
The geographical aspects of the Royal National Park feature coastal cliffs that appear to be broken by inlets; high plateaus with deep river valleys; and the bushland sections. Along the coastal belt here, there are shrubs of salt-tolerant species. Park has also got its own steep river valleys featuring numerous varieties of the Eucalyptus trees. There are Port Jackson pines, banksias, orchids, Gymea lilies, hybrid species, and other grass trees. Close to the damp floors of the valley, you could mark the presence of varieties of ferns inclusive of blackbutts, coachwood, Lilli pillis, cabbage palms, and sassafras.
Not to forget a wide array of the birdlife that nestles here – black cockatoos, wrens, kookaburras, lyrebirds, whistlers, willie wagtails, wallabies, echidnas, honey bees, and wallaroos. Mud-flats and salt marshes located close to the Port Hacking River are breeding grounds for a thick cover of the mangrove trees. While the river treats you with flat-tailed sea mullet and yellowfin bream. Crabs and crustaceans are common inhabitants of the mudflats present here.
How to Reach Royal National Park
Royal National Park is situated at a distance of 22km from the Sydney Airport. Here are some travelling options for you to travel safely between the two points –
By train and bus line – Start your train journey from the Sydney International Airport and get down at the Wolli Creek Station. From here, you need to take a second train to Sutherland Station, Stand C. Once you get down, board a bus to National AV After Cranberry Station and walk for the next 37 minutes to the Royal National Park.
Overall time – 02 hours and 08 minutes
Overall expense – 1200 to 1900 INR per head
By Line Bus – Start your line bus journey from Sydney Airport, Terminal 1 International to reach the Rockdale Station, Railway St., Stand G. Once you get down, change transfer to reach Stand B and take a second line bus to Miranda Interchange, Kiora Road, Stand. From here, you need to take a bus to reach National AV Opp Kurri St. Once you get down, start walking for the next 3.5 km in the direction of your final destination – Royal National Park.
Overall time – 03 hours and 16 minutes
Overall expense - 500 to 550 INR per head
By taxi ride – Lastly, you can always prefer a taxi ride if you want to travel privately.
Overall time – 30 to 40 minutes.
Overall expense – 3000 to 4000 INR per trip
Apart from the usual options mentioned above, you can prefer to travel via the trams if you are visiting here on Sundays or public holidays.
Best Time to Visit Royal National Park
Plan your visit somewhere between the months of June and August to
be amazed by the sight of gigantic marine creatures – the whales. From oceanfront clifftops to open grasslands, you have ample of landscapes to be adored within the Royal National Park. The park is known to shine through all seasons –
Spring (September to November) – A visit to the Sydney’s Royal National Park during springs is a must if you wish to adore the landscape loaded with a wide array of wildflowers on exhibit. If you want to get the best view out of your spring excursion, head in the direction of the Curra Moors Loop Track or Coast Track to witness them fully bloom.
Summer (December to March) – If summer is your season, head towards the Garie Beach to experience surfing adventure or simply relaxing along its shore. Throughout the beach, you could witness the presence of numerous surf lifesaver patrolling.
Winter (June to August) – Winter is the best season for tackling the famous Coast track to Otford. Your eyes will be treated with spectacular coastal scenery.
What Not to Miss at Royal National Park
Confused with what to do at the Royal National Park? Here’s a list of some engaging things to do at the Royal National Park –
1. Enjoy the plethora of walking and cycling trails – The Royal National Park of Sydney is known for both its walking and cycling trails. Be a part of at least one of it and enjoy the beauty of the Royal National Park like never before. The scenic coastline and oceanic views, native wildlife, whale watching, rainforest tours are some of the exciting parts of such walking and cycling trails. Here are some of the most popular ones –
Bundeena Drive to Marley Walk – 8km
Curra Moors Loop Track – 2-day hike
Forest Path – 4.4 km loop walk
Lady Carrington Drive – 10 km shared track
Karloo Walking Track – 10 km
Uloola Walking Track – 11 km
Loftus Loop Trail – 10 km
2. Ride a ferry to Bundeena – Experience the best of nature trails by boarding a ferry ride between the Cronulla to Bundeena. To begin, you first need to reach Cronulla Station and start walking in the direction of the Marina. You will soon start to witness the presence of a small pier where you need to wait until you locate a yellow and green colored boat. Just make sure that you carry sufficient cash with you to buy your ticket. You will reach Bundeena within a 20 minute water drive.
3. Venture through the ardent cliffs within the premises of Royal National Park – You Coast Track walk is around 26 km, where you can explore small portions within 2 days. All along your way to Little Marley Beach, you have many vantage points, plenty of gorgeous spots to capture, and a mixed bag of terrains. So, even if you are an inexperienced bushwalker, you can quickly get through this walking trail.
4. Wattamolla Floating – Wattamolla Lagoon is an excellent spot for all the backpackers and the picnic enthusiasts to swim, picnic, or lay on an oversized inflatable over the water currents.
5. Try your surfing skills at the Garie Beach – Garie Beach is known for its solid right and left waves. Towards its north side, it has been blessed with good banks and is mostly crowded during winters. You can simply stroll along the shore or get a surfer’s board handy to sail through the high and low water currents.
6. Seek some refreshing time at the Marley Beach – Marley Beach is a secluded place and is known to feature some serine rock pools and a stream of freshwater and some vibrantly crashing waves. It is a pit stop destination for you while hiking all the way from the Bundeena, where you can calmly explore the impressive sand dunes.
7. Chase the water falling from a great height at the Curracurrong Falls – If you are bored with the other things to do, walk through the Wattamolla and chase the waterfalls that are located at the Curracurrong Falls. Although a bit challenging and ardent hiking adventure, every difficulty is worthy of exploring the magnificence and beauty of the falls.
Other Essential Information About Royal National Park
Location – Sir Bertram Stevens Dr, Royal National Park NSW 2233, Australia
Timings – The Royal National Park is accessible anytime between 07:00 am in the morning to 08:30 pm in the evening. However, there might be closure times as well on account of poor weather conditions or fire danger.
Entry fee – You need to pay $12 as a park entry fee per vehicle per day. You can locate the seasonal ticket counters at Garie Beach and Wattamolla. Both the ticketing counters are open to receive payments via cash and credit card facilities.
Facilities for Visitors
Here are some of the facilities available for the visitors at the Royal National Park –
1. Toilets – Audley Dance Hall Café, Bonnie Vale Picnic Area, Bonnie Vale Campground, Garie Beach Picnic Area, and Currawong Flat Picnic Area.
2. Picnic Tables – Audley Dance Hall Café, Bonnie Vale Picnic Area, Bonnie Vale Campground, Garie Beach Picnic Area, and Currawong Flat Picnic Area.
3. Barbecue Facilities – Hilltop Cottage, Bonnie Vale Picnic Area, Bonnie Vale Campground, Ironbark Flat Picnic Area, and Currawong Flat Picnic Area.
4. Café/Kiosk – Audley Dance Hall Café, Hilltop Café, Garie Beach Picnic Area, Reids Flat Cottage, and Ironbark Flat Picnic Area.
5. Drinking-Water Facility – Audley Dance Hall Café, Bonnie Vale Picnic Area, Bonnie Vale Campground, Hilltop Cottage, and Currawong Flat Picnic Area.
6. Public Phone – Audley Dance Hall Café
7. Showers – Weemalah Cottage, Bonnie Vale Campground, Reids Flat Cottage, and Hilltop Cottage.
8. Electric Powers – Reids Flat Cottage, Hilltop Cottage, and Weemalah Cottage.
Distance from Sydney Airport - The Royal National Park is located 22 km drive from the Sydney International Airport.
Walking and Cycling Trails in the Royal National Park
To explore the best views of the Royal National Park, we highly recommend you to plan on a walking or a cycling trail. Here are some of the best ones –
1. Bundeena Drive to Marley walk – This is an 8 km long return walk trail. It leads you through the heath, creeks, and freshwater ponds to give you the best scenic views of the Royal National Park. It will just take around 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete this walking trail.
2. The Coast Track – This is a 2-day hiking trail where you need to cover a one-way distance of 26 km. Acknowledged as a Grade 5 trail, this Coast Track is known both for its steep and challenging sections. This trail is best suited for experienced bushwalkers only.
3. Curra Moors Loop Track – This is a 10 km return walk track and is well-known for its challenging walk through the waterfalls and the heath. It offers a scenic view of coastal locations, sandstone cliffs, birdwatching, and waterfalls.
4. Forest Path – Forest Path is a 4.4 km long and easy hike through the Rainforests of the Royal National Park. You walk through this path will lead you through a plethora of flowers and native plants, including cabbage tree palms, eucalyptus, and casuarinas. It is suitable for walkers ranging from all fitness levels.
5. Karloo Walking Track – This is a 10 km return moderately challenging walking track leading your way through the beautiful Karloo pool, picnic spot, and a big swimming pool. You will be trespassing the Uloola Waterfalls, where you can enjoy a sumptuous lunch on the banks of the waterfall.
Highlights of Royal National Park
1. The Royal National Park was renowned as the first official national park in Australia.
2. Formally, the park was proclaimed on the 26th day of April in the year 1879.
3. In the year 2006, The Royal National Park was added to the list of the Australian National Heritages.
4. As one of the key parts of the land reform policies of NSW, Sir John Robertson laid the foundation of this park.
5. The park was renamed to its current identity in the year 1955 in honor of the tour of Queen Elizabeth.
6. The Royal National Park covers a land stretch of about 15,000 hectares of land.
7. As it is located close to the city of Sydney, it is better known as the Sydney Royal National Park.
8. As it is built across a coastal location, the park attracts visitors across the world with its bushwalking trails, camping grounds, biking trails, river rowboats, picnic grounds, and swimming holes.
9. As the park is under strict monitoring of the NSW National Park and Wildlife Services, the park is looked after by the rules enforced by the rangers of the same.
Tips before Visiting the Royal National Park
Here are some of the best tips to enjoy your visit to the Royal National Park –
1. To get through the main entrance of the Royal National Park is to get to the Princes Highway.
2. Roads in and around the Royal National Park usually tend to be busy, and it is a common phenomenon to observe traffic delays here. Check for the traffic and travelling convenience before travelling here, especially on weekends and other national holidays.
3. In case you are self-driving in your own car, you have ample parking space in and around the Royal National Park to park your vehicles. Audley Dance Hall Café, Bonnie Vale Picnic Area, Currawong Flat Picnic Area, Garie Beach Point Area, Governor Game.
Besides availing their parking facilities, you can even avail of other facilities – toilets, picnic tables, barbecue facilities, café services, drinking water facilities, public phones, showers, and electric power.
4. Carry all-season clothing with you to avoid the unexpected changes in the weather conditions. While visiting the park, you should carry enough water, sunscreen, and a roadmap to direct you through the nooks and corners of the Royal National Park.
5. Beaches within the Royal National Park may feature occasional rips and currents. Get through their beach safety tips through the website of NSW well in advance while going there. Besides the beach safety tips, you can also gain sufficient knowledge about the safety tips for bushwalking, camping, cycling, fishing, mobile, and water.
6. In case of any emergency, immediately dial 000.
7. No wood fires or campsite fires are entertained within the Royal National Park. However, you can use either a head bed cooker or gas if you can elevate it off the ground. Also, you need to take sufficient care of your cooling and placing all the residuals well within its bin.
In case there is a sudden announcement of a ban being imposed on total fire, you won’t be allowed either to lit ahead bed cooker or gas.
8. You are supposed to leave all your pets safely at your home or your place of accommodation.
9. Royal National Park is a strict non-smoking zone.