Stretching for nearly 30km along Royal National Park’s ocean shore, this coastal walk is one of the best in Sydney.
Whatever your level of experience, the Royal National Park Coastal Walk has breathtaking scenery to share. Enjoy the whole walk in two days camping at a beachside site, or break it down into smaller sections for more leisurable day walks.
Download the Coast Track Map here.
Alternative Stop A: Jibbon Head (Aboriginal Carvings)
Alternative Stop B: Shelley Beach coming soon
Alternative Stop C: Wave Rock coming soon
Alternative Stop D: Canadian cave coming soon
Stop 1: The Balconies coming soon
Stop 2: The Waterrun coming soon
Stop 3: Wedding Cake Rock
Stop 4: Wattamolla coming soon
Stop 5: Providential Point coming soon
Stop 6: Curracurrang coming soon
Stop 7: Eagle Rock
Stop 8: Little Garie Shack Community
Stop 9: Era Shack Community
Stop 10: Burning Palms coming soon
Alternative Stop E: Figure 8 Pools
Stop 11: Palm Jungle coming soon
Stop 12: Werrong Lookout coming soon
Whichever way you walk the Royal National Park coastal walk, you’ll be treated to spellbinding views and countless photo opportunities. Remember to stop, turn around and enjoy a different perspective on this unique stretch of coastline.
We prefer this as a two-day walk, starting from Bundeena, but if you’re doing it one day, then Otford may be better.
The official coastal campground is at North Era, 8km from Otford and 22km from Bundeena (Bookings essential). Either way you will have one longer, and one shorter day.
North to south, Bundeena to Otford, is probably more difficult because you end with the 200m ascent through the Palm Jungle but the views are more dramatic and revealing. It’s also nice to be in the rainforest canopy on a hot afternoon.
South to north, Otford to Bundeena, you start downhill through the Palm Jungle and finish with the relatively flat exit to Bundeena. The last section over the sandstone to Bundeena can be very hot on a summer afternoon.
If you’re hiking the Royal Coast Track over two days, there is only one place to stay: North Era campground. It’s a prime beachside location but also very basic: no vehicle access, no water source and long-drop toilets that are often at the mercy of other less-considerate campers. Check out our hiking checklist for what to take with you.
But where should you stay the night before or after the hike? Or what if you’re only walking a section of the Coast Track as a day hike (like Wedding Cake Rock)?
There are so many options that we’ve gone into detail to answer everything about accommodation near Royal National Park. Everything. Whether you want a hotel or campsite, whether you have a car or relying on public transport, and whether you’re with a big group or want a quiet weekend retreat, check out all the hotels (and more) near Royal.
The coastal walk traverses seven of Sydney’s most pristine beaches, with short detours to several others.
Swimming is possible at the unpatrolled Little Marley Beach and at Wattamolla (which has a protected lagoon as well as oceanside beach).
Further south, Garie Beach, North Era and Burning Palms are patrolled by volunteer lifesavers on weekends and school holidays.
There’s the usual seashore fare of cuttlefish bones, colourful shells and lots of seaweed. In season you may also find shark eggs or even pumice from New Zealand washed up on the beach. If you’re really lucky you might find a message in a bottle.
The Coast Track in Royal National Park includes habitats as diverse as hardy sandstone heath to lush littoral rainforest. Banksia, grass trees and westringia abound in the north, and cabbage tree palms and figs in the south. Wildflowers give a superb colour display in winter along the track north of Garie Beach.
Wattlebirds, honeyeaters and whip birds welcome you all year round and Wedge-tailed and White-Bellied Eagles are also a common sight on the coast track.
Echidna and swamp wallaby are the most seen native mammals but don’t be surprised if you see a big Rusa Deer on the track at dusk. Whale watching is an added bonus between May and November.
Background image: Marc Anderson Photography
“Sensational with spectacular views. We watched whales with their calves whilst enjoying a fresh, healthy lunch in the shade of an overhanging sandstone ledge – truly an experience to tick off the bucket list.”
“Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable, and took his time to identify the birds, the flora, the trees, and tie them to Australian history or Aboriginal culture. Sydney Coast Walks are serious about their craft but make the tour light and fun. I can’t recommend this enough!”
“This is a great way to spend a day outdoors, with amazing scenery and a guide who knows what he’s talking about and really cares for the area and its heritage as well as his walkers. If you have only one day to spend outdoors in Sydney, skip the Blue Mountains and do a Sydney coast walk.”
The Coast Track Map
Easy-to-read PDF map
All the stories and track notes – at your leisure!