Royal National Park

Highlights

  • Location: Between Bundeena in southern Sydney and Stanwell Park in northern Wollongong
  • Getting there: By road, ferry or tram
  • Things to do: Bushwalking, cycling, kayaking, swimming, surfing, fishing and camping
  • Top attractions: Beaches, ancient rock engravings, picnic areas, Hacking River and Kangaroo Creek, Forest path loop, Coast Track, Governor Game lookout, and the Grand Pacific Drive.
  • Royal National Park, Image; Tourism Wollongong
  • Wattamolla Beach, Royal National Park - Image; Dee Kramer

About the Royal National Park

One of the oldest national parks in the world, the Royal National Park is magnificent. Relax on beautiful beaches and explore wonderful bushwalking trails, discovering littoral rainforest, abundant wildlife and ancient Aboriginal heritage. You can hire row boats, and enjoy fishing and camping too.

Established in 1879, the national park spans 160 square kilometres. There are multiple entry points, including by several sealed roads, a scenic ferry ride from Cronulla to Bundeena, or a tram from the Sydney Tramway Museum in Loftus. The spectacular Grand Pacific Drive winds through the park.

Wattamolla in the Royal National Park, Image; DNSW

Near Bundeena is Bonnie Vale campground and Jibbon Head, where Aboriginal rock engravings include depictions of a whale and a sky spirit. The 26km Coast Track begins in Bundeena and weaves by secluded beaches, over sandstone escarpment and through forest to Otford, near Stanwell Park.

You’ll find many shorter trails, such as the 4.4km Forest path through enchanting rainforest. Read these bushwalking safety tips before your journey. Both Sydney Coast Walks and Life’s an Adventure lead two-day Coast Track tours. Your Sydney Guide offers full-day hiking and sightseeing options.

Stanwell Tops - Wollongong

Between May and November at Governor Game lookout, near North Era campground, you can spot migrating humpback whales. Birdwatching is popular too, with the park home to hundreds of species. Bring your mountain bike or road bike, as cycling is a great way to explore many attractions.

Some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches are in the park, including Wattamolla, Garie and Burning Palms. Another popular attraction is hiring a row boat or canoe from Audley Boatshed and paddling on Kangaroo Creek and the Hacking River. Bundeena Kayaks offers kayaking tours into the park.