The Coast Track

The Coast Track in Sydney’s Royal National Park, about an hour’s drive from the CBD, is a stunning multi-day walk between the towns of Bundeena and Otford. Discover incredible coastal views, secluded swimming spots, whale watching, seasonal wildflowers and pretty waterfalls along this challenging 26km walk.  



Fast facts

  • Distance and time: 26km one-way, can be done in about eight hours, but most hikers do it over the course of two days and camp overnight along the way. 
  • Level: Grade 5. This is a trail with steep and difficult sections and is for experienced bushwalkers only. Not suitable for wheelchair users or prams. 
  • Camping: Book ahead for North Era campground (no treated water is available on the walk), which is the only legal place for camping along the route. 
  • Top attractions: Spectacular ocean and coastline views, beautiful beaches, Wedding Cake Rock, Wattamolla Falls, scenic lookouts, native wildlife, rainforest and whale watching. 
  • You will need enough water to last through day one and enough food for two days as well as warm clothing. 
  • Dogs and domestic animals are prohibited in Royal National Park. 

> View map of The Coast Track 

Hikers on the beach, Royal National Park

Hikers on the beach, Royal National Park - Credit: John Spencer/DCCEEW

In a nutshell 

The Coast track in the Royal National Park is regarded as one of Australia's best walks. The challenging 26km trail, which stretches between Bundeena in Sydney's south and Otford – near the popular hang-gliding spot at Stanwell Park – is marked by its rugged beauty. 

The exhilarating trail takes the route of a rollercoaster: scramble up and down heather-strewn headlands, along wide sweeps of white sand, past secluded coves and rocky outcrops, across the bony spines of jagged sea cliffs, down to emerald rock pools and through carpets of colourful wildflowers. 

Bundeena to Little Marley via Deer Pool, Royal National Park

Bundeena, Royal National Park - Credit: Natasha Webb/DCCEEW

Although the route is easy to follow as it hugs the coast, you can undertake a tour of Royal National Park with Life’s an Adventure or compete in the annual Coastal Classic fun run. Those going it alone should also read up about what to expect on Sydney Coast Walks' website and brush up on bushwalking safety tips. 

The Coast track can be walked in either direction. If you begin from Bundeena you’ll end up in Otford, where you can take a train back to Sydney. To get to Bundeena, take a train from Central Station in the city centre to seaside Cronulla for a ferry across pretty Port Hacking to the charming village by the sea. 

Scenic path along The Coast Track, Bundeena

The Coast Track, Bundeena - Credit: Lisa Sturis/DCCEEW

Start exploring 

The first leg of the track is 18km from Beachcomber Avenue in Bundeena to North Era campground. The thrill of crossing the stunning sandstone cliffs at Wedding Cake Rock is matched by a refreshing dip at Little Marley Beach and a break for a picnic at pretty Wattamolla Beach, which has free barbecue facilities. 

Bathers swimming in calm lagoon by Wattamolla beach, Royal National Park

Wattamolla Beach, Royal National Park

Continue hiking south to enjoy unfurling views of the ocean from lookouts at Curracurrang Cove, Eagle Rock and Garie Beach, which has a kiosk and toilets. Lifesavers patrol Garie Beach from late September to late April. Keep an eye out for the heritage-listed beach shacks nestled in the bush, which date back to the 1930s. 

It's an 8km walk to Otford from North Era – passing by Burning Palms and the Palm Jungle along the way – with a final steep ascent through a rich tangle of sub-tropical rainforest to Otford lookout. Soak up the beauty from this vantage point where you are likely to spot humpback whales migrating along the coast between May and November. The walk from the lookout to the train station is about 30 minutes. 

This Way Walking Track Sign in the Royal National Park, Bundeena

Walking track sign on The Coast Track, Royal National Park - Credit: Peter Sherratt/DCCEEW

The Coast Track FAQs

How long is The Coast Track in the Royal National Park?

How long is The Coast Track in the Royal National Park?

The Coast Track in Sydney's Royal National Park stretches 26km between Bundeena and Otford. While it can be tackled in one day, most hikers prefer to overnight at North Era campground and do it over two days. 

Do I need to book accommodation if I plan to do the hike over two days?

Do I need to book accommodation if I plan to do the hike over two days?

Yes, you'll need to book North Era campground online if you plan to camp overnight here. It's a popular place so book well in advance, especially from October to March. 

What should I bring if I am hiking The Coast Track?

What should I bring if I am hiking The Coast Track?

Drinking water, hat, snacks, sturdy shoes, suitable clothing, sunscreen, tent, sleeping bag and raincoat. Check the NPWS Coast track webpage to plan your trip. Check the safety information, including park fire and closure alerts. 

Is there a map I can follow on my phone while hiking?

Is there a map I can follow on my phone while hiking?

Hikers can use the NPWS app and download the map for Royal National Park before you leave home. You'll be able to track your location even when you are offline and lose mobile phone reception. 

Are there entry fees for the Royal National Park?

Are there entry fees for the Royal National Park?

Yes, there are entry fees to enter the Royal National Park.  

  • $12 per vehicle per day. Payment options include Audley Visitor Centre, vehicle entry stations, pay machines and the Park’nPay app.  
  • Vehicles over 8 seats: $4.40 per adult, $2.20 per child (per day). Students on educational programs: $1.10 per student. Teachers/educational supervisors: free (1 adult per 10 students). 

Accommodation in the Royal National Park