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Royal National Park

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Royal National Park - Cities, Towns and Localities
In 1879 “The National Park” was established on a modest 7,200 hectares, south of Port Hacking. It was the second national park in the world to be established, the first being Yellowstone in the USA.

Dedicated by the Government of the day, as an area specifically for rest and recreation, today it still retains a popularity with tourist and locals alike. The park’s name was changed to the “Royal National Park” following Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Australia in 1954. It comprises 16,000 hectares of spectacular scenery, from the coastal cliffs, plateau areas rich in heathlands, deep river valleys, mangroves within tidal reaches of the river, sedgelands within swamp areas and much more.
 

Rainbow LorikeetThe Royal National Park is located 29 km south of Sydney (the Audley entrance), via the Princes Hwy, turn left 2.3 km south of Sutherland. If you are coming from Liverpool (the Waterfall entrance), access is 33 km via Heathcote Road, then south on Princes Hwy to Waterfall. It is only 28 km from Wollongong, Otford entrance, via Stanwell Park.

The coastal walking track is accessible by ferry from Cronulla to Bundeena. Walk starts at eastern end, Beachcomber Rd, Bundeena. For timetable Ph: 02 9523 2990.

There are many picnic areas and walking tracks. Cycling is permitted on Lady Carrington Drive, fire trails and formed roads. Cycling is not permitted on walking tracks. You can use private craft downstream of the Audley causeway and in Port Hacking. Hire craft from the Audley boatshed may be used in kangaroo Creek and the Hacking River above the causeway. Bush and car-based camping is available in certain areas of the park.

Flora and Fauna
Due to the variety of landscape from the northern sandstone sections of the park, through the shale soils rainforest of the Garawarra Range and the coastal and swamp areas of the park, there is a diverse and complex community throughout the park. Some of the fauna include fantail cuckoos, pigeons, quails, honeyeaters, wattlebirds, wrens, silver gulls, terns, sea eagles, swamp wallaby, native rats, marsupial mice, echidna, tiger snakes, brown snakes, death adders, red-bellied black snakes. The diversity of flora include the heathlands, eucalypts, angophoras, casuarinas, grevilleas, banksias, cabbage tree palms, waratahs, bird nest ferns to name but just a few.

Aboriginal Sites
The Dharawal people lived in this area for many thousands of years. Guided tours of the Jibbon Aboriginal rock engravings sites may be arranged by Ph: 02 9542 0649 (information). Remember that all Aboriginal sites and artifacts are protected in New South Wales. Please treat them with respect.

Information can be found at the Visitor Centre or the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Information Centre

Royal NP Visitor Centre and Wildlife Shop
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Royal National Park Attractions

Wattamolla Beach
For those who had grown up in the area, when times were more innocent, and you were young and male, you can probably recall going to Wattamolla Beach, walking to the edge of the waterfall above the lagoon and without thoughts of safety, launch yourself off the cliff face and into the waters below. Such is the change in time, there is now a metal fence back from the waterfall and the cliff face.

The beach itself is reasonably protected, and the area offers good picnic and BBQ facilities. There is also shallow water for toddlers and children. For the more energetic, there is the coastal walk track back to Bundeena via Marley and Little Marley beaches or walking on to Otford by way of the beaches at Garie and Burning Palms.


 

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