Bushwalking The Coast Track from Otford to Bundeena in One Day

Together with 30 awesome and inspiring peeps from CrossFit Ignite, we walked 28KMs (17.3 miles) from Otford to Bundeena via the Coast Track in Royal National Park. It took nearly 8 hours, it was a stunningly gorgeous day and it was straight-up the longest I have ever continuously walked in my life. The hilarious thing is that the NSW National Park site very clearly says “You can tackle it in sections, or, if you’re super-fit, in a single day.”  So I pretty much demand that everyone refer to me as ‘super-fit’ from now because the Internet says it’s true. (Not kidding, I typed that while eating a Golden Gaytime.)

Saturday 25 June 2016: Here’s what went down! We started off in the Sydney CBD at 645am, caught a bus down to Helensburg and another bus to Otford and were merrily on the trail just before 9am. From there, it was a visual feast.

The Otford to Bundeena hike along The Coast Track starts off in a fairly dense grove of jungle.
The Otford to Bundeena hike along The Coast Track in Royal National Park starts off in a fairly dense grove of jungle. Once you navigate through and pop out in to the open, the real fun (and OMG beauty) begins.
In some parts (the least difficult!) you trek along a metal boardwalk.
In some parts (the least difficult!) you trek along a metal boardwalk. No risks of tripping – and that’s lucky because you’ll be so stunned by the views that it’s nice to keep your head up for a bit.
Coast Track field
Looking back, one of the most memorable moments of the Coast Track hike is how many different types of terrain you’ll experience. Forest. Jungle. Rock. Sand. Field. Mud. Sludge. You name it and you will be stepping in it during this journey.
Beach on Coast Track Royal National Park
One of the many gorgeous and quaint beaches we crossed during the day.
Beach shadows
Shadow people enjoying the view after the first beach was traversed. We still had so much pep in our step at this point!
Era Beach has an aboriginal shell midden sectioned off as you meander past.
Era Beach has an aboriginal shell midden sectioned off as you meander past. Quite cool to see.
Walking the the Coast Track from Otford to Bundeena in NSW Australia.
This picture pretty much sums up what the Coast Track from Otford to Bundeena in NSW Australia is all about! Challenging bushwalking against a stunning backdrop. Full stop.
Lunch break during Coast Walk
Our lunch break was relished by all! Although our fearless leader, Laura, gave us just 20 minutes before cracking that whip.
Garie Beach Royal National Park
Garie Beach is not quite the halfway point. A damn nice view, regardless!
Garie Beach from high vantage point
Garie Beach after you vertically scale the side of a hill. This is one of those pictures you take because you’re acting artistic when really you’re just trying to subtly catch your breath and pretend you’re normal.
Otford to Bundeena ocean and rock
Another view that positively did not suck during the walk.
Waterfall at Curracurrong Creek
The Curracurrong Creek draining in to the ocean makes a gorgeous little waterfall – and when the wind blows, it almost looks like the water runs back upstream.
Metal boardwalk at Coast Walk NSW
Not going to lie. After you’re on the struggle bus for a long stretch of rocky or wet terrain, seeing the edge of the metal boardwalk makes you squeal with relief.
Wattamolla Beach Royal National Park
Break #2 at Wattamolla Beach – a popular picnic and swimming area in The Royal National Park.
Rock striations Royal National Park
There are interesting striations in the rock along the upper cliffs you hike through. Best to keep your gaze down anyways so you don’t have a slip!
Metal boardwalk royal national park
More of the beloved metal boardwalk. So bouncy. So easy. Sigh.
Guideposts Royal National Park Coast Walk
In the whole hike, there were probably only two moments where you could have potentially lost the trail. It’s extremely well marked with these guideposts.
The last beach of the hike waving goodbye to us.
Final beach of the Coast Walk day
This was the view back toward the final beach. We had crossed about seven beaches over the course of the day so it was a bit sad – and also relieving! – to see it behind us.
Emerging from Coast Walk near Bundeena
Success! We emerged from the Coast Track about 2KMs from Bundeena. People were proud, tired but primarily…HUNGRY.
Bundeena Wharf
We made it Bundeena Wharf just in time to catch the 5pm ferry across to Cronulla.
Sunset at Bundeena Wharf
Sunset at Bundeena Wharf. It was just one more gorgeous sight after a day so full of natural beauty.
Bundeena Ferry to Cronulla
We boarded the Bundeena Ferry, paid our $6.40 and very much appreciated the warmth of the vessel. But yea mostly…FOOD THOUGHTS.
Thai food in Cronulla
Happily seated at a Thai restaurant in Cronulla where we had a private room. The food was wonderful. The conversation hilarious. That decor though…
Too much wine
I must admit….after hiking nearly 28KMs, I celebrated by reaching right for the red wine. I shit you not this was the final photo on my phone from the day. I think it describes my state of mind at this point quite accurately. 😉

So there you go. 28KMs of hiking over 8 hours. It was an unforgettable day filled with incredible views of the NSW coast. And you better believe that every single spasm of ankle pain, calf soreness and leg tension was worth it. Can’t wait to do it all over again! Eventually. Like, a while from now. Maybe 2017 or so. Raincheck – 2018? 😉

Thanks for reading, poodles! XOXO -JW





One comment

Submit a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s