Planning a day trip to Royal National Park Sydney? (read these tips!)


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Planning a day trip to the Royal National park from Sydney will be challenging for a first-time traveler. There may be a lot of questions that pops into your mind such as what are the best things to do, how to get there, ae there any guided tours available from Sydney to Royal National Park, and the list will be endless. Hence, we as Sydney Private Tours thought of share some of the tips from our experience of traveling to this world-famous National Park as a sightseeing tour provider in Sydney.

Why it is important to visit the Royal National Park?

It is a protected national park and the second oldest national park after the Yellowstone National Park in Idaho, US. The park covers a variety of features which include stunning beaches, bush walks, and hidden swimming holes. Figure 8 is one of the popular swimming holes and will talk about it later in this article. Do you know that Royal National park is one of the spots in Sydney to sight Humpback whales? Stay tunes and will give more info on this. For me, a weekend at Royal National Park is a replacement for a fitness pass. If you love epic bush walks, this park offers plenty.

Credits to NSW National Parks

How to get to Royal National Park Sydney?

Here we discussed getting to the park by self-drive, public transport and available tours.

Sydney to Royal National Park train

There are two ways you can get to the park with the use of public transport. The first option is, catching the Illawarra Line from Central and get off from Cronulla. From Cronulla take a ferry to Bundeena and follow the foot trail. The second option to getting to the Royal National Park from the train is to reach to Loftus, Engadine, Heathcote, Waterfall, or Otford, and then through the walking path and into the park.

Sydney to Royal National Park self-drive

If you are driving, you can enter the park via Farnell Avenue or Lady Wakehurst Drive or McKell Avenue. If you are outbound from Sydney, take off at Farnell Avenue. Take the Otford entry point if you are driving from Wollongong. Park can be accessed by a 2wd vehicle, however, there is a park entry fee of 12$ per car. You can purchase a ticket from available ticket booths from Wattamolla or Garie Beach.

Royal National Park Sydney day trips and tours

Sydney has been a popular tourist destination in Australia, there are many tours goes to major tourist attractions such as the Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley for wine tasting. However, there is only a few tour operators conduct guided tours to Royal National Park Sydney. Moreover, mostly you have to book a private tour operator if you are seeking an authentic and flexible itinerary.

Royal National Park Weather 

When planning a trip to the Royal National Park Sydney, you should have an idea about its climate. No one likes to be overdressed or underdressed in a tour. No one wants to get wet or get sunburns when they are on a trip. Yes, it is all very understandable. This is why we have brought you all the details about the weather of the place before you go on that Royal National Park day trip.

Royal National Park offers you pleasant weather that is best for barbecues, fishing, bushwalking, birdwatching, and even whale watching. In the summer, the maximum daily temperatures would be around 26C — the night time temperatures in the summer range between 15.9C and 17.6C. 

In winter (June to August), the average temperatures in the park, range between 6C to 17C. The daytime will be no hotter than about 17.2C, while the night could be as cold as 6.6C.

The nights in the park are naturally cold, but the winds make it even colder. It is the same as the day time as well. Therefore, it is always the best to be prepared if you are planning on a Royal National Park day trip in the winter.

The park is the wettest in March, so if you are planning a trip in March – beware of the rains too!

Best time to visit Royal National Park in Sydney

Visiting the Royal National Park in Sydney should not be a hard task. There are no restrictions on the time that you can visit the park, or you should visit the park. Well, Sydney offers a range of climates every season, but they are all mild. Therefore, you can visit the park at whatever time you are free!

The summer (December to March) is, however, the perfect time to plan your Royal National Park day trip. The ocean is warm enough for a sweet dip. The weather is warm but not too warm because the park helps you keep it nice!

But are you a person who prefers to experience extreme climates and get intense experiences? Then the winter would be a much better season for you! You can get a cold bath in the sea and have a look at the most exciting animals in the winter season too. The number of birds might be a little low, but that does not mean there are no animals to watch at all!

Things to do in Royal National Park Sydney

Figure 8 pools

Figure 8 pools

As the name stands for, a rock pool shaped of figure 8 located in Royal National Park. Firstly, we should warn you that this is not for everyone. A visit to Figure eight pool is a life risk. It is a long 6 km hike passing steep and slippery tracks. Moreover, the risk of getting the trap to high tide and there won’t be any escape for hours and hours. Despite all the warnings, yet if you want to challenge yourself, we advise checking the Risk Alerts from “National Parks NSW” website. The hike starts at Garrawarra Farm carpark and will take over 2 hours each way.

Ogle Wedding Cake Rock 

Royal National Park, Sydney

Just north of Marley Beach in the Royal National Park, you can see this sandstone structure. The wedding cake rock is very fragile and advise visitors not to step into this unstable creation of nature. From the distance, the rock resemblance a slice of cake with a white icing layer. Many visitors raising the question of why the Ogle Wedding cake rock stands with bleached white color and most other sandstones found in Sydney having copper mixed color. The answer is the percentage of iron particles in each sandstone structures and rust formation causes the color of the rock.

Whale watching Sydney

As we said in the introduction, a visit to Royal National Park from May to November offers you chances to sight Humpback whales. Take a coastal walk to the park and Bundeena is the best spot to sight fin slapping of Humpback whales.

Whale Watching Sydney

Hike into Royal National Park 

Hiking is one of the most popular activities when it comes to Royal National Park Day trips. The park has more than many walking tracks, which include coastal walks, bushwalking, and other trails. Some of popular tracks are Wattamolla to Eagle Rock, Karloo and Jibbon Beach loop. All the roads are incredibly scenic. Each walking path offers you a unique experience.

A vehicle is a better choice to reach to the park from Sydney and start your hike into the Royal National Park. A $12 park entry fee needs to pay per vehicle if you do not have a national park entry pass.

Visit Dharawal Aboriginal Engravings Site

The Dharawal Aboriginal engravings site is considered as one of the eleven best things that you can do in the park. It is located at Jibbon Head/Point at the end of the one-kilometer beach track of Bundeena. It is an easy walk from the Jibbon head and a much-visited place.

The engravings which are on a massive sandstone depict killer whales, turtles, kangaroos, and stingrays with a lawgiver. The Dharawal carvings are a perfect example of the sculptures made by the early Dharawal people of the area.

Aboriginal Engravings Site in Royal National Park
Aboriginal Engravings Site (Image from National Parks)

Dip into Karloo Pools 

The Karloo pools are one of the best natural lakes in the whole of Sydney. It is an oasis in the bush and is a group of natural rock pools. You can easily visit these pools if you were to take a short walk east from the Heathcote train station. It would be the perfect rest place in your Royal National Park day trip because you can easily swim laps, and float around in the cold water. Beware; the pool is quite deep in the middle, so stick to the rock edges if you are not a good swimmer.

Surfing at Garie Beach

Many people who love to surf come to the Royal National Park. Garie Beach is famous for surfing and is always filled with both surfers and lifesavers in the summertime. It is located about an hour’s drive. Some hikes start from either side of the coast. The place is accommodated with a car park for your convenience. The little Garie beach is located towards the south and is the home to some cabin communities since the twentieth century.

Paragliding at Stanwell Park 

If you are someone who loves adventures, you should try Paragliding at Stanwell Park. Yes, the Royal National Park day trip can be made even more exciting by going Paragliding. The Royal National Park has one of the premier flying sites in Australia. There are many gliding operators at the Stanwell tops and we recommend you check their SAFA license (Sports Aviation Federation of Australia) before your booking. Many of the paragliding services at the Stanwell Tops are safe, trustable, and offer the best service.

Sydney Paragliding
Sydney sky diving

Safe travel tips 

When discovering and exploring the Royal National Park, you should always be safe. Parks are natural environments and are therefore unpredictable. When it comes to safety, you should be careful because it is all in your hands.

It would be best if you always are careful when walking through the beaches because there can be strong rips and currents. If you are taking a bushwalking hike, always prepare your backpack with some safety gear and medicines and balms.

Be sure that you are camping in a safe zone. Do not camp in a completely deserted area; try to find other campers and stay with them. Also, be careful when cycling, fishing, and when you are doing any water activities.

Is this article inspired you? Read our article on NYE Sydney, Sydney brewery tours, amazing caves near Sydney, and Blue Mountains day trip from Sydney. If you want to book a private guide from Sydney to explore these areas, contact Sydney Top Tours via [email protected]