Royal National Park / by Ethan Astall

It’s hard to imagine 30 kms out of the “rat race” of Sydney, you can find yourself hiking the coastline surrounded by native Australian flora and fauna and mostly have it all to yourself, the views are something pretty unreal - some of the most known highlights (aka instagram made famous) include Wedding cake rock, figure eight pools and the coast track 30 km in length stretching from Bundeena to Otford lookout; the views are surely to be fit for a king…or a Royal anyway?

We previously ventured to figure eight pools on our last trip here - adhere to the warnings of “LARGE SWELL” even if you have checked the tides or hope your iphone, runners, gym clothes and hiking bag swim better then ours did on our first date together - but never the less, these pools are everything their name implies (a rock pool shaped as a number eight) and much, more.

On this venture we decided to do the southern loop of the trail starting at Otford lookout heading deep into “palm jungle” (cue Guns n roses - welcome to the jungle) this hike will have you TREE-ted to a series of fauna starting in a eucalyptus wonderland, you trek down the hill towards the ocean, as you delve deeper into the hike, the bushland changes to a sub tropical rainforest (a real palm jungle…some would say) and then following this track through to “burning palms” (can confirm, no palms were burnt in this adventure), you can turn around and trek straight back the same way, but we opted to loop around to the Garrawarra farm and through the main track back to the trusty van - approx 14 kms of easing trekking and some of the most scenic scenery…you’ve ever seen ( Russel Coight - forgotten hero ).

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