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Cronulla to Wattamolla

Cronulla to Wattamolla
Home > Diaries > 2022 > 1027


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0 - 77m ASL


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THE MORNING dawned sunny as I left the city centre catching the same train I had taken yesterday back to Cronulla.

Upon arriving at the station, I followed the path down to a tunnel under the railway line and continued down to the Cronulla Wharf from where I caught a small ferry heading across Port Hacking past the headlands with houses on them to Bundeena Beach. Upon arriving at the wharf, I followed a couple of roads a kilometre or two to the entrance of the Royal National Park at the start of the Wedding Cake Rock Trail.

I followed the trail a short distance turning off to the left to follow Jibbon Track through the scrubby bush and heathland undulating over the sandy hills. At one point I finally reached a junction with one track to Jibbon Beach and the other to Shelly Beach. I took the left track heading over a low rise through the open forest to a gate back at the edge of the national park, which I passed through and a couple of minutes later reached the golden sandy beach. Looking left the far end of the beach had houses at the end of Bundeena, and looking right I saw the track heading off the beach nearby. Passing a few people on this crowded beach, I reached the rough trail and climbed up it to follow the track around the headland towards Port Hacking Point.

The track initially followed close to the coast before heading into the bush to a clearing with some new Aboriginal sculptures called The Arrival of the Dharawal. After exploring this clearing, I continued along the track to a platform over an exposed area of rock with some animals carved into it by the Aboriginal people a few hundred years ago.

From the carvings I returned to the track and continued hiking along the coast reaching Little Jibbon Beach, just a small patch of sand between the rocks. From here the track continued into the scrub continuing around Port Hacking Point and through the bush until reaching Shelly Beach. Here I rested for a while watching the ocean waves break on the sand and rocky headlands on either side.

From the beach I climbed up to the track and followed it over the scrubby dunes until eventually reaching the Wedding Cake Rock Track which I followed southward. This is the northern end of the two day Royal National Park Coastal Track, the final leg of this coastal track.

The track reached the coast at the top of a moderately high cliff. From here it left the bush to go over the flat pancake white rocks alternating with plastic boardwalk through heathland, and sometimes over stepping stones crossing small dark creeks flowing over the rocks. This part of the track was quite busy with a lot of people.

After two kilometres of following the coast I reached a particularly white patch of exposed rock with its outer end fenced off by a high fence. Exploring this for a while I realised this was Wedding Cake Rock, famous for lots of selfies being taken here, but now fenced off due to a ten centimetre crack separating the rock from the rest of the cliff. The crack was gradually widening with a risk of the rock falling off the cliff at any time. The fence was built to prevent anyone going over with the rock to fall about forty metres to a certain death. The famous rock was still standing though and it looked quite small, but very impressive with its white layers looking just like a wedding cake.

From Wedding Cake Rock, I continued following the track along the coast behind the cliffs following the boardwalk through the low heath up to Marley Point. From the top of the rocky point, the track descended gradually to the very pretty Marley Beach. A dark estuary was held back by the golden beach sand and the beach itself swept nearly a kilometre to another headland. There were only a few people on this relatively remote ocean beach.

After resting on the beach, I followed the boardwalk trail around the next headland dropping to Little Marley Beach and crossing the sand before the track headed inland over the next headland over boardwalk along low heath and scrub. Eventually the track begain descending to a stream and dam where people were swimming. Once across the stream the track continued descending before reaching Wattamolla Beach. The beach was quite crowded with its beautiful lagoon sweeping behind the beach passing a cliff of exposed rock over which the creek I crossed earlier tumbled over as a waterfall.

I had arrived here about an hour before the shuttle I had booked was due to arrive, so I continued along the track to the headland at the end of the beach, before climbing a lot of stairs up to the rocky top, then descending back to the car park before I caught the shuttle back to the train station, and taking the Illawarra line back to the city centre.


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