The Coastal Track – Wattamolla to Otford

Walk Highlights

The Coastal Track – Wattamolla to Otford
  • Distance: 15 km
  • Time: 4 hours
  • Location: Royal National Park, Sydney
  • Facilities: Toilets, showers, kiosk at Wattamolla
  • Getting There: You can drive to Wattamolla from the entrance to the Royal National Park
  • Highlights: Rugged coastal lookouts, wide, open beaches

Walking Track Description

Part two of the  Bundeena to Otford coastal track includes a camping stop at North Era Beach (since the closure of the camping facilities at Wattamolla). If you’ve walked from Bundeena to Wattamolla then this is a great place for lunch or a well-deserved rest, even a swim in the river or at the beach.

Leaving Wattamolla carpark head south for roughly 1km to Curracurrang Cove and Curracurrang Creek, which should be flowing year round. Stone middens in the cove are evidence of previous Aboriginal settlement. Continue south about 2kms to photogenic Eagle Rock and Eagle Lookout, which (in silhouette) does actually look a lot like an eagle!

From Eagle Rock continue on to Garie Beach and the famous Garie Beach YHA, basically a cabin that can sleep 12.  The YHA is always a popular with backpackers so it pays to book your bed well in advance if you don’t want to miss out. IT costs less than $20 per night, details from 02 9261 1111.

Garie Beach is as popular with surfers and picnickers, as it is accessible by car and is generally patrolled by surf lifesavers from the local surf lifesaving club. From Garie beach continue south to Little Garie Beach and finally to the North Era camping ground.

If you have walked the coastal track from Bundeeda, you have covered roughly 18km at this point, so enjoy your night’s sleep!  For information on camping at North Era beach contact the NPWS on 02 9542 068.

Assuming one camps at North Era, day two of the walk is a much easier prospect – Otford train station is just 7km away, so you can spend some time enjoying the beaches at North Era, Garie Beach and Burning Palms.

The walk continues south for about 2kms where it arrives at the local ranger’s hut and Burning Palms beach, another famous surf beach. The track then moves away from the beach and into the Palm Jungle, before opening to grasslands.

Heading slowly away from the open coastal terrain, the track now moves through denser bush and ferns, as it climbs towards Otford lookout and ultimately Otford train station.

Walking Trail Map

(Start at red marker)

Weather Forecast (Cronulla)

More Walks in New South Wales, Sydney

  • Govetts Leap Falls (Bridal Veil Falls)
  • Fitzroy Falls
  • Lake Parramatta
  • Euroka to the Nepean River, Glenbrook
  • Uloola Track (Heathcote to Waterfall)
  • 11 Responses to “The Coastal Track – Wattamolla to Otford”

    1. Anonymous | 1/11/10

      it is quite sad that most train stations these days are horrendously overloaded :

    2. Anonymous | 25/01/11

      ;.` I am very thankful to this topic because it really gives useful information ::-

    3. Anonymous | 7/02/11

      -,* that seems to be a great topic, i really love it :;~

    4. Alex | 20/11/11

      Without carrying camping equipment (just water and a camera), do you think this track is doable in one day?

      Thanks!

    5. admin | 21/11/11

      Hi Alex, Yes, You can definitely walk the track (or half the track, return) in a day, though it’s a much longer walk so carry plenty of water.

    6. Michael | 26/02/12

      Shortly after walking past the Ranger’s hut, at about 5km mark before Otford lookout, the track crosses a grassy hill, before entering the Palms Jungle. Unfortunately there is not a single signpost indicating where the path actually enters the forest. There are a few small paths crossing that hill, and it is very easy to lose your bearings, and enter the forest in a wrong place. Took us a while to realize that we are on a wrong trek, had to climb up the hill through mud and dense vegetation, till (quite fortunately) found the trek about 100m up the slope. Can’t give you any advice, except that the path is very distinct, and if at some point you doubt whether it is a correct path or not, then most likely it is not.
      And, of course, a signpost would be absolutely necessary to have there.

    7. Michael | 29/11/12

      Are you able to camp elsewhere along the track without a license if North Era is fully booked already…?

    8. admin | 29/11/12

      Hi Michael, I haven’t done the walk in the last 12 months, so I’d recommend you check with the Royal National Park Office – Phone: 02 9542 0648

    9. Gary welsh | 1/09/13

      Did Wattamolla to Ottford yesterday. Took 7 hrs. We are experienced walkers, having walked Camino 2 yrs ago. This walk is not as easy as indicated. Lots of steps & very steep hills. Ensure you have enough water & fitness is good. Signage is ordinary in parts.

    10. Kal | 22/01/14

      Hi, the bit from Wottamolla to Garie beach, is that too difficult for a 60 year old reasonably fit man. Dad and I have done the bit from Wottamolla to Curracorang cove couple of years ago. Want to try all way to Otford, but after what Gary Welsh has said above I am inclined to do it up to Garie beach.

    11. Tyler | 2/05/15

      The walk from Bundeena to Otford can be done comfortably in a day, depending on fitness. The last push from Garie to Otford is steep in places, particularly after 24ks! it can be done in 7.5 hours if you move fast and with few breaks.

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