Just to the south of Sydney lies the magnificent coastal cliffs, untouched beaches and native bushland of the Royal National Park. It stretches across 151 square kilometers and was the second national park to be established in the world, after Yellowstone in the United States.
Tall limestone cliffs back idyllic and secluded beaches, while hardy, salt-tolerant species dominate the coastal heathland that stretches inland. There are also small remaining areas of littoral rainforest in the “Palm Jungle” along the Coast Walk, together with large tracts of both “wet” and “dry” sclerophyll forest.
Lush valley floors provide a home for towering Australian cedar trees and large eucalyptus species, with ferns and wattles dominating the understory. There are also small tracts of temperate rainforest, characterized by iconic Port Jackson and Moreton Bay figs.
Mangroves and salt flats along the shoreline provide a feeding ground for honeyeaters, herons, egrets and spoonbills, while Sydney rock oysters and the distinctive Neptune’s necklace seaweed can be found in and around the tidal rock pools.
More than 100 kilometers of walking trails crisscross the park, together with dedicated mountain biking tracks. Follow the trail up to Bungoona Lookout for impressive views of Hacking River or take in the beautiful Uloola Falls as you trek through native displays of wildflowers. Witness the heritage listed timber boathouse at the ever-popular Audley picnic area, admire the Aboriginal rock art at Jibbon Point or head to the stunning lagoon at Wattamolla Beach, which is the perfect place to cool off during the summer heat.