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Royal National Park

Important information

Alerts for Royal National Park: closed areas, upcoming closed areas

Details

Updated: 24/04/2015 04:03 PM

“Hiking along the Coastal walk in the Royal, and looking at the dramatic cliffs of this amazing national park, is one of the best ways to experience Sydney.”

Sydney’s heritage-listed Royal National Park is affectionately known to locals as the ‘Nasho’ or just ‘the Royal’. Established in 1879, it’s the world's second-oldest national park. It features unique heritage attractions, along with fascinating plants, birds and animals. Perfect for bushwalking, cycling, surfing, or picnicking, this diverse park offers everything from beaches to rainforest.

Located near Cronulla within an hour’s drive from both the Sydney CBD and Wollongong, the 16,000ha Royal National Park is like a big beautiful backyard. Whether you come for a morning jog or a week-long camping holiday, you'll discover something new each time.

Experience the annual whale migration between June and November. Find the perfect whale watching vantage point and plan your next coastal adventure at the Wild About Whales website.

Highlights
 

Why you should visit

Royal National Park is a special place, here are just some of the reasons why:

So easy to get to 
Located at Audley, just 32km from Sydney city, the park offers incredible beauty and natural diversity just minutes from the highway and train station. Spanning Port Hacking to Helensburgh, the park features multiple entry points and is well signposted, though it’s always a good idea to take a Royal National Park map.

A date with history 
When exploring Royal National Park you can see a range of Aboriginal sites and artefacts. The best way to find out more about Aboriginal cultural heritage in the park is on a tour with an Aboriginal Discovery Ranger. You might also spot one of the 80 historic remnants from the park’s Victorian-era establishment, including ornamental trees and residential remains.

Home to the feathered and furry 
Many visitors regularly spot native wildlife in the Hacking River Valley area, so keep an eye out for possums, sugar gliders and wallabies. This Sydney park is also home to a huge number of bats, amphibians and reptiles. Plus, birdwatchers are in luck – over 300 bird species have been recorded here, look out for sulphur-crested cockatoos, crimson rosellas, yellow-tailed black cockatoos and rainbow lorikeets.

A place to get active 
Who needs a gym? At Royal National Park you can hike, swim and row to your heart’s content. Hire a paddleboat from the Audley boatshed or surf the renowned Garie Beach. Jog along sandstone cliffs, attempt over 100km of walking tracks or try mountain biking the East Heathcote trails (be sure to note the ‘no sign–no ride’ policy).

Exceptional environments 
The park was one of Australia’s first areas of land set aside for conservation. In this natural haven, open ocean, sandstone cliffs and wetlands meet grassy woodland, rainforests, coastal heathland and eucalypt forests. You’ll also find some significant geological sites, including fascinating beach ridges at Cabbage Tree Basin.

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Alerts

closed areas

Aquatic weed spraying Audley 27-29 April 2015 (Ends Wednesday 29 April)

NPWS will be employing a bush regeneration company to spray aquatic weeds upstream of Audley Weir on Monday 27 April to Wednesday 29 April 2015. Signs will be erected in areas where spraying is occurring. Audley precinct picnic area, Willow Tree Flat picnic area and Allambie Flat picnic area will be closed. Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please contact NPWS Royal National Park office on (02) 9543 0632 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.
Locations affected: Currawong Flat picnic area, Ironbark Flat picnic area, Wattle Forest picnic area
Royal National Park Closures 25th and 26th April
Some areas of this park are closed due to storm and flood damage. Closed areas are:
  • Audley precinct -Currawong Flat, Fig Tree Flat and Wattle Forest Picnic Areas are closed as a result of flood damage.
  • Mountain Bike trails in the temptation creek area are closed due to large amounts of blow down and water on the trails. Fire trails in the Temptation Creek area are open.
The Royal Coast Track is open, however sections are eroded and rough. Caution is advised. Remote walking trails are open, however visitors should exercise caution as there may be fallen trees and slippery trail conditions. Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please contact NPWS Royal National Park Visitor Center on (02) 9542 0692 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines. These closures will be re-evaluated on Monday 27th April.
Locations affected: Currawong Flat picnic area, Wattle Forest picnic area
Royal National Park Coast track closures 27 April to 29 May (Ends Friday 29 May)

Royal National Park coast track between the Garawarra Ridge trail and Burning Palms may be closed due to essential maintenance work between Monday 27 April and Friday 29 May, 2015. NPWS will be undertaking essential maintenance work to replace four pedestrian bridges on the Royal Coast track between the junction of the Garawarra Ridge track and Burning Palms. The work will involve helicopter lifts to remove existing bridges and replace them. During this time the track will be closed. The work is dependent on weather and other factors, and may be scheduled at short notice. If you wish to walk the Coast track during the period between 27 April and 29 May you are asked to contact the NPWS Royal National Park Visitor Centre on (02) 9542 0648 to find out if the track is open. Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please contact the NPWS Royal area office on (02) 9542 0632 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.
Locations affected: Palm Jungle loop track, The Coast track

upcoming closed areas

Closed areas: Partial closure of Pool Flat precinct due to helicopter operations (Tuesday 5 May to Thursday 7 May)Pool Flat picnic area
Pool Flat area in Audley  is closed on Tuesday 5 May from 12.30pm to 6pm and again on Thursday 7 May from 8am to 1pm.
Visitors can still use the wharf as an access point for the visitors centre and other parts of Audley but visitors cannot remain in the Pool Flat precinct.

Getting there

 Car

From Sydney:

  • Royal National Park's main entry points are along the Princes Highway
  • Turn off the highway at either Farnell Avenue, just south of Loftus, or at McKell Avenue at Waterfall

From Wollongong:

  • You can reach the park along the Princes Highway, or via Otford, north of Stanwell Park.

For up to date traffic information we recommend people visit www.livetraffic.com.

Get driving directions

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 Opening times

Royal National National Park is open 7am to 8.30pm but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

 Fees

Vehicle entry fees

In this park, vehicle entry fees are $11 per vehicle per day.

 Close to

Royal National Park is close to:

  • Cronulla (1km by ferry)
  • Sutherland (2km)
  • Parramatta (30km)
  • Sydney (32km)
  • Wollongong (40km)

 Public transport

For information about public transport options, visit the NSW transport info website.

 Bike

Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

Weather and climate

 Visiting through the seasons

Royal National Park covers a wide range of landscapes, from open grassland to ocean-fronting clifftops. It’s a good idea to pack clothing suitable for all weather conditions – along with water, sunscreen and a map – on your visit.

Royal National Park shines in all seasons, though summer and winter each offer a few special attractions:

Summer (Dec, Jan, Feb)

  • Visit the majestic Garie Beach to surf or just relax. The beach is patrolled by surf lifesavers in summer. Plus, the panorama from Garie North Head is just amazing, so be sure to take your camera.
  • The beach at Bundeena’s Bonnie Vale is a great swimming spot, as are Jibbon, Wattamolla and Little Marley beaches. If a freshwater swim is more your thing, try Karloo Pool, Deer Pool or Curracurrang.
  • The summer holiday information has important tips to help you plan your day to Royal National Park during the busy holiday period.

Winter (Jun, Jul, Aug)

  • Winter is a great time to tackle the popular Coast track from Bundeena to Otford. Not only will you be greeted by spectacular coastal scenery, you can also see whales from the cliffs (June to August). Complete the walk in small sections or undertake the entire 26km over two days.
  • Plan a visit during spring to admire the stunning heathland wildflowers on display. Head along the Coast track or the Curra Moors Loop track or walk to Wises track to see them in bloom.

 Temperature

Summer 

  • The average temperature ranges between 16°C and 27°C
  • The area’s highest recorded temperature is 42°C (1977)

Winter

  • The average temperature ranges between 6°C and 17°C
  • The area’s lowest recorded temperature is -0.6°C (1968)

 Rainfall

  • The wettest month on average is March
  • The area's highest recorded rainfall is 254.5mm in one day

Safety

To help you enjoy your visit please plan ahead and consider the following:

  • Roads in the Royal National Park are busy on major days as visitors arrive. Traffic delays should be expected on weekends and public holidays during summer. For up to date traffic information we recommend people go to www.livetraffic.com.
  • The amount of parking available in the park is limited and on busy days there may be no place to park. We encourage people to follow us on Twitter @ROYALbusy as we’ll tweet regular updates on how full the park is throughout busy days and report on any traffic control measures if/when they are applied.

Contacts

Royal National Park Area Office

Phone: 02 9542 0632
Street address: 159 Farnell Avenue, Royal National Park, NSW
Opening hours: 9:00am-4:30pm, Monday to Friday (closed public holidays)


Royal National Park visitor centre

Phone: 02 9542 0648
Street address: 2 Lady Carrington Drive, Audley, Royal National Park, NSW
Opening hours: 8:30am-4:30pm, 7 days (closed Christmas Day)

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Wedding Cake Rock, Royal National Park. Photo: David Finnegan