Bonnie Vale picnic area

Royal National Park

Affected by closures, check current alerts 

Overview

For a great day of swimming, kayaking, or fishing in the waters of Port Hacking, take the family to Bonnie Vale picnic area in Royal National Park, near Bundeena.

Type
Picnic areas
Where
2 Sea Breeze Lane, Bonnie Vale, NSW, 2232 - in Royal National Park in Sydney and surrounds, South Coast
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
Opening times

Open 7am to 8.30pm daily.

What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note

Camping at the picnic area is prohibited and people camping or staying overnight with campervans will receive a fine.

For a great day of water-based fun for all the family, pack the car and make your way to Bonnie Vale picnic area. The kids will love swimming and liloing in the tranquil waters of Cabbage Tree Basin.

For more adventure, hire a kayak, a canoe, or stand-up paddleboard from Bundeena Kayaks and paddle the beautiful waterways of Port Hacking, near Bundeena. There’s also great fishing if you take a walk over to nearby Jibbon Beach.

After all that activity, relax at the picnic tables under the trees and cook up some lunch on the gas barbecues. 

If you'd prefer to take public transport, the ferry from Cronulla to Bundeena is an attraction in it's own right and one of the nicest ways to get out on the water. Located just over an hour from the centre of Sydney, Bonnie Vale picnic area will make you feel like you're a world away from the busy city.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Also see

  • An aerial view of Bonnie Vale campground and parking in Royal National Park. Photo: Andrew Elliot © DPE

    Bonnie Vale campground

    Bonnie Vale campground offers powered and unpowered sites suitable for tents, trailers, and caravans, making it a fantastic place for beach camping south of Sydney. 

Map


Map legend

Map legend

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/picnic-areas/bonnie-vale-picnic-area/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about the Bonnie Vale picnic area.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Bonnie Vale picnic area is in the Bundeena area of Royal National Park.

    To drive there from Audley:

    • Drive across Audley Weir and continue along Sir Bertram Stevens Drive for approximately 10km
    • Turn left onto Bundeena Drive and continue to Bundeena township
    • As you enter the town, turn left onto Sea Breeze Lane and follow the signs.

    Road quality

    • Sealed roads

    Vehicle access

    • 2WD vehicles

    Weather restrictions

    • All weather

    Parking

    Parking is available at Bonnie Vale picnic area. Think about car pooling as visitor numbers in these areas often exceed available parking.

    Ferry

    • Take a train to Cronulla, then walk for 5 minutes to Cronulla ferry wharf.
    • Take the ferry from Cronulla wharf to Bundeena wharf.
    • When you arrive at Bundeena wharf you'll see a map showing you the route to walk to Bonnie Vale picnic area, which takes about 15 minutes.

    Best times to visit

     

    Summer

    Escape the crowds at Sydney's popular beaches and venture south to Bundeena's Bonnie Vale picnic area. It's a terrific spot for swimming and kayaking, with Cabbage Tree Basin just behind the picnic area.

    Bundeena is an ideal place to stop at a cafe and refuel before setting out on a bushwalk to Jibbon Head, or even further along The Coast Track.

    Facilities

    Toilets

    • Flush toilets

    Picnic tables

    Barbecue facilities

    • Gas/electric barbecues (free)

    Carpark

    Drinking water

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    Beach safety

    Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents. These beach safety tips will help you and your family stay safe in the water.

    Fishing safety

    Fishing from a boat, the beach or by the river is a popular activity for many national park visitors. If you’re planning a day out fishing, check out these fishing safety tips.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    River and lake safety

    The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

    Permitted

    Gas and solid fuel burners are permitted.

    Fishing

    A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.

    Prohibited

    Wood or camp fires are prohibited.

    Camping


    Camping or overnight stays are also prohibited.

    Drones

    Flying recreational drones is not permitted because this park is located within 5.5km of an airfield or helicopter landing site. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) states that drones should not be flown within 30m of vehicles, boats, buildings or people, or within 5.5km of an airfield. Drones can also impact on public enjoyment and privacy, interfere with park operations, and may pose a threat to wildlife in some areas.

    Please contact the park office for consent if you wish to fly a drone for commercial filming or photography purposes. For more information, see the Drones in Parks policy.

    Pets

    Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Visitor centre

    Learn more

    Bonnie Vale picnic area is in Royal National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    A date with history

    Audley Visitor Centre, Royal National Park. Photo: Andy Richards

    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.

    • Couranga walking track Vivid wildflowers pepper this medium walking track near Waterfall. Only an hour from Sydney, it offers several picnic spots and birdwatching opportunities.
    • Lady Carrington Drive This historic cycling track near Audley and a short drive from Sydney follows the river and offers birdwatching, pretty picnic areas and history to explore.

    A place to get active

    Coastal walk, Royal National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    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). 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.

    • Audley boatshed Hire a kayak and spend a few relaxed hours paddling up Kangaroo Creek from Audley Boatshed in Royal National Park, near Loftus.
    • Bundeena Drive to Marley walk This rewarding walk from Bundeena Drive to Little Marley Beach leads through heath, past fresh water pools and creeks, and on to scenic beach views in Royal National Park.
    • Bush playgroup activities in Sydney’s south Join Bush Play School for a day of creativity in Sydney’s south. Their nature play activities are a great way for kids to learn about the world around them.
    • Garie Beach picnic area A perfect day out, Garie Beach is a wonderful place to enjoy a picnic and is great for swimming, whale watching, fishing, surfing and walking options.
    • Kayak tours of Bundeena and Royal National Park Paddle the waterways of Bundeena and Royal National Park on a guided kayak tour with Bundeena Kayaks. It’s an unforgettable way to explore this beautiful stretch of coastline, just an hour south of Sydney.
    • The Coast track fitness adventures for women Hike The Coast track and immerse yourself in the beauty of Royal National Park with Women’s Fitness Adventures. Enjoy coastal views and the company of a supportive group of women on this 4-day trek.
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    Exceptional environments

    Rocky cliffs dropping off into the ocean, Royal National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    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.

    • Bundeena to Wattamolla guided coastal walks Delight your senses on this coastal adventure run by M8 Explorer. With their knowledgeable and safety-conscious guides, explore beautiful coastline on a 4hr hike in the Royal National Park, beginning and ending with stops for delicious meals.  
    • Curra Moors loop track A challenging walk through heath and waterfalls, the Curra Moors loop track offers scenic sandstone cliff and coastal views, waterfalls and great birdwatching.
    • Figure Eight Pools adventure with M8 Explorer Awaken your inner explorer with an exciting tour of Figure Eight Pools in Royal National Park. Start with a paddle down the Hacking River before trekking down to the pools to discover amazing rock formations, wildlife and spectacular coastal scenery.
    • Guided forest therapy walk in Royal National Park Slow down and de-stress in Sydney’s beautiful Royal National Park on this guided forest therapy walk with Nature Being Australia.
    • Palm Jungle loop track A challenging yet spectacular walk, Palm Jungle loop track takes in rainforest, cliff tops, beaches and scenic coastal views in Royal National Park, near Otford.
    • Places are similar and different Explore the features of different places and environments on this Stage 2 (Years 3-4) geography excursion with Ranger Jamie Tours. Observe the variations between bushland, sand and sea in the pristine coastal surrounds of Royal National Park.
    • Tailored tours of Royal National Park Join Sydney Nimble Tours for your own private day out in the Royal National Park. From pristine beaches to sweeping coastal vistas, these tailored experiences are a great way to escape the city and immerse yourself in nature.  
    • The Coast track The Coast track in Sydney's Royal National Park is an epic multi-day walk between Bundeena and Otford. Enjoy incredible coastal lookouts, swimming spots, seasonal wildflowers and whale watching along this challenging 26km track.
    • The Coast Track and Figure Eight Pools experience Join award-winning Emu Trekkers on The Coast Track in the Royal National Park, near Sydney. You’ll experience stunning views and have the chance to safely visit the Figure Eight Pools if the weather conditions permit.
    • The Coast track fitness adventures for women Hike The Coast track and immerse yourself in the beauty of Royal National Park with Women’s Fitness Adventures. Enjoy coastal views and the company of a supportive group of women on this 4-day trek.
    • The Coast track overnight hikes for youth Hike The Coast track in Royal National Park on an overnight trip with Ausjourney. Reconnect with nature and learn transferrable life skills on this trek for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
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    Home to the feathered and furry

    A flower blooming,  Royal National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    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.

    • Biophysical interactions at Wattamolla Senior students will hone their fieldwork skills in this Stage 6 (Years 11-12) Geography excursion at Wattamolla. Located in Royal National Park, Wattamolla offers students a complex site to study biophysical interactions. 
    • Birds of Providential Point self-guided audio tour Discover native birdlife on this scenic self-guided audio tour to beautiful Providential Point in Royal National Park. You’ll walk through sun-dappled coastal forest and grassy glades as you learn about local birds and hear their calls.
    • Couranga walking track Vivid wildflowers pepper this medium walking track near Waterfall. Only an hour from Sydney, it offers several picnic spots and birdwatching opportunities.
    • Figure Eight Pools adventure with M8 Explorer Awaken your inner explorer with an exciting tour of Figure Eight Pools in Royal National Park. Start with a paddle down the Hacking River before trekking down to the pools to discover amazing rock formations, wildlife and spectacular coastal scenery.
    • Forest path Forest path is an easy walk in Royal National Park. It's great for kids and just 1 hour south of Sydney. Wander through cabbage tree palms and Gymea lilies on the path beside Bola Creek and the Hacking River.
    • Guided forest therapy walk in Royal National Park Slow down and de-stress in Sydney’s beautiful Royal National Park on this guided forest therapy walk with Nature Being Australia.
    • Kids nature discovery tour in Royal National Park Embark on an exciting treasure hunt in Royal National Park with Aussie Wild Nature Discovery. The guided nature play activity is a great way for kids to learn about the magic of the bush.
    • Living world wet and dry environments Come and explore the Living World with us on this Stage 1 (Years 1-2) Science and Technology at Bonnie Vale in the Royal National Park. Students will explore both wet and dry environments and learn the importance of plant and animal habitat.
    • Living world WildTracker at Audley Join us on a WildTracker Science and Technology excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students at Audley in the Royal National Park. We'll don our detective hats and investigate, explore and analyse the natural environment, identify and group species, and discover the key elements that make up quality habitat for native plants and animals.
    • Places are similar and different Explore the features of different places and environments on this Stage 2 (Years 3-4) geography excursion with Ranger Jamie Tours. Observe the variations between bushland, sand and sea in the pristine coastal surrounds of Royal National Park.
    • Tailored tours of Royal National Park Join Sydney Nimble Tours for your own private day out in the Royal National Park. From pristine beaches to sweeping coastal vistas, these tailored experiences are a great way to escape the city and immerse yourself in nature.  
    • The Coast Track and Figure Eight Pools experience Join award-winning Emu Trekkers on The Coast Track in the Royal National Park, near Sydney. You’ll experience stunning views and have the chance to safely visit the Figure Eight Pools if the weather conditions permit.
    • Wattamolla to Curracurrang self-guided audio tour Take a self-guided audio tour from Wattamolla Beach to the glorious oasis of Curracurrang and discover the wildlife that call this place home. As you walk, keep your eyes peeled for the places where animals scamper, flutter and swim in this rugged landscape.
    • WildThings at Audley Discover 'wild things' on this Stage 1 (Years 1-2) science and technology excursion. We'll explore the beautiful natural environment at Audley, and examine the diverse life found there. Interacting with the living world has never been more fun.
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    Plants and animals protected in this park

    Animals

    • Five pelicans stand at the beach shore in Bundjalung National Park as the sun rises. Photo: Nick Cubbin © DPE

      Australian pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus)

      The curious pelican is Australia’s largest flying bird and has the longest bill of any bird in the world. These Australian birds are found throughout Australian waterways and the pelican uses its throat pouch to trawl for fish. Pelicans breed all year round, congregating in large colonies on secluded beaches and islands.

    Plants

    • Close up photo of a waratah flower, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Simone Cottrell/OEH.

      Waratah (Telopea speciosissima)

      The beautiful waratah is not only the NSW floral emblem, it's also one of the best-known Australian native plants. This iconic Australian bush flower can be found on sandstone ridges around Sydney, in nearby mountain ranges and on the NSW South Coast. The waratah has a vibrant crimson flowerhead, measuring up to 15cm across, and blossoms in spring.

    • Cabbage tree palm in Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer/OEH

      Cabbage palm (Livistona australis)

      With glossy green leaves spanning 3-4m in length and a trunk reaching a height of up to 30m, the cabbage tree palm, or fan palm, is one of the tallest Australian native plants. Thriving in rainforest margins along the east coast of NSW, in summer this giant palm produces striking spikes of cream flowers which resemble cabbages.

    • Gymea lily. Photo: Simone Cottrell

      Gymea lily (Doryanthes excelsa)

      The magnificent Gymea lily is one of the most unusual Australian native plants, found only along the coast and surrounding bushland of the Sydney Basin, from Newcastle to Wollongong. In spring this giant lily shoots out spectacular red flowers that can reach heights of 2-4m.

    • Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

      Grass tree (Xanthorrea spp.)

      An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    School excursions (12)