Last updated: April 9, 2023
The 7 km return walking trail to Little Marley Beach from Wattamolla is one of the prettiest walking trails in the Royal National Park.
The first section of this easy walk meanders through a patch of scenic bushland, and the second part is on top of the cliffs following the coastline.
Keep reading to learn more about this highly enjoyable walking track, including its highlights and other nearby walks.
|Wattamolla to Little Marley Beach|
|Distance:||7 km (return)|
|Duration:||2 hours (depending on stops)|
How to Get There
The starting point of this walking track is at one of the most popular weekend destinations in the Royal National Park: Wattamolla Beach.
To get there, turn into Wattamolla Road from Sir Bertram Stevens Drive and continue to the end of that road. There are multiple car parking areas at Wattamolla, but on the weekends, it does get busy there.
Parking anywhere in the Royal National Park costs $12 per vehicle for the whole day. You can pay for your ticket at the booth on Wattamolla Road or at one of the pay machines.
The Wattamolla to Little Marley Beach walking trail is approximately 3.5 km one way. The track is well-signposted and is mostly on boardwalks, suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
In our track notes below, we are going to describe the walk along the following highlights and landmarks:
- Wattamolla Dam
- Cliff Walk
- Little Marley Beach
Here is a map of the walk to Little Marley Beach:
1. Wattamolla Dam
Once you’ve parked your car, look for the starting point of the walking trail behind the Wattamolla waterfall at the northern end of the picnic area.
At the signpost, cross over the creek (and try to keep your feet dry), and follow the walking trail heading into the bush.
After less than 1 km of walking through a patch of dense vegetation, the trail reaches Wattamolla Creek and Wattamolla Dam.
This is a beautiful spot with a large swimming pool that is formed right behind the dam, perfect for a quick swim on a warm summer’s day.
From the dam, the walking track continues mostly on a metal boardwalk heading towards the coastline.
The bush landscape along this stretch is quite pretty, with lots of colourful birds very active there as well.
2. Cliff Walk
After the intersection with the Little Marley fire trail, it’s not long before you start seeing the first glimpses of the ocean.
Once you reach the coastal cliffs, the walking track continues as a mix of metal boardwalks and natural rock surfaces.
The views of the ocean and the coastline of Royal National Park, to the north and the south, are absolutely fantastic.
There is lots of space to move around and explore the coastal cliffs, and what you’ll find is that there is always something new to see.
As the trail continues, you will see the first glimpses of (Big) Marley Beach and Little Marley Beach in the distance.
3. Little Marley Beach
Before heading down to Little Marley Beach, it’s worth exploring the headland southeast of the beach area.
The views from that headland of Marley Beach to the north and the coastal cliffs to the south are pretty amazing.
Little Marley Beach itself is quite a small strip of sand, and there aren’t usually many people around at all.
It’s a beautiful beach to go for a quiet swim, but do keep in mind that the water can be pretty rough there at times.
Once you’ve reached Little Marley Beach, you have the option to continue hiking to Big Marley Beach and beyond.
As this is part of the Coast Track, the walking trail extends all the way to Bundeena, so you can go as far as you feel like.
Between Little Marley Beach and Marley Beach, you will also find the junction with the Bundeena Drive to Marley Beach walk, which is another great trail.