8 Beaches to Visit in the Royal National Park

Last updated: April 19, 2021

The Royal National Park just south of Sydney is Australia’s oldest and the world’s second oldest national park.

From lookout points and waterfalls, to walking tracks and natural swimming pools, this 15,000 hectares large park truly has something for everyone.

But given its location along Sydney’s south coast, the Royal National Park is also home to a great variety of stunning beaches.

8 Royal National Park Beaches

Here are 8 beautiful, and mostly isolated, beaches in the Royal National Park, plus detailed information on how to get there.

With the exception of Horderns Beach and Jibbon Beach in Bundeena, all beaches along the east coast are accessible via (sections of) the Coast Track.

1. Jibbon Beach

Situated next to Bundeena village, Jibbon Beach is a beautiful 700 metres long strip of sand facing the waters of Port Hacking.

Swimming is great at Jibbon Beach, but be mindful that it can get very windy in this area. The water also gets quite deep a few meters out, which is why there are often lots of boats anchored at Jibbon Beach on sunny days.

Jibbon Beach
Jibbon Beach

Nearby Jibbon Beach, towards Port Hacking Point and Jibbon Head is an Aboriginal engravings site with a large boardwalk and viewing platform.

Dating back 2,000 years, the Jibbon Engravings are an impressive display of respect the Tharawal people had for the land as well as for the animals they shared the land with.

How to get there?
Jibbon Beach is located next to Bundeena which is easily accessible by car. Alternatively, a private ferry service links Bundeena with Cronulla. Jibbon Beach is a short walk away from the ferry wharf (map).

2. Horderns Beach

Located west of the ferry wharf, Horderns Beach is the second major beach in the Bundeena area in the northern part of the Royal National Park.

Horderns Beach in Bundeena
Horderns Beach

Horderns Beach is also a popular dog-friendly beach, with designated on and off leash times. Check the Sutherland Shire Council website for more information.

How to get there?
Similar to Jibbon Beach, the best way to get to Horderns Beach is by driving to Bundeena. Or otherwise catch a ferry from Cronulla (map).

3. Wattamolla Beach

Wattamolla Beach, with its lagoon, waterfall and picnic area, is a beautiful, isolated spot in the Royal National Park, perfect for a relaxing day out and about.

Wattamolla Beach
Wattamolla Beach

To reach the actual beach from the car park, simply follow the boardwalk that runs parallel to the lagoon. It’s a short 350 metre bushwalk that goes all the way to the south end of the beach.

With the ocean in front of you and the lagoon and waterfall behind you, Wattamolla Beach does look a bit like a a small piece of paradise.

How to get there?
in the Royal National Park, turn into Wattamolla Road from Sir Bertram Stevens Drive and continue to the parking areas (map).

4. Marley Beach

Situated between Bundeena and Wattamolla, Marley Beach is an unpatrolled beach in the upper Royal National Park.

Also known as Big Marley Beach, this isolated strip of sand is considered hazardous, with both surfing and swimming not recommended by Surf Live Saving Australia.

Big Marley Beach in Royal National Park
Big Marley Beach

The scenery however, with expansive sand dunes that lie behind the beach, makes a visit to Marley Beach very much worthwhile. A few hundred metres further south is Little Marley Beach, which is also worth a visit.

How to get there?
Marley Beach can be accessed via the 8km return walk from Bundeena Drive (map). Alternatively, Marley Beach can also be accessed via the Bundeena to Wedding Cake Rock walking track.

5. Era Beach

Era Beach essentially consists of two beaches, with North Era Beach being the smallest of the two.

North Era Beach is mostly known for the North Era campground, a popular camping spot for hikers conquering the Coast Track from Bundeena to Otford.

Era Beach in Royal National Park
Era Beach

Just like most other beaches in the Royal National Park, Era Beach is unpatrolled. The beach is great for surfing, but somewhat hazardous for swimmers.

How to get there?
Era Beach can be reached via a walking track starting from Garrawarra Road (map).

6. Garie Beach

Patrolled by its own Surf Life Saving Club, Garie Beach is a popular surf beach with dedicated parking and other facilities.

Garie Beach in Royal National Park
Garie Beach

Swimming at Garie Beach can be hazardous, and it’s strongly recommended to always swim between the flags to avoid getting caught in rips.

How to get there?
Garie Beach is accessible via Garie Road, off Sir Bertram Stevens Drive, and has its own carpark (map).

7. Burning Palms Beach

Situated between Era Beach and the Figure 8 Pools, Burning Palms Beach is another popular surf beach patrolled by its own Surf Life Saving Club.

Burning Palms Beach in Royal National Park
Burning Palms Beach

The beach has a permanent rip at the northern end, and the safest area to swim in is usually in the middle of the beach.

How to get there?
The beach can be accessed via a track starting at the Garawarra Farm car park (map).

8. Werrong Beach

Located at the southern end of the Royal National Park, close to Otford, Werrong Beach is perhaps the most remote and most secluded beach included in this list.

Werrong Beach in Royal National Park
Werrong Beach

Also known as “hell hole”, Werrong Beach is in fact an official nude beach, with swimming not permitted due to the strong rips and currents that are always present.

How to get there?
Werrong Beach is accessible via a steep track starting at the Otford Lookout (map).

Keen to find more beaches without the big crowds? Check out our list of quiet beaches in and around Sydney!

8 Beautiful beaches in Royal National Park

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