Last updated: July 18, 2022
Discover Wattamolla Beach in Royal National Park, home to a beautiful lagoon, a secluded beach, a pretty waterfall, and a large picnic area.
Wattamolla is a beautiful secluded spot in the Royal National Park, perfect for a relaxing day out and about. Located only 50 kilometres south of the Sydney CBD, Wattamolla Beach has slowly turned into one of Sydney’s most popular weekend and day trip destinations.
In this article, we’re going to dive a little deeper into all the beautiful things you can see and do in Wattamolla.
How to Get There
Once in the Royal National Park, turn into Wattamolla Road from Sir Bertram Stevens Drive and follow all the way to the end where the Wattamolla Beach parking areas are (see map location).
While there is lots of parking available, be mindful that summer days tend to get very busy so it’s strongly recommended to try and get there a bit early, or otherwise, come on a weekday.
From the parking area, it’s only 400 metres to the beach and only a short stroll to the falls, the lagoon and the picnic area.
Wattamolla Beach, and the Royal National Park, are open between the hours of 7:00 AM and 8:30 PM daily. There is a $12 vehicle entrance fee to the Royal National Park, which can be paid either at the booth where you access the park or at one of the ticket machines.
Map of Wattamolla
The below map gives you an impression of the Wattamolla Beach area, with the following highlights marked:
- Wattamolla Falls
- Wattamolla Beach and Lagoon
- Wattamolla Picnic Area
- Wattamolla Dam
- Providential Point Lookout
The name “Wattamolla” stems from an Aboriginal word that means “place near running water”.
In 1796, the area was discovered by Matthew flinders, an English navigator and cartographer, when he and his crew had to seek shelter in the calm water of the lagoon due to bad weather.
Located next to the northern parking area, Wattamolla Falls is a great spot to start your day exploring Wattamolla.
The top of the waterfall is fenced off and jumping from the top into the lagoon is prohibited. While jumping off the waterfall is most definitely not recommended, on a warm day, the temptation for many is hard to resist.
The fencing above the waterfall isn’t very challenging by any means, and watching the daredevils jumping off the cliff is an interesting spectacle.
Please be mindful though that jumping is prohibited for good reason. Even though jumping may look safe, the depth of the water and also hidden rocks can easily be underestimated, as currents and rain continually change the conditions.
The views from the top of the waterfall over the lagoon and the ocean further away are very pretty and offer a good overview of the entire Wattamolla Beach area.
Wattamolla Beach and Lagoon
From the waterfall and the parking area, head towards the path that leads to the lagoon and the beach.
Once on this track, you’ll soon have the option to turn left into a little road with a boat ramp that has access to the lagoon. From there you can enjoy great views of the waterfall and the lagoon.
Because the water in the lagoon is so beautifully calm, it is the perfect spot for swimming, snorkelling, and even kayaking.
To get to the other side of the lagoon, you can either swim across or go around via the ocean-facing section of Wattamolla Beach.
To get to that ocean-facing beach, simply follow the boardwalk that runs parallel to the lagoon. It’s a short and easy 350 metres bush trail that leads to the southern end of the beach.
With the ocean and headlands in front and the lagoon and waterfall behind you, it does feel like you’ve just arrived at a small piece of paradise.
There are no surf life savers at Wattamolla but the water is usually quite calm and safe to swim in. It’s recommended though that children swim in the calmer water of the lagoon.
Have a look at our list of beautiful beaches in the Royal National Park for more ideas to go for a swim in Sydney’s oldest national park.
Wattamolla Picnic Area
The Wattamolla picnic area is rather large and well spread out, with a few electric BBQs and several covered and uncovered tables located on a large open field.
There is also a toilet block as well as bins and running water.
Overall, it’s a great spot to have a break from all the swimming and hiking and to simply enjoy a nice lunch in the great outdoors.
The picnic area is conveniently located next to the parking areas. During sunny weekends though this area can fill up quickly, so it’s strongly recommended to drive in early.
Wattamolla Beach is the perfect base to do one or more hikes nearby.
It is interesting to note that the Royal Coast Track, the 26 km long hike between Bundeena and Otford, passes Wattamolla, which means you can do smaller sections of this iconic hike, either northbound or southbound.
1. Providential Point Lookout
The most obvious trail to do when in Wattamolla is the short walking track towards the Wattamolla lookout, officially known as the Providential Point Lookout.
It’s roughly 600 metres one way from the picnic area, and the trail is mostly flat and very easy to follow.
The lookout has a small fenced viewing area and it’s great to just hang out there for a little while and take in the scenic views of the ocean and the headland on the opposite side of the cove.
Also note that the Providential Point Lookout is a great spot for whale watching from May to October.
2. Wattamolla Dam
Another nice little hike to do is the walking trail to Wattamolla Dam, also known as Wattamolla Creek Dam, which is about 800 metres to the north.
It’s a very easy and gentle bushwalk that follows Wattamolla Creek and leads to a beautiful water hole, perfect for a quick swim with great forest views.
3. Marley Beach
Because the walk to Wattamolla Dam is part of the Coast Track, you can continue hiking northbound all the way to Little Marley Beach and to Big Marley Beach, two of the prettiest beaches in the Royal National Park.
These beaches are a couple of hours away so make sure you plan your day and bring a water bottle if you wish to hike that far.
4. Eagle Head Rock
One of the best hikes in the Royal National Park is the trail from Wattomolla to Eagle Rock and Curracurrong Falls further south.
It’s an 8 km return hike to two of the most iconic sights in the Royal National Park, mostly following the coastline, with fantastic views to take in.