Wattamolla Beach and Falls in Royal National Park

Last updated: March 23, 2024

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 family day out. Over the years, Wattamolla Beach has evolved into one of Sydney’s most popular weekend and day trip destinations.

In this article, we’ll share all the beautiful things we can see and do in the Wattamolla Beach area.

How to Get There

In Royal National Park, turn into Wattamolla Road from Sir Bertram Stevens Drive and follow to the end where the car park is (see map location).

While there is ample parking available, be mindful that summer days tend to get very busy, so it’s recommended to try to get there a bit early. Otherwise, go on a weekday if possible.

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 is open between 7:00 AM and 8:30 PM daily. There is a $12 vehicle entrance fee to the Royal National Park, which can be paid at the booth where you access the park or at one of the pay machines.

Map of Wattamolla

The map below gives you an impression of the Wattamolla Beach area, with the following highlights marked:

  1. Wattamolla Falls
  2. Wattamolla Beach and Lagoon
  3. Wattamolla Picnic Area
  4. Wattamolla Dam
  5. Providential Point Lookout

Map of Wattamolla

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Discover Wattamolla

The name “Wattamolla” stems from an Aboriginal word that means “place near running water”, which makes sense when you see it.

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.

Wattamolla Falls

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.

Wattamolla Falls
Wattamolla Falls

Just be mindful that jumping is prohibited for good reasons.

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.

Wattamolla Lagoon with waterfall in background
Wattamolla Lagoon and waterfall

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 path, you’ll soon have the option to turn left onto a small road that leads to a pier structure across the lagoon. From there, you can enjoy great views of the lagoon and the waterfall.

Wattamolla Lagoon
Wattamolla Lagoon

Because the lagoon’s water is so beautifully calm, it is the perfect spot for swimming, snorkelling, and even kayaking.

To reach the ocean-facing beach, follow the walking path parallel to the lagoon. It’s a short and easy 350-metre trail leading to that beach.

Wattamolla Beach
Wattamolla 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 lifeguards at Wattamolla, but the water is usually quite calm and safe to swim in. It’s recommended that children swim in the lagoon’s calmer water away from the ocean-facing beach.

Check out 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 quite large and well-spread out. It has a few electric BBQs and several tables on a large open field.

You’ll also find a large (upgraded) toilet block there, as well as bins and running water.

Wattamolla picnic area
Wattamolla picnic area

Overall, it’s a great spot to take a break from swimming and hiking and simply enjoy a nice lunch in the great outdoors.

The picnic area is conveniently located next to the car park. However, during sunny weekends, this area can fill up quickly, so it’s strongly recommended that you drive in early.

Walks Nearby

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

Providential Point Lookout
Providential Point Lookout

The most obvious walk to do when in Wattamolla is the short walking trail to Providential Point Lookout, also known as the Wattamolla Lookout.

It’s roughly 500 metres one way from the picnic area, and the trail is mostly flat and very easy to follow.

The lookout has a fenced viewing area, and it’s nice to spend some time there and take in the scenic views of the ocean and the headland on the opposite side of the cove.

2. Wattamolla Dam

Wattamolla Dam
Wattamolla Dam

Another short hike you can 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. Little Marley Beach

Start of the walk to Little Marley Beach from Wattamolla
Start of the walk to Little Marley Beach from Wattamolla

Because the walk to Wattamolla Dam is part of the Coast Track, you can continue hiking northbound to Little Marley Beach and Big Marley Beach, two of the prettiest beaches in the Royal National Park.

These beaches are a few kilometres away, so plan your day and bring a water bottle if you’re going to hike that far.

4. Eagle Rock

Walking track to Eagle Rock from Wattamolla
Walking track to Eagle Rock from Wattamolla

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. The trail mostly follows the coastline, and there are fantastic views to take in from start to finish.

Keen to do more hiking in Sydney’s oldest national park? Check out our list of great walks in the Royal National Park for inspiration.

Wattamolla Beach and Falls in Royal National Park



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