Did you know the second oldest national park in the world sits just an hour’s drive out of Sydney? It completely blows my mind every time I visit The Royal National Park knowing this fact.
So I’ve done a few hikes in this park now, but recently I decided to hike from Bundeena to Big Marley beach which stops off at the popular Wedding Cake Rock which I hadn’t seen before. The best thing is, this hike is easy to get to even if you don’t have a car.
How to get to the start of the Bundeena to Big Marley Beach hike
How to get to this hike
By Public Transport
A hike that’s finally not too hard to get to by public transport! Just take the train to Cronulla (it’s approx 1 hour from Town Hall), then the ferry over to Bundeena (ferry timetable here), where it’s then a short walk over to the starting point of the hike at the end of Beachcomber Avenue. Then follow the signs to Wedding Cake Rock and continue on from there to Big Marley Beach.
If you’re driving there’s a $12 fee to get into The Royal National Park (you’ll drive past the ticket booths, although sometimes there’s noone in them) or if you’re going to be going to few of the national parks in NSW best to buy a season pass it’s $65 for a year from here.
I drove down to the starting point and was pretty surprised to see the amount of cars all parked up alongside the residential street on Beachcomber Avenue. I instantly realised this was going to be a busy hike but I decided to go for it seeing as I was already there. So, just follow the signs to Wedding Cake Rock and continue along the track to Big Marley Beach.Finding a car park was slightly difficult here at the starting point!
The track was about 5KM each way, so I anticipated about an hour’s hike to get to Big Marley which it was as I always time my hikes on my Garmin watch.
It was an easy to follow path, and I passed a lot of people along the way.Lots of people on this hike
After a 40 minute walk, I got to Wedding Cake Rock which is where most people stop on this hike.The fence at Wedding Cake Rock
To be honest, there were loads of people there, and I really didn’t see what the fuss was all about. A big fence had been put up next to the rock to deter people away from it, but everyone climbed it and there were lines of people waiting to get their instagram shot. I didn’t stick around for long and continued along the path.People lining up to get ‘that shot’ at Wedding Cake Rock
Almost straight away, the crowds disappeared as soon as I continued along the track. Finally, I had the track to myself and just one more 1KM down the path came the highlight of the walk – Big Marley Beach. The path opened up onto a beautiful view of Big Marley beach, it was amazing.
The highlight of the walk, when it opens up to Big Marley beach
I thought to myself, typical how everyone goes to a not so exciting site, only to miss the actual jaw-dropping section down the path! Luckily for me, I had it all to myself. As I wandered down the path, I thought this must been one of the best hiking paths around; a path that sits right next to the cliffs on the second oldest national park in the world. I walked down to the beach and had it to myself. Pure bliss.One of my favourite beaches in Sydney, Big Marley Beach
If you want to know why it’s known as Big Marley Beach it’s because there’s Little Marley Beach right next to it. You can also walk onto Little Marley which will take you to Wattamolla which is another 1 hour walk.
The walk continues on to Little Marley and onto Wattamolla if you fancy a longer walk.
I was then in a race against time as the sun was starting to set. It was a good hour back to the car, and although I had to keep stopping to take some photo’s I managed to get back in time. Capturing the beautiful sunset on the way back to the car
On the way back, there were quite a few people heading in the opposite direction out to Wedding Cake Rock. It’s worth mentioning that these hikes can take time, because it was a 40 minute walk out to the rock, so they’d be walking back in the dark, without a torch I doubt and in thongs.Crowds at Wedding Cake Rock at Sunset
But if you’re looking to do this hike, then I’d probably go either very early in the morning or later in the afternoon because it’s a popular path.
I’ve realised I’ve nearly done all of the Bundeena to Otford hike now (25KM!), but in stages! What’s your favourite section of the big beast hike?
Thanks for reading
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