5 hrs 15 mins
(0km) Otford Train Station → Otford Lookout
(0.81km) Otford Lookout → The Squeeze Way and Burning Palms Tracks
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the Coast Track along the bush track, winding up the long hill the the top, where it flattens out and continues along a well-managed bush track through a rather beautiful section of ferns. After quite a while, the track joins onto a flat service trail which it follows, undulating gently until it comes to the signposted intersection of the North Era bush track.
(2.69km) The Squeeze Way and Burning Palms Tracks → The Squeeze Way and Burgh Ridge track
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads along the hillside keeping the sea to the right of the track. After a short time, the track passes a small bush track that goes off to the right. (This sidetrack is about 20m long and offers some great views of the ocean and cliffs.) From the intersection, the track continues to undulate across the hillside before flattening out and soon coming to a signpost saying ‘Cliff Track’ and ‘Burg Track’. Approximately 150m beyond this sign, there is a large gate and car park. This is signposted as ‘Coast Track’.
(5.72km) The Squeeze Way and Burgh Ridge track → Garawarra Farm Carpark
(5.8km) Garawarra Farm Carpark → Int of Lady Wakehurst Drive and Burgh Track
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the bush track, heading west through the bush and away from the service trail. The track winds through the dense scrub for a short while, before starting to drop down a long hill, which gradually steepens as it continues down the scattered wooden steps. At the bottom, the walk comes to the intersection with Lady Wakehurst Drive.
(7.39km) Int of Lady Wakehurst Drive and Burgh Track → Int of Burgh and Hacking River Tracks
(8.28km) Intersection of Hacking River Firetrail and Burgh Track → End of Halls Rd
1 hr 19 mins
(11.75km) End of Halls Rd → Helensburgh Railway Station
Maps for the Otford to Helensburgh walkYou can download the PDF for this walk to print a map.
These maps below cover the walk and the wider area around the walk, they are worth carrying for safety reasons.
|Otford||1:25 000 Map Series||91294S OTFORD||NSW-91294S|
|Appin||1:25 000 Map Series||90291S APPIN||NSW-90291S|
|Campbelltown||1:50 000 Map Series||90291 CAMPBELLTOWN||CW-90291|
|Port Hacking||1:100 000 Map Series||9129 PORT HACKING||9129|
|Wollongong||1:100 000 Map Series||9029 WOLLONGONG||9029|
Overview of this walks grade – based on the AS 2156.1 – 2001
Under this standard, a walk is graded based on the most difficult section of the walk.
|Time||5 hrs 15 mins|
|AS 2156.1||Gradient||Short steep hills (3/6)|
|Quality of track||Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)|
|Signs||Directional signs along the way (3/6)|
|Experience Required||Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)|
|Weather||Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)|
|Infrastructure||Limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged) (4/6)|
Some more details of this walks Grading
Here is a bit more details explaining grading looking at sections of the walk
10km of this walk has short steep hills and another 3.1km is flat with no steps. The remaining (250m) has gentle hills with occasional steps.
Quality of track
10km of this walk follows a clear and well formed track or trail and another 2.8km follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles. The remaining (360m) follows a smooth and hardened path.
Around 8km of this walk is clearly signposted, whilst the remaining 4.8km has directional signs at most intersection.
Around 10km of this walk requires no previous bushwalking experience, whilst the remaining 2.5km requires some bushwalking experience.
This whole walk, 13km is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).
6km of this walk has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced) and another 3.6km is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats). The remaining (3.5km) has limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged).
This walk starts at the large Garawarra Farm car park taking the ridge straight down to the coast. Look for the change in vegetation as you descend along the spur to the Coastal Track, before beach hopping your way to Garie Beach. The track is a great way to see some of Sydney’s best coast, with plenty of opportunities to cool down, and maybe do a spot of fishing along the way. About half the track is through open grass land, giving panoramic ocean views, with opportunities to wander among some buildings from the depression era.
Total climbing: 156m
3.9 km One way
This return walk starts from the old Garawarra Farm car park and heads down the ridge through the Royal National Park, to the coast. The walk then follows the coast, through Burning Palms beach, and around the base of the headland to the famous Figure Eight Pools. This walk explores 4 distinct environments and gives a great cross section of what the park has to offer. The Figure Eight pools are on an ocean rock platform. Rock platforms can be very dangerous places, especially at high tide and during high seas. Only plan to visit the rock platform at low tide and low seas (see BOM website for forecast). Please also wear appropriate footwear for the walk and rock platforms.
Total climbing: 273m
6 km Return
2 hrs 30 mins
This walk explores a variety of environments through the Royal National Park. From the old Garawarra farm, the walk heads along the Squeeze Way then down a ridge to Burning Palms. There is an optional side trip out to Figure Eight pools. Burning Palms offers a nice beach and a great place to rest. From the beach the walk heads back up to Garawarra via an open grassy ridge, then through a nice shady forest track.
Total climbing: 398m
8.2 km Circuit
3 hrs 30 mins
This walk has a great mixture of ocean cliffs, with fantastic views, and beautiful forest. The walk follows the well maintained Burgh Track, passing great views of the ocean and the cliffs, before turning inland and exploring some eucalypt forest on the way to Helensburgh. The environment and views near Lady Wakehurst Dr are incredibly special as the track winds its way through a shrouded eucalypt forest.
Total climbing: 664m
11 km One way
4 hrs 30 mins
From Otford Train Station, this walk enters the Royal National Park at the coast. There are great views of Wollongong down the coast. The walk also passes through the magnificent Palm Jungle and Burning Palms beach. This is a great spot to go, wet the toes, and enjoy the environment. The walk then continues to Figure of Eight Pools.
Total climbing: 732m
13.2 km Return
6 hrs 30 mins
Exploring the southern coast of Royal National Park, this walk experiences different trails and environments, with dense forest at Palm Forest to the open grasslands along the Coastline. With a short side trip out to the Figure of Eight Pools, this walk becomes a great day in the bush. The views from the Burgh Ridge are something special, with views far into the distance along the coast. (Check the tide and wave heights, to avoid disappointment at the rock platform for Figure Eight pools.)
Total climbing: 706m
13.4 km Circuit
Using a variety of tracks, this walk follows the coast as well as going inland to Garrawarra Farm. With great coastal views and a magnificent palm jungle, this walk demonstrates perfectly, the diversity of the Royal National Park. Of historical significance are the houses scattered along the coast that were built during the depression. Take some time along the way to have a cool down at one of the many fantastic beaches.
Total climbing: 754m
13.5 km Circuit
Following the coast through the Royal National Park with its magnificent coastal views, this walk is truly amazing. Although walked traditionally from Bundeena, this direction makes for a shorter first day. There are coastal and cliff views along much of this walk. There are also a small house communities early in the walk. Stay overnight at North Era Campsite. Water is very limited it is best to carry all the water you need.
Total climbing: 1244m
27.4 km One way
Heading south, this walk covers the coastline of the Royal National Park and can truly only be described as amazing. With breathtaking coastal views from Bundeena to Otford this walk follows the cliffs along a well managed and signposted track. You will enjoy the truly fantastic views out to sea and along the cliffs. Make an early start for day two, it is bigger that it appears.
Total climbing: 1351m
27.4 km One way
Other Nearby walks
This walk covers a great cross section of the environments in the Royal National park, with plenty of places to rest and take in the views. The walk follows the Squeeze Way from Garie Rd, then heads down Stockyard Spur to Era Gully. The walk then heads up to the old Garawarra Farm, via Burgh Ridge, and back along the road to the Squeezeway and Garrie Rd. There are some optional side trips to North Era and to Burning Palms for people with extra time.
Total climbing: 271m
5 km Circuit
2 hrs 15 mins
The walk down Stockyard Spur to Garie Beach is an excellent way to take in coastal views before following the Coastal Track. This is great if you are with a driver who is happy to drop you and wait for you are Garie Beach, or if you can do a car shuffle. You can always just walk back up. There are plenty of opportunities to get your feet wet if you wish to cool down on the walk, and you can see some of the houses built during the depression at North Era and Little Garie.
Total climbing: 142m
3.3 km One way
1 hr 45 mins
This walk, from Garie Beach to Eagle Rock, is another great way to explore the Royal National Park coastline. Eagle Rock is an iconic rock formation in the park, and this lookout provides a great view of it. The walk then returns to the expansive Garie Beach, offering more great views as you head down the hill. Enjoy the beach before jumping back in the car.
Total climbing: 344m
7.7 km Return
**On 02/12/2010 this YHA was completely destroyed by fire and plans for the future are not yet decided** This track is the only access to Garie Beach YHA. If you leave your car in the Garie Beach car park it is easy to head up to the hostel, before spending the rest of your time down at the beach. The hostel is basic, but luxurious for a week of surfing or exploring the coast. The YHA is not staffed and is locked, so you need to pay and pick up a key from Sydney if you wish to stay.
Total climbing: 68m
1.3 km Return
This walk is the shortest walk to North Era Beach and starts from the Garie car park. Both beaches are popular surfing beaches, and have either camping or basic hostel accommodation. This makes the walk between the beaches an excellent way to transport boards and supplies for your surf retreat, weekend getaway or just a nice stroll during the day.
Total climbing: 242m
3.2 km Return
This walk is another Royal National Park classic. The walk comes off a ridge to join with the Coastal Track’s tour of the beaches. The walk starts at the small Curra Moors car park and heads through the heath and bush to the rock shelf at the coast. The track ends at Garie Beach. The beach has a kiosk and is an excellent spot for a swim (when patrolled) and a picnic. This walk is good for those who can get dropped off at the top and meet their driver at the bottom, or you may choose to do a car shuffle, or retrace your steps back to Curra Moors car park.
Total climbing: 65m
4.4 km One way
1 hr 45 mins
9.2 km Circuit
3 hrs 30 mins
Following the historic Lady Carrington Drive, this walk takes your to Calala, a quiet clearing on the Hacking River. Travelling along the old road, this walk passes a few shaded brooks as it winds alongside the Hacking River. There is the chance for a side trip to Palona Cave and waterfall. Calala is a clearing with some large trees providing shade, a picnic table and access to a beach on the bank of the shallow Hacking River.
Total climbing: 302m
8.9 km Return
3 hrs 30 mins
Following the historic Lady Carrington Drive much of the way, this walk heads north until turning off the wide trail. Here the heads along a narrow track to a beautiful limestone cave. In typical sandstone country, Palona Cave’s different geology makes it well worth the visit. There is a beautiful cascading waterfall just near the cave to add even more variety. Just a bit north of the turnoff this walk describes a side trip to an old picnic area, a nice cool and shaded spot to rest.
Total climbing: 178m
5.1 km Return
Opened in 1886, the Forest Path was once part of a controversial logging site, the first time that logging was stopped in Australia by protest. Now it is a short trail looping around the hill, following the Hacking River. Through a shaded environment of ferns and eucalypts, this walk passes through a very pretty environment that was definitely worth preserving.
Total climbing: 179m
4.4 km Circuit
1 hr 45 mins
6.4 km Circuit
2 hrs 30 mins
This walk explores the heart of Heathcote National Park, and is easily accessed with a train station at either end. Although relatively close to the start of the walk, Kingfisher Pool, next to Heathcote Creek, is a great spot to break and enjoy the park. Mirang Pool, at the northern end, also offers an opportunity to cool down before the last walk up the hill.
Total climbing: 467m
10.8 km One way
Fire DangerEach park may have its own fire ban, this rating is only valid for today and is based on information from the RFS Please check the RFS Website for more information.
Weather ForestThis walk starts in the Illawarra weather district always check the formal BOM forecast or pdf before starting your walk.
Park Information & Alerts
Short URL = http://wild.tl/oth
There are other downloads I am still working on.
You will probably need to login to access these — still all free.
* KML (google earth file)
* GPX (GPS file)
Special Maps/ brochures
* A3 topo maps
* PDF with Lands Topo map base
* PDF with arial image (and map overlay)
I wanted to get the main site live first, this extra stuff will come in time.