Australia Sydney Travel

Day Trips from Sydney: Bundeena and Wattamolla, Royal National Park

Sydney enjoys some of the best beaches and while one is often reluctant to leave its shores, once in a while, it pays to to escape the heavy traffic, the ebb and flow of people and take to the road.

The Royal National Park is the second oldest national park in the world. Located approximately 30 kilometres south of Sydney’s CBD, it is a leisurely drive down the Princes Highway, or via a more scenic route through Brighton-le-Sands with views of the long stretch of beach that hugs Botany Bay.

Day Trip from Sydney
On the Road

Day Trip from Sydney
Road Murals

Along the way, you’ll pass murals with colourful birds, trees and dolphins on either side of the road. Once you reach the entrance to the park at Audley, there is an entrance fee of $11 per vehicle.

Hacking River Royal National Park
Hacking River, Royal National Park

You’ll pass over a small bridge with views of the Hacking river then continue ascending along a winding road that eventually stretches before your eyes. Take the first left turn into Bundeena and you’ll find yourself amidst a tranquil small town, with a sandy beach and a mermaid-like statue called Spring across the bay.

Statue at Bundeena: Spring by Judit Shead

Bundeena Bay

M.V. Curranulla

The M.V Curranulla is a commuter service that runs hourly between Bundeena and Cronulla, transporting passengers across the Port Hacking River.


Bundeena, which derives its name from an Aboriginal word that means ‘noise like thunder’, offers secluded bays, bushland and quiet beaches which make it an ideal place to relax or you just gaze at its natural beauty under the shimmering sun.

Road to Wattamolla

Leaving Bundeena behind, head back towards the main road and continue travelling south and take the next left turn into Wattamolla. The lure of the blue the waters ahead beckons and a short drive leads you to the coast, an oasis of natural beauty with a large picnic area set in tranquil surrounds.

Wattamolla derives its name from the Aboriginal language meaning a ‘place near running water’, and that is exactly what you will find – a stretch of fine sand separates the lagoon and the beach, with waterfalls on the side.

The Lagoon and the Beach at Wattamolla

Waterfall at Wattamolla

Lagoon meets beach

The beach

Love in the late afternoon

Couple on the edge of dappled light

Shadows in the sand

Wattamolla has BBQ facilities and is a suitable spot for an intimate and romantic get-together. Pack a picnic basket with a selection of gourmet foods, find a secluded spot and feed one another by the waterfall. In the warmer months, bring a towel and a swimsuit and stretch out on the sand, with the beach in front and the lagoon behind you.

Royal National Park


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.