Paddle Camp at Bundeena Royal National Park

Sunday 19 to Friday 24 November 2017

Photos by Ian B

The Bundeena Paddle/Walk camp was very successful. Eleven members attended, 10 paddlers (who also walked), and one sole walker.

We camped in the Royal National Park at the lovely Bonnie Vale campground on the outskirts of Bundeena. It is on the Hacking River estuary, just across the water from Cronulla. The water barrier allowed us to relax and enjoy a wonderful campground well within the sights of the gaze of Sydney’s 4 million residents.

On the first day, on a high tide, we paddled the 12 km upstream from Bundeena to the Audley weir. We enjoyed bushland on the left, basically unchanged in two hundred years, and to the right, expensive houses in the suburbs of Lilli Pilli, Yowie Bay and Gymea Bay, all of which seemed to be perched on their own individual sandstone rock shelf.

On the second day we walked part of the Royal Coastal Walk from Wattamolla to Garies Beach. Spectacular sandstone clifflines overlooking the Pacific Ocean, dense heath on the hinterland, and rocky creeks that empty by waterfall directly into the ocean are features of this area.

We paddled again on the third day, this time by launching at Warumbul Picnic Area on the Hacking River and exploring the nearby Yowie Bay. Paddling among the jettys and luxury moored yachts and launches, we admired all the beautiful houses, each with its extensive water views overlooking equally expensive yachts. We wondered what sort of trade-in we might get for our kayaks.

It was back to walking the Royal Coastal Walk on the fourth day, this time from Wattamolla northward to Bundeena. We enjoyed more wonderful clifflines but a feature of this section was the colours, patterns and textures in the many different layers of sandstone revealed by eons of water and wind erosion. Nature’s artistry at its zenith.

On the final night we were too exhausted for a camp dinner so we dined at the local pizza and reflected on the last four days. It was a most enjoyable camp – a relaxed campground, (relatively) fine weather, great scenery, lots of exercise, and, of course, most agreeable company. What more could we want?

Ian B