|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – February 2002
Face your fear of snakes and spiders in Australia's Royal National Park, and the bush will reward you with the journey of a lifetime.
Royal National Park, Australia
Permits: Bush camping permits (required) are available at the park's main entrance, the Audley Visitor Centre, and the National Parks & Wildlife Service headquarters in Sydney. Permits are AU$3 per night for adults. Campfires are not allowed in the park; camp in designated areas.
Route: The Coast Track can be walked in 2 or 3 days; schedule more time for bushwhacking and wildlife viewing. The author's route followed the coastline from Port Hacking Point to Otford.
Access: To reach the northern Coast Track trailhead from Sydney, take a train to Cronulla, then a ferry to Bundeena, where approach trails lead to the Coast Track. Train service is also available at the southern trailhead in Otford. (See Contact for train and ferry information.)
Season: All seasons are suitable for trekking. Summer temperatures can reach 100°F, and small creeks in the southern part are often dry. Carry extra water.
Guides: The 1:30,000 topographic map Royal National Park offers plenty of detail and is available at the Audley Visitor Centre for AU$5.80. Treks in New South Wales, by Neil Paton (International Specialized Book Service, 800-944-6190; www.isbs.com; $12.95).
Contact: Audley Visitor Center, Royal National Park, 011-61-29-02-9542-0648; www.npws.nsw.gov.au/ parks/metro/Met032.html.