Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park, Sydney

A great section of the classic Royal National Park Coast Track, and you can make a circuit of it by heading inland on the way back (and avoid the crowds in doing so).

Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park

Bundeena to Marley Head is one of my favourite sections of the classic Royal National Park Coast Track, although choosing a favourite section is a bit like choosing a favourite child. It’s got what you want from a coast track: cliffs, beaches, heath, and interesting rock formations. You can keep going as far as you like, but the views from Marley Head are very satisfying, so we usually turn around there and head back.

Wedding Cake Rock is on this route, and is a real tourist draw card, which will bring in the crowds rather. You can leave these behind on the way back by taking a little known inland route; this route lacks the views but the heath vegetation is interesting. And you can extend the walk by doing the worthy Jibbon Head Circuit.

Track Notes

We used track notes in A Day in the Bush, and there are notes online at Wildwalks. You can park at the Beachcomber Ave Car Park or closer to the water if you are starting with the Jibbon Head Circuit. (And there’s always the Ferry from Cronulla).

Bundeena to Marley Head: The Scenery

Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park
Lots of cliffs.

Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park

Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park
Drumsticks. Nice structure don’t you think?

Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park

Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park
Wedding Cake Rock still attracts the crowds despite being fenced off as it threatens to fall into the sea. People also still like getting their picture taken on it. It’s an interesting landform but like an overplayed song it is losing its interest for me.

Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park

Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park
The view from Marley Head. Marley Beach to the far right.
Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park
Rocks on Marley Head. The sand dunes and lagoon in the distance.
Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park
I’ve seen this bug before but had to take another picture (or three) because it is so cool. Not sure of the name yet. Let me know if you know.
Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park
Walking up fire trails isn’t the best, but they can have a certain stark aesthetic.
Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park
Tiny terracotta coloured flowers.
Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park
Christmas Bells out early.
Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park
The right turn off the main fire trail inland.
Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park
Sophia testing the strength of the grass tree flowers.
Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park
A young grass tree flower.
Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park
Contrasting colours here with the red of the bottlebrush and the black of the burnt banksia.

Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park

Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park
A nice section of forest as we approached Bundeena.
Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park
These next few flowers were just in the suburban road side nature strip.
Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park
Just on the road side in suburbia.
Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park
Sophia liked this bark and asked me to take a picture of it. It was in suburbia.
Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park
Apparently called Pig Face. I’m experiencing dissonance over that name.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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