Oatley Park is a suburban bushland haven situated on the Georges River, about 20km south of the Sydney CBD. An hour long circuit takes in wetlands, mangroves, and views of the saltwater Georges River and a couple of its side arms. There are plenty of shorter options however, and you can just wander through the park if you like; it’s not big enough to get seriously lost in.
There’s also a netted swimming area and BBQ facilities you can enjoy. (Best not to swim here after heavy rain due to runoff pollution). We drive there, but Oatley train station is only about 1.5 km away, and it’s quite a nice suburb to walk through. Track notes at the end.
Oatley Park Circuit: The Scenery
There’s actually a network of tracks and roads offering some variety, but we tend to do a circuit anti-clockwise from the main entrance that keeps to the outside of the park and adjacent Lime Kiln Bay Reserve. To do this, start at the end of Oatley Park Ave, and walk down the hill on Dame Mary Gillmore Rd to the 90 degree corner, (where the road becomes Bay Rd), then drop down into Lime Kiln Bay Reserve. Take a right at the bottom and walk through the constructed wetlands, curving around left to stay within the reserve, through bushland, and eventually passing by Hurstville Golf Course. Continue on along a boardwalk through mangroves, and take a left when you emerge on the edge of a suburb, passing over a footbridge to a turning circle at the end of a road (now in Oatley Park). Walk up the road about 400m and keep an eye out for a track on the right (down a handful of steps). Take this track (maybe the nicest bit?) which runs around Lime Kiln Head to Jewfish Bay Baths. Keep roughly to the foreshore past the swimming area until the track heads away from the water to meet Douglas Haig St. I like to walk up the road about 200m to a small car park for views of the Georges River. There’s a network of tracks through the bush opposite which take you to another road within the park (keeping to the right will minimise time spent on the road). Take a right along the road to arrive back at the main entrance.
If you live in the southern suburbs of Sydney then the Royal National Park is a great place to walk. You can browse through a list of the walks I’ve done in the Royal National Park below, or read about my pick of the best in this blog post.
(I’ve actually done a few more than in this list but didn’t take enough photos for a blog post).
Walks in the 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. (more…)
I’ve done the Burning Palms Circuit multiple times, and it remains one of my favourite walks around Sydney. It starts at Otford on the edge of the Royal National Park, and you soon pass by steep coastal cliffs, descend into a palm jungle, pass through grassy plains, then arrive at the very picturesque Burning Palms Beach, backed by the beginnings of the Illawarra Escarpment. There were very choppy seas on the day I took these pictures (…and I’ve now put a few extra pics at the end from a different day just a month later). (more…)
The Curra Moors Circuit passes through heathland in the Royal National Park. There are views of Eagle Rock at the halfway point, and with just a little bit of exploring, views of two waterfalls that enter the sea. (more…)
There are a number of walking options in the Royal National Park that take in a section of the classic 30km Coast Track. One good option is to start at the Garrawarra Farm car park on top of the escarpment, walk east down Burgh Ridge towards the sea, then walk north as far as Garie North Head for excellent views back down the coast. And in the summer holidays Garie Beach is patrolled so you can safely have a swim before heading back. (more…)