Walk Name: Bundeena Drive to Marley walk
Location: Bundeena Drive Car Park, Bundeena, Royal National Park NSW
Time: 3 to 3hrs 30 minutes hours return
Distance: 9.7km return
Map: National Park website
Park Entry fee: $12
Wildlife: Birds, Seals, Fish, Wildflowers
Special Interests: Deer Pool, Beach, Swimming, Snorkeling
Experience Level required:
Fitness Level: 7/10
Mostly flat, with a few hills and obstacles. You need to be of above average fitness.
Navigation Difficulty: 6/10
Fairly easy to navigate, well sign posted track, with a few different trails shooting off from it. Be careful as there is the possibility of making a wrong turn at the T junction pictured. Some bushwalking experience required with common sense. This is a long walk so you need to make sure you take plenty of water.
Overall rating: 9/10
A slightly rough track that leads to one Sydney’s hidden beaches where you can take a dip before the return trip. We would highly recommend this walk.
The Royal National Park is located about 45min-1hr south of the CBD. Follow the road from the entry gate (Sir Bertram Stevens Dr.) until you reach the turnoff for Bundeena (Bundeena Dr.). Turn towards Bundeena and follow the road past the Mainbar turnoff (Mainbar Rd). Now keep your eyes peeled, as about 1 or 2 km after the Mainbar turnoff is the carpark the Marly carpark. It is on your left hidden behind some bushes (blink and you will miss it!).
Description of walk:
From the Marly car park, cross the road and you will find the beginning of the
walk. The walk meanders down a rocky track.
It starts off completely flat but eventually turns into a short, fairly steep climb down towards the Deer Pools.
The Deer pools are basically a creek that runs down an almost waterslide-like
waterfall into a rockpool. A good spot for a dip if you can’t wait to get to Marley.
The walk then climbs out of the valley from the Deer Pools with a bit of rock scampering.
It continues towards a T junction. Make sure you turn Left and follow the track down the gentle rocky hill.
There are a few good photo opportunities along this part of the walk with
glimpses of the beaches you are heading to.
You will also pass the Marley Lagoon on your left.
Continue walking and you will eventually find a small grassy area. Walk to the end of it and you will find a boardwalk. Walk along the boardwalk and you will once again come to a T Junction. Now from here, you have two options; Turn left and the walk will take you to Big Marley Beach. This is more of a surf beach, so if you are a bit of a “wax head” (and you could be bothered carrying a surfboard/body board), this could be for you.
The second option is to turn right and the walk will take you to Little Marley beach.
This Little beach is sheltered from most surf conditions and looks like it might be good for snorkeling. Unfortunately, on the day we went, there was a 6-8ft SE swell running, which turned it into a bit of a washing machine.
A real shame because just as we were about to leave, a Seal rocked up looking for lunch. I ran back to get my snorkeling gear but by the time I got back to the beach he had disappeared into the choppy surf. Bummer!