Royal National Park

Top choice national park

in Royal National Park
Image by David Messent / Getty Images
Image by David Messent / Getty Images

The 15,091-hectare Royal National Park was established in 1879, making it the oldest national park in the world after Yellowstone in the USA. Stretching inland from 32km of beautiful coast, it encompasses pockets of subtropical rainforest, windblown coastal scrub, sandstone gullies dominated by gum trees, freshwater and saltwater wetlands, secluded beaches and dramatic cliffs. Traditionally the home of the Dharawal people, there are also numerous Aboriginal sites and artefacts. Head to the website or visitor centre at Audley for good park maps and information.

Walking tracks include the spectacular 26km (two-day) Coast Track. Most beaches are unpatrolled and rips can make them dangerous. Garie, Wattamolla, Era, South Era and Burning Palms are popular surf beaches, and Werrong Beach is ‘clothing optional’.