Royal National Park

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Royal National Park

Postby eggs » Tue 23 Mar, 2010 12:19 pm

Did a day walk in the heat last Saturday through the top part of Royal National Park.
We managed to get to Big Marley Beach by tracking along the cliff tops. We then did a return trip to Deer Pool for lunch before heading back via an inland variant.
Only 15.3 kms, but we pushed it and given I am a bit lacking in walk fitness, I am still recovering.
These are a few snaps from the walk.
5581CliffsNorth.JPG
View north from Bundeena Lookout


5585CliffsSouth.JPG
View South from Bundeena Lookout


5601SmallFall&Cliffs.JPG
Cliffs above small gully
Last edited by eggs on Tue 23 Mar, 2010 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby eggs » Tue 23 Mar, 2010 12:23 pm

5632MarleyWave.JPG
Marley Beach wave


5647PlatformBreak.JPG
Attempting some time exposure of waves, but difficult in the bright sunshine


5661DeerBottom.JPG
Beach on the creek at Deer Pool
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby eggs » Tue 23 Mar, 2010 12:30 pm

5667DeerPondLightRipples.JPG
Detail in Deer Pool attempting to show light ripples on the rock


5703MarleyLagoonEdge.JPG
The large dunes at Marley Beach have trapped the creek forming Marley Lagoon


5712MarleyPool&Dune.JPG
There are also a few captured pools amongst the dunes at Marley Beach
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby stepbystep » Tue 23 Mar, 2010 12:56 pm

Thanks for sharing eggs, this is a spot I got to 15 years ago while living in Sydney, and I have no photos of, so I have pinched yours :D
I actually went in April 1995, but the weather was very similar. Cheers.
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby johnw » Tue 23 Mar, 2010 8:34 pm

Hey eggs what are you doing on my patch? :wink: :lol: Those are great shots. I was actually there on Saturday myself but primarily for an MTB ride along Lady Carrington Drive from Audley. Sounds like you started from Bundeena? I did a similar walk a few months back but starting at Wattamolla, took the inland route that you mentioned (Mowlee Ridge/Little Marley Trail) to Deer Pool for lunch, then on to Big Marley and the dunes/Marley Lagoon behind it. That was the first time I've bothered to walk out to them in many years of visiting Royal NP, and I was quite impressed. For somewhere so close to a major city centre and suffering overuse in many places it still has a lot to offer bushwalkers IMHO. Here's a few of mine from that walk.

Behind Big Marley.jpg
Pool behind Big Marley beach
Behind Big Marley.jpg (77 KiB) Viewed 21586 times

Marley Dunes 1.jpg
Dune in front of Marley Lagoon
Marley Dunes 1.jpg (58.97 KiB) Viewed 21586 times

Marley Dunes 2.jpg
Another dune shot
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby johnw » Tue 23 Mar, 2010 11:54 pm

A few more:

Between the Marleys.jpg
Between Little Marley and Big Marley
Between the Marleys.jpg (109.96 KiB) Viewed 21573 times

Minimalist dune.jpg
A minimalist dune shot
Minimalist dune.jpg (49.64 KiB) Viewed 21573 times

Deer Pool.jpg
Deer Pool reflections
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby eggs » Wed 24 Mar, 2010 8:15 am

John,
I have a daughter studying over in Sydney, so I try to wrangle some working visits.
The original plan was to do a loop from Bundeena to Wattamolla and back - about 23 kms, but we were constrained by public transport.
It was a nice ride across on the ferry to Bundeena, but we wanted to get back in good time for the return trip, and the heat and our speed took a lot out of me.

I think on reflection, this was a great intro to Royal NP.
The variation from the cliff top walking to the great beach/dunes/lagoon at Big Marley and then the small falls at Deer Pond was delightful.
We got to see lots of birds, a few varieties of lizard, and quite a few flowers.

I do think that the rubbish in the park is a bit dissappointing though - but the constant flow of walkers is probably the reason why.
Here's a couple more shots
5588Banksia.JPG
A few Banksias were still out


5673Lizard.JPG
A big lizard posed just under the fall at Deer Pool


5713MarleyShag.JPG
Cormorant on the rock shelf at the north end of Big Marley
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby johnw » Wed 24 Mar, 2010 11:54 pm

eggs wrote:John,
I have a daughter studying over in Sydney, so I try to wrangle some working visits.
The original plan was to do a loop from Bundeena to Wattamolla and back - about 23 kms, but we were constrained by public transport.
It was a nice ride across on the ferry to Bundeena, but we wanted to get back in good time for the return trip, and the heat and our speed took a lot out of me.

I think on reflection, this was a great intro to Royal NP.
The variation from the cliff top walking to the great beach/dunes/lagoon at Big Marley and then the small falls at Deer Pond was delightful.
We got to see lots of birds, a few varieties of lizard, and quite a few flowers.

I do think that the rubbish in the park is a bit dissappointing though - but the constant flow of walkers is probably the reason why.

eggs,
Now you know the lay of the land future visits will be easier :). Agreed Saturday was extremely warm and I'm glad I didn't have to walk that soft sandy fire trail section of the Coast Track near Bundeena, as it gets very little breeze. Apart from the nice ferry trip across Gunnamatta Bay there are public transport options around the northern, southern and central parts of the park by train with easy walk-in access from Loftus, Engadine, Heathcote, Waterfall and Otford stations. These get you very quickly onto several of the inland tracks, and the coast at Otford. There are various options for circuits or walking from one station to the next via the Royal or adjacent Heathcote NPs, although personally I avoid walking the inland parts until the weather is cooler. I haven't attempted it (yet) but if keen you can walk the entire Coast Track from Bundeena to Otford as a day trip, returning by train from Otford to central Sydney, if that was the starting point. It's about 28km and seems to feature occasionally as a day walk on the programs of some bushwalking clubs, although it's traditionally done with an overnight camp at North Era. A nice circuit at the south end is from Otford Gap to Garawarra Farm then down to Burning Palms and follow the Coast Track back to Otford via Palm Jungle. This (and a variation of it) is one of my favourites and the scenery is often quite different to further north. A good starting point for trip planning is Wildwalks.

Yes rubbish is a chronic problem, not helped by proximity to urban areas and having several very popular day use areas within the park. The coast attracts a lot of people, and in the vicinity of places like Bundeena, Wattamolla and Garie the problem tends to be worse as you get picknickers and beachgoers heading off for short walks. Unfortunately they don't always have the same ethics as more serious bushwalkers. I've found that the more remote parts suffer much less from rubbish as you need to walk further to reach them.

ps Your lizard looks like a juvenile Eastern Water Dragon, although that one seems to have unusual colour and markings. They're quite common around Sydney and the Blue Mountains during warm weather. Another good place to see them is at Curracurrang Falls about 2km south of Wattamolla on an informal short side trip.
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby Lindsay » Mon 12 Apr, 2010 8:54 pm

I spent today walking the Coast Track. What a great walk. A 0345 start from my home in Sydneys north got me to Otford at 0640 as I wanted an early start to ensure I made it to Bundeena before the last ferry. As it turns out the walk took exactly 8 hours at a reasonable pace, including 10 minutes backtrack in the Palm Jungle to find lost sunglasses! 0700 start and just made the 1500 ferry. The southern sections were virtually deserted however once past Era beach there were more people about. No rubbish south of Era but further north around the day tripper areas of Wattamolla and Marley there was unfortunately a bit of a build up. Even so, this was a brilliant walk, warm but not too hot, cool breeze to dry the sweat and clear skies. A last minute change of plan to walk South to North instead of the other way paid off well. The big hill up to Otford would be a pain at the end of the day and the hills above Era and Burning Palms are best tackled when fresh. Also public transport is better at the Bundeena end (provided one makes the last ferry of course)
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby johnw » Mon 12 Apr, 2010 11:29 pm

Lindsay wrote:I spent today walking the Coast Track. What a great walk...
...The southern sections were virtually deserted
...The big hill up to Otford would be a pain at the end of the day

Well done Lindsay, you had a great day for it weatherwise (as I observed while sitting in the office wishing to be elsewhere :roll:). Probably would have been even fewer people on a Monday, if not for current school holidays. When heading north to south the big hill up to Otford looks worse than it actually is (IMHO), but walking the whole track in a day could make it more daunting. And you get some terrific views looking south, but either direction is good.
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby Pteropus » Tue 21 Dec, 2010 3:19 pm

Hi all

Funny that I missed this thread on the Royal National Park. I am originally from the St George district in Sydney and the Royal National Park (or “Nasho” as I have known it since I was a kid and how I refer to the place) was just an hours bike ride, 30 minute train ride, or when I got a licence, a 25 minute drive away. The Nasho is where I had my first experiences of the bush and it is a very special place for me! I love it! Despite living in Queensland now and becoming very fond of Lamington NP, there is still no place like the Nasho!!

I just spent a week visiting family and friends in Sydney and I managed to visit the Nasho no less than four times. I took some friends to the popular Karloo Pools for a swim on a hot day. I spent an afternoon walking down to Burning Palms and the Figure Eight rock pool. The next day I did the whole coast track in eight hours, just like Lindsay in an above post, and this included time to stop to take in views (and take some photos!). My last hike for the week was a 24 km circuit from Audley to the end of Lady Carrington Drive, then up the Couranga Track to the Uloola Fire Trail, then down to the Blue Pools and Uloola Falls, then back to Audley via the Uloola Track. I only saw three other people the entire day on that last hike!

The Royal National Park has many diverse ecological communities and is a window into the past of what Sydney’s sandstone country looked like pre-European settlement. While I planning my recent hikes I noted that there was only one track in the whole park that I have not walked. Many others I have walked more times than I can remember. And then there is a whole lot of off track exploring too...in fact, when I was a Sydney-sider I reckon I spent at least one or more days a month down in the Nasho...

I enjoyed reading the other posts and the photos and have attached some pics of from my recent adventures, showing the variety of different habitats and landscapes. Enjoy!

Cheers
Andrew
Attachments
030 Karloo pool.JPG
Karloo Pool, Kangaroo Creek
043 Figure eight pool.JPG
Figure Eight pool
116 Bola Creek.JPG
Bola Creek near the Hacking River (south end of Lady Carrington Drive)
120 Waterfall on Uloola Creek.JPG
Waterfall on Uloola Creek at Blue Pools
122 Angophora costata.JPG
Angophora costata - iconic tree of the Sydney sandstone. Has thin pinkish bark that decorticates in spring/summer, leaving a smooth orange barked trunk
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby eggs » Tue 21 Dec, 2010 3:49 pm

Lovely photos Pteropus

That Figure 8 Pool sure looks interesting
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby Chief » Tue 21 Dec, 2010 4:22 pm

Nice photos guys, the "nasho" is one of my haunts as well. Was down there today actually (fishing not walking)
Had a walk along Lady Carrington Drive, Audley to Palona Cave back in November after Sydney had all that wet weather, really nice with all the streams and waterfalls running.

lady carrington drive.JPG


twd otford.JPG


gibraltor rock twd audley.JPG
It's just around the corner..
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby GerryDuke » Tue 21 Dec, 2010 6:53 pm

Thanks guys - nice.
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby Pteropus » Tue 21 Dec, 2010 7:27 pm

Thanks eggs, your pics were great. i had similar shots from the coast track. When I was planing my hikes I did look at going to Deer Pool, but doing it from Audley via Winifred Falls. If I had had more time I that would have been my next hike.

Chief, I haven't been to Palona Cave in many years and I did consider heading up there when I walked along Lady Carington Drive. I decided not to since it would have added about an hour to my trip and I had to get back by four. The park was greener than I have ever seen it from all that rain you mentioned and there were areas that were "over grown", or at least the growth was so thick that it was reclaiming some areas of walking track! I remember riding my mountain bike along Lady Carrington Drive in heavy rain about 8 or 9 years ago and water was pouring off all the escarpments! Was fantastic!! The Audley weir was flowing over too and National Falls was like Niagara Falls!!
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby juju » Wed 22 Dec, 2010 7:46 am

All these photos make me homesick.
I must've missed this topic before.
No one has mentioned the fantastic wildflower display on the coastal heaths in the spring! I couldn't believe the abundance of colour on Curra Moors one spring. There was hardly space for the colour green.
Thanks for the pic guys.
We'll get fit on the way.
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby Pteropus » Wed 22 Dec, 2010 10:23 am

Hi juju
There were still a lot of wild flowers out last week, but not like a full spring display. I took pics of some flowers I did see.
Cheers
Andrew
Attachments
040 Pretty orchid.JPG
Dipodium punctatum
047 Patersonia.JPG
Patersonia sp.
057 Angophora hispida.JPG
Angophora hispida
061 Thysanotus.JPG
Thysanotus tuberosus (the foliage in the photo belongs to Darwinia taxifolia I think)
061 Thysanotus.JPG (541.95 KiB) Viewed 20397 times
068 Eucalyptus.JPG
Eucalyptus obstans (I think!?)
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby johnw » Wed 22 Dec, 2010 1:08 pm

All these great pics and comments have inspired me to add a few more. From a solo walk to Palona Cave last year (came down from Waterfall Station via the Couranga Track):

Fan Palm on Couranga Track.jpg
Fan Palm on Couranga Track.jpg (161.49 KiB) Viewed 20386 times


Birds Nest Ferns along Lady Carrington Drive.jpg
Birds Nest Ferns along Lady Carrington Drive.jpg (108.99 KiB) Viewed 20386 times


Palona Cave.jpg
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby johnw » Wed 22 Dec, 2010 1:23 pm

A few more from an earlier walk to the same area from the southern end of Lady Carrington Drive via Forest Island:

Rock Orchid.jpg
Rock Orchid.jpg (85.72 KiB) Viewed 20384 times


Palona Cave close up.jpg
Palona Cave close up.jpg (67.97 KiB) Viewed 20384 times


Paper Daisy and passenger.jpg
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby johnw » Wed 22 Dec, 2010 2:16 pm

Pteropus wrote:Funny that I missed this thread on the Royal National Park. I am originally from the St George district in Sydney and the Royal National Park (or “Nasho” as I have known it since I was a kid and how I refer to the place) was just an hours bike ride, 30 minute train ride, or when I got a licence, a 25 minute drive away. The Nasho is where I had my first experiences of the bush and it is a very special place for me! I love it! Despite living in Queensland now and becoming very fond of Lamington NP, there is still no place like the Nasho!!

Andrew thanks for posting all of that and the wonderful photos. I can relate to your comments. I was also born and raised in the St George district (my elderly parents still live there). My earliest recollection with Nasho (and probably first bushwalking experience) was on a Sunday school picnic at Audley when I was about 8 years old. Picnics with extended family at Bonnie Vale and Bundeena around Christmas time. Beach trips to Wattamolla and Garie. Friday night drives down the coast road as a teenager, among other memories. I still visit regularly, often riding my mountain bike the length of Lady Carrington Drive and back. I've gotta get down to Figure of Eight Pool! I've walked past that area umpteen times on the Coast Track but have yet to venture down to it.

p.s. I agree Lamington is a great place. Got some exposure to winter walking around Binna Burra and other spots a couple of years ago. :)
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby johnw » Wed 22 Dec, 2010 2:27 pm

juju wrote:All these photos make me homesick.
I must've missed this topic before.
No one has mentioned the fantastic wildflower display on the coastal heaths in the spring! I couldn't believe the abundance of colour on Curra Moors one spring. There was hardly space for the colour green.
Thanks for the pic guys.

Juju I agree. There's always something in flower around there, in any season, but particularly spring. For some reason my own photos don't seem to reflect it as much as I'd thought; I'll keep looking. In the meantime:

Hibbertia spp..jpg
Curra Moors Circuit
Hibbertia spp..jpg (86.26 KiB) Viewed 20362 times


Eagle Rock.jpg
Can't overlook the well known Eagle Rock - Curra Moors Circuit
Eagle Rock.jpg (233.67 KiB) Viewed 20362 times


Blandfordia Christmas Bells.jpg
Appropriate for this time of year - Curra Moors Circuit
Blandfordia Christmas Bells.jpg (72.04 KiB) Viewed 20362 times
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby Pteropus » Thu 23 Dec, 2010 12:01 pm

Hi John
Since we are getting nostalgic about the Nasho :D , my first memories of the Nasho are picnics with the family at Audley. I remember the currawongs calling and the cockatoos screeching, two sounds I still associate with good times from family picnics in the area. You used to be able to feed the cockatoos with seed bought from the kiosk at Audley. Now days the rangers consider the cockatoos a pest (well that was the opinion of one ranger I spoke to anyhow :? )...

I did a few bush walks in the Nasho and Heathcote NP with my family too, but mostly with cubs. When I was a cub I remember camping at Bonnie Vale and riding body boards on the fast flowing tide through the narrow gap under the bridge at the mouth of the basin between Maianbar and Bundeena. When I was in high school, a few mates and I would hike and mountain bike regularly in the park. Also did a lot of mountain biking from the early ‘90’s around Temptation Creek and the back of Heathcote and Engadine, up until riding on single track mostly got banned around 2003ish.

My parents once had a small book with colour photos of the park. There was one photo that showed a pretty waterfall and a nice waterhole that said it was Crystal Pools. I have searched up and down the creek at Flat Rock Crossing several times, found the real Crystals Pools and several other nice water holes, but never the pool in the photo.

I have spent countless trips exploring the Palm Jungle as well. Once I climbed up the escarpment onto the Garrawarra Ridge, not initially intentionally, but I got to a point where the only way I could safely go was up. That was one of my more frightening bush walking experiences... I also found an abandoned tent in deep the Palm Jungle, which was half crushed by a fallen branch. I looked inside expecting the worst but there was just an old sleeping bag and some rusty tins of beans. I have heard of hermits living in the park so perhaps someone had lived there for a while?

Your photo of Eagle Rock is great. The barrel of my lens locked up and I couldn’t zoom in on my recent trip so I took a pic of Curra Brook flowing into the sea. You can make out Eagle Rock half way along the cliff in the background though. I also love walking through the heathy scrub and then coming out at Garie head with that magnificent view to the ‘Gong in the south. And then there is all that sandstone :) . Here are some more photos to add to the memories and to inspire some bush walks...

Cheers
Andrew
Attachments
066 Curra Brook.JPG
Curra Brook flowing to the ocean.
065 Curra Brook.JPG
Curra Brook
069 Garie Beach.JPG
View to the south from Garie Head
055 Hawkesburry Sandstone.JPG
Weathered Hawkesbury sandstone
121 Whale Rock.JPG
More sandstone - whale rock on the Uloola Track
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby Pteropus » Thu 23 Dec, 2010 1:47 pm

I used to go for drives and walks after heavy rain periods. Here are some of my older photos from many years ago, taken on a compact camera.
Attachments
IMG_6347.JPG
National Falls after rain
IMG_6352.JPG
Falls at Wattamolla after rain
IMG_6361.JPG
Small reservoir on Coast Track north of Wattamolla
IMG_6403.JPG
Swimming hole above Crystal Pools - a very large eel lives here!
IMG_6414.JPG
Hacking River from a flooded Audley causeway
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby juju » Fri 24 Dec, 2010 8:24 am

Thanks John and Andrew, lovely pics. I was in the Royal earlier this year and shot lots of flowers, but can't find them now. Basted modern technology, sure I put it on a disc and filed it. How do you guys manage your photos? Do you have a system? Julie
We'll get fit on the way.
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby eggs » Fri 24 Dec, 2010 8:33 am

Photos?
Masters plus finals are on a 2TB mirrored storage area network drive (SAN).
But I am still too nervous and rigged up another 200GB HDD for removable storage - and then I try to burn a disc of any final products just to be sure.
Problem is I am at least 2 years behind on processing :cry:
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby Pteropus » Fri 24 Dec, 2010 10:55 am

juju wrote:Thanks John and Andrew, lovely pics. I was in the Royal earlier this year and shot lots of flowers, but can't find them now. Basted modern technology, sure I put it on a disc and filed it. How do you guys manage your photos? Do you have a system? Julie


Hi juju
I just make sure I upload my photos to my computer after each trip. I make a folder for the trip, then within that folder I have two nested folders, one each for the RAW and JPEG files. Then back up onto a portable hard disc...but I am sometimes a little complacent when it comes to backing up...
Cheers
Andrew
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby johnw » Fri 24 Dec, 2010 1:34 pm

Pteropus wrote:
juju wrote:Thanks John and Andrew, lovely pics. I was in the Royal earlier this year and shot lots of flowers, but can't find them now. Basted modern technology, sure I put it on a disc and filed it. How do you guys manage your photos? Do you have a system? Julie


Hi juju
I just make sure I upload my photos to my computer after each trip. I make a folder for the trip, then within that folder I have two nested folders, one each for the RAW and JPEG files. Then back up onto a portable hard disc...but I am sometimes a little complacent when it comes to backing up...
Cheers
Andrew

Thanks Juju. Ditto, I also upload straight after each trip. I try to use meaningful descriptions so I can find them again but otherwise no special system. Like Andrew I also back up to an external USB drive regularly... who I am I kidding, I do it occasionally, when I start to worry about what I might lose if the HDD packs up (which did happen recently).

Thanks for the additional memories and photos Andrew and others, I'm really enjoying this thread. Christmas preparations are fast overtaking me though; off to start mowing the lawns that I was supposed to finish this morning; then finish packing as we fly to Hobart on Sunday for 12 days. Some Tassie bushwalking again, yay! :)

p.s. I believe you can ride your MTB on designated single track around Temptation Creek and a few other spots, although I haven't tried it myself. I think it's part of a long term trial in Royal for MTB access. Any management trails are also OK unless signpotsed otherwise. NPWS are currently reviewing cycling in NPs in general and I suspect it will lead to greater access. As long as it doesn't cause conflict with walkers or restrict walking access I don't have a problem with that in most locations. Need to consider environmental impact though, particularly erosion. Any new trails should be designed and built to international standards I think, and I wouldn't want to see a proliferation of them. I think NZ and a few other countries have had some success with MTB trail building and managing access in NPs.
John W

In Nature's keeping they are safe, but through the agency of man destruction is making rapid progress - John Muir c1912
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby michael_p » Fri 24 Dec, 2010 2:43 pm

Just an extra tip on managing folders on your computer. When I create a new folder to upload photos into I always name the folder Year-Month-Day then some meaningful name I.E. 10-12-24jibbonhead. Makes it a lot easier as all the folders are in the order that the trips were taken.

Some great photos people. Far better than any I have ever taken. Thanks.

BTW. There is a dedicated mtb trail in the RNP. Most people park at Loftus Oval and go from there. Not overly technical but still fun.

Cheers,
Michael.
One foot in front of the other.
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby juju » Fri 24 Dec, 2010 6:42 pm

Thanks for your filing tips. Since going to digital I have most of my pics on cd which contain too numerous a variety of content to list on them and I'm thinking of sorting through and keeping the best to limit my baggage, as I have done with most of my prints/albums. I haven't yet got into the habit of doing this at the time of first viewing. Julie
We'll get fit on the way.
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Re: Royal National Park

Postby eggs » Sun 24 Jul, 2011 4:10 pm

Got back to Royal National Park last week on another Sydney visit.
It was the lull before all the rain.
This time we did a short return trip from Wattamolla to the Curracurrong and Curra Brook falls straight into the sea.
A place I had dreamed of visiting since seeing them briefly from a plane window.

However, as a side query, just near the start of the walk I looked up to catch a glimpse of a large animal dashing across the path ahead.
It was jet black with a long tail - about the size of a large dog.
I assumed it was some kind of wild dog in the park - but any chance it was a panther?

Just a few pics from the walk:
5831EchidnasCrop.JPG
My daughter just happened to notice a disturbance and we found 3 echidnas huddling amongst the boulders.

5839RainPoolReflections.JPG
First encounter with the sea cliffs and we had a lot of pools of water making great reflective surfaces

5849Curracurrang Creek.JPG
Curracurrang Creek near its mouth
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