Great Southern Walk (Sydney - Woolongong)

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Great Southern Walk (Sydney - Woolongong)

Postby Lonboats » Thu 25 Jan, 2024 10:31 am

Hi y'all,
Does anyone have any recent info on the progress of this 'new' Sydney - Woolongong walk?
I cant find much online other than the below link which really isn't very helpful.
https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topi ... thern-walk
Looking to introduce my young daughter to the joys of point to point walking and this looks ideal.
Thank you!
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Re: Great Southern Walk (Sydney - Woolongong)

Postby johnw » Fri 26 Jan, 2024 10:48 am

I've walked pretty much all of the tracks involved over the years, some many times. However I have no current knowledge of progress.
The link you posted does actually contain quite a bit of useful information, but needs to be read in detail.
Timeframes and Project Updates sections in particular are worth reading.
December 2023 Project Update page (published 10 January 2024) is fairly clear about what the current activities and priorities are.
The high level estimate to complete the whole walk appears to be (sometime) in 2024. I would probably take that with a grain of salt.
Weather and other factors can affect progress and government projects rarely run on time.
That said it may be possible to string together a route that approximates the walk, using existing tracks.
If not local that may require a fair bit of research. For example it's not currently possible to walk the RNP Coast Track end to end.
There are several track closures along its length. I know the park well and could probably find a lawful workaround, but may involve some unpleasant road walking in places.
How soon were you hoping to do the walk?
John W

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Re: Great Southern Walk (Sydney - Woolongong)

Postby Lonboats » Mon 29 Jan, 2024 7:11 am

Hi John thank you for your reply. I guess we can navigate around any closed sections but do you know of any camping options near Wattamolla Beach? The map marks a spot there but is not very specific. And I can’t find anything online. My concern is that the walk from North Era (Garie) to Bonnie Vale will be too much for little legs. Thank you again!!
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Re: Great Southern Walk (Sydney - Woolongong)

Postby johnw » Mon 29 Jan, 2024 2:34 pm

Unfortunately the only currently open campgrounds in RNP are Bonnie Vale and Uloola Falls. I believe North Era is closed, so there is currently no authorised camping on the coast track. I'm vaguely aware of plans to introduce a campsite near Wattamolla, probably as part of the current project. There is no camping there at present, although I think there was a site there many years ago. It sounds like you're travelling south to north. It would be possible to make a route from Otford to Bonnie Vale via Uloola, but it would be convoluted and well out of your way. Also a short section of about 1 km or so road walking plus a similar distance off track. It would also miss most of the best coastal scenery as it requires going a fair distance inland. An easier, marginally shorter, route could be made without camping but would still probably end up being over 30 km in a single day. I could probably do that, although I'd struggle with it these days. Likely too difficult for your young daughter. Really depends on the timing of when you want to go. If you can wait until NPWS sorts out some of the existing closures things should be much better. It may pay to give them a call about prospective reopening dates of track sections and the North Era campsite.
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Re: Great Southern Walk (Sydney - Woolongong)

Postby Warin » Mon 29 Jan, 2024 8:43 pm

Lonboats wrote:Hi John thank you for your reply. I guess we can navigate around any closed sections but do you know of any camping options near Wattamolla Beach? The map marks a spot there but is not very specific. And I can’t find anything online. My concern is that the walk from North Era (Garie) to Bonnie Vale will be too much for little legs. Thank you again!!


The web page you linked to said Wattamolla Beach 2024 ... that could mean December 2024. Given the number of established tracks around Sydney that are closed due to fire damage/landslips/etc I think the establishment of a new track will be put back, and that means any new campsites too, 2025 possibly.

What is the present day walking capability of the 'little legs'? Done any over night walks? You might get more ideas here if you give some indications of what is possible capability wise.
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Re: Great Southern Walk (Sydney - Woolongong)

Postby InLike » Tue 30 Jan, 2024 9:24 am

We did the Stanwell Park to Austinmere section late last year for what it's worth. Lots of that is closed, but the Forest Walk was fine and progressing well and we just skipped past the work sites. I wouldn't recommend the Wodi Wodi for a small kid at the moment - best to wait for the upgrade.

Given the state of the leeches there I would NOT like to be constructing that track, but it will be brilliant when it's finished.
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Re: Great Southern Walk (Sydney - Woolongong)

Postby Bron » Tue 27 Feb, 2024 12:03 pm

i walked Wollongong (really Pt Kembla ) to Gerringong over 2 days in December with my daughter.
This is a walk that would be easy to shorten depending on leg length.

Theres a great website that divides the South Coast into sections.
The section between Woolongong to Port Kembla is generally advised to by done by bus.
The coast is generally easy to follow -just keep the ocean on your left - and south of Minamurra there are signposts for the Kiama Coast Walk. The Kiama Coast Walk actually stops at Werrie Lagoon and this is not mentioned in the notes! You have to wade the Lagoon.
If I did this walk again I would allow 3 days not 2. There are lots of Caravan Parks in Kiama to stay the night at on the way.
I would also stop at Shellharbour CP as we camped at Killolea SP. Google Maps did not show the rather LARGE HARBOUR we had to walk around after Shellharbour, and there was alot of new housing that was a drag to walk past in the late afternoon to get to Killolea.
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Re: Great Southern Walk (Sydney - Woolongong)

Postby johnw » Wed 28 Feb, 2024 2:15 pm

Bron wrote:The Kiama Coast Walk actually stops at Werrie Lagoon and this is not mentioned in the notes! You have to wade the Lagoon.

You may have been unlucky Bron. I've walked that section of the Kiama Coast Walk several times and always had a dry crossing of Werri Lagoon.
I believe it's only open to the ocean after periods of heavy rain. That said it would be helpful to have the notes provide such advice.
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Re: Great Southern Walk (Sydney - Woolongong)

Postby Bron » Wed 28 Feb, 2024 9:04 pm

johnw wrote:
Bron wrote:The Kiama Coast Walk actually stops at Werrie Lagoon and this is not mentioned in the notes! You have to wade the Lagoon.

You may have been unlucky Bron. I've walked that section of the Kiama Coast Walk several times and always had a dry crossing of Werri Lagoon.
I believe it's only open to the ocean after periods of heavy rain. That said it would be helpful to have the notes provide such advice.

When I did Murramurang Coast Track a few weeks later I walked across Lake Durras outlet as it was closed. However I read today about someone who just did that walk and it was a metre deep!
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Re: Great Southern Walk (Sydney - Woolongong)

Postby Hoojar » Mon 04 Mar, 2024 9:45 am

Bron wrote:The Kiama Coast Walk actually stops at Werrie Lagoon and this is not mentioned in the notes! You have to wade the Lagoon.


Generally you can just walk across the sand here, but very occasionally it is a raging torrent. One time I had walked from Kiama and had to swim across the mouth carrying my dog and phone etc. I must have looked hilarious!
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