Last weekend as part of training for our upcoming trip to Nepal, we (Kelly, Graham, Jack and I) did the coastal walk from Bundeena to Otford. I’ve done the hike multiple times and in both directions; also having once did it as a two day hike. The hike follows the coast for the most part and the views it offers are amazing! I’m always in awe of the view and the sheer cliff walls and can’t believe how close such an amazing hike is to Sydney.
It’s a hard hike though as there are a number of steep climbs and descents as you move from the top of the cliff down to the beach and back up again. It’s over 28km long and is quite exposed for the most part (which makes it harder in the summer). There is a running event every year called the coastal classic and in it’s FAQ, it says that although the coastal walk is about 30km, due to the nature of the terrain, running it is akin to running a marathon. (We have a friend, Emily, who will be doing it this year. -All the best Emily!).
We did the hike with full backpacks, carrying everything which we are planning on taking to Nepal and I decided to make it a little more challenging for myself and carried 7 litres of water (instead of the 3L I plan to carry). We all met at the Cronulla ferry wharf that morning to catch the first ferry which departed at 8:30am. The real challenge we faced was the train schedules departing from Otford station. Kelly and I were heading north to Sydney and had to catch the 5:15pm train from Otford station, Graham and Jack were heading south and their train departed at 5:30pm. If we missed our trains, there wouldn’t be another for another 2hrs and it would be dark and cold (not to mention us being tired); so we had to complete the hike in under 8hrs.
Also while on the train to Cronulla to catch the ferry, Kelly and I suddenly realised that we had forgotten our lunches and they’re still in the fridge at home. Luckily there was an IGA supermarket close to the Bundeena ferry wharf where we were able to purchase some wraps, salami and cheese.
Once the shopping was done, we started on the walk and not long into the walk we hit the coast and were greeted with breathtaking views of the coast. There were lots of photo and video taking along the way (as you will probably be able to tell in the video below). And we even saw an eagle flying in a distance during the hike. Also along the way, we went past Wedding Cake rock. The area around the rock has been fenced off now because of a crazy instagram trend (as reported in this article in the Sydney Morning Herald) which resulted in a fatal accident in June this year.
We stopped for lunch at Wattamolla before continuing along the walk. It was quite interesting to note that we encountered quite a number of day walkers on the areas near roads (start/end of the track, Garie Beach and Wattamolla) but had the track all to ourselves on the other parts of the track. We were running a little behind schedule and had to pick up our pace towards to the last few sections of the track. However we were able to make it to Otford station with just under 10 minutes to spare before the north bound train arrived.
Below is a video of the trip, there’s also a map of the route and some charts showing the pace, altitude, temperature and vertical speed of the hike to give you a rough idea of the hike
It was a great day and if you live close by (in Sydney or Wollongong) and haven’t done it before, you should definitely get out there to see what you’re missing out on.
All charts have distance on the x-axis