Sutherland Shire local of over 36 years Gary Brown lets you into a few great walking designations in the area, so that you can step out and about in the Shire.
The Shire has 42 suburbs and 14 localities that has an area of approximately 370 square kilometres, of which 173 square kilometres is state-designated national parkland. Within this area you will find thousands of walks, that will suit the abilities of people who like to take the time out and go for a walk.
So whether you are a seasoned walker or one that just likes to get out and stretch your legs for a short walk. The Shire has got a walk for you!
Now I am not a seasoned walker, but I do enjoy getting out and about in the Shire for a walk at least once a week and I do have a few favourites. They include Salmon Haul Reserve to Wanda Beach, Bonna Point at Kurnell to Cape Solander in the Kamay Botany Bay National Park, Sutherland to Prince Edward Park in Woronora, Sydney Tramway Museum in Loftus to Audley and Bundeena to Jibbon Head in the Royal National Park.
Salmon Haul Reserve to Wanda Beach.
Of my 5 favourite walks in the Shire, this would have to be the easiest of them. It stretches from Salmon Haul Reserve in the south to Wanda Beach in the north and it would take you about 40 minutes each way while walking at an easy pace. If you are like me and like to take in the sights as you walk, then it will take you longer.
Along the way you can stop to get yourself a take-away coffee at places like the Shelly Park Shop, the Nun’s Pool, Zimzala’s, Barefoot on the Beach Café and Wanderer’s near Wanda Beach. Maybe you would like to take the kids along with you and stop off at one of the following parks; Salmon Haul Reserve, Oak, Shelly or Cronulla and let them have a go on the play equipment.
While walking you may even find the time to take a swim at one of the beautiful beaches or take a dip in the rock pools at Oak, Shelly or south Cronulla. You never know you may even sight a few dolphins and the odd whale or two.
NOTE: There are toilets along the way, wheel chair friendly, a couple of parts are shared with bikes and resting chairs for that pit stop to take in the views.
Bonna Point at Kurnell to Cape Solander in the Kamay Botany Bay National Park.
Depending on how fast or slow you walk, it will take you about one and a quarter hours each way. If you park your vehicle at the Bonna Point end of this walk you will not have to pay the fee to enter the National Park, but if you park in the Kamay Botany Bay National Park you will need to pay the fee. To find out how much a day or annual pass is you can click on the following link: http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/Kamay-Botany-Bay-National-Park
Along the way you will be able to walk along Silver Beach or Prince Charles Parade. Here you may like to stop a while and dip you toes in the water or have a coffee or cake at the very popular Silver Beach Café or the Endeavour Coffee and Ice Cream shop.
As you proceed pass the oil wharf you will enter the Kamay Botany Bay National Park where you can stop and look at where Captain Cook and his crew landed. If you cast your eyes over the water towards Port Botany you will see a large red channel marker. This is where the Endeavour first anchored.
Don’t forget to call into the Visitors centre as they have a great museum, with plenty to see and don’t forget to free map of more walks in the area. From here you can take the road out to Cape Solander to the whale watching station.
If you don’t want to walk all the way on one trip you could always check out the picnic tables and other facilities that are along the way. Maybe you could come back with the family and go for a swim in the enclosed swimming pool on Silver Beach or cast a line or two off the rock wall ‘groynes’.
Sutherland to Prince Edward Park in Woronora.
There are a few ways that you can go on this walk, so to help you out I will start and finish at the Sutherland Train Station. Start off by walking down towards the new Woronora Bridge and take the public walkway just underneath the road. This will take you over to the western side of the bridge where you can find you way down to the old Woronora Bridge.
Once down at the water’s edge you can weave your way through the streets of Woronora and across the bridge at the entrance to Loftus Creek and Prince Edward Park. From here you can walk north through the park to the track that leads back up the hill to Delta Street and then the Grand Parade. Once you come to the set of lights you can work your way along Linden Street past the cemetery and then take one of the streets on your left back through the streets to Sutherland Station.
Along the way you can stop off for a meal at the Woronora Boatshed on Loftus Creek, The Bridge Restaurant & Bar adjacent to the old Woronora Bridge, the Yau Chinese Restaurant in the Woronora RSL. You will also need to keep an eye out for wallabies, echidnas, sugar gliders, blue tongue lizards, black cockatoos and tiny wrens.
Depending on your walking pace this walk should take you about an hour and a half one way.
Bundeena to Jibbon Head in the Royal National Park.
To get to this walk you could either drive through the Royal National Park and park at Bundeena or drive to Cronulla and park your car at the back of Cronulla Station in Gunnamatta Bay. Then catch a ferry across the Port Hacking River to Bundeena. From here you can then trek your way through the streets of Bundeena until you reach Jibbon Beach.
If you are coming in through the Royal National Park you will need to turn off St Bertram Stevens Drive and head along Bundeena Drive. Here you will pass the turn-off to Maianbar and continue onto the township of Bundenna.
Once you have reached the T-section at the shops, turn left into Brighton Street and then Loftus Street. From here you will take the second street on your left and follow the one-way street down to the end and find off street parking. From here it’s just a 10-minute stroll across the sand to the rocks at the northern end of the beach where you will then head through the bush to the Jibbon Head Aboriginal engraving site. The site is a special and historic place, with some clear engravings and others more faded. The site is best viewed in the late afternoon sun, or after rain. Take care not to walk on any of the engravings.
The return trip to the township of Bundeena will take you around an hour where you can get yourself a meal at one of the many café’s or restaurants before either driving back through the Royal National Park or catching the ferry back to Cronulla.
Loftus Tram Museum to Audley.
For me, this would have to be the hardest of the four walks as the trail down to the localities of Audley can be a bit steep and rough. Care will need to be taken where traversing this walk. Once you get down to Audley there is so much to do. You could stop off for a picnic or even go for a fish below the weir. Maybe you would like to try either rowing a boat, paddling a kayak or a canoe from the Audley Boat Shed. If that doesn’t take your fancy to might like to have a bite to eat at the Audley Dance Hall and Cafe or call into the Royal National Park Visitor’s Centre to find out what else is on offer.
These 4 walks are only scratching the surface on the number of walks that you can go on in the Shire. For more information, you could go to the following web sites:
Bush walking in the Royal National Park.