Camping cost: $1536.73 Sites: 40 Average: $38.42

peteg's blog - travels - 2013 03 09 RNP CoastalTrack

Bushwalk: Royal National Park, Bundeena to Otford.

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On a whim Sean and I decided to walk from Bundeena to Otford along the Coast track. Preparation on Friday involved buying some supplies and deciding on a car shuffle that meant we wouldn't need to carry our camping gear too far. The weather was perfect for it.

After a moderately early start and a Maccas breakfast that probably got me through most of the first day, we both drove down to Otford and left Sean's car near the lookout at the end of the walk. I drove my car up to Garie Beach, where we dumped our gear and an excessive amount of water on top of the ridge; I climbed that twice on both sides and can tell you it's the worst incline on the whole walk. After that we parked my car at Bundeena and set off around midday carrying just water and food down the highway to Marley Beach.

That stretch is really quite pretty; loads of rocks, pretty flat, and some nice beaches. Wattamolla Dam was an eye-opener to me, a beautiful secluded little swimming hole which was comfortable enough right now but perhaps not next week. After that stretch there is a super-boring slog down to Garie Beach, and then over the hill of ill repute to the camp grounds at North Era. It didn't really feel like 17km apart from the last few hundred metres of steep incline and (bodily) decline.

We got to the camp grounds with a fair bit of sun left, finding our gear where we left it. My dear old MacPac Nautilus turned out to be easier to erect than Sean's dome. I ate my leftover (flavourless) butter tempeh cold, and Sean his chilli beef concoction. We got through the McWilliams Tawny Port, which was a bargain at $12 for 28 standard drinks. Like the distance we covered during the day, it sure didn't feel like that though; more like 5 or 6 I would guess. Sean fell asleep during my scintillating story, so I headed over to the campfire at the other end of the grounds and met a couple of UNSW Mechanical engineers: AJ from the Punjab via Malaysia, Gordon who originated from near Glasgow but has been here for ages.

I slept surprisingly well, and managed to navigate the toilet without paper not too shabbily, without even a hangover for company. Breakfast was a Sunrice pre-digested Thai Red Curry from ages ago, and some of Mum's "soluble" Bushells coffee. We got moving around 11am.

The slog from there down to Otford is hardly worth remarking on, though the rainforest had its moments. We bumped into mrak's mate Tom Murtagh and his entourage who were walking down to Burning Palms for the afternoon. Surfacing at Otford, feeling like we really had walked 8km, Sean drove his car up to the cafe where we recovered with a burger and a coffee each. Our gear was still where we left it at Garie; fortunately retrieving it was the easiest encounter with that hill of the three times I climbed it. The ambo and police were at the beach, so I'm guessing that someone passed away, but I have no details. After that we had another coffee at Bundeena, after which I recovered my car and ran into terrible traffic on the Grand Parade on the way back.

As Sandy never tires of reminding me, I carried far too much water — I estimate I used at most 50% of what I brought. Perhaps if it had been hotter I may have made it to 60%.