I have never heard of a waterfall emptying into the ocean – does such a thing exist? I have only associated waterfalls within a mountain range inland not coastal. I looked into the subject further and realised that there was one just outside our door steps within the Royal National Park! I was thrilled!
There are only a handful of waterfalls that empty into the ocean around the world, approximately 23 in total according to Wikipedia - but they missed Curracurrong Falls! (Waterfall Bay in Tasmania however, got a mention.)
Curracurrong Falls consists of two waterfalls. The creek is split into two streams, with each flowing straight off the edge of the sandstone cliff into the ocean. The main waterfall is more pronounced as you can see the long horsetail waterfall display as it empties into the ocean below.
The second waterfall is much smaller and on a windy day, the strong winds at the foot of the cliffs blows the water back up again, causing a large cloud of mists. It is a spectacular scene and if you are lucky, the sun will put on a lovely rainbow display with the Eagle Rock in the backdrop.
The best views of Curracurrong Falls is when standing on the head of Eagle Rock, as you get a frontal view of the waterfall with the misty cloud activity to your right, surrounded by luscious native shrubs high above the Tasman Sea.
To get the best views of Eagle Rock, you will need to hike down the ravine, cross the small stream then up the ravine again. Once you reach the top of the cliff, stand on top of the main waterfall then face north, is an amazing view of the Eagle Rock.
Curracurrong Falls and Eagle Rock is located along The Royal Costal Walk Track, which is a 26km long track from Jibbon Point (Bundeena) in the north to Otford (Stanwell Park) to the south, however, it can be tackled in section according to your point of interest.
The landscape consists of steep valleys, ridges and rocky outcrops split by the Hacking River System with its network of streams interspersed with waterfalls and pools, making it one of best tracks in the world to be walked at least once in your life time.
The track is also great for spotting humpback whales during whale watching season between June to September, with the best months being June and July.
Also keep your eyes out for sea eagles or osprey as they glide across the sky over the ocean. On the ground however, be mindful of wildlife as you are in their natural habitats; snakes have been spotted crossing the tracks or minding their own business off the walking tracks.
How to get there
The closest track to the Curracurrong Falls and Eagle Rock can be accessed from Wattamolla and is approximately 1.5 hours return. It is a difficult grade track consisting of different terrains, including steep gorge descends and ascends with some parts passing through shrubs and stream crossings.
P5 parking bay is the where the track starts or you can park at the lower parking bays for closer access to toilet amenities, picnic areas and the food van. Follow the sign posts to Curracurrong Falls - there are plenty of them along the way to keep you on track.