Coastal walks can be a workout but they can also soothe the soul and have you invigorated for the week ahead. Bundeena, just south of the big smoke, is a great port for those looking to ditch the wheels and wander into the wilderness. One of many scenic walks here is the Jibbon Loop Track starting and ending at Bundeena wharf, and traveling via Jibbon Beach, Port Hacking Point and Shelley Beach.
So my friend and I were beyond tired and covered in sand, wild scrub and mud by the end of our walk, which was definitely much longer than 5.1 kilometres - the length of the Jibbon Track. I wouldn't be surprised if we did double the distance. Only now in looking at Wild Walks' map of the official Jibbon trail do I see where we went wrong. Parking to the south of Scarborough Street, we took the cross-country track parallel to the coastline. I now bear the good news that you don't have to take this hinterland-like path - unless of course you're up for the challenge!
Anyway, the official loop takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes. But by all means take your time and savour the scenery. Departing from Bundeena wharf, you'll first reach the Corner of Loftus and Neil Streets from which you can access Jibbon Beach. It was nice to walk the 800m stretch with toes nestled in the warm, golden sand. With a view across the Port Hacking River mouth, it's also a nice place for a refreshing dip.
The beach is bound by two rock shelves. From the northern of these, walk 100m to reach Little Jibbon Intersection. This is your gateway to various attractions in the loop. Firstly, the tree tunnel will lead you to the viewing platform for the Jibbon Engravings - rock surfaces that have become a museum for 2000 year-old carvings by the Dharwal Aboriginal people depicting their relationship to the land, as well as creatures they shared the area with.
From the intersection you may also head toward Little Jibbon Beach via the Jibbon Head Track - a quainter version of Jibbon Beach. 2.18 kilometres from the intersection will get you to Jibbon Head which is the southern headland of the entrance to Port Hacking. Take in the beautiful views of the ocean, the river, and over to Cronulla. Then take on the next 2.42 kilometres toward Shelley Beach.
Shelley Beach is right on the north-eastern tip of the Royal National Park. It's a gorgeous pitstop on this walk. In our case, this was much needed after enduring much more wilderness than the loop intends. Lots of shells on the beach keeps it true to its name. A rock platform offers a great place to have a well-deserved break. Chill out, have lunch, and take in views across the water.
From here, head back in the direction of the intersection through the inland path. That is, if you are doing the loop clockwise. From here, get back to Bundeena Wharf via Jibbon Beach. Enjoy your adventure, enjoy the workout, and enjoy a fresh you upon return to the city. If you're looking to escape for more than just a walk, check out this guide to camping in the Bundeena area.