A French traveler and artist currently exploring Australia. I enjoy bushwalking, discovering the local culture and arts.
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Published August 20th 2012
Discover the natural (read: naked) beauty of Werrong Beach
This hike may be short and a bit hard at times but the reward is well worth it as the track starts from the top of the cliffs, offering beautiful views, before winding its way downwards to the small (nudist!) beach. Don't forget to bring enough water and a first-aid kit as there are no facilities whatsoever along the track. See bottom of the page for useful information.
Leaving our car on the small parking next to Lady Wakehurst Drive, we strolled to the small adjoining lookout. A group of bikers and a few people enjoyed the lush green grass and the open vista of the crescent-shaped coast snaking South, peppered with mighty cliffs overshadowing small creeks. Looking North, the same kind of vista was offered to our eyes and we got started on the path, knowing that our destination waited for us, down in one of these nooks.
After only a few steps, the vegetation closed in on our left, guiding our gaze towards the shimmering blues of the Tasman Sea to our right. Peering over the metal railing, we frightened ourselves with a couple of views down the sheer faces of the cliffs, before heading further into the bush on the aptly-named Cliff Track.
Away from the city, the only tweets that reached our ears came from actual birds hidden in the lush vegetation or casting curious sidelong glances at us from their perches on a eucalyptus bough or a fragrant rotting log. A small pond opened to our right as the path became rockier and started to slope downwards. The thick vegetation suddenly receded, revealing the thin, crescent-shaped beach, encased between a pair of stern cliffs.
We dropped our packs and enjoyed a quick dive in the surf and pondered if the lush turf was better than the yellow sand to dry ourselves up and sun for a while. The gusty wind coming from the sea convinced us to keep some kind of clothing on but the few people who strolled along the tiny beach seemed to make no such fuss about it. We then waded our way at the foot of the southern cliffs, hopping between boulders that looked like giant colourful marbles, as a line of boats slowly crept on the horizon.
Before heading back, we walked up the small brook trickling down from the ridge. Humming the Indiana Jones theme as we climbed our way up, with the singing water as our only path, we reached a remote series of small waterfalls. We revelled in the earthly scents of the bush mixing with the salty perfume of the ocean before picking up our packs and heading back towards Sydney.
Where : Royal National Park Length : 3km return – 2h
Rate : Hard – Steep and rocky in some places Otford train station is just under one hour South of Central Station, on the Eastern Suburbs/Illawarra Line (adult return fare : $12.8). Exit the platform to Station Street, walking to the left, make an immediate right on Fanshawe Road and then a left on Lady Wakehurst Drive. The trail starts at the big "Coast Walk" wooden sign, towards Bundeena. The track follows the cliffs for about a kilometer before reaching a fork. Keep right, following the "Werrong Unclad Beach" arrow and follow the steep and sometimes rocky trail down to the beach.