Location: Southern Beaches
Take the long way around by car through Royal National Park or take the 30 minute ferry ride from Cronulla to this slow paced village located in the National Park on the shores of Port Hacking opposite Cronulla. It is a great desination for a day or half day outing or as a base for adventurers wishing to explore the Park in detail.

Bundeena began life as a fishing village and has managed to retain its rural charm thanks to its isolated position on the northern boundary of Royal National Park.

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Hordens Beach

A clean beach located alongside the village centre of Bundeena next to the wharf so it is the first destination of many visitors arriving by the Cronulla ferry. Bundeena is an ideal starting place for walks through the Royal National Park via the walking trails to Marley Beach and Burning Palms. Maps and guides available from stores in Bundeena. The beach takes its name from Sydney retailer Anthony Hordern, who owned an allotment fronting the beach.
Bundeena Drive, Bundeena.

Gunyah Beach

A small beach on the north eastern shore of the Bundeena townsite. The nmame Gunyah Beach is derived from the Aboriginal name 'gunyah', a hut or dwelling.

Simpsons Bay Beach

This beach is in fact a giant 2-km sandbar which juts out into Port Hacking. Access is by boat or road from Bundeena. The beach is backed by a shady park filled with disused weatherboard huts, nearby is a camping ground. Can be noisy due to the area's popularity with jet skiers.

Facilities: toilets, showers, camping, picnic facilities, open barbecues. The boat ramp at Bonnie Vale Park is used mainly for launching jet skis and small dinghies.

Public transport: train to Cronulla, ferry to Bundeena. Simpson Road, Bundeena.
Facilities: toilets, cafes and shops at Bundeena.


The sister village to Bundeena, Maianbar is situated on the southern shores of Port Hacking with the Royal National Park forming a backdrop on all other boundaries. The two villages, or townships, are uniquely placed, with their only road access being through the Royal National Park. Maianbar was officially named in 1951 but the origin of the name is unknown. The suburb has no formally defined boundaries. Some maps include the sand spit to the east in Maianbar, while others do not. It is the smallest suburb in the Sutherland Shire with a population of 506 (Census 2001).


Prior to this area forming, the northern most point of Maianbar was the rocky projection now known as Constables Point. It takes its name from Marmaduke Constable, the State hangman, who purchased the entire northern section of Maianbar for $72 in 1858. It is also likely that the whole of the northern section of Maianbar was called Constables Point to describe the area owned by Constable.
Public transport: train to Cronulla, ferry to Bundeena.
Facilities: toilets, cafes and shops at Bundeena.

Jibbon Beach

Similar to Hordens Beach, except that the water is deeper, the beach is quieter and there are no facilities. An extensive, well signposted Aboriginal engravings site is located on the headland 300 metres north of the beach. The beach is still known by its Aboriginal name, which was first recorded by assistant surveyor-general Robert Dixon when he surveyed Botany Bay and Port Hacking in 1827. Dixon elected to use the Aboriginal names for geographical features rather than give new names.
Public transport: train to Cronulla, ferry to Bundeena. UBD Map 355 Ref C 8. Nell Street, Bundeena.
Facilities: toilets, cafes and shops at Bundeena.

Jibbon Head Rock Art Site

Pre-colonial Aboriginal engravings are visible on the walking track from Bundeena to Marley Head are carved into rock on Jibbon headland. The latter are well signposted with descriptions and interpretations of the art. There are are horizontal rock carvings of wobbegong sharks, fish, a whale, boomerangs and shields. The rock art is evidence of Aboriginal habitation up to 7,500 years ago.

Port Hacking

Port Hacking is a tide dominated, drowned valley estuary located approximately 30 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district. Much smaller than Sydney Harbour, Port Hacking has its source in the upper reaches of the Hacking River and several smaller creeks. The waterway is the northern boundary of Royal National Park.

Port Hacking and the the suburbs and localities that surround it are in the Shire of Sutherland, and as a consequence the locals refer to the whole area as The Shire . Port Hacking effectively forms the southern boundary of Sydney s suburban sprawl. The southern bank is largely undeveloped land within the Royal National Park, although the small communities of Bundeena and Maianbar are found there.

When development occurred around the Port Hacking foreshore, the priority appears to have been the creation of as many waterfront properties as possible, no doubt for the revenue they generate. As a result, access to the natural beauty surrounding Port Hacking s north shore suburbs is restricted to tiny pockets of bushland around the creeks, and some harbourside reserves. These reserves are excellent and have good facilities, but there are not enough of them.
Royal National Park Coastal Track

For over 100 years, the Royal National Park Coastal Track has been a "must-do" walk for visitors to Sydney who want to explore a little of what is beyond Sydney on foot. This walk commences at Bundeena and follows the coast for about 30 km past some of the most dramatic coastal scenery you could every wish to see.

Wattamolla lagoon

Along the way you'll pass The Waterrun and Curracurrong Waterfalls (which plunge in spectacular fashion off the cliff top to the ocean below); Wattamolla (picnics, camping, lagoon and swimming, waterfall); Garie (swimming, surfing); North and South Era (swimming, surfing, wildlife, camping); Burning Palms (swimming, surfing, camping); Palm Jungle (forest of palms and vines). Join the Cliff Track at Garrawarra Ridge, continue south then take the track through bush near Lady Wakehurst Drive to Otford.

The dramatic Curracurong Falls, a pair of waterfalls which plunge of the cliff face into the sea after rain

For a half or full day walk, begin at either end and allow enough time to return before dark or in time to catch ferry or train back (check timetables before embarking on this trip). To walk the full length of the coastal track, allow 2 days with an overnight camp along the way. Easy to moderate walk.

How to Get There: walk along Brighton Street (Bundeena's main shopping area) away from beach, left into Scarborough Street, then right into Beachcomber Avenue. The Coastal Track begins at the end of Beachcomber Avenue. If completeing the full walk, return to city via train from Otford station. Otherwise, walk back to Beachcomber Ave, left into Scarborough Street, and right into Brighton Street.

Royal National Park

Royal National Park, which surrounds Bundeena, is the second oldest National Park in the world. The Visitors Centre at Audley is the ideal place to begin explorations with maps, brochures and information available on things to do and see. Over 150 km of walking tracks give access to the park. Coastal tracks afford magnificent cliff top views. Visitors to the park can experience a diversity of habitats, including heath, rainforests, open woodlands and estuarine systems. Many shady, peaceful areas provide opportunities for picnics. Various lookouts offer spectacular views.

Aboriginal rock art abounds throughout the park. Wattamolla, Garie and Burning Palms are among the most beautiful surf beaches in Australia. Row boats may be hired at historic Audley whilst there are picnic facilities, barbecues and kiosks at Bundeena, Garie, Wattamolla and Audley. Bonnie Vale camping ground provides basic facilities (fees apply). Other camping sites are limited, with bookings and permits essential. Entry fee applies.

Beyond the park's southern entrance is the Lawrence Hargreaves Memorial Lookout at Stanwell Tops which celebrates Australia's foremost pioneer aviator who launched experimental flying machines here a century ago. Today the lookout is Sydney's most popular launching place for hang gliders. As well as being a viewing platform for the sport, it offers spectacular views south along the Illawarra coast, as do Sublime Point and Bulli Lookouts further south. Bushwalks from Stanwell Tops lead to and through a number of abandoned railways tunnels between Otford and Helensburgh.

There are a number of waterfalls within the boundary of Royal National Park, all of which can be reached with relative ease via walking trails which give access to the more remote sections of the park. These include Uloola, Horseshoe, Curracurrong, Deer Pool and Engadine Falls. Maps showing walking tracks are available from the Visitors Centre at Audley and manned entry points to the Park.

Public transport: train to Loftus, walk to park entrance via Princes Hwy and Farrell Ave; or train to Cronulla, ferry to Bundeena.
Facilities: toilets, cafes and shops at Bundeena.
Aboriginal Rock Art Sites

Hundreds of sites have been recorded in the Sutherland district but those within the National Park's boundaries are the easiest to find and access. Middens are visible at Curracurrang Cove and Era and Garie beaches. Sites at Wattamolla Beach have been excavated by archaeologists and show it to have been a specialised fishing site. The Curracurrang area has 8 rock shelters, some of which have been excavated, revealing evidence of occupation, and two small groups of engravings, both sign posted, are located on a small outcrop at the extreme north-western end of a large rock platform about 150m west of the fire trail.

A shelter at Curracurrang is one of the oldest sites found in the Sydney region, showing evidence of Aboriginal habitation up to 7,500 years ago. Engravings are visible on the walking track from Bundeena to Marley Head and numerous whales and turtles are carved into rock on Jibbon headland. Rock engravings can also be found near Blue Pools and Peach Trees.
Facilities: toilets, barbeques, picnic tables, grassed areas scattered throughout the park, kiosk at Audley.

Part of Sydney, or not?

The southern boundary of Sydney was very much open to conjecture until 2003. Sections of the electorates of Camden, Campbelltown and Heathcote appeared on the electoral map of Metropolitan Sydney and also on the electoral map of the Illawarra District to Sydney's south. If you included these electorates as part of Sydney, then Menangle and Wedderburn, Royal National Park and a narrow coastal strip to its south as far as Coledale were included as part of Metropolitan Sydney. If you included these electorates as part of the Illawarra, then Camden, Warragamba Dam, Badgerys Creek, Bringelly, Campbelltown, Eagle Vale, Leumea, Helensburgh, Bundeena, Waterfall, Engadine, Sutherland, Bonnet Bay and Como were not part of Metropolitan Sydney.

Crossing the border into Sydney

Though Camden and Campbelltown are now officially part of the Sydney metropolitan area, Heathcote and Bundeena have been placed within the Illawarra electrorate, excluding them from Sydney's motropolitan area. The placing of the boundary between the two electorates along the southern shores of Port Hacking has placed the waterfront residents of Bundeena and Maianbar in a rather precarious position. If they are at home, they are in the Illawarra; if they take a swim in the waters of Port Hacking outside their front doors, or go fishing off the jetty, they are in Sydney as the low water mark is the great divide.

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  • How to get there:
    Public transport: train to Cronulla station. Ferry to Bundeena.

    The Name
    Bundeena is an Aboriginal name, said to be a Dharawal term for 'noise like thunder'. It probably refers to the roar of surf breaking on the beach and may have referred to a coastal beach nearby as Bundeena Bay does not have surf.

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