Heathcote to Engadine Loop, Royal National Park

Start: Heathcoate Train Station
End: Engadine Train Station
Time taken: 4.5 hours  (we kept a good pace throughout, and had around a 20min stop for lunch)
USP: The beautiful Uloola Falls make a great lunch spot, and the ascent provides impressive views of Sydney CBD
Distance: 16km

Get a map of our route

A couple of weekends ago we were invited on a hike with some friends in the Royal National Park.

We hopped on the 10.12 train to Waterfall at Bondi Junction, and sat on the train for just under an hour, arriving at Heathcote at 11.33. Travelling on a Sunday meant that travel is capped at a very reasonable $2.50. Result! Train Timetable here

The route follows a well-maintained and sign-posted track.

walking-down-rocks

We started our walk from Heathcote, taking a right after leaving the station. Here the route starts in bush to the left and continues along a rocky path.

You can tell that Spring is just around the corner, with beautiful wild flowers starting to bloom including a blush pink variation of heather, yet to be identified!

pink-heather

We continued for 2.5km until we got to Karloo Pools. The water was a sumptuous emerald green colour. We will definitely be back in the warmer months to take a dip. We had to take off our boots and socks to get across and enjoyed the view whilst munching on some Percy Pigs (an English favourite sweet treat… THEY ARE THE BEST!)

creek-crossing

After a short rest we continued on the trail. This time a slight ascent; we wound our way up for another 2.5km, to the next stop, Uloola Falls. Here we stopped to take a break and had some lunch (trusty cheese sarnies and boiled eggs!). The sound of the falls very relaxing as we munched away.

lunch-break

Top Tip: 200m or so from the falls is a campsite, that has outside toilets. Not the most pleasant experience in the world, and a slight detour… but they fulfilled a need!

Stomachs filled (and bladders emptied!) we continued on our way. This time following signs to Audley, 4.5km.

From here the trail winds through denser bush and we had to continue in single file. We kept quite a pace along this section, pausing  to take in views from a peak of rock that looked “like the backbone of a dinosaur”. From here you can see the whole of Sydney CBD and Parramatta beyond.

We continued along the track, until we met a fork in the road. One way to Audley and the other to Engadine, which was our destination on this spring-like September Sunday.

boat-and-creek

Here we took a left, started a descent, whilst continuing to take in the impressive views of the city.

After a few kms the trail starts to descend more sharply, and trusty metal ladders make it slightly easier going. After around 20mins we got to the lovely Audley Weir.

Here we took in the view, but keen to crack on, started the ascent back up to Engadine, where we were to catch the train. We made the 16.13 train with seconds to spare, and all crashed out as we raced back to the city.

A great energetic walk, that we will be back to explore further, (and perhaps a bit more leisurely)!

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