Garie Beach to Thelma Head, Royal National Park

Start: Garie Beach Car Park
End: Garie Beach Car Park
Time taken: 1 hour
USP: Coastal views
Distance: 2km round trip

Google map of the start

Not all walks need to be long, or tough, or finish at a beautiful waterfall to stand out and become a lasting memory. Some of the best can come out of no where.


We’d spent the day at a remote beach, enjoying head high waves with no one else out. Smug in the knowledge that when these waves reached the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney there would be hundreds of eager surfers waiting to ride them. That day we had them to ourselves. Sitting out past the breaking swell we looked back on the high cliffs blanketed with Gum trees and grinned like idiots.

Charlie stand and stare

After taking our fill we joined our friends on the beach and hatched a plan to walk up onto the nearest headland to check the view down the coast. Boards packed away, we grabbed canteens and headed up the track. The sun was starting to go through it’s evening transformation. From searing white light to soft golden hues and our shadows leaned away from us as we climbed higher.

Nick and Jamie

Reaching the top we stood in silence, staring at 30km or more of uninterrupted coastline. The white water of the waves breaking below us caught the last of the light at sea level, making each wave burn brightly as they spent their energy on the sand bars.

The descent

Over the forest, shafts of light knifed through the folds of the slopes ahead of us and the crickets in the long grass started to stir and chirp in anticipation of the night ahead.

Nick and Charlie sit

As the sun continued to drop so did the temperature. The land cooling below the temperature of the sea. A change in air pressure. An imbalance that needed to be corrected. A sea breeze that started to tug at loose T shirts.

Kat walk down

In the fading light we made our way back down. Past the lonely fishing huts, over the gurgling stream and back along the beach. The shadow of the cliffs loomed into the ocean. The distant horizon wrapped itself in a band of pastel shades.

We hadn’t gone far, climbed very high or risked our lives on dangerous trails. We hadn’t even bothered to swap trainers for walking boots. But the conditions had come together perfectly to create a moment worth sharing with friends.

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