Start: Killalea State Park Camp Ground
End: Killalea State Park Camp Ground
Time taken: 1.5 hours
USP: Coastal views, empty beach and bird life
Distance: 2km round trip
During a long weekend with our van, ‘Bert’, in the Killalea State Park, just south of Woolongong we stumbled upon a great little walk. A perfect way to start the day.
We’d woken early in the morning with Ravens and Rosella as our alarm clock. The camp site was almost empty, except for a few late night arrivals while we’d slept. The sun was just starting to colour the clouds and there was a damp coolness in the air.
We quickly brewed a coffee on the stove and filled mugs before heading off on a path marked ‘To the beach’.
Sounds good. Let’s go that way!!
As we walked we chatted and woke and sipped hot coffee. Whip Birds were cracking in the thickets around us and Crimson Rosella chased Rainbow Lorikeet in the canopies. Flashes of red and orange catching the rising sun.
The path started to head downhill, through a natural arch way of trees and shrubs, twisted together in a dense tunnel of vegetation. Bird song rang out in the darkness and Superb Fairy Wren darted across the path in front of us. Well laid wooden steps led us through the tangle until the woodland gave way to the most amazing view.
We squinted sleepy eyes against the gold light and stared down a kilometer of deserted beach ending in a craggy island and backed by more dense woodland. A few early risers were enjoying empty 2 foot waves in the north corner where the swell bounced off the rocks giving quick, steep rides for those skilled enough.
We reached the sand and walked the length of the beach. Laying the first foot prints of the day on a pristine beach wiped clean by the high tide over night. At the back of the beach more parrots chased through the scrub, a Sacred Kingfisher glinted from it’s perch and Wattle Birds barked at each other.
Reaching the end of the beach we found the Minnamurra Beach emptying into the ocean. We rounded the spit and continued our way down the river. The landscape changing to Mangrove on our side and million dollar mansions on the other. In the middle, Pelicans, Egrets and Herons warmed themselves in the growing light.
The coffee in our mugs had long run out, but it had done it’s job. The list of birds continued to grow as we traced the northern bank of the river upstream. Great Egret, Little Egret, Pied Cormorant, a single Caspian Tern hiding amongst the Silver Gull, dwarfing them in size.
A cut-through in the woodland allowed us to walk back through to the beach on the exposed side of the spit. The sun was now high in the sky and a steady stream of surfers made their way down the steps and into the warm water.
We only went for a coffee on the beach, but the walk we found was a welcome surprise and summed up our long weekend in Killalea. The walks weren’t very long, but the wildlife and views more than made up for it. Only two hours from Sydney, I think we found our new bolt hole!