Start: Killalea Park kiosk (follow Federation Track signs)
End: Killalea Park kiosk
Time taken: 2 hours
USP: Coastal views, empty beach and bird life
Distance: 2-3km round trip
We found this walk on the final day of a long weekend camping in Killalea State Park. We didn’t have a route in mind, but could see the coast stretching off into the distance from The Farm cafe and figured there must be a path taking in the views if we went looking.
We grabbed some banana bread and coffee from The Farm cafe (this seems to be a recurring theme in our write ups!) and headed-off into the woods, binoculars and camera at hand.
The vegetation in Killalea is heavily managed and is starkly different to the low woody brush or towering gums found around Sydney. Here everything is green and lush, with flowers everywhere. There’s a mixture of manicured lawns bordered by wild meadows, which makes a great home for a wide range of insect and bird life. All of this diversity is contained within dry stone walls reminiscent of Yorkshire woodlands.
As we walked through a meadow, vibrant orange Monarch butterflies floated up from the grass in front of us, swooping and gliding past; it felt almost dream-like!
The bird life was amazing too. Our first ever sightings of BulBul was a highlight as well as Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike, Red Browed Finch and of course, Fairy Wren.
Within 15 minutes we reached Killalea Lagoon and followed the track right, (the loop is clearly sign-posted ‘Federation State Track’ throughout). Here we added more names to the list, including Black Swan, Musk Duck, Great Egret and Purple Swamp Hen.
Continuing on the path we ended up on The Farm beach, nicknamed after a now retired dairy farm nearby. Although less bird-life, the beach is impressive with rolling green hills falling into turquoise ocean and uncrowded sand bottomed waves.
We walked the length of the beach and then turned left back onto the track, again following the sign-posts as the track wound around the opposite side of the lagoon. After a few kilometres the path rose up a gentle slope, giving great views to the South across the lagoon and out to sea. Looking to the North the coast folds around the city of Woolongong and the Illawarra Escarpment looms in the background. One to explore next time we visit.
A couple of hours later and we were back at the start. Reluctant to leave and start the drive home, we lingered along the edge of a dense tangle of shrubs and woodland adding yet more names to the list; Thornbill, Whip Bird, Grey Fantail, Eastern Spinebill…
Check out another of our favourites from Killalea, exploring along Mystics Beach.