Sydney Royal National Park Coastal Photography Tour
On a 7-hour photography tour of Royal National Park, enjoy photo ops of scenery like park headlands, beaches, and rock platforms along the Illawarra coast. Led by a professional photographer who provides tips about taking photos, this tour departs from Sutherland, south of Sydney. During May, June, and July, you may also see pods of whales off the beaches and cliffs of the national park, which is also home to a resident pair of white-bellied sea eagles who can be seen hunting for food.
New South Wales' Royal National Park offers tremendous opportunities for landscape and seascape photography, with its cliffs and sea views. The ancient coastline that was created by a string of volcanoes 240 million years ago provides a variety of shapes, colors, and textures amid its many panoramas.
Your tour starts with pickup from the Sutherland Railway Station for the drive to Royal National Park, stopping for photo ops at Audley on the Hacking River. Keep your camera handy, as your photographer-guide picks out some of the best locations throughout the journey.
Continue to the village of Bundeena on Port Hacking, a pristine area worth a few photographs, and then enter the park using the Coastal Track and walk half a mile (800 meters) to the sandstone cliffs for sunrise or early-morning-light photography. Move on to Wattamolla with its inlet and lagoon, and discover a waterfall, beaches, and lookouts. Then continue through the park and its rainforests to Otford and the start of the Coastal Track.
View the park coastline—to the south you can see Kiama and the city of Wollongong with its picturesque harbor, beaches, and small fishing fleet. From Otford, you'll stop at Stanwell Park in the Northern Illawarra for refreshments (own expense). Stanwell Park is a surfing beach with a small kiosk surrounded by a picturesque village, where you can rest, stretch, and take a few shots.
Next up is the unique Seacliff Bridge, which follows the cliff face over rock platforms often frequented by fisherman. Then visit Wombarra with its surfing beaches, rock platforms, and a cemetery on the coast, perfect for coastal photography. Your last destination for the day is Wollongong for photography, sightseeing, and refreshments at a cafe on the harbor (own expense).
Your tour ends with return to the pickup point at Sutherland, or catch the train through the national park direct to Sydney, a lovely journey in itself.
Wildlife note: At the right time of the year, you might see whales migrating north to mate off the Queensland coast. Pods of southern right and humpback whales can be seen frolicking close to shore during the months of May, June, and July, when they swim just off the beaches and cliffs of Royal National Park. With luck, you may also see the resident pair of white-bellied sea eagles hunting and diving to catch food.