Take a Hike: Bundeena to Marley Beach

I finally decided that I would do the Bundeena to Marley Beach walk and see the famous ‘Wedding Cake Rock’ before it drops into the ocean and disappears forever. Some colleagues said they had recently done the walk and found it fairly easy, so I figured it would be a good one to do on my own.

The Bundeena to Marley Beach walk is located in the Royal National Park, south of Sydney, and forms part of The Coast Track which is 26km long. Walking from Bundeena to Otford sounds like an amazing adventure, but my fitness and bravery levels aren’t that high, so I was content with doing my little return trip. Since it’s part of The Coast Track, it naturally had amazing views of the rock cliffs and the ocean. It also offered great views of the great Australian bushland.

After walking for about 45mins, I finally reached ‘Wedding Cake Rock’ and had it all to myself. As you can see, they’ve fenced it off, but that doesn’t stop people from getting through.

My picture doesn’t really do this rock any justice in terms of scale. It’s huge. And it is oddly perfectly layered like a cake (hence the nickname). Nature never ceases to amaze me. After having finally seen and admired the rock in person, I decided I may as well continue onwards to Marley Beach.

I decided to take a break near a cliff edge to watch the waves crash into the rocks below. It was really peaceful just watching the waves roll in and out, listening to the waves crashing below, smelling the fresh sea air and feeling the sun’s warmth and sea breeze on my skin.

After resting and feeling refreshed, I made my way to Marley Beach. I had stopped by the Visitor Centre on my way to Bundeena and picked up a map for $1. There, the guide told me that swimming at Marley Beach is not advised due to the strong currents. There was even a sign that said it was a hazardous beach. If you’re looking to swim, the guide said Little Marley Beach, a little further on, would be the best place (do check before going swimming though).

As always, I’m fascinated with little beachy finds, and this trip was no exception. I found some new treasures to take home as mementos. I’m especially chuffed with finding that red shell. After digging in the sand, and no doubt drawing weird looks from other walkers, I decided it was time to head home, back the way I came.

This lizard was, most definitely, waiting for me to take its photo before scurrying off.

Not sure if you can see all the people in the distance, but this is just to give you an idea of how large the landscape truly is. It’s so vast, and it always reminds me to put things into perspective.

The Bundeena to Marley Beach walk, return trip, was about 12km in total and took me about 3hrs, which allowed for a nice rest break and some beach combing. You could bring a packed lunch for a picnic with a view, or grab some lunch in Bundeena afterwards as a reward (I went with hot chips with chicken salt. Not the healthiest, but oh so yummy!). I’d highly recommend it, but be careful as the trail I did had a steep descent/climb part way through. Worth it for the views though.

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