i like the coastal track in the royal.
pretty unique flora (coastal heath), usually some wildlife (even deer!!!) and some spectacular cliff and beach views.
u will only be able to do some of it.....normally it's a 2 dayer
but there are other great walks in the royal
getting to some of the starting points without a car may be a bit difficult however.
some of the bm tracks are probably more accessible by public transport eg. train.
in both cases tell someone where u r going and when u expect to be back.
take approriate clothing. the bm weather can change quickly.Edited: 27 February 2012, 17:05
Another vote for the Royal NP... stunning scenery.
Will yo have a car ??
A few points to keep in mind that will allow you to make your decision:
1. Transport, as Lien and Ellemay have said. If you have personal transport then you can stop at a few different locations in RNP and cover at least 3/4 2-3 hr hikes in 1 day.
2. Weather: If its a hot day or if its a stormy day, then RNP would not be advisable. You might still be able to hike in BM on such days.
3. Beaches? There are a some nice beaches (a few nude ones too) in RNP. If that is what interests you then obviously...
In general, to hike in RNP you will either need to get to Cronulla by train and then by ferry to Bundeena, and then go on a hike. You can also get to either Waterfall, Helensburg or Otford by train and then walk across to the Coastal Track. Note that the entire Coastal Track is about 27 kms long and may take upto 2 days.
Getting to BM is relatively easier. Just take a train to Katoomba and then the Explorer Bus that will drop you off at the trail-heads of various trails.
Chk out http://www.wildwalks.com/. They have almost all the trails in both NPs.
Enjoy!Edited: 27 February 2012, 19:55
IMO, the Blue Mountains are pretty and unique in their own way, but its nothing as compared to your Appalachian Mountains. In case you are used to hiking there, BM might not challenge you enough.
What time of the year are you visiting? The Royal NP as others have said is on the coast and whilst it is the oldest NP in OZ (second oldest in the world) it is typical of a coastal park close to a major urban centre. BTW lien deer arn't wildlife but feral animals in Australia:)
On the other hand the Blue Mountain NP is huge, parts are wilderness and is on the World Heritage list encompassing a variety of ecotones and landscapes. Away from the visitor nodes it offers true wilderness experiences in some areas even on a short day hike.
The attached link will give you detiled information on both.
Enjoy your visit
Hi, I'm Tara from Royal Coast Walks. As a disclaimer, we provide guided hikes through Royal National Park. But here's how to do it by yourself...
It sounds like you only have one day to explore either Blue Mountains or Royal National Park. On public transport, the round-trip from Central Station (Sydney) will take you 5 hours to get to/from the Blue Mountains whereas Royal National Park there & back (to Cronulla train station - see below) will take you 2 hours, leaving much more time to actually experience the place. See www.131500.com.au to plan your trip
While BABSBINI is correct that you can access Royal from Waterfall & Helensburgh train stations but it's not very well sign-posted. Otford is good but much further away from Sydney as it's down the southern end of the park.
So, catching the ferry from Cronulla to Bundeena (20 minutes) - a lovely village within Royal National Park. This is your last place to get supplies for the day - cafes and a small grocery store. Remember to take food and water with you as there is nowhere else in this part of the park to get anything. Download a free map of the park from cartoscope.com.au/maps/…Royal_NatPk.pdf
From Bundeena, you can either walk out along Jibbon beach to get to the aboriginal carvings, but this is currently not signposted so you may find it difficult. It's better to head right along the street after the ferry (following a small street sign to the Coast Walk), walking through the village for about 10 -15 minutes to get to the start of the walk. It's worth it - absolutely stunning coastal scenery, amazing views from headlands, and if you keep walking to Marley - deserted beaches.
A quick warning - if you decide to swim at the Marley beaches, don't swim at Big Marley (the first beach you walk to) as it's quite dangerous. Go to Little Marley instead (the second beach if walking from Bundeena) as it's safer.
If you walk through Bundeena to get to the track as I suggested (rather than via Jibbon headland), then it should take 1 1/2 hours to get to the Marley beaches. I'd make that the turn-around point to give you heaps of time to enjoy the beach before making your way back to Bundeena. You could go further on the Coast Track but only go as far as you're prepared to walk back! Enjoy!
Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond. A lot of great information! I really appreciate it.
I agree the coast walk in the Royal is wonderful.. but if in your time in Sydney you are planning to do the Bondi to Coogee walk.. then I would seriously consider opting for the mountains for your day hike.
Would suggest Blue Mountains normally, because it's unique. However, with the heavy rains we've been having. double check weather. Due to the canyons and steep valleys in Blue Mountains, parts are prone to flash flooding.
We will be in Sydney for four days in mid July and we are considering a day trip to either the Blue Mountains or Royal National Park. We are from land-locked Arid-Zona, USA so the coastal area is really appealing to us but we have also heard a lot about the Blue Mountains. Given the time of year, would one be better than the other? Also, as a side note we will have spent two weeks in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea before arriving in Sydney.