Royal National Park, nr Sydney, NSW, Australia
This is possibly the most popular swimming hole in the Sydney region, and for good reason. Wattamolla has it all, with its impressive waterfall, child-friendly lagoon, (officially banned but still popular) daredevil rock jump and beautiful natural setting, not to mention the beach, there is something here for everyone and a variety of wild swimming opportunities to try out. Although it does get incredibly busy, especially at weekends and holiday times, Wattamolla never loses its charm and it’s easy to see past the crowds and still appreciate the astounding combination of beach and bushland; water and woods. And if you’re lucky enough to visit on a quieter day, a more peaceful setting is hard to find as the sandunes and surrounding woods shelter the lagoon from ocean breezes.
Here’s a video of the rock jump (Wattamolla Jump). There are several levels, although the rocks may be slippery and there is a barrier discouraging visitors from standing on the edge of the falls. Always check water depth as this can change daily due to debris washed down the river etc.
How To Get There:
To get to Wattamolla Beach from Audley Weir, follow Sir Bertram Stevens Drive south east for 10km and then turn left onto Wattamolla Road. Follow this to Wattamolla Beach Car Park.
Alternatively, from Waterfall, follow McKell Avenue until the end and then turn left onto Sir Bertram Stephens Drive. Follow this for around 10km and then turn right onto Wattamolla Road. Follow this to Wattamolla Beach Car Park.
The parking may fill up early at weekends and during busy periods.
The top of the waterfall is accessed directly from the Wattamolla Beach Car Park. To get to the lagoon and beach take the path from the bottom of the car park down to the boat ramp.
Difficulty of access: 2/10 – It is an easy, short but steepish walk down a path to the lagoon. Once there you need to wade through the water and cross the sand dune to reach the beach.
Opening Times/Seasons: All year. The park is open from 7am – 8.30pm daily.
Entrance Fee: See here for details of the Royal National Park vehicle entry fee.
Facilities Nearby: There are public toilets at the top end of the Wattamolla car park, which also houses picnic tables and barbecues. Other than this, Wattamolla is a beautifully natural spot with little development so bring a picnic and make the most of being in nature.
Other Activities: The Royal National Park is beautiful and a walker’s paradise. There are a number of walking tracks leading off from the picnic area. Walk north of the Little Marley Trail, which leads to Little Marley Beach, another great place for a swim. Or beat the parking rush and use Wattamolla as a refreshing stop off whilst walking the 26km Royal National Park Coast Track. It is also possible to bike here from Sydney and snorkelling or liloing in the lagoon below the car park is lots of fun.
Other Places of Interest Nearby: Wattamolla is not far from the monument marking Captain Cook’s landing place.
Wildlife: There are a good number of fish in the lower part of the river and it’s interesting to snorkel its length and see how it functions as a hatchery, with small fry in the upper shallow sandy reaches and progressively larger fish as you swim towards the sea. If you’re lucky you might spot a sea eagle circling in the skies above.
Places to Eat: Our readers want to know about great places to eat and stay and other activities near swimming holes. If you are the owner of a local business you think our users would like contact us to find out about sponsoring this location.
Where to Camp: North Era Campground is a walk-in beachside campsite in the Royal National Park, halfway along the 26km Coast Track. Bonnie Vale Campground (near Bundeena) is also in the park and is great for car and caravan camping.
Other places to Stay: Our readers want to know about great places to eat and stay and other activities near swimming holes. If you are the owner of a local business you think our users would like contact us to find out about sponsoring this location.
Nearby Towns: Bundeena, Maianbar, Sutherland, Loftus, Audley, Engadine, Heathcote, Waterfall, Helensburgh, Otford, Stanwell Park, Lilyvale