Camping trip in Royal National Park

2 February 2023

Student Ugne Vilkeviciute goes camping after the semester ends in Sydney

Many have heard that Australia is incredibly beautiful, and its majestic nature is jaw-dropping. I agree with this wholeheartedly. Especially around Sydney, there are places that are so stunning yet also quite accessible. Royal National Park is a place worth visiting, so my friends and I organised a camping trip there right after the lectures of the semester ended.

It was a perfect time as in November all sorts of plants are flowering, which makes the landscape even more beautiful. Jacarandas paint it purple, while banksias throw in some red colours. But let’s go back to the camping trip. There are many ways to get to the RNP, but we took a train to Cronulla and then a ferry to Bundeena – two of my favourite ways to travel in Sydney. A ferry ride provides a completely new perspective: you can see cliffs and beautiful houses facing the bay. On a sunny day it is not only a mean of transport but the whole experience.

Once we got to Bundeena we proceeded to our camping site, where we built out tents, hung hammocks, and, of course, went for a swim. Water in bays is usually much warmer than in the sea, so we enjoyed it a lot and did not need wetsuits to stay in water for longer than 10 minutes. Once the sun set, we made burgers on barbeque. Barbeques are really common in campsites, and I really recommend it.

Next day we had a hike planned so we woke up early made some breakfast, packed lunch and left the campsite. We followed the trail along the coast – high on the cliffs the view is fascinating! We passed Wedding cake rock, which I honestly though could not be natural (but it is!) We reached a beach and of course went for a swim as the day was sunny and hot. The water I must say was not only refreshing but freezing, especially at first. Nonetheless, we had a lot of fun. Afterwards we decided to split into groups and while some continued a hike to see waterfalls, a friend and I stayed at the beach. We listened to music, sunbathed (with a sunscreen on – it is a must in Australia!) and eventually fell asleep. In a few hours the other group came back and we met to go back to the camping site together. The most surprising moment on the way back was seeing an echidna on out path. I am really passionate about nature, so I was really excited and happy to see some of Australia’s wildlife not in a zoo.

That night there was also a blood moon which was perfect to watch in the campsite together with friends enjoying a bowl of pasta made on a camping stove. Next morning, we made pancakes on a bbq and left the camping.
It was a beautiful experience that allowed me to forget upcoming exams for a minute and enjoy presence of friends in one of the most beautiful places in Australia.