The Jibbon Track // Royal National Park (NSW)

Exploring the Jibbon Track is a perfect family adventure in the Royal National Park combining aboriginal history, snorkeling, swimming and the opportunity for incredible photography.

Highlights

  • Aboriginal historical site – engravings & middens
  • Crystal clear waters for snorkelling & swimming
  • Opportunity for underwater & aerial photography
  • Family friendly

Finding an adventure that suits the whole family can often be a challenge. It needs to have the right mix of exploration, whilst ensuring accessibility & safety for children is maintained. Luckily this is achievable, just a short one-hour drive from Sydney. The Jibbons head track & beach checks all the boxes, with a little bit of history thrown in along the way.

Jibbons beach is located in the Sydney Royal National Park, just east of Bundeena. Roadside parking is available on Loftus Street, with the walk commencing at the intersection of Neil and Loftus streets. This path will take you down onto the beach where you will be greeted with soft white sand and crystal clear water. Enjoy the walk along the beach, admiring the picturesque views across the water and towards the city. You’re likely to also see some pretty impressive boats docked in the area.

The sand is surprisingly extremely soft, it’s easy to sink into it, making walking along it a little difficult (in shoes anyway). Continue about 100 metres along the beach. There will be a sign, directing you off the beach and into the bushland for the Jibbons track. But don’t take this track, not yet, continue along the beach for some exploring. The beach becomes quite rocky, with many rock platforms. Walk up onto these platforms, where there are sandstone overhangs & formations. Stop for a while and check out this area. It’s a fantastic area for snorkelling, if you have a water camera, take some photos. The beach here is lined with tiny crushed sun-bleached white shells. Also here, you’ll find ‘middens’, which are thought to be around 7,000 years old. Without going into the detail, the ‘middens’ are the remains of food consumed by the Dharawal people, and include shells such as oysters, and bones such as snapper and flathead. Strangely enough, archaeologists have also recovered traces of human bones, and as such, the area is protected! This is something which fascinated my kids, me not so much…

Once you’ve finished checking out this area, continue back along the rocks and beach until you get back to the bush path. Walking up into the bush, you’ll see clear signs that you are entering the Jibbons track, as you approach the Aboriginal camp-site with many sculptures & information about the area. Keep following the track further into the bushland.

You’ll come across an intersection with a hand written sign indicating that if you continue north you will enter a nudist beach. This may be appealing if you’re so inclined… enjoy! Otherwise, continue east onto a set of steps up to a platform. This is positioned over the stone engravings of various animals such as stingray, orca & kangaroo. The kids thought this was cool, so take some time to appreciate this epic slice of history.

You can, then head back to the beach along the path, which takes you in a circular loop. In the early morning this beach is virtually unpopulated and secluded. It isn’t until about midday that it becomes quite busy. So if you get in early, take the opportunity for some aerial photography, capturing some expansive coastal & bush shots, some 120 metres above land. If you have a drone, I highly recommend this. Kick back, enjoy a swim, then head back along the beach. A small adventure, with something for everyone.

Essential Gear

  • Food & water
  • Sun protection
  • Swimmers
  • Camera (& water camera)
  • Drone

How to get there

From Sydney travelling south along the Princes Highway, turn left at Loftus into Farnell Avenue, where you will see a sign “Royal National Park”. Follow Farnell Avenue to Audrey weir, which then becomes Sir Bertram Stevens. Continue to the Bundeena turnoff, following the signage, turning right after the shops and onto Loftus street. The path is on the intersection of Neil and Loftus streets, with plenty of roadside parking.

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Photography including underwater & aerial
  • Swimming
  • Snorkelling
  • Aboriginal History

Skill Level

Easy, the whole family can enjoy this, just be careful on the rock platforms & uneven paths

Distance / Elevation:

Approximately 4km return, some slight elevation into the bushlands.