The majority of people visit Cronulla because of its stunning beaches, numerous rock pools, beautiful parks, great playgrounds and cafes. However, another good reason to visit the Southerland Shire is to discover the Cronulla Beach Coastal Walk. Despite not being as popular as many of Sydney’s coastal walks, this Cronulla Walk will take your breath away… and you won’t be battling big crowds!
The official Cronulla Beach Walk follows the coastline for about 4km from Wanda Surf Lifesaving Club at Wanda Beach down to Bass and Flinders Point, where the Hacking River meets the Tasman Sea.In this article, we describe this route from Cronulla Beach, as Wanda Beach is basically a surf beach.
By Seana Smith and Mireia Garriga Seguranyes
Cronulla Beach Coastal Walk
The Cronulla Beach Coastal Walk follows a wide walkway, which hugs the coastline from Cronulla Beach all the way down to Bass and Flinders Point and then continues along a little to Salmon Haul Reserve and the small playground there. While this Cronulla walking track is not a loop track, you might like to explore further and continue all the way to Gunnamatta Park and then, find your starting point walking through Cronulla CBD.
Start at the wide promenade that fronts Dunningham Park. Turn right and head south, quickly leaving behind the vast sweep of Cronulla Beach and passing alongside a rocky area. There are two ocean pools built into the rocks here and some small patches of sand. Both pools are quite good for children, one has a shallow splashing area. There are steps down to the rock platforms. But why stop so soon? There are better children’s pools further along.
South Cronulla Beach is next, with its lovely rocky headlands and blue Art Deco buildings gracing the promenade. Cronulla Park is behind this beach and has a good playground and plenty of space and shade for picnics. There is a kiosk and cafe on the promenade, and some sustenance might be required before lugging the stroller up the flight of steps just beyond the kiosk.
Once past the steps there is a smooth run along the walkway, which dips up and down as it clings to the coastline around Cronulla Point. Shark Island is just offshore. The sweeping views over to the Kurnell peninsula are spectacular, and more is to come.
The walkway dips down to the promenade at Shelly Beach. There is a good playground in Shelly Park with a roller slide and, on the seafront, an Art Deco pavilion with toilets. But the greatest attraction here is the ocean pool, which has a stroller-friendly path all the way to the water and a small, sheltered beach area for playing.
Once you can drag yourself away, the path runs alongside rock platforms again as it comes around another small headland and then passes along the front of Oak Park. There is another pretty pavilion here on the seafront with toilets and just beyond it is Glaisher Ocean Pool. This has a beach end and a sandy and rocky bottom.
Beyond the pool, the walkway turns with the coast to the west and there are drop-dead gorgeous views over to Port Hacking Point, Jibbon Beach and Bundeena. There are gentle undulations here in the walkway and on the rock platforms below fisherman cast rods into the clear blue-green water.
It is an uphill push to get to Bass and Flinders Point, where there is a large circular memorial with plaques that explain all the adventures enjoyed by these two explorers. An ice cream van is sometimes waiting coolly by the memorial at the end of Gowrie Street.
Continue along the walkway as it slopes downhill to Salmon Haul Reserve. The small playground has sand play equipment and a good rope climbing structure. There are two picnic platforms here as well and toilet blocks a little further along the walkway. This is a good spot for a rest, from where you can watch speedboats and yachts passing by.
Return: Retrace your steps to return to your starting point.
Important things to know about the Cronulla Beach Coastal Walk:
- The walkway is very wide so it’s good for strollers walking abreast. There is one flight of steps only, at the southern end of South Cronulla Beach. If the family is spending some time at South Cronulla or Shelly Beach, Park and Playground, then the walk can easily be started from there.
- As with so many of these coastal walks, the sea is only a short drop away and there is no fencing, so if young children are accompanying you, do keep them close. The path weaves along with some steepish up and down sections, but none that is truly precipitous.
- There is a children’s playground in Dunningham Park, which can be used to tire out young children and toddlers before putting them in the stroller and whizzing them off along the walkway. Lots of serious walkers use this walkway, seemingly oblivious of its gorgeous views as they march along.
- This walking track is not completely stroller friendly but also it is a good for families with not so young children that love the outdoors.
- There is no shade on this walk so be prepared with hats, sunscreen and stroller shade. On windy days the walkway can feel rather exposed. Therefore, we strongly recommend checking the forecast before you go.
Length of walk: 4-6 kilometres
Return Time to walk: 11/2 hours
Start: Dunningham Park in Elouera Street, Cronulla. Alternatively, you can start from South Cronulla Beach, or from Shelly Beach
Toilets: There are toilets at the South Cronulla surf-lifesaving club, at the pavilions at Shelly Beach and Oak Park and at Salmon Haul
Dogs: on-leash on the walkway. For taking your dog on the beach, click on here. The Sutherland Shire Council offers six off-leash dog-friendly areas, including beaches.
NB: If planning to swim, do check out the Cronulla beaches on the Beachsafe website.
Parking: Car park on Prince Street or street parking. Note: It gets quite busy in summer
Nearest station: Cronulla is a 15–20 minute walk away
Nearest ferry: Cronulla Wharf is a 15–20 minute walk away, ferries to Bundeena
Bus stop nearby: Yes
Cronulla Beach Walk Map
The Cronulla Coastal Walk is one of the most picturesque Sydney’s walking tracks. We must do it again!
Did we forget to mention something? If you decide to go, don’t forget to share with us your impressions.
Find many more family friendly Sydney walks here.