Gone Goastal: Hiking in the Royal – Heathcote Station to Loftus Station via Audley & Honeymoon Stairs + Pope’s Glen & Braeside, Blackheath

I’m book-ending this post with two unrelated shots of lovely sunrises. I have started rising with the birds again and it’s amazing what you see in those early hours…

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Sunrise over sea in North Avoca – from a recent night up the Central Coast with friends

I’ve been meaning to do some hiking in the Royal National Park for as long as I can remember. It’s Australia’s oldest National Park and provides access to stunning cliffs, beaches and waterholes. My workmate Zoey is local to the area and she took me on one of her favourite hikes over the weekend. We had four seasons in one day, walking in the rain one minute and nearly expiring in the heat the next…

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Setting out

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Very cool swathes of sandstone and granite run all through park

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Picking a path through the rocks

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Karloo Pools (there is water there somewhere!)

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Check out this funky little number

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Love those stark dead trees against the canopy of green

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After the rains cleared

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Audley – pastoral idyll

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Sadly no swimming allowed here

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The final ascent to Loftus Station via the Honeymoon Stairs. I think for many, the honeymoon would be over after this staircase, but we took it in our (significantly slower than our morning pace) stride

Back in the Blueys, I took a walk along the Pope’s Glen & Braeside loop in Blackheath:

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Memorial Park, Blackheath

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For a brief moment I thought I was back on the AT – except that on the AT the rhododendrons provided cover for nature’s outhouse… essentially, the rhododendrons were the toilet

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Save our pools!

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Do it for the ducks!!!

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Ummm, I think there’s a path in there somewhere…

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Lush surrounds

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Pope’s Glen takes you from the Memorial Park in Blackheath to Govetts Leap, and then along the clifftop walk to Bridal Veil Falls, returning to the park by way of the Braeside walk and a short road walk

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Braeside walk – old railway water supply dam

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Final creek crossing before you reach the Braeside fire trail

I’ll leave you with a Tassie sunrise taken on a trip down there in early Jan:

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Sky as seen from my parents’ place

4 thoughts on “Gone Goastal: Hiking in the Royal – Heathcote Station to Loftus Station via Audley & Honeymoon Stairs + Pope’s Glen & Braeside, Blackheath

    • Thanks Wes! Yes I was tempted to make some quip about making it across such a hazardous crossing with both wrists intact but worried I may be tempting fate! I have your Smokies poster on my wall and will be a perfect fit for the fantastic tee by end of month – for both of which many thanks – will send photograph! Am hiking up a storm. I live in hope that you and Marian will make it out here one of these days so I can return your generous hospitality. You would love these trails Wes. You’d be in your element. I’ll write you a proper email over the next couple of days. Lou

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