Wanderlust — following the urge to be somewhere else

This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: WANDERLUST

April 2017


WANDERLUST — it’s one of those afflictions so many of us feel. And when we feel it, it nags at us to do something about it.

That’s why, one Sunday recently, we had to obey wanderlust’s siren call and head off to Royal National Park. The national park occupies the coastal beaches and cliffs on Sydney’s southern fringe, all the way to the Illawarra, the urban area that abutts its southern edge and that is squeezed into a long, narrow strip between sea and forested escarpment.

It was only a day walk we took that warm Autumn afternoon, just the trek from the village of Bundeena, which is wegded between the national park and the estuary of the Hacking River, and Marley Beach. There were plenty of others on the track — a weekday is best for those who want to encounter fewer people.

The walk passes through coastal heathland, along clifftops and takes you down to Marley Beach and, a little further along, Little Marley. It is the first stretch of the Coast Track that takes walkers through the national park along the coast over two days.

The geology is sandstone laid down during the Triassic perion more then 200 million years ago, probably as a freshwater delta to an ancient and long-gone stream.

Walkers encounter wildlife along the track, including, perhaps, the odd reptile like this red-bellied black snake in the photo below that we found crossing the track that day. The red-belly is a common reptile in the region and elsewhere in Australia. It is venomous and, like all snakes, is best viewed from no closer then three metres. This one was more than a metre and a half in length. Later, we found a whip snake, an olive green/brown snake that grows to around a half-metre in length. The whippy, too, is venomous but not considered among the more dangerous as is  the Eastern Brown, which is also found in the region.

A red-bellied black snake crosses the track.


The photo

The top photo shows the view along the cliffline to the south as the descent to Marley Beach starts. The section of beach visible in the right of the photo is Little Marley. The Coast Track follows the cliffs over the headland from the end of Little Marley.

Both photos were made using a Sony a6300 camera fitted with a Sony 18-105mm f4 lens. ISO was on automatic.

Has anyone walked the Coast Track?


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