This past weekend during my visit to NSW, I was fortunate enough to hike the Otford Coastal Track with The Hiking Society NSW MeetUp group.
Described by a former Melburnian as ‘a hike that has terrain unlike anything I have seen in Victoria’, I was a little excited about what lay ahead.
And it didn’t fail to disappoint nor was her description inaccurate.
Located in the Royal National Park, this near-on 10km hike will take you through a partly dense forest that borders the coast.
It was strange walking through it as I felt a million miles away from the ocean yet it was so close.
Located at the Otford Lookout, the beginning of the hike is a short incline to a sign post which also happens to be a fork in the track.
You can take a left and head a little more inland and follow the trail to places such as the popular Figure 8 Pools.
Alternatively, you can take a right and head down to Werrong Beach; yet another popular place for reasons other than the scenery (it’s a designated nudist beach!)
Both trails are fairly rocky and have some steep hills, but both offer exceptional views of the ocean which are hard to ignore.
Depending on what time of the year you go, you may be able to catch a glimpse of some whales as they make their way to and from Hervey Bay.
Fortunately, our group was able to momentarily spot a couple of them but not long enough to take any pictures.
The entire Royal National Park can be broken up into smaller hikes along the coast, with the Otford Coastal Track being one of many.
This one in isolation would be suitable for anyone who has a decent level of fitness or hiking experience.
Further, I would recommend the Otford Coastal Track to those who are used to climbing hills due to the steepness in certain parts.
If you have young children, you might take them with you but I would recommend keeping to the flatter sections of the hike.
Ideally, this would be from the signpost to one of the lookout sections on the way to the Figure 8 pools.
As a side note to the hike itself, I absolutely loved spending time with a few of the people from the NSW MeetUp.
I am very fortunate to have two organisers, Mariana and Geoff, who are looking after things up there for me up there.
Despite the difference in location, I still felt that sense of community with these hikers that I do with the Victorian MeetUp.
The whole point of having a ‘sister group’ is to ensure that if anyone from Victoria goes up there, they will already have a group to go hiking with.
And the same applies to anyone who is coming from NSW and wants to come hiking or camping in Victoria.
I truly am lucky to be a part of something that continues to grow each day.