Royal Coast Walks guide hikes along the coastline of Royal National Park, one of the best places in Sydney to spot whales on their annual migration. It’s one of the few land-based experiences where whale watching is just one part of an adventure-packed day outdoors.

Expect a challenge as you walk 15km along pristine coastline, experiencing awesome headland views, Depression-era hermit caves, unique sandstone formations and the secluded Marley beaches. Begin the day visiting one of the largest Aboriginal rock engraving sites in Sydney, which features carvings of Gurruwul – the Orca – totem of the local Dharawal people, and learn about the ancient significance of whales to the region.

With 180° views up and down the coast during the walk, it’s likely guests will spot at least a humpback whale, with a few lucky enough to spot the more rare Southern Right whale frolicking out to sea below the sandstone cliffs.

Owner operator Ian Wells says, “Imagine your favourite patch of Sydney’s coast… now take away all the buildings and all the people and you’re left with what we get to walk through every day – kilometres of deserted coastline of Royal National Park. It means when you do spot whales, you’re sharing the experience with a few other keen bushwalkers rather than carloads and boatloads of people elbowing for prime position.”

The day is about much more than ocean life as native plants and animals are pointed out and local European and Aboriginal history explained, allowing guests to learn about Australia’s oldest national park during the bushwalk.

Founded in 2009, Royal Coast Walks believes that Sydney is a place of supreme natural beauty with sights and experiences only accessible on foot. We believe that walking through a landscape allows you to engage with nature and create incomparable memories. We know that a true understanding of a place requires time and learning, so we guide supported walks at a relaxed pace for guests to absorb the wonder of Sydney’s outdoors.

The Marley Tour (full day Royal National Park bushwalk) departs year-round on Tuesdays, Thursdays and alternate Saturday/Sundays, meeting at Cronulla ferry wharf at 8:15am. Tour costs $149 per adult ($135 concession) and includes lunch and snacks, goody bag, return ferry fare from Cronulla to Bundeena, National Park entry fees and expert guide. Bookings essential.