South & SW Sydney

South / South Western Sydney locations

The south of Sydney is much like the north – large national parks (the south has the Royal and Heathcote National Parks, somewhat mirroring Ku-ring-gai National Park in the north). The Royal National Park is popular with birders due to its proximity to the city, and quality and diversity of habitat. Yeramba Lagoon in the Georges River National Park is included as it is somewhat of an oaisis in a heavily built up area. Thirlmere Lakes National Park is at the south west boundary of the Sydney Basin, and has some special birds present.

Royal National Park
The Royal National Park is Australia’s first National Park, and the second declared National Park in the world. All types of habitat found in the Sydney basin are present in some capacity. It can get quite busy on weekends and public holidays, and the most rewarding time to visit is early on a weekday, when there is not many people about.

Access: Lady Carrington Drive, North
Approx. 35 km from Central Station.
Drive south along the Princes Highway towards Wollongong. Turn left onto Farnell Avenue. Pay the toll at the gate, and continue down into the Royal National Park.
After driving over the Audley Wier, a visitor centre is on the right, follow the road down and to the right instead of continuing up the hill on the left. Drive the end and park.
Lady Carrington Drive is pedestrian and pedal access only. The Jersey Springs picnic area is approx. 4 km from the northern end of Lady Carrington Drive.

The Forest Path – Lady Carrington Drive, South
Approx. 47 km from Central Station.
Drive south along the Princes Highway towards Wollongong. Exit left at Waterfall, and continue to the left down McKell Avenue. Pay the toll at the gate, and continue into the Royal National Park.
At the junction with Lady Wakehurst Drive, turn left onto Sir Betram Stevens Drive. Approx. 500 metres along Sir Betram Stevens Drive, there is a small carpark area on the left, and a larger cleared area on the right.
Lady Carrington Drive is pedestrian and pedal access only. The Bola Creek picnic area / start of The Forest Path is approx. 1 km from the southern end of Lady Carrington Drive. The Forest Path is a 3 km walk that loops around and exits near the carpark.

Bundeena
Approx. 53 km from Central Station.
From the Audley Weir, continue along Sir Bertram Stevens Drive until the sign indicating the turnoff to Bundeena. Turn left onto Bundeena Drive, and drive into Bundeena.
To access the Bonnie Vale area, turn left where signposted (approx 100 metres from Woodfield Avenue).
To access the beach and walk out to the indigenous rock engravings, continue along Bundeena Drive, turn left onto Brighton Street, and right on Loftus Avenue. Park where possible, and walk down to the beach. Follow the beach to the north-east.

Wattamolla
Approx. 47 km from Central Station.
300 metres after the Bundeena turnoff, is a turnoff for Wattamolla Road. Turn left onto this road, and continue 3.4 km to the carpark area.

Curra Moors
Approx. 46 km from Central Station.
There are two entry points for the Curra Moors track, both on Sir Bertram Stevens Drive. The first is 2.5 km from the Wattamolla turn off, and the second is approx 1.7 km further along.

Type of habitat: The Royal National Park has examples of every type of habitat found in the Sydney Basin. The visiting birder should consult Steven Anyon Smiths book for a more detailed view of what is accessible, and check with local birders for up to date information on what has been around.

What birds can be expected: Steven Anyon Smiths book is the definitive resource on what birds are in the Royal National Park, and where to find them.

A walk along either part of Lady Carrington Drive should produce Superb Lyrebirds, Sacred Kingfisher, and Azure Kingfisher if you’re lucky. Jersey Springs in summer usually has Black-faced Monarch, Pacific Baza, and Satin Bowerbird.

Wattamolla and Bundeena have ocean and heath birds. Curra Moors is widely considered one of the better birding tracks in the National Park due to the variety of habitat it passes through.

Best Time to Visit: A visit at any time of year is rewarding. In autumn and winter, young male Lyrebirds are competing for territory and mates, in spring and summer, the migrants have arrived and the forest is alive with birdlife. Check with local birders for up to date information on what has been around.

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Georges River National Park
There are several parts of this National Park worth visiting, Yeramba Lagoon, and Cattle Duffers. Cattle Duffers gets quite busy on weekends, and is not as good as Yeramba Lagoon, a little visited but highly rewarding location.

Access: Yeramba Lagoon, Georges River National Park
Approx. 31 km from Central Station.
Take the River Road exit from the M5 Motorway, and head towards Revesby. Follow the River Road to the junction with Henry Lawson Drive, and turn right. Approx. 2 km after turning right, the Georges River is on the left, and Yeramba Lagoon is on the right. Park on Henry Lawson Drive, and start the walking trail that goes around the lagoon.

Type of habitat: Wetland and Dry Sclerophyl forest are the main habitat to be found here.

What birds can be expected: Several species of Honeyeater, thornbill, fairy-wren, and robin have been recorded in the forested areas, and the common water birds are easily found. One of the few records of Satin Bowerbird in the Bankstown district has been from Yeramba Lagoon. The loop around the lagoon is approx. 3 km in length, somewhat rough in parts, but can be highly rewarding.

Best Time to Visit: A visit at any time of year is rewarding. During the autumn honeyeater migration, several species can be seen with ease at Yeramba Lagoon.

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Thirlmere Lakes National Park
Access: Thirlmere Lakes National Park
Approx. 96 km from Central Station.
Take the Picton Road exit from the South Western Motorway, turn left onto Prince Street, left onto Argyle Street and pass through Picton. Turn right onto Bridge Street and follow this road into Thirlmere. Turn left onto Thirlmere Way, and follow this to W Parade. Turn right into Slades Road (unsealed) and park at any of the picnic areas near any of the lakes.

Type of habitat: A series of freshwater lakes surrounded by dry Eucalyptus forest.
What birds can be expected: You are almost guaranteed Musk Duck at Thirlmere Lakes National Park. I have not failed to see them over many visits. Dry woodland birds are also foudn in suitable habitat.
Best Time to Visit: Spring/Summer is the best time to visit, and care should be taken regarding firebans. The park was burnt out in October 2006.

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