Walk 23 B:- Otford Circuit via Burning Palms, Figure 8 Pool and Werong Beach At A Glance
Route Summary:- This walk climbs steeply from Otford Station to the start of the Coast Track on Lady Wakehurst Drive. It then follows the Coast Track to Burning Palms where it turns south and goes off track over talus and rock shelves between Pacific Ocean and cliff line to Werong Beach. From Werong Beach it goes uphill on track to rejoin the Coast Track back to Otford Station
Highlights: Pacific Ocean views, Palm Jungle; Burning Palms; Figure 8 Pool; Werong Nudist Beach
Negatives :- The coastal section of this walk should not be attempted during dangerous high swells/ tides when waves are breaking over rock shelves
Length:- 11.75 km
Grade:- Hard to Medium
Weather:_ Dangerous during high swell/tides and possible rock falls after heavy rain
Continuous walking time with a few 3-4 min. stops:- 4 hrs 17 mins.
Train Time from Central to Start :-. 1 hr 0 mins; trains every 2 hours
Train Time from finish to Central:-. 1 hr 0 mins.; trains every 2 hours
Total Climb :- 285 meters
Total Descent :- 285 meters
Water:- Otford Station
Toilets:- Otford Station but may be locked
Café/Kiosk :- Nil
Published 1:25,000 Map :- Otford
Walk 23 B Track Notes
Otford Circuit via Figure Eight Pool and Werong Beach
July 2014 Update:- Major track upgrade in progress between Palm Jungle and Burning Palms
This walk should not be attempted after heavy rain or when rocks are wet or when surf is up and washing over rock shelves
Km/Hrs.min. Kilometers in bold are shown on map
0.00/0.00 Otford Station
0.2/0.02 Walk to the southern end of the platform and take the stairs and path through an open gate in a chain wire fence; at the gate, do not take the right hand path but walk uphill on a steep bitumen track for approx. 50 metres to a sign posted fire trail; turn left and follow the Station Road Fire Trail
0.30/ 0.08 Trail branch on left down hill, do not take but continue on Fanshaw Road Fire Trail as it continues uphill, curving gently to the right.
0.63/0.12 After passing a few houses on the left you reach a T intersection with Lady Wakehurst Drive; cross this and turn left and follow Lady Wakehurst Drive for approx. 100 metres uphill to the start of the Coast Walk
0.75/0.13 Start of Coast Walk, signpost:- Bundeena 26 km; Wattamolla 14.6 km; Garie 8 km; take the steps up; after approx. 150 metres you pass a number of fenced spectacular view points
1.06/0.18 Track split- right hand side goes to Werong Beach, follow Coast Walk straight on;
1.75/0.31 Track merges with turning circle for Garawarra Farm fire trail; track to this point is very clear except two short sections uphill where steps are washed out; now follow this wide fire trail along the ridge line; note the numerous stands of Gymea Lillies and Banksias
2.52/0.42 Signposted track junction:- Garie 6.5 km; North Era 5 km; turn right onto Coast Walk, leaving the fire trail on good clear walking track
3.03/0.49 Unfenced view points on right
3.24/0.53 Track turns left at arrowed post, but a faint track goes downhill to the right, possibly to Werong Beach.
3.71/1.02 This section of the track is poor, with several fallen scrub and trees not cleared from track, vines and pools of water, mud, after rain; some care required
4.04/1.08 Track good again; start of grassed area. General comment:- Several sections of this walk along the eastern slopes are through grassed areas where the narrow track can be worn and eroded into red clay and the actual track is obscured by grass overhang- take some care here to avoid tripping over hidden rocks.
4.31/1.13 Back in stunted, wind hardened scrub with tops roughly parallel to slope of terrain
4.38/1.14 Start of Palm Jungle, one of the highlights of this walk; track can be somewhat obscured by palm fronds and by clearings that look like track continuations
4.59/1.17 End of Palm Jungle
4.66/1.18 Leaving rainforest, start of extensive grassed slopes; track here is deeply eroded into red clay; follow this for about 100 meters gently uphill, but then find a new track a few meters downhill and parallel to the old track for much easier walking; re-join the old track just before a rocky ridge;
5.43/1.30 Rangers’Hut- outer limit of Burning Palms
5.50/1.32 Cleared area and access down to southern end of Burning Palms beach; Coast Walk track continues on contour, not along beach
5.92/1.40 Burning Palms club house; turn right, leaving Coast Track and walk to beach.
6.13/1.44 At Burning Palms beach, turn right and walk south along beach
6.64/1.50 End of beach; last alternative access to/from Coast Track on right until Werong Beach
6.83/1.54 On wide siltstone rock shelf on headland; some rock hopping to next rock shelf
7.30/2.05 On wide rock shelf at Figure Eight Pool; this pool is only about 4 X 1.5 meters in dimension, but has very clear water and appears to be around 2 meters in depth; there are other deep clear pools here; continue south along rock shelf.
7.79/2.13 End of rock shelf and start of long walk to Werong Beach along talus boulders between cliff and ocean; nearly all on rock hopping with care; Note:- in most places, walking is easier next to the base of the cliff or on top of grassy scree slope
9.30 /3.28 At Werong nudist beach
9.47/3.31 Take care here to find the correct exit track, as several tracks head uphill away from the beach; two gullies flow into Werong beach; walk south past the second gully and turn right on red siltstone outcrop, heading up hill; old washed out steps should be visible about 100 m from the edge of the sand; take these steps on track uphill; the track up initially goes along the left (southern) bank of the second gully.
9.69/3.37 Track T junction; left track also goes down to beach; turn right and continue up on track.
9.93/3.40 Strange oval/grassy area on left.
10.58/4.01 Track junction with Coast Track; turn left downhill
10.89/4.06 Coast Track ends at Lady Wakehurst Drive; turn left; walk about 100 m to Fanshaw Road
10.99/4.07 At Fanshaw Road; turn right and follow this.
11.58/4.14 Road junction; turn right steeply down on narrow bitumen service road that becomes a walking track; follow this to Otford Station
11.73/4.17 At Otford Station
Route Quality Index
On public vehicular road:- 0.2 km/ 2%
On locked service/fire trail:- 1.9km/ 16%
On walking track or off track:- 9.6 km/ 82%
Route Quality Index:- 82+8+0= 90