Sydney by ferry


Once upon a time, Bundeena was a village where people owned "weekenders" - simple cottages, usually built of fibro, which some of the owners would also rent out for the weekend.  Those days have long since gone, and now Bundeena is best known as a village of cafes and professional artists, but still with a few guesthouses and rental cottages where you can stay.

Driving to Bundeena can be a pain, with the road taking a long detour to the south through Royal National Park, and car parking being often hard to find in the village centre.  The ferry from Cronulla Station has always been the traditional way to get there (and the train, likewise, the traditional way to Cronulla).  All three of Bundeena's cafes (straight up the road from the wharf), the RSL club (turn left at the first corner up from the wharf) and the Bowling Club (which has a Chinese restaurant) are all just a few minutes walk from the ferry.  The cafes - Passionfruit, Cookie and Manna - look down over Hordens Beach and are all great but only Bundeena RSL has views across the mouth of Port Hacking to Cronulla, Kurnell and the ocean.

The Curranulla has been the Bundeena ferry since it was built at Balmain in 1939, which makes it 30-odd years older than any passenger commuter ferry still running on Sydney Harbour (and the oldest timetabled commuter ferry in all of Australia).  It leaves Cronulla on the half hour (except for stopping for lunch on weekdays during school term), and Bundeena on the hour - see Cronulla Ferries for details. As on most privately run ferries, the deckhand will come around to collect your fare part way across.

There is plenty of information about Bundeena at Bundeena Info and Visit Bundeena but details of one of the most popular things to do are found elsewhere; the Art Trail is held on the first Sunday of each month; most of Bundeena's professional artists open their studios to the public for the day, and you can see what they're currently working on.  You do need to check the listings for the current month to find out who will be open and where to go to.

There are several beaches located along Port Hacking close to town.  By walking eastwards past the RSL, you will reach Jibbon Beach, from where you can also walk further on to the Aboriginal carvings at Jibbon Head.  Full details for this as a circular walk are in this pdf from Wild magazine.

Bundeena is also the hopping off point for the Coast Track, one of Sydney's great walks.  It is 26km to walk all the way to Otford, and takes two days with an overnight camp at Era Beach, but you should be able to easily do the first part of about 4km to Little Marley Beach and back, with views south to Sea Cliff Bridge as you walk over the crest.  If you're fit, you may want to go as far again, to Wattamolla Beach - but make sure you allow plenty of time to catch the last ferry, since there is no other public transport at Bundeena.  The best map and information seems to be this pdf from Wild magazine.

Although the ferry to Bundeena is the only commuter ferry operating anywhere south of Sydney, there is another trip you can do on Port Hacking.  It is a cruise exploring pretty much all of Port Hacking, on the Tom Thumb, another small green, yellow and white painted ferry.  This runs daily in summer and 4 days per week in winter.  At $25 for a three hour cruise with morning tea thrown in, it's good value.

This page was last modified on Fri Jul 1, 2016
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