Forest Path (Royal National Park)

The Forest Path is an easy hike through temperate and subtropical rainforest. The path circumnavigates Forest Island which is actually a hill that is almost surrounded by the Hacking River and a tributary, Bola Creek. This easy hike is suitable for children.


Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 3.5-4 hours
Distance: 10km from Waterfall station, 5 km if parking at Foster’s Flat.
Start and Finish: Foster’s Flat or Waterfall Station

Forest Path

From Waterfall station car park follow a foot track to an oval. Cross the oval to a fire trail. The trail leads into heathland.

Pass the memorial to bushfire fighters. About 40m past the memorial turn right onto the Couranga Track. The track goes along the ridge, and after 1.4km turns left and follows a small creek on the left into the valley of the Hacking River.

After about 1.25 hours you’ll reach a junction. The track to the right leads to McKell Ave.

Cross the river on the stepping stones, and then straight ahead up the steps to another track junction. Take the left option towards the Bola Creek rest area.

Follow the path as it makes its way through the rainforest, keeping your eye out for the different flora – such as palms and Gymea lilies. The Forest Path is almost circular. It leads eventually to a fire trail. When you reach it, turn right and follow it for about 600m, past the stone pillars of an old gateway, to a car park near Sir Bertram Stevens Drive.

Walk a little way down the road to the right, and then continue down a track. You’ll see a sign post for the Couranga Track, which will lead you back on the same path you took earlier, and back to the station.

How to get there:

Train: Take the train to Waterfall station.

Car: You can drive and park the car at Waterfall railway station or park at Foster’s Flat, which is 4.8 km east of Waterfall along McKell Avenue. Taking the latter option shortens the walk.

About David Rutter

Dave grew up on a small acreage on the outskirts of Sydney, within a stone's throw of the bush. Having spent a large part of his childhood exploring the bush behind the family home, much of his adult life has been spent exploring the world - he has lived in Sweden, traveled much of Europe, travelled in the Pacific and South America, and more recently in Asia. The Australian bush is however, the place where he feels he truly belongs.
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