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Top picnic spots around Sutherland

By ALEC SMART

Summer is here and we’ve listed a round-up of some of the nicest picnic spots in Sutherland Shire to enjoy the great outdoors, with the facilities available at each.


Whale sculpture, Sutherland Point, Kamay-Botany National Park, Kurnell. Photo: Alec Smart


Audley Village

Audley Rd, Royal National Park

$12 vehicle entrance fee to Royal National Park.

In Audley Village, where a weir bridge divides the village and separates the tidal Hacking River from its freshwater source, there are at least six dedicated picnic areas in close proximity, plus another four within walking distance. Those closest to the weir include Allambie Flat, Boatshed, Ironbark and Currawong, with Reids Flat the furthest downstream and Wattle Forest the furthest upriver.

Facilities: toilets, electric/gas BBQs, freshwater + tidal seawater swimming, picnic tables, limited shelter, café, freshwater tap, cycle + walking paths, wildlife watching, fishing, good for kayaking/SUP, kayak hire, free on-street parking.

Attractions: great for kayaking adventures either side of the weir.


Bonna Point Reserve

Prince Charles Parade, Kurnell

Facilities: toilets, electric/gas BBQs, seawater swimming, picnic tables, limited shelter, cafés, freshwater tap, cycle + walking paths, good for kayaking/SUP, fishing, boat ramp, free on-street parking.

Attractions: popular with plane watchers and dog walkers, the latter due to the dedicated off-leash dog beach alongside at the western end of Silver Beach, accessible 24-hours a day. Also a modern kids play area with “the biggest slide in Sutherland.”


Woronora River, Woronora. Photo: Alec Smart


Bonnie Vale Picnic Grounds, Simpsons Bay

Sea Breeze Lane, Bundeena (1.5km walk from Bundeena Ferry Wharf)

Ferry fare from Cronulla or $12 vehicle entrance fee to Royal National Park.

Facilities: toilets, electric/gas BBQs, beach or sheltered lagoon swimming, picnic tables, limited shelter, showers (for campers), freshwater tap, cycle + walking paths, tennis courts, wildlife watching, fishing, boat ramp, good for kayaking/SUP, kayak hire, overnight camping (booking necessary).

Attractions: The picnic ground, adjacent to Bundeena Campsites, is a short walk to Cabbage Tree Basin, a shallow tidal estuary with safe swimming and crossed by a footbridge.


Bonnet Bay Reserve

197 Washington Drive, Bonnet Bay

Facilities: toilets, picnic tables, limited shelter, freshwater tap, good for kayaking/SUP, sports oval, wildlife watching, fishing, boat ramp, free on-street parking.

Attractions: Great for kayaking along Woronora River.


Bundeena Reserve and Horderns Beach,

Brighton St, Bundeena

Ferry fare from Cronulla or $12 vehicle entrance fee to Royal National Park.

Facilities: toilets, electric/gas BBQs, shaded kids playground, off-leash dog area (4.30pm-8.30am, April-Sept), beach swimming, picnic tables, limited shelter, cafés, freshwater tap, cycle + walking paths, fishing, boat ramp, good for kayaking/SUP.

Attractions: Close proximity to a range of shops in Bundeena and a variety of bushwalks. A 2km trek east along Gunyah and Jibbon Beaches leads to ancient Indigenous rock engravings on Jibbon Head.


Hacking River, Audley Village, Royal National Park. Photo: Alec Smart


Burnum Burnum Sanctuary

6 Prince Edward Park Rd, Woronora

Facilities: toilets, gas/electric BBQs, shaded kids playground, picnic tables, limited shelter, freshwater tap, cycle + walking paths, bushwalking paths, good for kayaking/SUP, wildlife watching, fishing, boat ramp, free on-street parking.

Attractions: The playground was upgraded in 2021 and is geared towards kids aged 2-10, with a climbing net, carousel, tube slides and in-ground trampolines.


Burraneer Park

74 Dominic St, Burraneer

Facilities: toilets, gas/electric BBQs, kids playground, off-leash dog area, shallow tidal bay swimming, picnic tables, limited shelter, freshwater tap, mountain bicycle + bushwalking paths, good for kayaking/SUP, wildlife watching, fishing, boat ramp (nearby at Water St), free on-street parking.

Attractions: Bush tracks for off-leash walking dogs. Boat ramp is extension of the bitumen road to water’s edge, not requiring a 4-wheel-drive vehicle.


Horderns Beach, Bundeena. Photo: Alec Smart


Commemoration Flat

21 Cape Solander Drive, Kurnell Peninsula

Ticketed parking or $8 vehicle entry fee to Kamay-Botany Bay National Park.

Facilities: toilets, gas/electric BBQs, sea swimming at nearby Silver Beach, picnic tables, limited shelter, cafés (on Polo St), freshwater tap, cycle + walking paths, bushwalking paths, wildlife watching, fishing. Open 7am-7.30pm Aug-May (7am-5.30pm June-July).

Attractions: Burrawang Walk, a 1.2km paved and wheelchair-accessible sculpture trail, leads to Captain Cook’s landing place and the Kurnell Visitor Centre, passing sculptures acknowledging the Indigenous Gweagal peoples (including two bronze humpback whales).


Como Pleasure Grounds

2a Cremona Rd, Como

Facilities: toilets, gas/electric BBQs, kids playground, boat ramp, freshwater + netted harbour pools, picnic tables, limited shelter, cafés, freshwater tap, cycle + walking paths, fishing, fishing boat hire, good for kayaking/SUP, free on-street parking.

Attractions: Free seasonal freshwater pool (open Oct 1 - March 31 except public holidays) with a shark-netted harbour pool below, panoramic views of Georges River, self-drive motorised dinghies and pontoons available to hire, dogs on leash permitted, popular for weddings.


Boating on Woronora River near Burnum Burnum Sanctuary, Woronora. Photo: Alec Smart


Cronulla Park, South Cronulla Beach

20 Gerrale St, Cronulla

Facilities: toilets, gas/electric BBQs, kids playground, on-leash dogs permitted (but not within 10 metres of kids play area), ocean rockpool, picnic tables, limited shelter, showers, cafés, freshwater tap, cycle + walking paths, free on-street parking.

Attractions: Cronulla Beach is the only beach patrolled all year round by lifesavers, both professionals from Sutherland Shire Council and volunteers from Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club.


Darook Park, Gunnamatta Bay

43 Darook Park Rd, Cronulla

Facilities: toilets, on-leash dog walking, shallow tidal bay swimming, picnic tables, limited shelter, freshwater tap, walking paths (coastal track to Darook Park South), good for kayaking/SUP, free on-street parking (limited space).

Attractions: Very popular for children due to clear shallow water and no waves – ideal for young snorkellers.


Dunningham Park and North Cronulla Beach

Elouera Rd and Kingsway, Cronulla

Facilities: toilets, kids playground, on-leash dog area, 2 tidal rock pools (not patrolled by surf lifesavers), picnic tables, limited shelter, cafés, freshwater tap, cycle + walking paths, free on-street parking.

Attractions: Adjacent to North Cronulla Beach and North Cronulla Surf Lifesavers.


South Cronulla Beach. Photo: Alec Smart


Garie Beach

Garie Rd, Royal National Park

Facilities: toilets, ocean beach swimming, picnic tables, showers, café, freshwater tap, bushwalking paths, wildlife watching, fishing, free on-street parking, overnight camping (booking necessary), $12 vehicle entrance fee to Royal National Park.

Attractions: Close to the North Era campsite (check in after 2pm, check out before 10am with 1 night maximum stay), which is BYO tent and portable stove. The beach is patrolled by lifesavers on weekends and public holidays.


Gunnamatta Park, Gunnamatta Bay

39 Nicholson Pde, Cronulla

Facilities: toilets, gas/electric BBQs, kids playground, off-leash dog area, netted harbour pool, picnic tables, limited shelter, showers, freshwater tap, cycle + walking paths, good for kayaking/SUP, SUP hire, wildlife watching, fishing, free on-street parking.

Attractions: Close to Cronulla Station and Cronulla Wharf, the calm water of the inner bay makes it ideal for young children or stand-up paddleboarders.


Gymea Baths, Gymea Bay. Photo: Alec Smart


Gymea Bay Baths

Ellesmere Rd, Gymea Bay

Facilities: toilets, netted harbour pool, freshwater tap, walking paths, good for kayaking/SUP, wildlife watching, fishing, free on-street parking.

Attractions: Accessible by a steep walkway from Ellesmere Rd, the netted tidal pool has a boardwalk extending across the seafront that is popular for fishing. Also plenty of birdlife in this forested cove.


Hungry Point Reserve

202 Nicholson Parade, Cronulla

Facilities: toilets

Attractions: Open 6am-6pm (8pm in Summer), only some of the Reserve is currently open to the public; there are three grassed areas in the northern part of the Reserve adjacent to Nicholson Parade that are available for public use. The car park gate is automatically locked each evening at closing time

Current plans are to extend the Esplanade to link Salmon Haul Reserve to Darook Park along the foreshore of Hungry Point Reserve.


Lakewood City Reserve

5 Coolidge Crescent, Bonnet Bay

Facilities: toilets, gas/electric BBQs, kids playground, picnic tables, limited shelter, freshwater tap, tennis courts, sports oval, cycle + walking paths, good for kayaking/SUP, fishing, free on-street parking.

Attractions: Large grassed area for the kids to run around, short walk to sports facilities or Woronora River for fishing or kayaking/SUP.


Lakewood City Reserve kids play area, Bonnet Bay. Photo: Alec Smart


Lilli Pilli Baths

Lilli Pilli Point Rd, Lilli Pilli

Facilities: toilets, netted harbour pool, showers, freshwater tap, walking paths, good for kayaking/SUP, wildlife watching, fishing, free on-street parking.

Attractions: The netted, tidal ocean baths feature a wooden jetty along one side. Following a track around the peninsula brings you to Lilli Pilli Reserve, a grassy, tree-lined area with views of Port Hacking. Limited on-street parking, but bus stops are close.


Oak Park Beach

156 Ewos Parade, Cronulla

Facilities: toilets, gas/electric BBQs, kids playground, tidal rock pool, picnic tables, limited shelter, showers, cafés, freshwater tap, walking paths, fishing, free on-street parking.

Attractions: The tidal rockpool was originally built in the early 1900s. On-leash dogs are allowed along the grassed parts of the seafront promenade. A paved footpath currently extends from South Cronulla Beach around the Cronulla peninsula to Hungry Point, with plans afoot to extend it.


Cabbage Tree Basin, Bundeena (near Bonnie Vale). Photo: Alec Smart


Prince Edward Park

118 Prince Edward Park Rd, Woronora

Facilities: toilets, gas/electric BBQs, kids playground, shallow tidal rock pool, picnic tables, limited shelter, café, freshwater tap, bushwalking paths, sports oval, good for kayaking/SUP, kayak/SUP hire, wildlife watching, fishing, fishing boat hire, boat ramp, free on-street parking, ticketed parking, overnight camping (booking necessary).

Attractions: Spacious parkland with lots of kids facilities, a boat ramp, cricket pitch and a footbridge crossing the Woronora River. Excellent kayaking area with canoe hire available.


Shelly Park, Shelly Beach

70 Ewos Parade, South Cronulla

Facilities: toilets, gas/electric BBQs, kids playground, on-leash dogs permitted, ocean rockpool, picnic tables, limited shelter, showers, cafés, freshwater tap, cycle + walking paths, free on-street parking.

Attractions: There are baby change facilities and the children’s play area has a Liberty Swing for wheelchair-bound people. The naturally formed rockpool north of Shelly Beach is known as The Nuns Pool, because, historically, nuns from a convent above swam in it. The 1930s-built Shelly Beach rockpool, to the south, has a ramp leading down to it from The Esplanade.


Yena Picnic Area

Cape Solander Drive, Kamay-Botany Bay National Park, Kurnell

Ticketed parking or $8 vehicle entry fee to Kamay-Botany Bay National Park.

Facilities: picnic tables, cycle + walking paths, bushwalking paths, wildlife watching, fishing. Open 7am-7.30pm Aug-May (7am-5.30pm June-July).

Attractions: No BBQ facilities, shelter or public toilets but great seaside spot for whale-watching during cetacean migration season (May-Nov).


Ferry across Port Hacking between Cronulla and Bundeena. Photo: Alec Smart


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