La Perouse to Maroubra

Sunday October 12, 2008 - a fine sunny day and ideal for a walk.

This walk is described at  The walk notes are not that good in my opinion.  We started at Bare Island at 12:30 and the start of the walk is easy to find. But there is a lovely side trip up to the old fortifications on Henry Head that isn't described.  From there the track becomes very overgrown as you round the north side of Henry Head.  The track from here is not clear at all and we ended up walking down through a gulley that was sloppy and we were told full of black and brown snakes (we didn't see any).  Across the rocks to explore the shipwreck on the west end of Cape Banks.  Jenny wanted to try to climb around the S end but the rocks were a bit too tough and we only ended up with cuts, bruises and scratches on our legs (Jen worse than me).  Back across the bridge and along the cliff tops.  Looking out to sea we saw whales.  Through our binoculars we could see them clearly broaching, tail slapping, eye spotting and fluke slapping.  They continued to do this until the wind came up and then they disappeared.  We saw 4 in all, at least one was a calf.  Further on we came to a branch in the road.  Going left takes you to the Westpac helicopter base, and straight on takes you down to the Coast Hospital cemetery.  However, the track to the cemetery has a old fence and sign saying that it is a pistol range keep out. We chose to follow the sign and went back to the helicopter base and along the road and back into the coast cemetery. 

We then turned left and walked to and through the first golf course and down into Little Bay where we had lunch.  We then had to traverse around the golf courses, dodging golf balls and down to Long Bay and Cromwell Reserve.  There was a celebration here and a band playing - there looked to be more cops than anyone else.  From here the notes say the trail heads North up to Fishermans rd and turns left. The turn is actually to the right down to the car park and then down to the water level at the boat ramp. At several points you can climb up the to the cliff top onto one of several paths heading East to the headland.   We came across a couple - she was bent over enjoying the view out to sea while he was some what otherwise busy. There are vent stacks from the sewer outfall (stinky) and old observation towers in this area.  It's here where it is easy to go wrong.  Trails are indistinct and there are many of them heading North or North west.  It is easy to miss the wide service trail and end up on smaller trails heading more west.  These will eventually take you to a large horse paddock, and the back of the rifle range.

The one we were on ended up at a point high on the headland amongst the horses (I don't like horses).  Heading roughly NW we finally came to a rough pole with a red flag at the bottom of it.  From here we could see the service trail that we should have been on below us.  The bank is steep and covered in scrub and hard to penetrate,  We headed back south along the top of the bank looking for a way down.  Eventually our track headed down and joined the service track that we should have been on.  A long walk along this sandy track and into the area that is used for model airplanes.  We could follow the fence here but below us we could see a high mesh fence that stopped us getting down onto the beach.  Following the fence as the notes suggest we came to a bend in the fence and a grassed area between houses and bushland.  This is the end of the walk but you are expected to go down this grassed area and into Arthur Byrne reserve.  A 10' mesh fence at the bottom looked like it stops you from exiting here and an ominous sign stating "Trespassers will be prosecuted - $46,200 fine" did nothing to build our confidence.  Luckily there is a hole cut in the fence where we could scramble through and out onto the road.  We chose this rather than walking down to the end and finding that there is no exit here.  We then had to walk around the streets before getting down to the reserve.  We walked into Maroubra and caught a cab back to Bare Island.  In all 20kms and about 6 and a half hours walking. 




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