The picnic grounds are well equipped. There are coin operated barbecue pits, although you will need to clean them up a bit. Some people bring their own gas stoves or portable BBQs. The car park isn't far away, you you needn't worry about carrying too much over a long distance. Bins are provided, so do clean up after your picnic to keep the grounds clean for others to enjoy.
Toilets and washrooms are located at the picnic area (see the building in the photo) as well as a cafe if you didn't bring any/enough food.
There is a children's playground there as well as a large playing field - bring your own activities (suggested-volleyball, soccer, cricket, frisbee, etc) for a day of fun.
It is fun in the summertime. I saw people in wetsuits having a go in the winter. Always go with someone and not alone. Otherwise, you can just have a swim, or enjoy the beach area. There are facilties for showering and changing at the picnic grounds (bring your own toiletries), so you can always wash up and dry off before heading elsewhere.
Liz and I had brunch at the Palms Cafe with Jackie before heading out to visit Symbio. The Cafe is a small roadside cafe with some tables on the patio and some indoor seating. The place was jamming; it was a weekend. We grabbed a table outside and were handed menus. Jackie and I immediately knew we wanted the breakfast tortilla wrap. Liz decided on the baked Portobello Mushrooms.
A few minutes later our drinks arrived and soon after so did our breakfast. I was quite happy with my choice. The tortilla wrap was a nice large size and filled with scrambled eggs, bacon, cheese and tomato jam. It was incredibly good and very filling. Liz loved her mushrooms that were baked with parmesean cheese and served on a thick slice of sourdough toast. I grabbed a bite and was amazed at the flavors.
Just two days ago, I heard on the news that the Hacking River had burst its banks and flooded Historical Audley, the site where you can get access to boats and meander down the river. It had been raining for several days around the country. Holiday places are not spared.
Do check ahead for weather conditions if you are thinking of going to Royal National Park. It rains a little more in the winter-spring period (from Jul-Sept), although the weather is generally great in this part of the world.
Audley Boatshed at historic Audley Village at Royal National Park (32km south of Sydney) is where you can rent boats and bikes.
Hire rates for row boats/canoes and kayaks:
9am - close $30, 11am - close $28, 1pm - close $26, 1 hour $16, 2 hours $24.
Mountain bikes are 1hr $14, 2 hrs $20, 3 hrs $22, 4 hrs $24, All day $30. Aqua bikes are $12 for 1/2 hr. Lifejackets are available for non swimmers.
There is a $10 deposit on all hire. Cars parked at the have to pay a $11 entry fee.
Walking maps are available from the boatshed hire kiosk.
This is Australia's first national park, south of the Hacking River. It is 32km south of Sydney or 47 km north of Wollongong using the Princes Highway. Roads to Royal NP are sealed. Historic Audley village is where you can hire canoes and dinghies to explore the river and tributaries. It is also the starting point for some full day walks.
Just 40 minutes from Stanwell Park is the Royal National Park.
You will need to pay for a car entry fee into the park. It costs A$11, payable at the visitor centre. If you forget to pay, you can always ring them and pay by card/EFTPOS within 7 days.
You can hire boats, bikes or do some bush walks there. Drive through to the sign that says Hacking River, and you will find Audley Boatshed does hires and also provides a sketch map of the area. The boatshed number is provided in the contacts.