Sydney headland walks: Flat Rock Beach

Spending three months in lockdown has required a little creativity to satisfy our travel bug. Fortunately our local LGAs are filled with stunning beauty, so we’ve been sating our wanderlust on weekends by exploring beach headlands.

Killarney Point might not be the first destination on your beach bucket list, but the Garigal National Park is filled with fantastic scenery, gorgeous waterways, bushwalks and a lovely sandy picnic spot.

While Flat Rock Beach doesn’t front the ocean, the beautiful location has been described as having scenery that closely resembles what those on the First Fleet saw when they arrived in 1788.

We traversed the Flat Rock Track to the beach recently – which is fully accessible, despite the “detour” signs at either end. After parking in Downpatrick Street, we meandered through the bushland, which has beautiful, rainforest-like sections and stunning harbour views.

Killarney Heights is named after Killarney in Ireland. It’s thought to have been given the moniker by Irishman John Dunbar Nelson, who established picnic grounds there in the late 1890s.

There were dance halls and pavilions, with the area serviced on Sundays and public holidays by ferries from the city.

As you wander the Flat Rock track you can see one of the derelict dance halls, which went on to become the home of Mosman Rowing Club before being destroyed by fire in 2016.

At the end of the track is the pretty Magazine Track Waterfall, with stairs lead down to Flat Rock Beach.

In the early 1900s, the white, sandy beach was a popular picnic area and local families still love wandering down there to relax there today. It’s a beautiful spot.

After sipping coffee on the sand, we took the Magazine Track to Bantry Bay, past spring wildflowers and more stunning water views. The track also passes by the Bantry Bay Explosives Magazine Complex, which was built by the government at the beginning of last century and includes magazines, wharves, tramlines and outbuildings. It was closed in 1974 and incorporated into Garigal National Park.

Currently, the site isn’t accessible due to the risk of contamination from the explosives. But there are hopes it will be restored one day open to the public.

We love the amazing photos of the complex (above) taken by Explored Visions.

The Flat Rock Track takes around 20 minutes one way, while Magazine Track is a further 90 minutes.

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