The Cape Bailey Walk
Dharawal Country

1 h 45 min to 3 h 30 min

5.1 km
oneway

↑ 88 m
↓ -99 m

Hard track
This is an interesting walk, starting from Kurnell and following a series of bush tracks and service trails along the coast, with great ocean views. The walk offers some great views of the coast, city, and some great local landscapes, including sand dunes and hanging swamps. The small side trip up to the Cape Bailey lighthouse is well worth it and provides a nice spot for lunch. Let us begin by acknowledging the Dharawal people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
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end of Polo street. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
radar tower and water tank. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Tabbigai Gap. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
off shore platform. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
hanging swamps. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
small sand dunes throughout the walk. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
a closer look at the platform. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
winding through thick heath. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
path up to the cape bailey lighthouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
cape bailey lighthouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
looking back up the coast. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
following the cape bailey walking track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
many great formations like this litter the coast line. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
some small sand dunes. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
the sir joseph banks drive carpark. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Downloads GPX PDF

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-34.0105106,151.2227396)
Mode Bus Car (There is free parking available.)
DirectionsFrom Captain Cook Drive
  • Turn on to Captain Cook Drive then drive for 460 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 1 onto Captain Cook Drive and drive for another 3.5 km
  • At roundabout, take exit 1 onto Captain Cook Drive and drive for another 2.9 km
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Captain Cook Drive and drive for another 820 m
  • Turn right onto Polo Street and drive for another 520 m
Finish (-34.0397959,151.2116467)
Mode (end) Car Shuttle   Car   (There is free parking available.)
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the end of the Polo St, this walk heads around the metal National Parks gate and south-east along the service trail, with some power lines on the right-hand side. As the track heads further south-east, the track steadily climbs up to the top of a gentle hill and continues along until it comes to the intersection of the Cape Bailey walk and the radar service trail.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After 30 m head through/around the gate.
After another 370 m turn left, to head along Polo Trail.
After another 15 m (at the intersection of Polo Trail & Yena Track) continue straight, to head along Polo Trail.
After another 370 m (at the intersection of Yena Gap Trail & Polo Trail) turn left.
After another 280 m turn right.
After another 930 m turn right.
After another 45 m veer left.
After another 230 m veer right.
After another 390 m continue straight.
After another 235 m find the "Hanging Swamps" (40 m on your right).
Hanging Swamps
Hanging Swamps

There are a number of hanging swamps that can be found along the Cape Baily walk. They are home to a number of different plants and animals like reeds and frogs. Hanging swamps are formed on high ground when rainfall seeps out of surrounding hills and accumulates in a slight depression, over time forming a swamp. Interestingly, they are sometimes difficult to see from far away as the thick build up of reeds and other plant life often cover the water.
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There are a number of hanging swamps that can be found along the Cape Baily walk. They are home to a number of different plants and animals like reeds and frogs. Hanging swamps are formed on high ground when rainfall seeps out of surrounding hills and accumulates in a slight depression, over time forming a swamp. Interestingly, they are sometimes difficult to see from far away as the thick build up of reeds and other plant life often cover the water.

The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Cape Bailey Lighthouse. To start this optional side trip turn sharp right here. On returning from this side trip continue straight when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 850 m veer right.
After another 1.4 km turn right.
After another 35 m come to the end.
A car park.

An optional side trip to Cape Bailey Lighthouse.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 95 m come to the end.
About 15 m past the end is "Cape Baily Lighthouse".
Cape Baily Lighthouse
Cape Baily Lighthouse

Established in 1950, the lighthouse was required so north-bound shipping could hug the coast and avoid the strong southerly currents further out to sea. This lighthouse can be found a stone's-throw from the Cape Baily coastal walk, about 1.5 kilometres north from the Joseph Banks Drive car park.
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Established in 1950, the lighthouse was required so north-bound shipping could hug the coast and avoid the strong southerly currents further out to sea. This lighthouse can be found a stone's-throw from the Cape Baily coastal walk, about 1.5 kilometres north from the Joseph Banks Drive car park.

Turn around and retrace your steps back the 95 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

The Cape Bailey Walk


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 5.1 km
Time 1 h 45 min to 3 h 30 min
Quality of track Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)
Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Building
3.7 kmCape Baily Lighthouse
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Articles
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