An easy walk in the Royal National Park down the Costens Point Firetrail to Costens Point (you may be able to create a loop by continuing along the coast to Red Jacks Point).
It’s a blistering hot weekend, but since I have to travel to Stanwell Tops to pick up my son from a school music camp, I figure I should take the opportunity to do a few shorter bushwalks in the south of Sydney. After finding a few trig stations in the Royal National Park, I park near the top of the Costens Point Firetrail, just before Maianbar. After exploring a sidetrail (which I later discover goes another 4km to Winifred Falls, and onto the Ironbark Flat Picnic Area), I continue down the Costens Point Firetrail. Starting as a wide and grassy service trail, it soon gets a bit shadier as it descends into a more forested area.
The firetrail end at Costens Point, where an informal, grassy campground (a nice spot, but no fresh water) has a nice view over the Hacking River.
Costens Point was named after William Costen, an early settler, who arrived in Sydney in 1844. After he was granted 25 acres of land at Red Jacks Point (the next significant headland to the east) in 1858, he sold this in 1869, and a year was granted a further 40 acres at Costens Point (the 1882 parish map, below, has the name misspelt as “Costins Point”). Costen lived here until 1882, when he sold the land. The land was further subdivided, before being incorporated into the Royal National Park in the 1970s.
It’s an easy scramble down to the rocky coastline at the end of Costens Point, where there is an old concrete ramp and an oyster-encrusted pilings and low sea walls.
I had thought, from the air-conditioned comfort of my lounge room the previous evening, that I might be able to follow the coast around to Red Jacks Point. From here I could return via Red Jacks Firetrail. Although it’s low tide and it does seem feasible, the temperature is about 40 degrees, and there’s no shade along the water. I decide I’ll come back ane explore this option on a cooler day.
I haven’t seen anyone so far, but as I head back up the hill I encouter a couple of hikers going in the opposite direction. They are clearly less soft than me, and were attempting the loop around to Red Jacks Point. Hopefully they made it… and if you happen to stumble across my blog, let me know if it’s possible!
I’m glad to reach the car again, with enough time to hopefully find a secluded swimming hole at South West Arm Creek, which I noticed when driving past the carpark earlier in the day.
|Location||Costens Point Firetrail, off Maianbar Road (Royal National Park)|
|Distance||Approx 4km return (1-2 hours)|
|Grade||Easy. 115m total elevation gain.|
|Map/s||9129-4N Port Hacking (1:25K) Buy / Download|
|GPS Route||AllTrails map with option to download GPX / KML files|