It’s been the site of striking fashion shoots and foolhardy stunts, but the time for photo friendly shenanigans may be over as experts are warning that the collapse of Wedding Cake Rock in New South Wales’ Royal National Park seems imminent.
Geotechnical investigations into the stability of the iconic formation have revealed all or part of it may crumble into the sea fifty metres below without warning. National Parks and Wildlife Service Regional Manager Gary Dunnett said, “The report is clear - standing on the rock platform risks a truly tragic outcome. We will now take action to create a new and safer way that allows visitors to take in the site without compromising their safety.”
Mr Dunnett went on to explain, “The site was named as a result of it resembling the squared silky layers of a white wedding cake - the colour an indication that the iron in the sandstone had been leached out over time and leaving it pure white but also significantly weakened.”
A protective fence has been put in place, and warning signs erected to let visitors know of the dangers involved in stepping onto the formation. There are also plans in place to create a new viewing platform further back from the edge where those who are keen to get a shot of the unique sandstone rocks can do so in safety.
While Wedding Cake Rock may be off limits, Royal National Park still has more than enough to keep holidaymakers enthralled for however long they plan to stay. One of the great things about the park is how close it is to Sydney - drive for a little over half an hour southwest and you’ll be amongst Royal National Park’s beautiful surroundings. Of course, this means that during certain times of the year it gets pretty busy, but if you plan ahead that shouldn’t be a problem.
One of the simplest ways to camp in Royal National Park is to grab an Australian Motorhome Rental, take the short trip down from Sydney, and park up at Bonnie Vale campground. Just keep in mind when choosing your campervan that large motorhomes may have some difficulty getting to the site. This is a popular site, so it will pay to make a reservation well ahead of time - they take bookings up to 12 months in advance, so there’s no excuse for missing out. Bonnie Vale offers an ideal family beach camping environment - picnic tables, toilets, showers, drinking water… it’s all provided, meaning you can just pull up to a campervan site and start relaxing. It’s $11 per day to enter the park, but many who live in the area pick up an annual pass for $65.
Once you’ve got settled at Bonnie Vale, what next? You could head down to nearby Jibbon Beach for a spot of fishing, hire a kayak and cruise along the Hacking River or set out on one of the walking tracks that the park is famous for. If you’re keen to get up close and personal with the park’s rainforest environment, try the Palm Jungle Loop Track. It’s a challenging walk that comes in at an estimated 5 hours, but you’ll experience a stunning array of scenery along the way, from clifftops to beaches to coastal rainforest. On the other hand, if you’re after something a bit more family friendly, the Wildlife day tour makes for a day the kids (and you!) will never forget. Cuddle up to furry critters at Symbio Wildlife Park with their behind-the-scenes koala encounter before heading on for a picnic lunch and an afternoon enjoying a beach complete with saltwater lagoon and waterfall.
So you see, there’s really no reason to fret about the fact that Wedding Cake Rock is succumbing to natural forces at last - Royal National Park is filled with unique and intriguing experiences. Beat the crowds and start planning your holiday today!