The Malabar Headland National Park Western Walking Track Opens
By Hayley Dean, elllaslist
We were extremely excited to attend the official opening of Sydney’s newest coastal bush trail, the Malabar Headland National Park Western Walking Track.
The 1.15km track provides public access to Malabar Headland, which recently re-opened to the public in February 2018 for the first time in 100 years, and creates a circular loop by linking with the coastal National Parks Wildlife Service Boora Point Walking Track.
One of the most exciting elements of this opening is that the Western Walking Track will be open seven days a week and is located in an area of the headland that will not be impacted by the ANZAC Rifle Range shooting days (although the unmistakable sounds of gun fire are ever present). Fantastic!
The official proceedings took place in Pioneer Park, Malabar. It commenced with a wonderful Welcome to Country by local indigenous elder, of the Cadigal people, Aunty Lola. Aunty Lola explained that this land was used as camping grounds for the Bidjigal and gadigal clans. The track today still exhibits evidence of their presents here with rock paintings and axe carvings.
“This track belongs to the people” cried Randwick Mayor Lindsay Shurey during her official opening speech. It has long been cared for by the wonderful volunteers from friends of Malabar through their bush rejuvenation program.
The walk opens up the western section of Malabar Headland National Park and is a joint initiative between Randwick City Council and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
Member for Coogee Bruce Notley-Smith noted that the collaboration meant people now have the option to complete a 3km coastal walk along the Boora Point Walking Track, 1.15km inland walk along the Western Walking Track or do both for a 4km loop around Malabar Headland. The walk forms part of Sydney’s famous Coastal Walkway and links South Maroubra Beach with Malabar Beach. Council has plans to build a continuous path along the entire coastline between Clovelly in the north and La Perouse in the south. Can't wait to see that unfold.
Malabar Headland National Park
Malabar Headland National park protects significant cultural, historical and natural heritage. You can enter the walk either via Pioneer Park in Malabar or from the South Maroubra Surf Life saving club. It's important to stay on the path to preserve the native vegetation. Some sections do involve small amount of walking on the dirt or rocks and during these sections, the path is well marked with arrows.
During the migration months, this will be a wonderful place to do a spot of whale watching and if you’re lucky, you may even see a New Zealand Fur Seal sunning itself on the coast rocks along the eastern escarpment walk track.
The track is a wonderful addition for the area but unfortunately for we parents, it's not pram (or disabled friendly). I thought this was a real shame, though I do acknowledge that it is a National Park and should be respected as such. The walkway is made from a gritty, hard steel/plastic substance that was easy to walk on. My four year old came on the walk with me and sadly tripped, resulting in some very nasty cuts to his little knees. Perhaps something to consider for parents – wear longer pants and as there is a lot of glass beside the pathway from midnight shenanigans, always ensure your kids are wearing the right shoes. As the sign says, supervise your children at all times. There are a couple of seats to rest on along the path and hand rails on the pathway.
Dogs and bike/scooters are also NOT allowed and to be honest, there are so many stairs that you wouldn’t want to have to carry them constantly anyway.
Apart from the unfortunate fall towards the end, we really enjoyed the walk and will definitely be back again. The weather was gorgeous and the blue of the ocean sparkled and danced off the sun.
A simply magical walk in magical Sydney.
A big thank you to Randwick Council and NSW National Parks & Wildlife for inviting us.
A map of the walking tracks.
Feb 20 2018
Fabulous view of the Western Section bush, with the track going through it. A huge thank you from all of us at Friends of Malabar Headland to Randwick City Council for this long-awaited "missing link" section of the iconic Eastern Beaches Coastal Walk.