This is a trail that consists of everything a trail runner – starting out or professional - is after. From steep climbs, rolling undulation, technical descents - even the occasional scramble. Not to forget the amazing Aussie wildlife you may (and often do) bump in to along the route.
There are secret, little trails only the “locals” know about that can take you off the beaten track. Though it is only technically a 10-12 km track, with all the side routes to other trails like Uloola, forest tracks and shortcuts, or just popping down to Hacking River, you can definite make it a much longer (and more adventurous) run. Close to Palona Brook, there is also a short venture off to see the epic sandstone caves, which are the perfect place to catch your breath and take it all in.
I love choosing the trail less traveled, because you never know what’s coming up around the next corner. One secret swimming hole I love to take a dive in is Carrington Falls – you can definitely find me there post run in the heat of the Aussie summer.
Trail runs are challenging because you are testing yourself against the ultimate competitor: Mother Nature. 40 plus degrees on a hot Aussie summer day running the trail can be extremely challenging even for the seasoned pro. You need to have a good sense of direction and be aware of your surroundings.
If you choose to stray off the trail and add in extra kilometers, just be wary of creepy crawlies. In the dense thick bush, it’s shaded and sometimes quite cool, so wearing suitable gear is a must to make sure you’re protected. Always prepare for the unexpected when out on a terrain run.
In early or late summer the weather conditions are perfect for trail running.
You can even finish off with a refreshing swim in the ocean just a short drive north along the coastal road from my hometown in North Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
The Royal National Park is the perfect playground for all trail run enthusiasts.