South West Arm
Royal NP, NSW
17.0 km (4.5 hrs )
South West Arm Creek is one of those spectacular places that are worth revisiting. I first ventured to the end of the creek on my third time out on the water, and before I was confident in taking my camera along. Returning here on my eighth trek, I took the opportunity to take as many photos as I could!
The paddle up the creek from Warumbul Picnic Area is quite easy, although the creek does become quite shallow in places, so timing the tides may be helpful. The creek narrows considerably towards the end as you approach the impressive rock overhangs and steep valley walls, where the greenery of the trees is reflected in the water. This is a delightful place to have a dip. Keep en eye out for birds - I was lucky enough to see a magnificent sea eagle here.
With time to spare, I decided to head out to Bundeena and explore Cabbage Tree Basin. I would highly recommend going in at high tide, as even then, there are places where the water depth is less than 0.5 m. The basin is stunning with crystal clear water fringed by cabbage, mangrove and grass trees. Lots of fish visible, especially close to the deeper entrance of the basin.
Heading back after a few hours on the water, I found that the water level in the Hacking River had dropped so much that the sandbar at Maianbar was now exposed. I ended up dragging my kayak over the sand rather than detouring north to the main channel and adding several more kilometres to my paddle! All up, a wonderful day out on the water and a destination that is highly recommended.