Distance: 3km return
Approximate Time: 3hrs return
Difficulty: Moderate
Open Hours: Always

If you’re looking for a fun hike for kids and adults then the Karloo Track to Karloo Pool in the Royal National Park is a fabulous choice for a bush bash with family and friends. This moderately challenging track winds up and down valleys, has beautiful views across the Sutherland Shire bushland and is lined with native shrubs and flowers like the stunning Gymea Lily, Old Man Banksia and wattle. Remember to pack your cossies as this walk ends at the clear Karloo Pool swimming hole where you can cool off with a dip and enjoy a picnic on the rocks before returning along the track.

To find the track find start at Heathcote train station - you can arrive by train or drive and park at the station. From the eastern side of the station walk to the right along Wilson Parade. You’ll find a signposted track just past the State Emergency Services building on the left. Follow it along to the left until it veers right towards the bush - you’ll see another Karloo Track signpost. The track will take you downhill and across the trickling Heathcote Brook, rocky outcrops and a climb upwards before heading back down towards the pools.  

This walk is fun for families with kids 5+ who can run ahead to explore and climb. You’ll have lots of chances to teach the kids all about the beautiful Australian bush and look out for parrots, bush finches and cockatoos in the trees.  

You’ll deserve a swim when you arrive at the pools, so jump into the clear green water and cool off, before enjoying a picnic on the rocks. You can see right to the bottom of the pools, and kids can explore the creek upstream or downstream. 

Useful information

For the purposes of this walking trail, start and finish at the State Emergency Service opposite Heathcote Train Station. If you’d like a more challenging walk, from Karloo Pool you can trek further to Uloola Falls and loop back to Waterfall Station - approximately 11 kilometres.  

Start of early in the morning during summer to beat the crowds.

Keep an eye out for native Waratahs and other bush flowers and scrub.

This walk is considered Grade 3, suitable for all fitness levels but recommended for people with some bushwalking experience. There are some uphill sections. 

Refer to the Australian Walking Track Grading System.

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