Old Princes Highway, Engadine
Engadine is marked with an ink blot on the map as a great starting point to explore the Royal National Park, which has more than 150km of walking tracks and is lauded as one of Australia's most stunning parks.
Engadine is also bordered by Heathcote National Park to the west, making it conveniently located for a day's escape back to nature. The Engadine Track leaves from the train station and loops down into Audley, which features dramatic sandstone cliffs, a native forest bristling with wildlife and unbeatable vistas.
The Needles (pictured above) is another dramatic place for a dip in Engadine. Located just above the Woronora River, it is a deep pool that is flooded with sunlight, which keeps the water unseasonably warm during the wintry seasons. Nearby, the Engadine Lagoon is so pretty it's like a dreamscape; also known as the 'blue lagoon', the waterhole is surrounded by caves that were once used as shelter by local indigenous people.
Engadine is also on the map for bird watchers who descend on the wetlands to the east of the railway station to celebrate the region's diversity. Serious birders should BYO binoculars.
Engadine is named after the Engadin valley in Switzerland and, like the valley in the Alps, is also popular with cyclists who catch the train to the suburb before setting off on their bike.
For a change of pace, Engadine welcomes the Gourmet Outdoor Kitchen a monthly night market that is spread out in Engadine Town Square like a lavish feast of street food.
The Engadine Library is also a mainstay with its busy schedule of community events: there's a knitting group, a mah-jong club, story time for toddlers and a film group that all meet on a regular basis.
Everything is a 10-minute walk away in Engadine Town Square Shopping Centre. Head to cafes such as The Steam Bros for a White Horse brew and to The Urban on Lantana for the avocado smash that won a Shire-wide Instagram comp. Mike's Grill at Club Engadine RSL deserves a shout-out for its drool-worthy menu of mains such as Angus rump steak with vegetables and potatoes. Head to Engadine Leisure Centre to get back in black on the calorie ledger with a few fast laps.
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