When Easter rolled around this year it was time to crack out the camping gear and go bush, this time to North Era in the Royal National Park. After an easy hour’s drive from Sydney, the adventure started in the Garie Beach carpark, where we strapped on our packs and headed off on a 1.5km stretch of The Coast Track.
It sounds easy enough, but after rounding the headland to Little Garie and heading up Thelma Head, things become very vertical very quickly – no mean feat when you have 10+ kilograms of camping gear strapped to your back (fittingly for Easter, the bulk of this consisted of water and wine).
On the similarly steep descent down into North Era, the view across the pristine beach and lush green valley was stunning enough to distract from aching shoulders and intense lower calf pain.
After finding a perfect patch of flat ground with bush on one side, ocean on the other (and no other campers within cooee), we set up camp and got into deep leisure mode – ocean swimming, rockpool exploring, games of cards, walks to the headland, and deep-diving into the cryptic crossword.
There’s nothing quite like waking up to the sound of birds at dawn (and the quickly rising sun blasting you in the face through the nylon of your tent), having a leisurely morning swim, then campfire coffee and breakfast before heading home. With packs considerably lighter, the trek out of Era was far easier but no less spectacular, and it’s safe to say another trip is on the cards in the not too distant future.