I grew up in the NSW country town of Gundagai and twice a year, September and Christmas, we would holiday for a fortnight in flats at Cronulla. Naturally, the beachside suburb became a second home and the absolute best part of the year. While it was pretty much free-wheeling holiday mode we had one family ritual that everyone looked forward to – a day trip to Bundeena by ferry.
A picnic would be packed, along with swimmers and towels, and we would head to the Cronulla wharf to catch the M.V. Curranulla which ran on the hour. It still does. What was a lovely day outing for us is a commuter experience for many adults and kids who call Bundeena home.
The lovely Curranulla is a quaint 53’ timber vessel that was commissioned on May 12, 1939. She has had a new engine since then but has retained all her character and the journey across the Port Hacking River is as relaxing as the destination. She is the oldest commuter ferry in Australia and still feels as reliable as the chances of the sun coming up tomorrow.
Bundeena itself is a unique, small community on the fringe of the Royal National Park. It is an ideal starting point for those inclined to bushwalking or just a delightful spot to enjoy a picnic, swim, fishing or lunch or a snack in a local café or the RSL. There are Aboriginal carvings on Jibbon Point for those who like to explore.
When it is getting time to leave, just watch for the ferry approaching the wharf and, if you miss it, there aren’t many nicer spots to while away another hour. This has to one of Sydney’s best kept secrets. If you are visiting Cronulla for longer than a day trip, Rydges Cronulla can look after all your accommodation needs, or drop in for a drink and/or a meal after your relaxing sojourn at Bundeena.