Perched on the southern shores of Port Hacking and surrounded on all other sides by the Royal National Park, the village of Bundeena is certainly set in perfect isolation.
Established in 1879, the Royal is Australia’s oldest national park and conserves a plateau 16,000ha of heath-covered moors, studded here and there with such fine surfing beaches as Wattamolla and Garie and the Port Hacking bay beaches, Bonnie Vale and Jibbon.
The park is difficult to defend against the bushfires which periodically ravage Sydney, and in January 1994 more than 80 per cent of the Royal was destroyed in some of the worst fires in living memory.
Australian bush, however, has extraordinary regenerative capability and, by the turn of the century, the Royal had recovered most of its ground cover and wildlife.
Picture perfect Bundeena, which has been variously described as 'the Byron Bay of the south', 'jewel of the Pacific' and the village 'where the forest meets the sea', can be reached by a 25km drive from Sutherland or a 20-minute ferry trip from Cronulla.