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The feeling when you put your feet into the clear cold water after walking for kilometres. Such a small thing can be incredibly satisfying. Especially when your feet are demanding for a rest or the heat is making you sweat and you need to cool down. After a little while, you are refreshed and ready to tie your shoes again and get back to the track.

Little pleasures are the best things of bushwalking. Cool water feels soft and healing, birds in the trees share their vivid conversations and the fresh smell of vegetation fills the air.

I headed to the Royal National Park to go for a short bushwalk. It takes less than an hour to get to the park by train and there are plenty of tracks for bushwalkers. The track from Waterfall station to the Uloola falls takes off from the corner of the parking lot. It runs through bushes but reaches soon a grassy field. After that the track is wide and easy to walk on. The trees grow high providing shade but not blocking the blue sky. A bit over 5 kilometres later the path comes to the top of the Uloola Falls. You can walk right next to the drop and look at the water flowing over the edge and falling down. However, the best pictures are taken from a cliff a little before the waterfall.

From the Uloola Falls, I caught the Karloo walking track and continued towards the Karloo Pools. The path between the falls and the pools is narrow and uneven. This is more like an actual bushwalk; there are plenty of bushes on the way. Long grass brushes my legs and the branches of the bushes poke my hair. I wonder what sort of insects live on those plants. But I see nothing alarming so I keep on going. In fact, I don’t see many animals on my way. Some flies and huge ants, parrots, other birds and small lizards.

There are quite a few people at the Karloo Pools when I arrive. I sink my feet to the river and take out my sandwich. Rocks alongside are excellent for sunbathing and shallow water above the pools good for a casual wade. Children are swimming in the cold water and trekkers enjoy their picnic lunches.
From there it only takes an hour to get to the Heathcote train station. The track is still narrow and rocky but less bushy. Because the walk is only 2.5 kilometres long there are more families on the move. They have decided to enjoy the lovely day in nature as well. I suppose the Karloo Pools is a good picnic destination on its own.

The walk is only 11 kilometers long and takes a few hours to complete. It is a nice walk if you wish to pay a quick visit to the park. Royal National Park can accommodate longer multi-day bushwalks as well; I encountered some trekkers with big backpacks and overnight camping gear on my way. There are many ways to enjoy bushwalking.