Summary: one of the best waterway walks in the northern Illawarra, varied and interesting. 25 minutes one way.
Directions: Park at Stanwell Park Beach Reserve. Walk down to beach and then to the southern end. Stanwell Creek meets the sea just before the cliffs. Follow inland closely beside the creek on the northern side. Note the impressive houses perched on the steep opposite slopes, the barnacles on the low cliffs and the ancient tree trunks in the creek. Follow up to Beach Rd and then turn left. Proceed along past the low bridge with its flood markers and continue up the hill (now Lower Coast Road). After 100m or so, just as the road begins to veer right into the suburbs, follow a small trail down to the left. It leads back down to the creek, specifically a section with a deep pool and a rope swing at the mouth of huge brick road tunnel (passing beneath Lawrence Hargrave Drive). Walk through the well graffitied tunnel. At the other end, Stanwell creek appears as a bouldery rainforest waterway heading up gradually into the escarpment.
Point of disappearance: too wet to boulder hop. The rainforest section must wait till another day.