Wild, beautiful, vast, alluring nature.
This is what awaits those who venture into Sydney’s Royal National Park in search of the famous Figure Eight Pools. If you haven’t visited them yourself, you’ll undoubtably have seen their pristine beauty pop up here and there when scrolling though your Instagram feed, where they have become an online sensation.
And if an image can say a thousand words, it’s no surprise that these unique geological pools have stirred a deep desire in many to head out into the wilderness and experience natural beauty.
Tucked between the coastal headlands in the southern reaches of the Royal National Park, the Figure Eight Pools are a cluster of naturally occurring rockpools dotted along the rock shelf around the corner from Burning Palms Beach, named after the shape of a couple of the pools which are in the form of the infinity sign or figure of eight.
HOW TO GET THERE
Visiting the Figure Eight Pools makes for a perfect day trip in Sydney. While finally getting to sink your body deep into the blue, cool water of the pools is an incredible feeling, half the fun is in actually getting to them.
Make sure you have set aside plenty of time, as the journey is at least a 3 hour roundtrip and you may also like to stay a while at the Figure Eight Pools once you arrive. The other important aspect that needs to be taken into consideration before you start the adventure is that the tides will align for you to actually be able to get there. This is because it is only possible and safe to reach the Figure Eight Pools around low tide and when the surf conditions are flat and calm, so do a check of tide times and swell in advance of your visit.
To begin, drive to Garrawarra Farm carpark where you can leave your vehicle and then set off along the track (signposted) which takes you down a rocky and winding coastal escarpment. If it has been raining recently, expect thick, sludgy mud. (Note: this will ruin your shoes, so wear some oldies.) After a good while of walking and exquisite scenery, this path merges onto the Coastal Track, which you follow around to Burning Palms Beach. Once you reach the beach, you need to walk to the far righthand side and continue off the sand, around the rocky coastline. This is not for the faint-hearted! It involves scrambling, a good level of fitness and some determination!
After making your way over rocks, between boulders and around rock ledges, you will eventually come to a flat rock shelf painted with lush green moss and speckled with crystal blue water holes beaconing you to strip off your clothing and dive into their cooling arms. You have arrived!
WHAT TO BRING
This adventure practically takes you into the wilderness – or as close as you can get to it while only being a 15 minute drive out of suburban Sydney. There are no toilets, places to
purchase water or food, and limited mobile phone reception. It’s also a long, sometimes difficult and most likely a hot trip ahead. This means you need to be prepared with the following:
- Sturdy, enclosed walking shoes
- Sunscreen (I always recommend using a natural sunscreen such as Wotnot to avoid nasty chemicals)
- A hat and sunglasses
- Your swimmers
- Food – snacks for the hike and a light meal to eat once you get there are great
- Plenty of drinking water – you’re going to need it
- Your phone or camera to take photos
Visiting the Figure of Eight Pools is a wonderful adventure. It’s so refreshing to switch off from technology and be recharged by nature’s majestic beauty and vibrant energy. You will most likely find yourself there with a tribe of other visitors, but part of the beauty of it is feeling inspired by all the other people who have also made the journey to just be there and enjoy life.