Author: Barefoot Downunder

Author: Barefoot Downunder

First time I came across Figure 8 Pools was in an article and since then I always wanted to visit this geological spectacle. Finally, I got an opportunity and the next thing I know is that I am on a bus on my way to Figure 8 Pools.

So, what is ‘Figure 8 Pools’ ?

Figure 8 Pools is a cluster of naturally formed rock pools located in coastal headlands in Sydney’s Royal National Park. Royal National Park (which Aussie’s lovingly call as ‘Nasho’), is located 40 mins away from Sydney and is the second oldest National Park in the world (after Yellow Stone).

My trip started at sharp 7:30 am on a Sunday morning from Central. The drive was around 40 mins until we reached Garrawara Farm.

The Track

It was the perfect day with bright sun. From the Garrawara Farm Car Park we headed towards Burning Palms beach down the hill.

royal national park tours sydney

The trail begins with  tall trees turning into lush green bushes and the amazing views of the coastal line. The refreshing hike takes you to the Burning Palms Beach in around 45 mins.

royal national park tours sydneyWe took a short break at the beach and it was the perfect time for some beautiful pictures. Very thoughtful of the team to ensure we are at the right place at the right time of the day to take the perfect pictures!

From the beach, the coastal walk continues towards the right-hand side (south) but this time, it is sharp rocks and steep edges we have to walk through. This is the hardest part of the track.

royal national park tours sydneyEn-route to the pools are the rocky patches & sharp stones covered with seaweeds, Neptune’s necklace, and little starfishes.

royal national park tours sydney

Another 30 minutes of the walk, you are in for a beautiful sight of the naturally formed figure 8 pool.

royal national park tours sydney

Apart from the big pool which is clearly defined, there are few others which are under formation. Also few of them are big enough for a short swim. A great location for photography too.

royal national park tours sydney

Access to the pools is safe only when it is low tide as the waves can crash across the rock platforms. We were visiting at the end of winter and during the first half of the day which allowed us to view the pools in isolation. However, it seems to be a crowded place in summer.

Wanderer’s Tip 

  • It is advised to check the wave size & tide height before traveling to the pool as it is risky otherwise
  • Though public transport is available it will be safer to travel with an experienced group
  • There are no food or toilet facilities available anywhere along the route from the Garrawarra Farm car park.
  • There is no lifeguard service available
  • Phone reception is limited and almost non-existent at certain areas.

royal national park tours sydney

After a nice dip in the rock pools, we headed back. The return hike is uphill which is quite steep, I would allow enough time for the return.

royal national park tours sydney

We headed to Stanwell Tops Park where we were offered a freshly barbecued Australian lunch by the crew. The food was yummy and generous to fill our hungry & tired tummies.

royal national park tours sydney

Next location was Wattamolla which is 40 mins away from here . On the way, we spotted the glimpse of  whales in the ocean, though from far away. Wattamolla has a great view point which is easily accessible as well as a beach and a cliff. After spending some time in Wattamolla we returned back to Central. At the end of the

Wattamolla has a great view point which is easily accessible as well as a beach and a cliff. After spending some time in Wattamolla we returned back to Central. At the end of the day, we were offered a drink at the nearest Pub.

royal national park tours sydney

Overall it was a great day. Wonderful team of Adam, Smokey & Debbie at Barefoot Downunder made sure the trip is enjoyable for everyone (special mention to the Aussie humour!) This carefully tailored trip ensures the visitors get a good view of the best outdoor locations in Sydney and is a definite value for money.

Why You Wander was welcomed to Figure 8 Pools by, however, all opinions are my own!

Here is your chance to win a tour to the Figure Eight Pools in the Royal National Park with Barefoot Downunder! It is super easy to enter all you need to do is head to our Facebook page and ‘like’ us and ‘share’ our post. Winners will be announced on Saturday morning 🙂

 The Figure 8 Pools is a natural rock shelf found in the worlds second oldest National Park – the Royal National Park which is just 45 minutes south of Sydney. It can be reached only on foot and can take around 3 hours return to hike down and back. Check out our new Figure 8 Pools Coastal Adventure Tour on our website for inclusions and all trip details.

Figure Eight pools trip

Scenic World, Katoomba Blue Mountains

IF you have heard of the place called Scenic World while researching your Blue Mountains tour and are wondering what this place is all about then read on for a quick intro. I am not going to get in depth on the historical facts etc. just a brief overview of what you can do there.

Scenic World is located up in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains which is almost 2 hours drive from Sydney. Think of it as a mini theme park and when I say mini, I mean there are only 3 rides total at Scenic World!

Besides the rides, Scenic World also has a cafe and dining area where you can buy food, drinks and a big gift shop if you want to grab a few souvenirs. It can get very busy up in the Blue Mountains at Scenic World during Christmas and school holidays, with heaps of visitors and long queue’s so keep this in mind if going.


Here is a quick overview on the rides:

Scenic World in KatoombaScenic Railway

The Worlds Steepest passenger railway train with a steep incline and descending 310 meters down into the rainforest. It can be a good option if you want to hike down to the Katoomba Falls as you can ride the Railway back up to the top if you have had enough hiking for the day OR take the fun ride down to the bottom as they allow you to adjust your seat position up to 20′ if you want making it a more exciting ride.








Scenic World Katoomba Blue MountainsScenic Skyway

This is probably my favourite as you are up 270 metres high taking in 360′ views of the Blue Mountains which is pretty amazing.  The ride is 720 metres long and you are in a glass carriage with a glass floor as well on a cable suspension taking you from the ‘East Station’ to the main park entrance. You can see views of the Jamison Valley, Katoomba Falls and the Three Sisters so bring your camera as it’s a scenic place for photos!







Cableway Blue MountainsScenic Cableway

The Worlds Steepest cable car journey in the Southern Hemisphere, you ride 510 metres down into the rainforest valley.  The views again are great as you can see the Three Sisters, Orphan Rock, Mt Solitary and Katoomba Falls on it.  Try to get on it first so you can be up front for the best views while heading down the mountain.




Scenic Walkway

Obviously not a ride but a very well constructed boardwalk in the Blue Mountains. This walkway spans 2.4 kilometres around lush rainforest to the Jamison Valley floor with various walking path options. The trees and bush act as a canopy for the path and you can usually spot native birds and wildlife on this track. One is the Lyre Bird, I haven’t been down yet without spotting a few.  You can also catch up on the history of the old coal miners from the area with replicas and signage around.

Rides for all 3 are $39 for Adults which gives you an unlimited pass, or $19 for the one-way train if you want to do a bit of hiking.

Scenic Railway Blue MountainsKatoomba Scenic WorldSkyway Scenic World

To check them out online head to

(Scenic World is not offered on tour)

figure eight pools tourBarefoot Downunder’s brand new Figure 8 Pools Tour is about to kick off this SPRING!!!

Barefoot Downunder is excited to announce it’s BRAND NEW tour to the Figure Eight Pools in the Royal National Park, providing a fun and adventurous day out for all young backpackers and international travellers.

The Figure 8 Rock Pools is a series of sandstone rock shelfs and natural rock pools found just south of Burning Palms Beach in the Royal National Park. As the name suggests there is a natural pool in the shape of a figure 8, which is also considerer a very lucky number in some countries making the area more popular to visit.

The hike to the Figure Eight pools is very beautiful but also a harder walking track that can take around 3+ hours return involving steep and uneven trails and walking over rock/boulder formations along the coast. The Figure 8 Pools can be dangerous to visit without any prior knowledge in surf conditions and beach safety as the figure eight pools are located on the rock edge of the ocean.

We will be working to set the standards high by providing a fun and safe day tour to the Figure 8 Pools for young visitors and travellers alike.  This will be backed by educating guest on ocean and beach safety, applying our knowledge and experience in adventure guiding, beach and wilderness safety and running trips to the figure eight pools when the tides and swell are low in the day. After visiting the Figure 8 Rock Pools, our tour in Royal National Park will also include visiting areas around Wottamolla or Bundeena for a much needed swim and relax after the hike out. Lunch will also be included on our tour.

Our FIGURE 8 POOLS ADVENTURE TOUR in the Royal National Park is COMING SOON, please keep your eye out for updates on when we will be kicking off!

Some days we get to meet absolute legends on our tour to the Blue Mountains, although I am not talking about our guests this time. (Because we think they are all the greatest!) This time it is the random folklore Ukuleleists that we ran into while in the Blue Mountains.

After our last hoorah and stop up at Scenic World in Katoomba, we piled back in the bus and started our journey back to Sydney. Seeing as we made great time on our trip, I had one more place I wanted to show everyone that’s off the beaten track. Lets just say I call it my ‘Secret Spot’ as you get one of the best views of the Blue Mountains and it’s far from the popular tourist areas i.e. Echo Point.

Walking up to the spot we soon were met by 2 blokes just singing and jamming out on their Ukuleleis enjoying the beauty around us all. What Legends! Thanks for the tunes and for letting us capture this random but very cool moment that will be one to definitely remember. 🙂



It is not every day you come across a snake while on tour in the Blue Mountains. Listen, you might often get the odd one slither away in front of you while hiking in Wentworth Falls on a hot summers day but even that can be a rare occasion.

But on this particular day in the Blue Mountains our local tour guide was showing his guests the famous 3 Sisters rock formation at Echo Point, a popular destination where hundreds of international visitors flock to daily. He was just finishing up telling the dreamtime stories of the Blue Mountains to his group of backpackers when all of a sudden he saw something come at him from the corner of his eye!

It was outright frightful, scary and entertaining all at the same time….


With a variety of snake species up in the Blue Mountains including the eastern brown, copper head, red bellied black and yellow faced whip snake, we think it may have been a never before seen species in Australia called the line snake. I don’t know, ill leave it for you to decide.

What I can tell you is that there is never a dull moment with Barefoot Downunder and our adventure tour guides in the Blue Mountains! 🙂


The Blue Mountains is Located just 90 minutes out of Sydney in the Blue Mountains at Echo Point, Katoomba, Waradah Aboriginal Centre is a great place for travellers and visitors to get an introduction to Australia’s Indigenous culture.

With an emphasis on sharing Indigenous culture, guests can enjoy a 25-minute production put on by professional local Aboriginals. It is a great introduction to learn about the culture of the Dharug and Gundungurra tribes through an informative and memorable performance that includes traditional dance and didgeridoo playing.

The centre also showcases beautiful authentic and original artwork and paintings and here one can also pick up a handmade authentic didgeridoo if they choose amongst other unique souvenirs.

Waradah Aboriginal Centre gives you a quick insight into the Indigenous Australian culture and a place that is definitely worth visiting while taking a trip or on tour to the Blue Mountains.


The Hunter Valley has a well-earned reputation as Australia’s premier wine region. This area is a must-see for anyone who loves Australian wine and the gourmet food that best accompanies it. Even besides these major attractions, the Hunter Valley has lots to offer. The picturesque landscape of rolling hills and vineyards also contains its fair share of golf courses, luxury spas, historic villages, and farmstays. Located a 3-hour drive from Sydney, this haven is the perfect place to escape for a weekend, a week, or more.

Just three hours south of Sydney, Jervis Bay boasts some of the most idyllic coastal scenery in Australia. Visitors to Jervis Bay are met with pristine beaches, creeks, lagoons and hidden coves. Popular activities in the area include swimming, surfing, kayaking, scuba diving, fishing, standup paddle boarding, and even whale watching—humpback whales can often be spotted resting in the calm waters of Jervis Bay from June to November.


Slightly further inland, you’ll find plenty of bushwalking and cycling tracks, camping grounds, displays of Indigenous culture, and spectacular cliff-top lookouts. The small towns and villages scattered throughout the area host everything from local farmers’ markets to art galleries and fine dining restaurants.

One of Australia’s own World Heritage Sites, the Greater Blue Mountains area features a dynamic landscape of vast gorges, sandstone plateaus, fertile rivers and lakes, and huge cliffs diving headfirst into unexplored valleys. The Blue Mountains are also home to rare and endangered wildlife, many of which rely on the extraordinary diversity of the area’s eucalypt species. These same trees are also responsible for the region’s name, as the landscape’s blueish hue results from the oils released by eucalypts in warm weather. Just 6090 minutes northwest of Sydney, the Greater Blue Mountains Area is a popular travel spot among outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. Hiking trails, abseiling, and magnificent lookouts are just a few of the things drawing more visitors to the Blue Mountains every year.