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.
It was the perfect day with bright sun. From the Garrawara Farm Car Park we headed towards Burning Palms beach down the hill.
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.
We 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.
En-route to the pools are the rocky patches & sharp stones covered with seaweeds, Neptune’s necklace, and little starfishes.
Another 30 minutes of the walk, you are in for a beautiful sight of the naturally formed figure 8 pool.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 www.barefootdownunder.com.au, however, all opinions are my own!