Category: Royal National Park

Category: Royal National Park

BAREFOOT DOWNUNDER GRANTED COMPETITIVE 3-YEAR LICENSE TO THE FIGURE EIGHT POOLS, ROYAL NATIONAL PARK

Barefoot Downunder has successfully won the tender for a 3-year licence to run their unique Figure Eight Pools day tour in the Royal National Park (worlds 2nd oldest National Park) on Sydney’s doorstep. “It is exciting to have created a new tour in Sydney that showcases the beautiful Royal National Park that is right at our doorstep,” Co-owner, Adam Hammond said. “Over the last year, we have worked really hard in providing a fun and safe experience for travellers to visit this incredible area and are gearing up for a bigger season ahead.”

The Figure 8 Pools Coastal Adventure and Hike Tour includes a hike along the Coast Track to the awe-inspiring Figure of Eight Pools, a walk through Burning Palms Beach to see the heritage listed ‘Shack Communities’, Garie’s Beach for a relaxing picnic lunch, swimming and exploring at Wattamolla Lagoon and Beach, Bald Hill Lookout at Stanwell Tops, and finishing with a drink back at Side Bar, Sydney’s local travellers bar.

Barefoot Downunder see themselves as an industry leader and practice ecosustainability on their tours, which includes recycling and picking up rubbish during the day to help keep the parks clean. They are becoming eco-certified this year, which has already been a big part of their business practice.

“We are very proud to have won the tender and endeavour to continue providing a well managed and safe experience. Not only is our tour about the figure Eight Pool, it is about increasing others awareness of respecting the environment and future users of the park,” Co-owner Debbie Hammond said.

Barefoot Downunder successfully trialled the tour for one year before being granted a 3-year competitive allocated license to continue operating the tours to the Figure Eight Pools in the Royal National Park following a competitive tender process.

MEDIA RELEASE – OCTOBER 2017

 

Sydney is a wonderful city, but sometimes you just want to get away from the hustle and bustle, and head into the wild, beautiful nature. Luckily, here in New South Wales, we have that in abundance. The area surrounding the city is full of wonderful destinations and hiking trails for all tastes. However, spending time in the nature brings its own requirements too. Let’s take a peek at the best spots around Sydney for hiking enthusiasts, and what indispensable items you shouldn’t leave home without.

The Blue Gum Walk

royal national park tour

The Blue Gum Walk is an excellent first choice since it’s right at the northern outskirts of Sydney and fairly easy to reach. The 4.2-kilometer route around Joe’s Mountain will take you through the greenery of the local forest. The pretty great thing about it is that it’s circular, so you will end up only 400 meters from the place you started out. This fact makes transportation to and from the trail a breeze. Along the walk you will have the opportunity to explore a few sandstone caves, and enjoy the sound of Waitara Creek, which even has some beautiful cascades.

The Kiama Blowhole

South coast sydney tours

If you don’t mind heading a bit further from Sydney, make sure you don’t miss Kiama. This gorgeous town is located approximately 120 kilometers from the city, but the trip is well worth it. Actually, Kiama makes a wonderful destination for an extended weekend. If you can organize your friends or family, it could be worth it to hire a coach from Sydney and spend a few quality days in the area. Kiama is probably best known for its Blowhole – the biggest of its kind in the world. However, the spectacular attraction is far from the only thing worth seeing and doing – there are some stunning hiking trails around, as well as excellent fishing opportunities.

The Royal National Park

royal national park tours

If you head down around 30 kilometers south of Sydney, you will come across the Royal National Park, the 2nd oldest National Park in the world (Yellowstone in the US was established earlier). The favourite destinations of all those who wish to escape the city for the day, the sprawling park is home to some endangered communities, and pretty fascinating and diverse flora and fauna. Depending on the area, there are different types of terrain, forests, heaths, coastal cliffs, beaches, lagoons and river valleys, to name just a few. Apart from hiking, the area is a wonderful choice for other activities as well, such as kayaking, swimming, mountain biking and whale watching.

Oh, and, don’t forget to bring…

hiking tours in sydney

It’s best to make a checklist of all the stuff you need, before you leave. Having the right items when you go hiking will ensure your comfort. First and foremost, you need to dress for hiking. Shoes are particularly important, because if your feet hurt, the whole trip is a bust. The proper hiking boots need to offer excellent support for your ankles. In a pinch, and if your route isn’t overly long, your sports shoes should do the trick too. Whatever you do, don’t wear brand new shoes, as they can give you blisters. Your clothes should be soft, made from breathable fabrics, and be just thick enough to absorb the extra moisture. Of course, what clothes you choose depends largely on the weather too. To protect yourself from the sun, always bring sunscreen and a hat. Take enough water (2 l), and some snacks – for instance a sandwich, some nuts, and a few energy bars. Remember to take a bag for your rubbish, so you don’t litter. Depending on your route, you might need to bring a paper map (phones aren’t always reliable), a pocket knife, and insect repellent.

The pristine wilderness of Australia can be gorgeous, but don’t be fooled. Always go prepared. That way you can enjoy your hiking trip to the fullest, without a care in the world.

Roxana Oliver, globetrotter at heart and lifestyle consultant and travel editor at highstylelife.com.

FIGURE 8 POOLS DAY TRIP – THE HASSLE FREE WAY!

The Figure 8 Pools at Sydney’s southern doorstep have become a hotspot for intrepid travellers in recent summers. Their popularity now placing them up there with must-see natural phenomenon like the Three Sisters and the Jenolan Caves. Despite this, I’d never visited them! As such, a Figure 8 Pools Day Trip had become a must-do on my Sydney bucket list!

FIGURING IT ALL OUT

What had stopped me so far? It’s a bit of a trek, no pun intended. You see, these beautiful sea-side rock pools aren’t the easiest to get to. Public transport will only get you so far. So a car is definitely a necessity. As are some good hiking boots, plus some insider knowledge on how to access the pools (the old hiking track listed on national parks signs has been closed since earlier this year meaning access is unmarked). Furthermore, the pools are only accessible during low tide. Oh, and did I mention how dangerous it can be? As Adam, our local guide, informed us, there’s at least 1 rescue there a week and the only way in and out is on a helicopter!

That’s why I opted to give the only folks operating a Figure 8 Pools day trip a go. Yep, you read that right. There’s only ONE tour that goes here. We didn’t encounter a single other tour group on our Figure 8 Pools day trip! That’s quite something when compared to the hordes that swarm to the Blue Mountains each day.

THE ONE AND ONLY

figure 8 pools

The Sydney Coastal Adventure tour is run by a husband and wife team. One half of that team, Adam, is our guide for the day. An ex-surf instructor and adventure guy, he brings a passion and sense of spontaneity to the day. There’s no script reading here so when he sees our small group huffing and puffing from the heat he doesn’t mind suggesting a little unplanned dip at Burning Palms beach. He’s also a champ and seems to barely break a sweat carrying 18kg of water for us on our strenuous hike to the Figure 8 Pools on a 36* Celsius day!

STAYING COOL AT WATTAMOLLA

wattamolla royal national park

Yep, it was a hot one. The hottest day that Adam has had to do the trek! Thankfully, the day starts off early and we manage to beat much of the heat at our first stop at Bald Hill where we get a stunning vista of the south coast and the wide expanse of Pacific Ocean in front of us.

After this quick little stop we head down to Wattamolla, another area that had been on my Sydney must do list! The beautiful little haven in the Royal National Park gives us a chance for a little reprieve from the building heat. Floating under over-hanging gum trees and sandstone rock outcrops I suddenly have that moment: “Wow, this really IS a beautiful country!”

After a lunch of wraps for both veggie and meat eaters at local surf spot, Garie Beach, Adam gets us to throw ourselves under the beach side showers. Staying cool on our hike to the pools is going to be crucial!

HIKING THROUGH THE ROYAL NATIONAL PARK

hiking trips royal national park

I’ll admit that before this day I had no idea the length nor difficulty of the walk to the Figure 8 Pools. I was rather ignorant and so too it would seem were many others. I lost count of the amount of travellers who we passed who were hiking through rocky terrain with nothing but thongs (flip flops) on! We even passed two girls who had done the entire hike there and back through the rainforest, shrubbery and slippery coastal cliff faces in nothing but their bikinis! So this is me, telling you, if you decide to do a Figure 8 Pools day trip, whether on your own or with this awesome team – be prepared!

The heat didn’t help of course. But with a mixture of water stops, a brief beach interlude at Burning Palms beach and picture stops we make it down to the pools in about an hour. The hike itself is simply stunning and the view down to Burning Palm beach from above is a reminder of just how many secret and serene beaches are hidden along Sydney’s coast.

figure 8 pools royal national park

DIVING RIGHT IN

figure 8 pools royal national park
figure eight pool

We make it! We spy a crowd gathering at a certain point and it doesn’t take much figuring out to guess which insta-famous rock pool everyone’s busy taking snaps over. Adam, however, urges us further along to a spot free of happy snappers. He shows us his favourite of the pools; a series of perfectly circular pools that have mashed together to form a beautiful blue natural infinity pool. After some exploring of the other pools I decided that this was my favourite of the lot too!

FUN FACT!

If you look closely, in all of the rounded or spherical pools you’ll see a rock at the bottom. When the tide comes in and out the rocks rotate in circles thus creating the perfectly formed circlular pools you see today! How cool?!

 Our small group has the infinity pool all to ourselves. It’s deep enough in parts to jump into and calm enough to just chill out in. It was exactly what I needed after the hike – a refreshing dip in icy clear waters! We then venture over to the crowd (though really, it’s nothing – about 7 people or so, if you can call that a crowd?) around the Figure 8 Pool. Once the requisite travel snaps have been taken it’s time to explore the other pools. While the Figure 8 Pool is the only one shaped like the namesake, there are plenty of other beautifully round pools to admire and take a dip in, as well as larger pools perfect for plunging in to.
swimming in the royal national park

We spend a solid 1 and a half hours at the pools. This place isn’t just a photo opportunity. I definitely recommend exploring, or if that’s not your thing, then simply relaxing. It’s an uphill hike back!

Naturally, the way out and up is longer and more arduous. We make it though, having gone through all our water!  Thankfully, the next drink we get is an ice-cold beer back at Side-Bar in Sydney. After all that hiking, I feel like I’ve earned it!

 THE LOW-DOWN
 This tour is good for: the adventurous traveller looking for a unique Sydney day trip.

This tour isn’t so good for: the clumsy or not-so fit. A moderate level of fitness is definitely required.

royal national park tours
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Abby

Abby

Founder. Avid traveller. History dork. Waiting for someone to invent teleportation so I can do more of this thing they call travel.

BAREFOOT DOWNUNDER LAUNCH SYDNEY’S NEWEST TOUR TO THE INSTA-FAMOUS FIGURE EIGHT POOLS IN THE ROYAL NATIONAL PARK

Specialist NSW youth tour operator, Barefoot Downunder, have launched a new day tour to the Figure Eight Pools in the NSW heritage-listed Royal National Park, located an hour south of Sydney.

Working closely with National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) on an initial 12- month trial, Barefoot Downunder have been granted approval to run tours to the popular Figure Eight Pools, offering a safe, fun and unique day tour for the youth travel market.

“The Royal National Park has great historical significance being the second oldest National Park in the world, and with its stunning beaches and walking tracks we believe the ‘Nasho’ is one of NSW’s best natural attractions,” Barefoot Downunder Co-Owner Debbie Hammond said.

“It can be hard for visitors to access this area safely without their own transport or knowledge of the area, so as an experienced and licensed tour operator we are delighted to be safely opening up this untapped area to both domestic and international travellers.”

Adam Hammond, Co-Owner of Barefoot has applied his 15 years of knowledge and experience in running outdoor adventure activities to the new Figure Eight Pools day trip.

“We take the planning and prep work out of it for travellers and apply our knowledge and experience, resulting in a fun and safe trip out to the pools that operates only during low tide, low swell and calm surf conditions which are checked by our team on a daily basis.” Adam Hammond explained.

“As the pools are located on a rock platform which is open to the ocean we talk to the group about basic ocean safety including the importance of always watching the waves and never turning your back on the ocean.”

The Figure 8 Pools tour experience includes a full day of hiking to the pools, including a walk through Burning Palms Beach to see the heritage listed ‘Shack Communities’, Garie’s Beach for a relaxing picnic lunch, swimming and exploring at Wattamolla Lagoon and Beach, Bald Hill Lookout and Stanwell Tops, and finishing with a drink back at Side Bar, Sydney’s local backpackers bar.

About Barefoot Downunder Barefoot Downunder is a husband and wife run company and an accredited tour operator providing new and unique adventure trips to youth and student travellers, backpackers or for the young at heart. Our tours currently explore the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains and the Figure 8 Pools in the Royal National Park. Passionately providing fun, personalised and informative experiences with an emphasis on hiking adventures and exploring the outdoors.

Media Release – October 31, 2016

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