Tag: national parks

Tag: national parks

The Figure 8 Pools in the Royal National Park should be on everyone’s bucket list when visiting Sydney and is one of the BEST day trips out of Sydney. If you are stuck for ideas on what to do or would like to escape the hustle and bustle for a day, then this is on our top or our to-do list. Summer is just around the corner and the weather is warming up fast and you need to be prepared for what’s in store when visiting the Figure 8 Pools. Below is our recommended top 5 tips to get you ready this summer for your next exciting day trip down to the Figure 8 Pools in the Royal National Park:

royal national park tours

  1. KNOW YOUR FITNESS LEVEL 

    It depends where you start your hike from, but if you have a car to get you to the Figure 8 Pools or you jump on our tour then the hike will take around 2.5 hours return to complete if we hiked straight there and back. Expect to hike up a steep terrain with an elevation of around 200m on the way back up the mountain. We say a medium to med-high fitness level is good to have.

  2. GET A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP

    There is nothing worse than hiking in heat and being tired and hung-over, so make sure you get plenty of rest before a big day of exploring and hiking in the Royal National Park!

  3. BRING AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER

    Not many people are aware that there is no clean drinking water found in the Royal National Park and certainly not at the Figure 8 Pools. During summer months, we say to bring at minimum of 3 litres of drinking water per person, if you can freeze some the night before then you will also have ice cold water to keep you cool during the hike too, trust me it’s always a treat.

  4. COVER UP

    A big part of the hike to the Figure 8 Pools is exposed and uncovered, during the summer months it can get very hot so bring a hat and wear the right clothing for sun protection. Even if you pack a light long sleeve shirt just in case you or a friend needs some extra sun protection. Wear sunscreen so you don’t burn, however if you are swimming in the Figure 8 Pools it is best to apply it after your swim. Think about everyone with their sunscreen on jumping in the pools, it is not good for the ecosystem of the rock pools.

  5. PLAN YOUR TRIP

    The Figure 8 Pools is not an area you can just visit any time of the day or week and you need to plan your hike during low tide and low surf/swell conditions when it is only safe to visit – we recommend to join us on our day tour to the Figure 8 Pools from Sydney as a safe and fun experience https://barefootdownunder.com.au/book-now/ plus you get an awesome local guide giving you plenty of insightful history of the area.  You also get to explore other areas in the Royal National Parks that you wouldn’t do if you went on your own including Wattamolla Beach and the chance to snap a photo of hang-gliders lunging off the cliffs at Bald Hill Lookout! For more information on this area you can also visit the NSW Parks website at https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/lookouts/figure-eight-pools

You will truly enjoy the beautiful scenery and coastline of the Royal National Park and we kindly ask that you take all your rubbish back with you and even clean-up on the hike back to help keep our National Parks clean. We are firm believers in leaving no trace, and leave a place better than when you found it!

figure 8 pools hike sydney

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.