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Figure 8 Rockpools

Home > Sydney > Beaches | Day Trips | Escape the City | National Parks | Outdoor
by Chloe Doyle (subscribe)
Twenty-three year old girl living in Hobart, Tassie. I am in love with nature, music, food and animals so you'll see a lot of that here 🌿 See @chloeoliviad on Instagram for more photos from where I've adventured. 🚐⛰
Published December 3rd 2015
Swim in the magical rockpools on Sydney's South coast
Royal national park is the world's second oldest national park (just after Yellowstone) but still offers some of the most incredible leisure and challenging nature walks with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the coast of New South Wales. One that is not to be missed is on the Bundeena route to Burning Palms and the magical 'Figure 8' rock pools.

Figure 8 rockpools royal national park sydney
The view of the south


An hour and a half drive south of Sydney's CBD, just past Cronulla, you will get onto Sir Bertram Stevens Drive off the old pacific highway. The exit to look out for is 'Garrawarra' Farm. It is a 2.5 kilometre journey from the car park to 'Burning Palm' beach. Most of this track is downhill, so keep in mind to get back to your car can be a bit challenging and painful on the legs but nonetheless, if your fitness levels aren't quite up to shape like mine, you can still manage. First of all the beach is beautiful and with the surrounding national park you feel like you're in a scene of Jurassic Park. Second of all, the national park does receive a fair amount of visitors on a hot sunny day, but you can beat the crowds and escape the city for an ideal spot beach day compared to the majority of the beaches in Sydney.




After you've cooled off in the water you can start the 10-15 minute journey south to the mysterious 'Figure 8' rock pools. It is best to get to the rock pools nearing low tide so give yourselves enough time to manoeuvre over the rocky shore that is in between Burning Palm beach and the pools. Take caution with children and anyone who is taking the walk with you as there are always unsteady rocks and some unclear paths to pass. But to reassure you I did this in 10 minutes with thongs on, so it is not a heavily treacherous path just keep your wits about you. But trust me, the scenery after the one large cliff face to cross over, before you reach the rock pools, make the walk worth it.


The rock pools have been naturally created which makes the scenery even that more breathtaking. The famously photographed 'Figure 8' rock pool which, you guessed it, is in the shape of an 8 can fit a small group of friends to relax and cool down after the walk to the pools. But this isn't the only pool you are able to swim in. There is a perfect circle pool and countless more vivid naturally-shaped pools you are able to take a dip into. My favourite would have to be the two largest rock pools that were the closest to the ocean; the feeling you have with oceanfront views while in the safety of your very own saltwater pool is definitely a must for any ocean lover. If you wish to take a little bit of a further walk from the pools as well you are able to see the Sea Cliff Bridge in Coalcliff, plus all the beauty of Royal National Park. The entire track is an incredible experience for bush walkers and ocean lovers alike.

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Why? To swim in rockpools overlooking the ocean, why not!?
When: All year around at low tide
Where: Royal National Park
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Hello there, just a few things to be aware of, as someone who has a family shack at Era. People need to be aware to take ample food and water. Some walkers have no idea how far it is and don't carry essentials- food, water and sunscreen. Lots of people are coming down the track unaware of the tide as well, it's pretty dangerous to get around during King Tides over christmas, today I had to advise a whole group of people that they may not be able to get around due to the tide, its quite dangerous. Also there are no toilets or water at Burning Palms, and the shack owners can't cater for the large amount of people coming down he tracks, as you are aware we have to take all our things down in packs as well. There are two portaloo toilets at Garrawarra farm (So if you plan on going, a roll of toilet paper might be good to take) People need to PLEASE pick up your rubbish, as it is a National Park (we take our rubbish up the hill and to our bins at home). Friendly advice from a shack owner at Era. :)
by janem (score: 1|12) 1266 days ago
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