• Lifestyle

Figure Eight Pools - Royal National Park

Discover one of Sydney’s best kept secrets, the natural wonder that are the figure eight pools in Sydney’s Royal National Park.

The figure-eight pools are a set of naturally formed rock pools located 1km south of Burning Palms in Sydney’s Royal National Park.

Access to the pools is difficult, and great care should be taken to plan and walk to them. The walk can take up to 3 hours, and the track consists of steep banks and slippery rock surfaces.

You should only attempt to visit the figure eight pools at low tide when the ocean is calm and there is a small swell of less than 1m. This is because the pools are located on a shallow rock platform that is often covered in water at high tide, and large swells will break over the rock platform and will make the area extremely dangerous.

Read (SMH): Rescue operation at Sydney’s Figure Eight Pools

Read (SMH): Figure 8 Pools Instagram craze drives risky behaviour in Royal National Park

If you get a good day for visiting the figure eight pools you won’t be disappointed, they are truly a marvel of nature.

The best tip we have for you is to choose a day to visit when low tide is between 7-8am and start your day nice and early to beat the crowds. If you visit on a nice day ay time after 10am you’ll be sharing your “secluded swim” with hundreds of others – not really what you have in mind, right?!

How to get to the figure eight pools

  • First of all, you cannot drive to the pools, there is some serious walking involved
  • Enter the Royal National Park and at the turnoff to Garie Beach take an immediate right, turning into a gravel road
  • At the end of the road, you will find Garrawarra Farm, with a car park, toilets and rubbish bins
  • Enter the walking track and follow the signs to Burning Palms beach
  • When you reach Burning Palms, walk along the beach to the rocks at the end
  • At this point take a look at the ocean conditions, if there is a large swell running and water is being sprayed up over the rocks in front of you – don’t attempt to walk to the pools!
  • If the conditions are calm, start to make your way around the first headland, sticking to the cliffside and away from the water
  • Once around the first headland, you will see the second headland on the tip of which the pools are located.

Tips before you leave on your walk

You may have read about the pools, seen them on social media or heard about them from a friend – and yes they’re pretty awesome.

BUT, they’re definitely not worth losing your life for!

Here are some tips to ensure you have a fun and safe trip.

  1. Check the swell and tide before you leave home (remember, you want a low tide and low swell <1m)
  2. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes – you’ll be walking on steep tracks with rocks/tree roots, sandy beaches and wet slippery rock surfaces)
  3. Pack plenty of water (1 litre each), snacks and a mobile phone in case of emergency
  4. Don’t walk to the pools alone, always walk with a friend
  5. There are no toilets, food, water or medical assistance on the walk – you’re on your own from the moment you leave your car.
  6. Plan for the round trip to take at least 3 hours, and if you time your way to the pools, add an extra 50% to your return trip – it’s all uphill!
  7. Don’t leave on the walk unless there are at least 3 1/2 hours of sunlight left in the day.
  8. Take your camera.


Get-away! ? #nabilahtravelpictures

A photo posted by Nabilah Yazid (@nblhyzd) on

First published on oceanfit.com.au

  • Written by Ocean Swims on 16 January 2016
  • (Updated on 6 August 2023)

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