Figure 8 Pools via Garawarra Farm Carpark

Location:
Royal National Park, Audley NSW 2232
Trail length:
Approx. 6 km
Trail style:
One-way
Inclination:
Approx. 273 m
Seasons completed:
Autumn, Spring and Summer
Best season to go:
Summer
Time:
Minimum 3 hours
Permits required?
A $12 day pass to enter the Royal National Park
Grade:
Medium

The Figure 8 Pools is variety of natural rock pools situated on the east coast of the Royal National Park, south of Sydney. The rock pools and scenery is quite unique to the region and can make for an amazing day out swimming and taking in the sun.

It’s recently become wildly popular attracting large numbers from all over Sydney (and around the world) due to social media coverage, and has led to cases where people have become severely injured and needed rescue.

Before you go

It is highly recommended you check the official Royal National Park website for the state of the track, the weather and tides before leaving as high swells (even at low tide) can prevent you from accessing the trail or make it more dangerous to traverse especially when reaching the beach and coastal sections of the trail. Note: On warmer days especially in summer this trail can attract large crowds and parking space is limited.

Getting there

Turn right off Garie Road as soon you come off Sir Bertram Stevens Drive and you’ll see a sign to Garawarra Farm. Follow the unsealed dirt road for a few hundred meters and you’ll see the car park.

Getting to the Figure 8 Pools

You’ll see a sign titled Coastal Walk with reference to Burning Palms Beach, take the left trail and you’ll find yourself slowly descending into a luscious rain forest for about a kilometer or so before the trail opens up with a spectacular view of the coast and Burning Palms Beach.

Trail down to Burning Palms Beach

The trail as you descend into the rain forest

View of Burning Palms Beach

Your first glimpse of Burning Palms Beach as you’re headed out of the forest

As you head down you’ll notice the trail dissect into multiple dirt paths, take the trails on the right until eventually you see a sign directing you to Burning Palms beach.

A sign directing you to Burning Palms beach (head right)

A sign directing you to Burning Palms beach (head right)

Once you’re on the beach (passing by beach homes and a surf lifesaver club building which is only manned occasionally), keep walking until you come upon thousands of different sized rocks and begin scrambling over the rocks. Follow the path with the cliff face on the right and keep as close to the cliff face since the swells can be quite unpredictable in this area. Eventually the terrain will even out before more rock scrambling is needed just as you approach the first headland.

Continue to follow the rocks along the coast with the second headland in view, and after a few hundred metres you’ll begin to see a variety of naturally formed rock pools with the Figure 8 pools being one of them. Depending when you arrive you may see people swimming or fishing. Don’t forget to keep a close eye on the swells as rogue waves can get quite nasty!

As you approach the second headland

As you approach the second headland with the rock pools in sight

rock-pools-at-figure-8

Naturally formed rock pools with Wollongong in the background

the-figure-8-pool

The Figure 8 Pool

Map of the Trail


Once you arrive at the beach continue along the coast.

Tips and advice

  • Check the official Royal National Park website for the state of the track, the weather and tides before leaving
  • Time your arrival at the pools at low-tide so you have more time to enjoy the day before high-tide hits
  • Wear enclosed footwear such as hiking shoes or sneakers
  • Care should be taken if you’re bringing small children as some areas along the coastal section can be slippery or difficult to traverse
  • Bring a first aid kit as rogue waves as they can injure yourself and others at the pools. I have been privy to some cuts and bruises
  • If you are going to fish at the pools, please wear a life-jacket

Helpful Resources

https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/lookouts/figure-eight-pools – Official information from National Parks government website

ttp://www.wildwalks.com/bushwalking-and-hiking-in-nsw/royal-national-park/garawarra-farm-carpark-to-figure-eight-pools.html – Find further images, information and maps of the trail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *