Figure 8 Pool: A Sydney Day Trip

By Nicole
Figure eight pools, Australia, NSW, New South Wales, Royal National Park
Floating in the Figure Eight Pool.

A guide to Australia’s Figure 8 Pool.

Oh hey guys! As you probably know I was recently in Australia and wanted to share a guide on how to get to the Figure 8 Pools to give you something to read as right now I’m pretty much cut off from internet connectivity as I’m sailing into Ross Sea in route to Antarctica with Oceanwide Expeditions!

So here’s the Figure 8 Pool disclaimer: if you’re too stupid to plan using tide tables, unfit, clumsy, uncoordinated, have shit luck, refuse to believe that death or injury are an eminent risk, or are only going here to get that perfect Instagram shot, then do us all a favor and just stay home. This can be a fun adventure but it can also turn bad in the blink of an eye. Go at your own risk.

The Figure 8 Pool, is a unique sight just a short drive south of Sydney within the Royal National Park. Apparently this excursion became popular more recently due to Instagram. Funny enough, I’d never seen or heard of it until I had arrived in Australia and my friend Treva had mentioned wanting to check it out on our camping trip down the south coast. So after the lengthiest introduction ever…

Figure 8 Pool Guide

Everything you need to know about visiting the Figure 8 Pool at Royal National Park.

Plan on when to go.

This is very important as the tides dictate when you will have access to the pools. You want to be here at low tide, and this varies from day to day. The day we chose to go our options were 4:30 am or 4:30 pm. While I wish I could’ve drug my ass outta bed in order to catch the sunrise out there, it didn’t happen.. So afternoon it was!
I used Surf Forecast’s latest Surf Forecast to get my tide table to figure out when we could go. There are other sites as well, just Google Burning Palms tide table.

Next, decide what time to arrive in accordance with the tide table.

The trek down from the car park took us about 45 minutes (3 reasonable fit females). We gave ourselves 90 minutes from the time we parked to low tide to give extra time just in case.

Next, get in the car and leave Sydney.

The drive takes roughly an hour and a half give or take to reach the car park from Sydney. Just punch in ‘Garawarra Farm Road Carpark’ in Google Maps or Maps.me, whatever you prefer to use and this will give you the road directions. FYI: it’s a $12 fee for day parking (there’s a little machine as you enter the car park).

FYI #2: the last 1.5 kilometers of the drive is dirt road… for those of you freak at the idea of your car getting dirty.

Take the Burning Palms Trail

You’ll follow the trail down through the forest and then onto the beach. It’s a fairly easy well beaten trail, although it’s all uphill on the way back so it’s a bit of a workout on return.

Walk across the beach.

Burning Palms Beach, Royal National Park, NSW, New South Wales
Burning Palms Beach.

This is Burning Palms Beach, continue Toward your right, the sand will eventually give way to rock.

Now, continue across the rocks.

Yay, bouldering…. NOT! If you don’t know me, I fucking hate climbing across boulders but I seem to find myself willingly doing it regularly. You’re going to continue across some boulders and eventually make it to flat rock with waves crashing up against the edge (stay nearer to the cliff, rather than on the edge… it’s safer, you know, rogue waves. Oh and be careful, this area gets real slippery.

Arrive at the pools!

You’ll probably see the crowd of 20 something’s* all waiting to get their perfect Instagram shot, especially on the weekend. Where that crowd is you will find the Figure 8 Pool.
Don’t worry there’s other pools around the area too, but the Figure 8 Pool is obviously the more interesting of them.

figure 8 pool, royal national park, new, new South Wales
The crowd.

*Its somewhat satisfying referring to people as 20 something’s, but also mildly terrifying because being a 30 something just sounds like I should act like a grown up, stop taking extended breaks from my real job and doing all this unnecessary adventuring.

Get in!

That’s what you came out here for, right?

Figure 8 pool, figure 8 pools, new South Wales, figure 8 sydney, sydney, Australia

A few tips:

-Don’t be a dumbass, reference the disclaimer at the beginning if need be.

-Bring water! It’s a hot sweaty hike especially on your way back.

-While you’re at it, bring a snack or a lunch.

-Don’t forget there’s that $12 parking fee I mentioned previously.

-Don’t be an asshat, bring EVERYTHING out that you brought with you… don’t trash the place.

-Sometimes at low tide there can still be large swells, if you get out there and this is the case, don’t risk it!

Who’s ready to go?

This entry was posted in Australia, Travel guides