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Figure Eight Pools

Royal National Park

Overview

Figure Eight Pools is a cluster of naturally formed rockpools tucked between coastal headlands in Sydney’s Royal National Park. It's a difficult walk to get there and back, and it's only safe at low tide with calm, flat surf conditions.

Type
Lookouts
Where
Royal National Park
Accessibility
No disabled access
Grade
Hard. The track to access Figure Eight Pools can take up to 3 hours return, and is steep, rocky and slippery in parts. Suitable for experienced walkers with a good level of fitness.
What to
bring
Sturdy shoes, drinking water, snacks, sunscreen, hat
Please note

  • Access to Figure Eight Pools is only safe at low tide and when surf conditions are flat and calm
  • At high tide, the rock shelf and the last kilometre leading to it is under water and extremely hazardous.
  • Even at low tide, waves can crash across the pools during dangerous surf conditions.
  • Check the tide height and wave size before making your way to the rockpools.
  • The rock platform surface is covered in slippery lichens and seaweed. For your safety, use extreme caution when approaching the rock platform. 
  • Be prepared for a difficult walk. The walk back to Garrawarra Farm is up a steep track that climbs up the coastal escarpment. Please leave extra time for your return journey.
  • There’s no lifeguard service at the pools.
  • There are a few other deep rockpools in this location which you can swim or dip your feet in at low tide
  • You won’t pass any toilets or places to eat on the way. Bring plenty of water and food for the day.
  • There's limited mobile phone reception in this park

Figure Eight Pools is a unique geological spectacle in the southern reaches of Royal National Park, near Burning Palms Beach. This coastal rock shelf is dotted with natural rockpools – including a special few in the shape of a near-perfect figure 8. But don't underestimate the power of the ocean – the rock platform is extremely hazardous and a visit to this popular spot is only possible at low tide and in flat surf conditions.

Deep enough to take a swim or paddle your feet, the rockpools are home to a variety of sealife including sea urchins, chitons and zebra snails.

The return walk to and from Figure Eight Pools is very challenging. Starting from Garrawarra Farm carpark, it's a rocky walk winding down a coastal escarpment, before you meet The Coast track and follow the coast to Burning Palms Beach.

If the tide’s out, you can choose to clamber over the rocks around the headland and reward yourself with a dip in the glistening pools, and incredible views to the north and south.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Operated by

  • Royal National Park Visitor Centre
  • 8.30am-4.30pm daily (closed Christmas Day)
  • (02) 9542 0648
  • 1300 072 757 campground bookings
  • (02) 9542 1420
  • 2 Lady Carrington Drive, Audley, Royal National Park, NSW

Park info

  • in Royal National Park in the Sydney and surrounds and South Coast regions
  • Royal National National Park is open 7am to 8.30pm but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

  • Park entry fees:

    $12 per vehicle per day. Seasonal ticket booths at Bonnie Vale, Wattamolla and Garie Beach are cash only, as there is no power or mobile connection. Please bring correct change.

    Buy an annual pass.
    • Royal National Park Visitor Centre
      (02) 9542 0648
      1300 072 757 campground bookings
      Contact hours: 8.30am-4.30pm daily (closed Christmas Day)
    • 2 Lady Carrington Drive, Audley, Royal National Park, NSW
    • Fax: (02) 9542 1420
    More
    • Royal National Park area office
      (02) 9542 0632
      1300 072 757 campground bookings
      Contact hours: 9am-4:30pm Monday to Friday (closed public holidays)
    • 159 Farnell Avenue, Royal National Park, NSW
    • Fax: (02) 9542 1420
    More
See more visitor info
Figure Eight Pools headland near Burning Palms Beach, Royal National Park. Photo: David Croft/OEH