COVID-19 update
Back to previous page

Figure Eight Pools

Royal National Park

Affected by closures, check current alerts 

Overview

Figure Eight Pools is located on a dangerous rock shelf in Sydney's Royal National Park near Burning Palms Beach. Plan your trip using the wave risk forecast.

Figure Eight Pools is located on a dangerous rock shelf in Sydney's Royal National Park near Burning Palms Beach. Plan your trip using the wave risk forecast.

Don't risk it - plan your trip

Getting there – it’s a long walk!

  • It’s a long, hard 6-8km walk on a steep, narrow, slippery track in a remote area.
  • The walk takes 4-5 hours each way. Give it a miss if you’re not feeling fit.
  • Aim to get to Figure Eight Pools before midday. No one wants to walk back up that hill in the dark, and park gates are locked by 8.30pm.
  • Take care, the terrain is uneven and not suitable for young children or prams.
  • If you must visit, look at a map first and wear the right shoes. This isn’t the place for thongs or high heels.

Walking directions

If you plan to visit between 6 September and early December you'll need to plan your walk carefully because of various track closures.

To walk there:

  • Start the walk at Garawarra Farm carpark, off Garie Road
  • The track winds down a steep hill, before it meets The Coast Track which you follow to Burning Palms Beach
  • Continue walking south from Burning Palms Beach to Figure Eight Pools.
  • Return the same way
  • This is a 6km-return walk and takes 2 hours each way

If you plan to visit between Monday and Thursday:

  • Do not start the walk to Figure Eight Pools from Otford via The Coast Track 
  • Do not plan to return along The Coast Track to Otford
  • This section of track is closed with trackwork due to be completed in early December.
 

 

Only visit at low tide

  • Use our risk forecast to plan your trip. Don’t go if it's mid tide, high tide, or if stormy weather is forecast.
  • Never turn your back on the ocean.
  • When you get to the rock shelf, stop and watch the waves for a bit before walking to the rock pools.
  • Surf conditions at Figure Eight Pools change quickly. The ocean can be calm for a couple of minutes before a series of big waves can suddenly smash the rock shelf.

Regular injuries

Injuries happen at Figure Eight Pools all the time. Don’t let it be you.

People often get dragged across the rock shelf by freak waves. We’ve seen head injuries, broken bones, and bad cuts and bruises from slipping on rocks.

Some injured people had to stay overnight because there’s no emergency access. Think it can’t happen to you?

Emergency rescue

  • In case of an emergency, ring Triple Zero (000) if you can get mobile coverage, which is limited.
  • There are no lifeguards or rescue services nearby so you could be waiting a long time for help if you’re injured. 
  • If Emergency Services have to attend, they'll either have to walk down, or in extreme cases, you may need to wait overnight…and then have to pay for it!
  • So, before you go, tell someone your plans and what time you’re coming back.

What to bring

It’s a hot, thirsty, difficult walk and there are no facilities. No toilet, no water, no food, no bins.

If you must visit, pack this:

  • 2 litres of water per person
  • Snacks
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Closed shoes
  • Fully-charged mobile phone
  • First-aid kit

Visit Figure Eight Pools on a guided tour

Despite warnings, some can’t resist the temptation for a selfie. If you have to go, take a safe option and go there on a guided tour. Choose from tours offered by Emu Trekkers and M8 Explorer.

Both are NSW National Parks Certified Tour Operators. Their tours will only operate during low tide, low swell and safe ocean conditions.

Have a backup plan and pick another place to visit if conditions are dangerous on the day you planned to go.

Type
Lookouts
Where
Royal National Park
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
Please note

 

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

 

Skip busy Royal, head to Heathcote

Royal National Park sure is beautiful, and it sure is popular. Avoid the traffic jams and crowds by cruising straight into its stunning neighbour and weekend paradise: Heathcote National Park.

Cascacdes at Kingfisher Pool, Heathcote National Park. Photo: Nick Cubbin/OEH

 

Download our app

The free NSW National Parks app lets you download maps and explore parks, things to do and places to stay—all without mobile reception.

Hand holding a phone with NSW National Parks app on screen. Photo: Branden Bodman/DPIE

Tours and events at this location

  • Aerial view of rock shelf with Figure Eight Pools, and rugged coastline in the distance. Photo credit: John Spencer © DPIE

    Figure Eight Pools adventure with M8 Explorer

    Awaken your inner explorer with an exciting tour of Figure Eight Pools in Royal National Park. Start with a paddle down the Hacking River before trekking down to the pools to discover amazing rock formations, wildlife and spectacular coastal scenery.

  • View of a young woman bathing at Figure Eight Pools in Royal National Park. Photo © Joe Bird

    Figure Eight Pools experience with Emu Trekkers

    Join award-winning Emu Trekkers to safely visit Figure Eight Pools in Royal National Park, near Sydney. You’ll experience stunning views, learn about local Aboriginal culture and sample an iconic trek, The Coast track.

General enquiries

Operated by

Park info

  • in Royal National Park in the Sydney and surrounds and South Coast regions
  • Royal 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 Wattamolla and Garie Beach - cash and credit card facilities available. Please bring correct change. There's also coin and card operated pay and display machines to buy day passes.

    Vehicles over 8 seats: $4.40 per adult, $2.20 per child (per day). Students on educational programs: $1.10 per student. Teachers/educational supervisors: free (1 adult per 10 students).

    Buy annual pass
See more visitor info