• Fiona Taylor

The Illusive Figure 8 Pools

So many times I've tried and failed to visit the famous Figure 8 pools, I must have done every other walk in the National Park before I actually arrived at a suitable time to visit Figure 8!  

The rock platform that houses the pools is only visible and safe to visit at low tide which for a good part of the year is super early or late and usually just for a window of a few hours meaning you have to time your trip correctly.

Finally though after checking the tides I found a day where low tide was at 11am allowing us time to drive to the National Park, walk down and spend a good hour or two frolicking in the many pools. 

The park appears to make the walk sound more difficult than it actually is, probably because people continue to ignore the precautions and go during high tide which is extremely dangerous. 

The walk down for anyone able bodied is relatively easy, it's a little steep at times for the return but shouldn't be a problem for those in sensible walking shoes especially as part of the track is now on a metal platform. 

Look out for wallabies, birds and snakes as you walk down, the quieter you are the more chance you have of spotting them, please don't be one of those people blaring music as you walk!! 

At the bottom you reach a nice beach which you can enjoy if you arrive a little early or just walk along to the far end and continue along the rocks.

The walk across the rocks too is fun and allows for some beautiful photos of the cliffs and ocean as well as a couple of rock pools before the main event. 

The figure 8 is instagram famous but actually there are a whole host of pools to enjoy, there's perfect circles, infinity pools, plunge pools galore. You can't miss the figure 8 as there's usually a queue of happy snappers waiting to get a new profile pic! 

Once you have the obligatory figure 8 snap I'd recommend continuing to explore the other shaped pools, many are deep enough that you can jump right in, even the small ones. 

Carry onto one of the larger natural infinity pools, despite their lack of resemblance to a digit I'd say they are actually much nicer and less busy so you can enjoy lounging in their depth while watching the waves crash onto the rocks in front of you. 

For sun worshippers you can enjoy soaking up the rays on the rocks, for water babies there's countless pools to relax in, jump in, swim (a little!) and for photographers it's a dream location to capture Australia's natural beauty. 

Once you've had your fill of the pools you can return to the beach and play in the surf, take on another walk within the National Park or head to the Scarborough for some food and drink and check out the scenic Sea Cliff Bridge. 

Getting to Figure 8 pools Figure Eight Pools is a 6km round trip walk within Sydney's Royal National Park, to get there: * Park at Garrawarra Farm (2WD accessible) and you will see a map near the entrance. Parking is $12 a day at the time of writing. * From the car park entrance walk east down Burgh Ridge track until it intersects with The Coast track. * Walk SOUTH on The Coast track through the cabin community of Burning Palms. * Turn off The Coast track at Burning Palms Beach and walk to the far end of the beach * Walk across the rocks until you reach the second headland. * The pools are all around with the figure 8 amongst the first on your left towards the water. * IMPORTANT NOTE: Access to this section is only possible at low tide, check tidal times beforehand and ensure you have sufficient time to get back across the rocks. 

#Walks #Australia #Sydney #Parks

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