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The naturally formed tidal pools at Sydney’s Royal National Park are shaped in perfect figures of eight, making this a very popular destination for travellers the world over. They are only reachable by a demanding six-kilometre (3.7-mile) hike, but your reward when you get there is a refreshing dip into heaven.
You can’t see the full depth of the Figure Eight Pools because they are underwater. The waves wash over the whole rock shelf, meaning that there is a risk attached to being there in adverse weather conditions. But it also creates a quite magnificent view across the ocean, much like an infinity pool.
The Figure Eight Pools are located on a dangerous rock platform in Sydney’s Royal National Park, very near to Burning Palms Beach. You can drive to the Garrawarra Farm Carpark in the park, but that’s as far as a car can take you. The rest of the journey happens on foot. You need to allow at least two hours for the walk from your vehicle to the Figure Eight Pools’ rock platform, and a further two hours to return.
Before you go, make sure you check the weather, tides and swell (wave size) reports. The wave risk forecast information is available on the official Royal National Park website, and it’s imperative that you follow the guidelines.
Only visit during low tide and on a day with low swell; otherwise, you’ll have a wasted journey. The 6km (3.7mi) walk can be demanding as it’s steep, narrow, slippery and difficult to navigate. So, make sure you’re in reasonably good health before you attempt the uneven hike.
It’s worth noting that there are no facilities once you get there, too, so bring plenty of water because it’s a remote location. Along with water and snacks, don’t forget to pack a fully charged mobile phone, a first-aid kit, some suntan lotion and a hat in case the weather takes a turn.