THE FIGURE 8 POOLS outside of Sydney, Australia are a naturally formed geologic wonder. The rock platform on the ocean’s edge has eroded to form circular pools with a few shaped as perfect Figure 8’s. They are deep enough to jump into.
How to get there
Figure 8 Pools is located on Burning Palms Beach in Sydney’s Royal National Park, about an hour’s drive from central Sydney. Your destination is the Garawarra Farm Carpark — google maps will get you there nicely. The hike to the pools is rated as hard, a 6km, 4-hour round trip hike down a steep, slippery trail. The pools are only accessible at low tide.
Assuming you’ve planned your trip correctly (with tides, time, and conditions in mind), once you’ve parked, look for the walking trail with a sign saying “Coast Walk.” It’ll lead you to Burning Palms beach, turn right down the beach and around the coast. You’ll scramble boulders along the coast before arriving at the second headland, where the pools are located.
What to consider
- Entrance to the National Park is $12 per vehicle
- There are no facilities—water, toilets, food, etc.—at the pools.
- Bring at least 2L of water per person, sun protection, closed-toed shoes, and make sure someone knows your plans.
- Pack everything you need for a challenging 4-hour hike, and pack it all out when you leave.
- Be smart. These pools are along the ocean; if the surf or tide is high, you could be caught by a rogue wave.
- Don’t go if it’s high surf or there are storms in the area.
Plan your trip, check the tides before you go.