Last weekend we hired a car to go and explore the insta-famous figure 8 pools. Located in the Royal National Park, the 1 hour hike (2 hour return) takes you down the cliffs, over a beautiful secluded beach, and around the coastline. The water is crystal clear and there are various different pools, with one in an astounding figure of eight shape – it’s hard to believe that it’s natural! Planning on making a trip here? Check out my top tips for visiting the figure 8 pools.
If you’re wanting to make a day trip here from Sydney, consider checking out the Sea Cliff Bridge too!
1) Check the tide /swell
With the ever changing tide and crashing waves, it can be a dangerous location. A number of people have been injured here by waves washing them over the sharp rock plateau.
In order to stay safe make sure you check the tide. At high tide the entire rock ledge is underwater. You need to go at low tide when the swell is under 1m. You can check the tide for the figure 8 pools here, remember that the tide changes daily.
2) Hire a car
Now that you know when to go, you need to think about how to get there. If you already have a car you can obviously skip this tip ;). We hired a car for the day via the car next door.
This app made booking and hiring a car super easy as you can pick one super close to your house and the key is attached to the car in a lockbox. Our car was 35$ for the day plus 0.33$ per km. Petrol is included in the per km fee, and if you need to fill up there’s a card specifically for the car that you can use. You can get $15 off your first journey by signing up through my link!
3) Where to park
The closest car park to the figure 8 pools is Garawarra Farm, off Garie Road. Just search for Garawarra Farm Carpark in Google Maps. You will need to pay a 12$ parking fee per car (this is then valid for the day within the Royal National Park). From here you will need to hike for around 1 hour down to the figure 8 pools (2 hour return).
If you are unable to hire a car, you can get a train to Otford, and walk a longer and steeper path through the Palm Jungle, a beautiful section of the Royal National Park Coastal Walk. This will take you around 3 hours each way (6 hours return).
Whichever path you choose to take, make sure you take into consideration the time you wish to arrive at the figure 8 pools.
4) Wear comfortable shoes
The path from Garawarra Farm starts off as a steep descent on a jungle path with lots of overgrown roots and rocks. It then transitions into a metal walking path down the hillside and onto the beach. The final stretch of the walk is around the edge of the cliffs over lots of loose rocks.
As it is not the easiest of walks I would suggest wearing comfortable closed shoes.
5) Bring water / a picnic
This coastal walk is extremely tranquil, and there are no little shops or cafes along the way so make sure you bring enough water. We also brought a little picnic with us to enjoy on the beach.
6) Enjoy the views!
Don’t come to the figure 8 pools just to see the landform. The views from the coastal path are amazing, and the secluded beach is just sublime!
I hope you have an amazing day hiking down to the figure 8 pools. It’s a great day trip from Sydney, you can also fit visiting the pools and the Sea Cliff Bridge in one day! Just remember to stay safe! Another must do weekend trip from Sydney is Jervis Bay!
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