Figure 8 Pools

Figure 8 Pools, Royal National Park: Address, Phone Number, Figure 8 Pools Reviews: 4/5

Figure 8 Pools
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Figure Eight Pools is located on a dangerous rock platform in Royal National Park. Before you visit, check the weather, tides and swell (wave size). Only visit during low tide, on a day with low swell. Allow 2 hours for the walk from your car to the rock platform, and 2 hours to return. The 6km walk is steep, slippery and difficult. There are no facilities here; no water, no toilets, no food outlets and no rubbish bins. There's no mobile phone reception either. The Figure Eight Pools rock platform is hazardous and many people have been injured here. Call Triple Zero (000) in an emergency.
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74 reviews
Very good

Australia99 contributions
I think some poor reviews are not quite warranted.

If you check the national parks website they clearly state there is currently footpath construction monday to thursday, and that the track down the figure 8 pools is only open friday to sunday.

furthermore with regards to safety it's not just the tide that matters - the swell does as well. please check the published 'risk forecast' to give you a better idea of when it is safe or unsafe to go.

whilst it's very pretty (go before the sun starts to set otherwise it will be in the shade from the cliff on the west side) not sure i'd bother again given all the boulders to clamber over
Written May 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

New South Wales, Australia3,362 contributions
Figure 8 Pools are a magical place. Even if you don't take a dip, the views and the sea air are wonderfully invigorating. Real 'good to be alive' territory. It is important to visit at low tide and when a large swell isn't running. Even then it pays to be watchful. We were there just before low tide and an unexpected set of large waves saw a guy relaxing in one of the pools emerge with nasty grazes to his hands and chest. The pool suddenly became a washing machine. Another reason to take care is the wet and slippery rock pavement. And bring plenty of water; it is an hour walk from the Garrawarra Farm carpark, and no potable water available anywhere along the track, or at the carpark.
Written March 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sydney, Australia632 contributions
A short walk from Garie beach, there are other spots as well to get there. From Garie it's about 5km. Plan for low tide for better safety. Check other info on the access and walk via website.
Written April 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nicole P
Swan Hill, Australia12 contributions
The main track down to the pools is being upgraded, so the workers told us to take the fire road. We passed 3 people who all told us to turn around and not bother. They were walking for over an hour and got no where. Apparently 12km hike. Going to look at sea cliff bridge instead.
Written April 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jennifer K
New York City, NY67 contributions
I went with a group of 7 total people to the Royal National Park, specifically to see the figure 8 pools. Our plan was to be at the figure 8 pools, by 12pm, which was low tide. It can be extremely dangerous to visit the rock pools at high tide, when the waves are coming in, and can smash you upon the rocks (will explain later). Be sure to look up when low tide is, and give yourself plenty of extra time in case you get lost (like we did...I will break it down for you).

Our 1st issue: we could not find the car park. We went down a paved road and took our time getting out and taking some pictures before we realized we were in the wrong car park. The maps/signs in the national park unfortunately do not show where car parks are located. After some time (we are all well educated, well employed mid-to-late 20 year olds) we realized we had to go down an UNPAVED ("unsealed") road. We al had to get back in the cars, drive down this bumpy narrow lane and then park in another car park.

2nd issue: it had rained the night before, so the path was VERY slippery. there are steps, there are slopes, there are rocks, there are trees and logs and roots sticking up and around everywhere. BE PREPARED. wear long pants an the BEST sneakers/hiking shoes you have. I consider myself extremely athletic, and I was very nervous at some points.

3rd issue: once you are on the trail, there are barely ANY signs or directions to the figure 8 pools. you would think that the national park would know people want to see the pools. we walked at least 30 minutes out of our way (sideways, to the right if facing the coast). my advice would be to keep going downwards at all times, and if you begin walking on flat ground too long to the right, stop, and re-assess. after asking several other hikers where they were coming from and if they knew how to get to the pools, we decided to walk down to the beach and then walk along the beach (across a treacherous stretch of rocks - some wobbly, most wet, and at this point, my sneakers were lodged with sand so I was SLIPPING AND SLIDING ALL OVER THE PLACE).

4th issue: After we safely but slowly made it across the rocks, & when we finally got to where the figure 8 pools were supposed to be, they were underwater and waves were coming in. This was at around 2:30 PM if I had to guess. we did take some awesome photos but I was nervous so we did not stay too long. on our walk back across the rocks, one member of my group slipped and fell in the rocks. be careful.

Finally, we went back up the trail...slippery, muddy, many many steps. When we were just about mid-way, we saw paramedics making their way down the trail. they told us a 20 year old had gotten injured at the figure 8 pools so they had to go down to tend to him.

ALL IN ALL IT WAS WORTH IT IN THE END (and I am saying this not even seeing the main attraction I went here to see, so that is saying a lot). my photos are amazing and the views were unbelievable.

Yet, do not bring kids, do not forget water, bring bars if you tend to get hungry, leave early and have lots of time to actually find the pools. pay attention, don't slip, and always be safe. if waves are coming in, do not stay on the rocks. & PLEASE don't have to be saved by paramedics or airlifted out of there.
Written July 19, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gladesville, Australia1,996 contributions
Like the taxman always getting his money so too does nature takes her payment when seeking a cool selfie at the Figure 8 Pools.

Watch in morbid horror as surging waters bulldoze people over like an angry Tongan de-facto lady-friend then dragging them over rocks where the Figure 8 leaves visitors with a few sweet parting reminders of their visit - not a black eye for buying the wrong chips but lacerations, bruises & cuts ranging thru the whole gauntlet of severity. Witness people trying to outrun the surge of water, one moment I'm trying to snap a sneaky photo of ladies in bikinis the next I'm on my face submerged underwater trying not to look silly after ive wrecked my phone, lost my thongs & gotten dumped on my head.

Positioned a few metres up on a sandstone ledge over-looking the Pacific Ocean, natural & untouched by the modern world & pollution, a vibrant blue sky over a clear deep blue ocean is a typical perfect day here. The Figure 8 is a perfectly shaped crystal clear geological rock pool surrounded by green moss thats made the rounds on the internet as some mystical natural paradise on the outskirts of Sydney. You Tube clips showing white-water crashing up onto the ledge, washing over the rock pool is pretty much what happens regularly during high swells at the Figure 8.

Although the Figure 8 Pools is only 3.5kms from the nearest car park at the end of Garawarra Farm road in the Royal National Park near Lilyvale. The 90 mins walk is down a long escarpment divided into three main sections. The first from the Garawarra car park up on a plateau down to the Burning Palms Beach is about 45 mins thru lush forest along a dirt path strewn with large tree roots & random boulders as makeshift steps. Arriving down at Burning Palms Beach is the second stage which has official Surf Life-Savers stationed at the beach, its a 15 mins walk across the sand to the first rocky ledge which takes another 30 mins to scramble across. This rocky ledge is the third stage & represents a fine example of a tessellated rock platform cut into blocks by erosion The Figure 8 is located further on at the second rock ledge 100 metres on. For hikers on the Otford Coast Track, it only passes the Figure 8 Pool above looking down. Beware, the hike back up the escarpment might take longer if like me you like smoking, drinking & eating pizza, hot chips & burgers with the lot.

Try to time your visit at the lowest point of Low Tide, try Googling tide times for Burning Palms Beach. If the tide is high the rocky ledges will most likely be underwater & access is impossible. If the swell is high even during Low Tide it can still produce strong intermittent waves from the ocean that cause the surging waters which although might be knee high are still powerful enough to knock you over dragging you along the rocks. Best is to plan 3-4 days ahead to see if you can time your visit at a reasonable hour. A free piece of advice, while at the Figure 8 never turn ur back to the ocean. Personally speaking, if your wishing to take a cool picture, choose a day when Low Tide is in the morning when the rock pool is in full sunlight rather than after midday when the overlooking rock cliff's shadow covers the Figure 8 Pool. Total return time from the car park is about 3 hours up & back but honestly spend at least an hour or two at the rock pool & Burning Palms Beach totaling at least 5 hours. There are no toilets or cafes so pack a hearty picnic & bring water & band aids.

Enter Garawarra Farm road, Lilyvale into your GPS for the best way-point. Parking there is free. Entry into the Royal National Park is $12 per vehicle per day also giving you access to world famous Bundeena & Watamalla Beaches. Contact the Royal National Park Visitor Centre on (02) 9542 0648 for information & camping details.

Located 30 kms from Sydney. Public transport from Sydney Central to the Royal National Park is limited especially if wishing to visit the Figure 8. It is possible to train it to Otford Railway station from Sydney & walk along the Otford Coast Trail to Burning Palms Beach then to the Figure 8 Pools but check tide times for access to the rock pool & calculate walking times, you might end up tired & unable to see the pool during high tide, Mother Nature does as she pleases.
Written April 1, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Brian E
Sydney, Australia20 contributions
I have been to Figure of 8 Pools over many years since 1975 and the current popularity with the site has me quite concerned.

Many people are now visiting it, in numbers. Given those numbers it is surprisingly still relatively clean though:

1. Many are leaving rubbish on the tracks in
2. Many head to the site without proper footwear (there is a rocky beach and headland to walk around to access the site), including flip flops. One couple I saw yesterday, 24th February, were doing so in those flip flops while carrying a two year old on their shoulders
3. Many are walking there with no regard for dehydration (no water) and skin damage (no protecting covering from the sun)
4. Many are ignoring high tides and/or big swells and we have had considerable accidents. When rounding the headland before the rock platform it is advisable to be wary of incoming waves. When on the rock platform please, please don't turn your backs on the ocean. It can be unforgiving of thoughtless behaviour
Written February 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sydney, Australia502 contributions
NOTE: Only accessible during low tide. Check time of Lowest Tide before going.

The Figure 8 Pool (and the whole rock platform) is under water when the tide rises.

Nice hike and coastal scenery along the way!


1. Always check the tide (nearest tide check point is Port Hacking) first. Plan to arrive at Garrawarra Farm Carpark about 1-2 hours before Lowest Tide time.

So if Lowest Tide is 1:30pm, plan to be at the carpark at 11:30am.

2. Walk/hike from Garrawarra Farm Carpark to Figure 8 Pool takes 1-2 hours one way. So, allow for 2-4 hours for the return trip.

Go only when there is daylight for the return trip.

3. Even at low tide the waves can come crashing on to the rock platforms, so be extra careful not to stand too close to the ocean waves. People have been swept out to sea before. Some didn’t survive.

4. Wear a good pair of enclosed shoes with good sole grip. Preferably wear good waterproof hiking shoes. Be warned: the rocks are slippery and sharp. Do not walk with bare feet or with slippers!

5. If you see green, yellow or brown on the rocks, assume it is slippery. Walk slowly with caution. Falling on sharp rocks is not fun.

6. You will be walking on uneven rocks and boulders to reach the Figure 8 Pool. So do not rush. Make sure your footing on the rock is stable before taking the next step. Find flat surfaces to walk on.

7. If weather is warm enough (day temperature >25 degrees celcius), you can go into the rock pools (natural holes formed in rock platform) for a dip. Wear swimwear and bring towel if you are keen.

8. There are limited portable toilets (2 male and 2 female) at the carpark. There is no toilet after you leave the carpark.

9. Bring water and food/snack in a backpack.


1. Drive to and park at Garrawarra Farm Carpark, in Royal National Park.

If you don’t have a NSW National Park Pass, you will have to pay $12 for parking at the ticket machines at the carpark.

2. Figure 8 Pool is about 6km walk from carpark. The trail is quite clear, so you won’t get lost.

At the time of writing this, proper boardwalk is being installed, so some parts are easy to walk while other parts require a bit of manoeuvring over tree roots, rocks and wet soil.

3. When you are on the hill looking down at the beach, there is a sign warning you not to go to Figure 8 Pool if the tide is crashing on or submerging the rock platforms.

If you value your life, listen to the warning. Do not go to Figure 8 Pool, or you will be swept out to the ocean by the crashing waves. The rocks are sharp.

4. After reaching the Burning Palms Beach, you will walk towards the rock platform. The 2nd rock platform is where the Figure 8 Pool is.

Have fun!!

Written September 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Karl S
1 contribution
Im Born and raised in Australia and still this place caught me off guard, I followed the instructions to go at low tide and checked the swell is under 1 metre, I watched the pools and water for 30 minutes before heading out to get a closer look, and got wiped out by a wave and cheese grated on the rock shelf ended up hiking back all bloody and drove myself to emergency department. Basically this place is a roll of the dice may look good but ain't worth it.
Written October 15, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jannali, Australia214 contributions
I live locally, but this is the first time I have been down to the pools. Of course the views are beautiful on the way if you pick the right day, and tide! There were not too many tourists today, but some play loud music on the walk( why??) and some leave their trash. Please respect our Park. I am 65 and have a fractured elbow, but with a lot of caution found the hike OK, not too hard with the right footwear. It took me 3 hours plus 1 hour at the pools.Do not wear flip-flops. I walked on the rockledges with no shoes, but wore hiking boots for the other part. If you want to ocean swim at Burning Palms on the way, check for rip currents and bluebottles which come in summer periodically (including today). Pool dipping in Figure 8 is great and the ocean is around 23 at present, but don't expect the pools to be large or you will be disappointed. Once again, check for low tide and small swell if you're going.
Written January 29, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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