The Figure 8 Pool – Royal National Park

Before I post anymore of my travel stories, I’m going to tell you about somewhere very close to my hometown that has recently risen to fame through that wonderful new-age weapon we call social media – The Figure 8 Pool.


Image source: NSW National Parks

The Figure 8 Pool is a naturally formed rock pool located on a secluded rock shelf about 1 hours drive south of Sydney in the Royal National Park. It has recently become very popular among tourists and Sydney locals alike due to its’ ability to be well suited for the ‘gram. If you search the hashtags on Insta, you’ll find around 5000 photos of people around the pool.


The day my friends and I visited started as a nice sunny day, but during the 2 hour walk (yes, it’s 2 hours one way to get there!) the weather begun to change to a gloomy, stormy mess of a day. We still made it there before the weather turned horrible, but I wish we had properly checked the forecast.


Although small, the pool is quite beautiful and I’m sure it would look even lovelier on a sunny day. Closer to the cliff there’s another swimming hole that is larger and easier to get into as you can just walk into it – we preferred to swim in that pool instead because the Figure 8 Pool is not big enough for a lot of people.

Things to note:

  • The number 1 rule – Check the tides!! If it is high tide, do not go. There’s a chance you’ll be swept off the rocks, or the tide will be too high to even reach the rock shelf where the pool is.
  • The walk is hard – the second half of the walk is a steep descent (so you’ll be ascending on the way back, which was tough) followed by a climb around massive rocks on the headland
  • You will need good walking shoes – I’ve seen people walking it in flip flops and high heels and I can think of nothing worse
  • Take plenty of water – it’s a long walk and you’ll want to spend some time at the beach
  • There’s no cafe/toilet on the walk or near the pools – closest toilet is at Garie beach

For more information about the Figure 8 Pools, visit the NSW National Parks page here

For any Sydney local who loves a bit of Wild Swimming, I recently purchased the Wild Swimming Sydney book which features the Figure 8 Pool and many more. I’m hoping to make my way through more of it this summer, you can find out more here.

Let me know if you’ve ever been there and how you found the walk in the comments!

– s.