Figure Eight Pools, Sydney: 8 Best Tips For Visiting

The 8 best tips for visiting Sydney’s Figure Eight Pools in the Royal National Park.

Located in Sydney’s Royal National Park are the Figure Eight Pools.

These all-natural and perfectly symmetrical pools are famous among tourists and Instagrammers.

Among local Aussies, the Figure Eight Pools are famous for being quite dangerous and risky. A few tourists have died there because they weren’t smart while visiting.

But if you research and prepare yourself, a trip to the Figure Eight Pools can be absolutely magical.

Here are my best tips for visiting this beautiful spot in the Royal National Park!

travel Sydney Australia working holiday
Escape the city with a day trip to the Figure Eight Pools in the Royal National Park.

8 Best Tips For Visiting The Figure Eight Pools Near Sydney

The Figure Eight Pools is one of the coolest places to visit in New South Wales.

Keep these tips in mind so your excursion goes as smoothly as possible!

Also, visit the official NSW National Parks website for more information.

Read next: 25 Best Things To Do In Sydney (Free, Cheap, and Expensive)

Tip #1: Check Weather, Tide, and Swell Before Visiting

This is the most important tip. Those who do not check the weather and ocean conditions before visiting are the ones who get hurt!

These tidal pools are located on a large rock shelf that is surrounded by cliffs on one side and the ocean on the other.

The pools are super close to the ocean so you have to visit at low tide.

If the tide is high and there’s lots of swell, the waves will constantly rush over the rock platform, making it very dangerous and slippery.

Plus, the pools will be completely covered by water at high tide so you can’t even see them.

So it is absolutely essential to visit at low tide, in dry weather, when there is little to no swell.

You have to visit the Figure Eight Pools at low tide when the water is calm!

Tip #2: Drive Your Own Car (Or Rent A Car)

To reach the Figure Eight Pools, you have to park at Garrawarra Farm Car Park in the Royal National Park.

From there, you have to hike for roughly 6 km to reach the actual pools.

There is no public transport in the Royal National Park.

So if you’re just visiting Australia and don’t have a car, I recommend renting one. It’ll be cheaper than taking an Uber and you have more flexibility for other day trips!

Tip #3: Wear Comfortable Clothes and Shoes (And a Bathing Suit!)

As I mentioned, you have to hike roughly 6km to reach the pools.

I recommend wearing comfortable athletic wear with a bathing suit underneath.

As for shoes, comfortable sneakers are the best option.

After leaving Garrawarra Farm Car Park, you’ll hike on a woodland path for the first half of the journey.

Then you’ll walk across Burning Palms Beach until you reach the rock shelf.

So if you don’t want to trek across the sand in sneakers, maybe bring some flip flops or go barefoot for that portion of the hike.

burning palms beach figure eight pools Sydney
You’ll trek across the entirety of Burning Palms Beach before reaching the pools.

Tip #4: Walk Super Carefully on the Rocks Near The Figure Eight Pools

After crossing Burning Palms Beach, you’ll reach the rock platform.

You have to climb over some large rocks before you reach the flatter part where the Figure Eight Pools are.

Walk super carefully on the rocks!!

This may be common knowledge, but I’m usually quite cautious and I almost slipped pretty badly a few times.

So just be smart and walk carefully and slowly.

rocks figure eight pools Sydney
This rock platform can get slippery, especially as the tide gets higher.

Tip #5: Pack Plenty of Water and Snacks

Because it’s a long hike, pack enough water and snacks to keep you hydrated and fueled for about 5-6 hours.

The hike takes an average of 2 hours each way, and you’ll want some time to relax at the Figure Eight Pools.

I also recommend carrying your supplies in a comfy backpack.

As you’ll be climbing over rocks, it’s easier to have a bag that leaves your hands free for balance.

Tip #6: Visit Early to Avoid Crowds

The earlier you can visit the Figure Eight Pools, the better.

If low tide happens to be in the morning, you’re in luck.

My boyfriend and I visited the pools around 9 am and had the whole place to ourselves!

It was a cloudy day so the weather wasn’t perfect. But the tide was low, the area was peaceful, and no other tourists had arrived yet.

As we were leaving, we saw lots of people on their way. We were lucky to beat the crowds!

If you plan on visiting in the afternoon, just make sure you leave enough time to hike back to the car park before it gets dark.

There are no lights or facilities on the trail, so don’t visit after dark.

Hiking through the forest in the dark isn’t fun, so start your journey early!

Tip #7: Expect the Figure Eight Pools to Look Smaller In Person

Some people may not agree with me on this, but I have to mention it.

I thought the Figure Eight Pools looked bigger in photos, and I was surprised that it seemed smaller in person.

On the rock shelf, there are lots of other circular tidal pools in addition to the 8-shaped one.

So after reaching the 8 pool, I thought that wasn’t the famous one because it was smaller than I imagined.

After walking all over the rock shelf and checking every pool, we realized that WAS it.

It’s still super cool and it feels bigger when you’re swimming in it. But I thought it looked smaller in person than in photos.

figure eight pools Sydney
Swimming in the Figure Eight Pools is amazing, even though they’re small!

Tip #8: Bring A Camera

Even though the pools seemed smaller in person, and it’s a long hike to reach them, AND you can only visit at very specific times of day, the Figure Eight Pools are AMAZING!

At low tide, the rock shelf is calm and you can swim in these crystal clear, refreshing natural tidal pools right next to the ocean.

The hike is exciting, the scenery is rugged and wild, and the pools are relaxing.

Definitely bring a camera to capture the experience!

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Thanks for reading my top tips for visiting the Figure Eight Pools!

For more fun activities in the Royal National Park, check out my article: Best Things To Do In The Royal National Park.

If you’re traveling to Australia, here are a few other words of advice:

Get Travel Insurance

You should definitely get travel insurance for a trip abroad, especially if you’ll be visiting risky spots like the Figure Eight Pools.

I always use Squaremouth Insurance. It’s a platform where you can compare and search for the best plans that suit your needs. Check out my Budget Traveler’s Guide to Travel Insurance for more info!

Organize Your Visa

You will need a visa to visit Australia, even if you’re just a tourist staying for a week. Visit to get your visa online!

If you want to stay in Australia for longer and maybe get a one-year work visa, check out my Guide To Working Holiday Visas In Australia (First and Second Year).

Buy Flights

I always use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights abroad. Read all about it in my article: How To Find The Cheapest Flights Abroad.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read more about this in my About Me page!

2 thoughts on “Figure Eight Pools, Sydney: 8 Best Tips For Visiting

  1. Anonymous

    I have a cabin down there and grew up there the figure 8 pools were once an amazing place no one ever there it has now become trashed by the tourists the rubbish left behind the lack of respect for the area is a disgrace .You should also mention to take your rubbish and toilet paper back out with you,As we the local people there are sick of cleaning up the mess left behind.

    1. Hello, I’ve only just seen your comment! That is horrible, litter is never acceptable anywhere! I agree that travelers should always show respect for the local place, and I’m sorry that you’ve seen disrespect at the Figure 8 Pools. Hopefully people will be more considerate in the future!

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