Sunday 2nd October was a glorious day in Sydney. 26 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. The perfect day to hike to the often spoken about Figure Eight Rock Pools in the Royal National Park just south of Sydney. (http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/lookouts/figure-eight-pools or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Figure-8-Pools/1063559310397444)
Research indicated that the Figure Eight Rock Pools can only be accessed at low tide given the fact they are positioned on a rock ledge. Low tide on Sunday was at 4pm so we planned to arrive at the Royal National Park around midday……unfortunately it seems like everyone else had the same idea! The carpark to access the hiking trail was full so the road was closed off to all traffic.
That didn't stop us, we just pulled over on the side of the road and took off on foot. It did add an extra 1.5km's each way to the hike but it was fine.
The drive from Sydney is quite easy too, a little over an hour and traffic was fine.
The official hike starts just near the Garrawarra Farm car park. The sign will point you in the direction of the Burgh Ridge. You just need to follow this track east until it intersects The Coast track.
The difficulty of the hike is a "4". On the way to the Figure Eight Rock Pools most of the hike is downhill so it's not really that difficult, coming back however, it does get a little challenging but with a basic level of fitness you should be fine.
The terrain you cover during the hike is really interesting. It starts as traditional bush land, moves into a more tropical feeling and then all of a sudden your burst out of the forest and get this amazing view of the Burning Palms Beach. It really is quite spectacular.
Once you hit the Burning Palms Beach it's hard to resist a swim as the water looks particularly inviting. Nonetheless, we were here to see the Figure Eight Rock Pools so we pushed on.
At the southern end of the beach is the rock ledge. You need to walk along here for about 600 metres. We arrive 3 hours before low tide and it was completely fine. There are quite a few people who make the hike, certainly more than I anticipated.
Nonetheless, it's certainly worth it as when you arrive and see the rock pools they are really like nothing else I've seen before. It didn't take long to take off the back pack and jump right in. Awesome.