The Nitty Gritty

Location: Royal National Park, Sydney
Distance: 6 km
Trail style: Return
Grade: Hard
Starting Point: Garawarra Farm Car Park (see map)

This Insta-famous location is no doubt a photographer’s dream – but do educate yourself before embarking on a hike of this magnitude. It’s not so much the uphill walk back to the car park that will kill you (although it will surely do its best), but the rogue ocean waves that hit the tidal pools once you get to the Figure Eight Pools.

Before you hike, check out what the tides are doing – as a diver, I recommend using Check the times for low tide (you want to go at and/or on an outgoing tide) and check the swell report. If one of the two are high – look for another day. If both are high – definitely wait for another day. it’s not worth the injury. Even during low tides and low swell, the waves can be unpredictable and massive.

At the time of taking these photos, the place was still relatively empty and unknown – however now during peak periods, you can expect up to 800 people all vying for a dip in the tiny rockpool. Don’t be put off though, there are several other larger pools to frolick in regardless.

Hot tips

  • Get there early – in good weather conditions on weekends or public holidays, the car park can be full before 10 am
  • Leave your belongings high and dry away from the rock pools
  • Take plenty of water and a hat – there are no facilities on this trail
  • Bring rock shoes – rocks can be slippery with jagged shells ready to cut your feet.


NOTE: Images are strictly copyright and cannot be used without prior consent. Images cannot be used for media purposes.Start of the Burning Palms trail. Copyright Start of the Burning Palms trail. Copyright Start of the Burning Palms trail. Copyright Towards the start of the Burning Palms trail. Once you make the trek down from the Garrawarra Farm car park. Copyright The area around Figure Eight Pools. Copyright Big waves by the Figure Eight Pools. Copyright Figure Eight Pools. Copyright Mossy floors by the pools - so cool and soft! Copyright Ocean views. Copyright Rocks on the Burning Palm Trail. Copyright Figure 8 Pools. Copyright

Disclaimer: Be smart and prepare for the conditions of the day. This site accepts no responsibility for any misfortunes. 

Follow and like for updates: