Otford to Figure Eight Pools via Burning Palms
Dharawal Country

5 h 30 min to 6 h 30 min

13.7 km
return

↑ 653 m
↓ -653 m

Hard track
From Otford Train Station, this walk enters the Royal National Park at the coast. There are great views of Wollongong down the coast. The walk also passes through the magnificent Palm Jungle and Burning Palms beach. This is a great spot to go, wet the toes, and enjoy the environment. The walk then continues to Figure Eight Pools. Let us begin by acknowledging the Dharawal people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
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Otford Railway Station. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
A distant view of Wollongong from Otford Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
A view of the coast at sundown from the grasslands surrounding Burning Palms. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
The track through the grasslands. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
A view of the grasslands. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Burning Palms Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
A view along the coast from Figure of 8 Pools Track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Figure Eight Pools (looking south). | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
The Coast. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Downloads GPX PDF

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-34.2107139,151.0054735)
Mode Car (There is free parking available.) Train
DirectionsFrom Princes Motorway, M1
  • Turn on to then drive for 590 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 1 onto Princes Highway and drive for another 580 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Parkes Street and drive for another 390 m
  • Turn right onto Cemetery Road and drive for another 520 m
  • Turn left onto Boswell Street and drive for another 65 m
  • Turn right onto McLerie Street and drive for another 190 m
  • Turn right onto Handley Street and drive for another 80 m
  • Turn left onto Walker Street and drive for another 45 m
  • Turn right onto Tabratong Road and drive for another 215 m
  • Turn right onto Otford Road and drive for another 2.3 km
  • Turn sharp left onto Lady Carrington Road and drive for another 420 m
  • Turn slight right and drive for another 150 m
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the top of Otford Station, this walk follows the signs to 'Royal National Park' up some stairs. Once at the top of the stairs, the walk turns left and climbs up the steep concrete path for approximately 50m to the top, where it comes to the intersection marked as 'Station Rd'. This walk turns left and follows the flat dirt road, passing an intersection with another road on the left. The walk continues along to the next intersection, where it turns right onto Fanshawe Rd. This walk follows Fanshawe Rd up the long hill until coming to an intersection with an asphalt road signposted as 'Lady Wakehurst Drive'. At the intersection, this walk turns left and crosses the road, continuing for approximately 25m until coming to a car park and the entry into Royal National Park. There is a large green sign here saying 'Otford Lookout'.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After 15 m pass the car park (5 m on your left).
Then pass the water tap (15 m on your left).
After another 35 m head up the steps (about 10 m long)
Then cross the bridge (about 15 m long)
Then head down the steps (about 15 m long)
After another 15 m head down the steps (about 70 m long)
After another 25 m turn left.
After another 75 m turn left.
After another 215 m continue straight.
After another 220 m continue straight.
After another 80 m turn left.
After another 255 m find the "Otford Lookout" (on your right).
Otford Lookout
Otford Lookout

Otford Lookout is on the Lady Wakehurst Dr, Otford. The lookout is in the Southern Tip of Royal National Park. The Lookout is on the side of the road with some parking. There are no facilities, but there is a great view out to see and down south down the coast to Wollongong. There is a small grass clearing on the ocean side of the road.
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Otford Lookout is on the Lady Wakehurst Dr, Otford. The lookout is in the Southern Tip of Royal National Park. The Lookout is on the side of the road with some parking. There are no facilities, but there is a great view out to see and down south down the coast to Wollongong. There is a small grass clearing on the ocean side of the road.

Then pass the park (9 m on your right).
Turn right.
After another 50 m pass the sign (on your right).
After another 250 m veer left.
After another 30 m pass the "Werrong Beach Track" (on your right).
After another 1.5 km turn right.
After another 40 m pass the "Garrawarra Ridge" (8 m on your right).
After another 400 m continue straight.
After another 30 m come to the "Werrong Lookout" (25 m on your right).
After another 25 m continue straight.
After another 30 m come to the viewpoint (15 m on your right).
After another 1.7 km pass the "Track closed for regeneration" (8 m on your right).
After another 610 m cross the bridge (about 7 m long)
After another 80 m continue straight.
After another 160 m turn right.
After another 65 m continue straight.
(Figure of Eight Pools) Continue another 950 m to find the end. Then turn around here and retrace the main route for 6.8 km to get back to the start.
About 30 m past the end is "Figure Eight Pools".
Figure Eight Pools
Figure Eight Pools

The Figure Eight Pools are on the rock shelf, south of Figure Eight Pools gully, near Burning Palms. There are a number of circular sinkholes in the rock, and a few of them have joined over time to form a figure '8' shape. Two sink holes in particular have joined to form a very spectacular figure '8' shape in the rock. The safest time to visit the pools is at low tide when there is only a very low swell in the ocean.
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The Figure Eight Pools are on the rock shelf, south of Figure Eight Pools gully, near Burning Palms. There are a number of circular sinkholes in the rock, and a few of them have joined over time to form a figure '8' shape. Two sink holes in particular have joined to form a very spectacular figure '8' shape in the rock. The safest time to visit the pools is at low tide when there is only a very low swell in the ocean.

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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Otford to Figure Eight Pools via Burning Palms


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 13.7 km
Time 5 h 30 min to 6 h 30 min
Quality of track Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage Minimal directional signs (4/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged) (4/6)
Experience Required Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)
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