The hike to the figure eight pools form the Otford Lookout is a completely accessible option by train if you do not have access to a car. Take the train to the Otford Station, and follow signs to the Royal National Park going up stairs to the steep concrete path. After that, continue heading towards Fanshawe Road which goes up a long hill to Lady Wakehurst Drive where the car park for the lookout and entrance to the Royal National Park is.
From the Otford Lookout walk up stairs on the right of the lookout, climbing up to the bush track and follow signs toward Werrong Beach. The trail follows the coast for another 1.7 km travelling through ferns and bush until it joins with a relatively flat service trail and a trail intersection toward North Era. Follow the intersection toward the North Era, winding down hill for 3 km. This portion of the hike winds steeply downhill through thick bushland, then turns sharply left into a palm jungle, until opening in grasslands and a raised metal walkway. You will get to experience a wide variety of environments in the national park along this trail, and from here there are two options to the pools.
There should be a connecting trail that drops straight down the headland cliffs, from the metal walkway, to the rocky shelf on the right of the pools. We traversed this fairly easily but it may be difficult or slippery, especially after bad weather. The other option is following the intersection toward the Burning Palms track which is another 900 m and will take you down to Burning Palms Beach. From here turn right and traverse onto the rocky shelf with the headlands on the right of you.
Things to Note
It is important to research the low tide forecasts for the Burning Palms area because at high tide the pools are inundated with water. The waves can be quite large and dangerous if the tide creeps up on you, so make sure you plan to start the hike to arrive at the pools during low tide.
Things to Bring
- Hiking Shoes
- Environmentally Friendly Sunblock
LOCATION: Otford Lookout Car Park – Royal National Park
LENGTH: 6 hours round trip
Check out these other 5 Amazing Hikes Around Sydney!
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