Categories:> Photography

Royal National Park Figure 8 Pools – Shot from iPhone 6

2016 has arrived and for the first post of the year I want to start off something new; a semi-regular feature explaining how to getting the best out of your Apple devices and accessories.

I’m going to start off with one related to photography, based on a hike I did recently in the Royal National Park of Sydney (a 15,091-hectare national park which is about an hours drive away from Sydney.) Due to its size there are obviously a huge number of beaches, walking trails and popular locations throughout the Park including the popular Wedding Cake Rock, however for this trip I trekked to the Figure 8 Rock Pools.

The Figure 8 Rock Pools are a series of natural rock pools on a ledge south of Burning Palms Beach, and you only need to see the hashtag #figure8pools on Instagram to get an idea how popular they are. The pools themselves are worth the visit, but the walk to the rock pools is also quite breathtaking.

The walk is about 3.5 km, starting off with a steep track through bushland, then continuing out of the bush to a very impressive view from Werrong Lookout of the ocean, the bush and coastline with Wollongong only just visible in the distance. As you continue along the track you will eventually walk along the beach – a great opportunity for beach photography – before spending the rest of the walk carefully climbing over rocks to get to the rock pools.

Sunset over Figure 8 Pools Shot from iPhone

Sunset – East Coast

I would allow at least 3-4 hours for the entire return trip, which includes some swimming time in the pools if desired. The rock pools are pristine, and relaxing after the long walk. Ensure your iPhone is well charged before you leave if you plan on taking a lot of photos/video and take drinking water. Another important thing to know about the Figure 8 Rock Pools before you leave is you must aim to arrive during low tide, as they’re completely covered and pretty much inaccessible during high tide – check the tide times to plan your trip.

I didn’t arrive until about 4:30pm (Summer, December) because I wanted to get the best [afternoon] lighting possible. After all, it often makes a big difference to photos – I was able to capture a wide range of photos as the sun began to set. Go on a clear day and you may even be able to capture the light hitting the ocean spray as the waves crash into the rocks, and lighting falling on various plants and cliff faces. Some of the scenery looks quite ethereal in the afternoon sun.

A section of the trek requires you to walk along the vast rock along the base of a cliff making it likely that you will be rewarded with the opportunity to capture waves hitting the rock ledge as they roll on in – slow-motion video is particularly effective at this.

Walk to Figure 8 Pools from iPhone

Shot from iPhone

The visit to the Figure 8 Rock Pools isn’t the easiest out there, but it is definitely one that is well worth the trip – it feels very secluded and it’s hard to believe the location is so close to Sydney. The trip is perfect for those who love to capture landscape and nature, or just want to take in a beautiful hike.


Equipment Used

  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • VSCO for editing photos
  • Feiyu Tech G4 Pro 3-Axis iPhone Gimbal for smooth slow motion video



About Ben See all posts by author

Sydney, Australia. Love travel, photography, architecture, technology, gaming, web design/design - 26.

Your comment