On Sydney’s southern outskirts is a park packed with incredible surf beaches, family friendly waterholes, stunning bushwalks – and a picture perfect rockpool that’s the hottest thing on Instagram. The Royal National Park is home to 11 beaches, including the surfing mecca of Garie Beach.
If fresh water is more your style, head to the historic Audley Boatshed to hire a rowboat, canoe or kayak to explore the upper reaches of the Hacking River and Kangaroo Creek. It takes a serious time commitment – and an arduous trek, combined with the right tides and flat surf – to reach Figure Eight Pools but that hasn’t stopped visitors from flocking to this photogenic formation on a rock platform near Burning Palms Beach. The platform’s rockpools include one that’s a perfect figure eight – a nature sculpted jacuzzi, if you like, filled with clear seawater.
Once you leave Royal National Park, you will need to join The Princes Highway. Stop off for fuel in Heathcote before you continue onto Symbio Wildlife Park.