Standing on the cliffs high above these large emerald green pools pock-marking the rocky coastline, is a natural feature forming a perfectly accurate figure of eight. The Figure Eight Swimming Pool has become a popular swimming spot, a natural saltwater bath accessible at low tide that’s ideal for a cold plunge after a day’s hiking.

Located in the Royal National Park’s southern stretch, about 500 metres south of Burning Palms Beach, the pools here are sinkholes hewn from the rock and this particular one has widened and joined a neighbour to form an ‘8’.

The photo was taken by intrepid photographer Michael Wee for the book Seven Walks, which charts some of the country’s finest bushwalks.

“The Royal National Park is so close to Sydney, is Australia’s oldest national park and has everything: rainforest, great beaches, and these intriguing natural pools,” says Michael.

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