Walk 23 A:- Otford Circuit via Burning Palms, Figure 8 Pool and Garrawarra Farm
At A Glance
Route Summary:- This walk goes up steeply from Otford Station to the start of the Coast Track on Lady Wakehurst Drive. It then follows the Coast Track to Burning Palms where, depending on calm seas, there is the option to go south for about 1 km. on rock shelves to Figure 8 Pool and return to Burning Palms where the walk takes the Burgh Track to Garawarra Farm where it goes south along the Garawarra Service Trail to re-join the Coast Track back to Otford Station.
Highlights:- Pacific Ocean views; Palm Jungle; Burning Palms Beach; Unique Figure 8 Pool and rock shelves; Burgh Track to Garawarra Farm
Negatives :- Trains to and from Otford only every 2 hours; Figure 8 Pool visit should not be attempted during high swell
Length:- 14.9 km (13.1 km without Figure 8 Pool)
Grade:- Easy to medium
Weather:_All weather except Fig. 8 Pool during high tide swell when avoid.
Continuous walking time with a few 3-4 min. stops:- 3 hrs. 50 mins.
Train Time from Central to Start :-. 1 hr 1 min.; trains every 2 hours.
Train Time from finish to Central:-. 1 hr. 1 min.; trains every 2 hours
Total Climb :- 400 meters
Total Descent :- 400 meters
Water:- At Otford Station
Toilets:- At Otford Station but may be locked
Café/Kiosk :- Nil
Published 1:25,000 Map :- Otford
Walk 23 A Track Notes
Otford Circuit via Figure 8 Pool and Garrawarra Farm
Km./ hrs.min. Kilometers in bold are shown on map
0.00/0.00 Otford Station; take the steps up, walk through fence with open gate, ignoring track on right along the fence and continue steeply up on sealed walking track that becomes a sealed service road after a gate on right.
0.23/0.04 Track junction; turn left into Station Road fire Trail
0.43/0.07 Track junction; ignore service road down on left but continue straight, now on Fanshawe Road Fire Trail
0.64/0.10 At T junction with Lady Wakehurst Drive; turn left and walk along drive for about 120 meters to a large signboard on right and the start of the Coast Track
0.76/0.12 At start of Coast Track and signboard:- ‘ Bundeena 26 km’ ; take this track up, initially on steps.
1.07/0.17 Werong Beach track on right with signboard; veer left and continue on Coast Track
1.92/0.28 Walking track merges with Garrawarra Service Trail; continue along service trail.
2.51/0.36 Track junction and signboard:- ‘ Coast Track’; ‘North Era 5 km’; turn right and follow Coast Track, leaving service road.
2.98/0.42 Short side tracks on right to unfenced lookouts
3.17/0.46 Track junction; faint track on right goes to Werong Beach; turn left on arrowed post and continue along main track.
3.81/0.55 Section of appallingly neglected track.
4.35/1.03 Start of Palm Jungle
4.53/1.08 End of Palm Jungle at partial clearing; some guide books show a walking track on right here for direct access to the Figure 8 Pool; this starts as a walking pad but deteriorates in a short distance to thick grass and boulders on a scree slope above a 4-5 meter cliff; no access possible for ordinary walkers, but there is an opportunity for NPWS to put in a proper track with a ladder at base.
4.74/1.21 Back at Coast Track; turn right and continue along Coast Track.
5.64/1.37 Signage on metal pole at edge of clearing; continue for about 20 m into clearing and take a walking pad on right down to Burning Palms Beach, leaving the Coast Track
Visit to Figure 8 Pool:- This should not be attempted when there is a high swell/ high tide such that waves are breaking over and flooding the rock platforms.
5.69/1.38 Track emerges at southern end of Burning Palms Beach; turn right and walk south on faint track along edge of grassy slope above boulders and cobbles to the first rock platform.
5.90/1.43 At first rock platform; walk along this to a bouldery embayment; cross the embayment by walking adjacent to the cliff above the boulders to the second rock platform that contains the Figure 8 Pool
6.59/1.53 At Figure 8 Pool; this is a natural pool measuring about 4 X 2 meters shaped like a Figure 8; it is about 2 meters deep and is spectacularly clear; it was formed when two adjacent pot holes merged; pot holes are formed by harder pebbles or cobbles that are stirred by moving water to grind out the softer surrounding rock; there are other less symmetrical pools on this rock shelf; back track to Burning palms Beach after viewing
7.49/2.08 At southern end of Burning Palms Beach, turn left and walk back up to Coast Track
7.54/2.09 At coast track; turn right and follow this to the Burning Palms Clubhouse
7.99/2.14 At Burning Palms Clubhouse; continue on duck board through settlement and up to ridge top on steps.
8.22/2.19 Track junction and signage on crest of ridge; go left on the ‘Garrawarra Farm’ track up along the spine of the ridge.
8.41/2.24 Signboard for back tracks at high point ; continue straight, initially down to a gentle saddle, then up
9.21/2.39 Track junction; disused track on left blocked with branches; continue straight
9.40/2.42 Track junction with Garrawarra Service Trail at locked gate; signage:- ‘Otford 8 km’ left along sevice trail; turn left and follow this
12.07/3.14 Track junction to Lilyvale on right; continue straight
12.38/3.17 Track junction with Coast Track on left; this point was passed earlier on this walk; from here back track to Otford Station
13.16/3.26 End of Garrawarra service trail; now walking track
13.94/3.37 Junction with Werong Beach track on left; continue straight downhill.
14.20/3.41 Coast Track ends at Lady Wakehurst Drive; turn left, walk back to Fanshawe Road, then follow this back to Otford Station.
14.90/3.51 At Otford Station
Note:- This walk is 1.8 km. shorter if Figure 8 Pool is not visited.
Route Quality Index
On public vehicular road:- 0.26 km/ 2%
On locked service/fire trail:- 5.21 km/ 345
On walking track or off track:- 9.50 km/ 64%
RQI= 64+17+0= 81
Note:- Although designated a service/fire trail, the Garrawarra Trail or Cliff Track is very pleasant and more like a wide walking track