Visitors to the Royal National Park are being urged to take care when venturing near cliff edges and ocean rock platforms this summer, particularly near the popular Figure Eight Pools.
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW) have issued the safety message as the weather warms up and the peak holiday season gets underway.
NPWS area manager Shaun Elwood urges park visitors to follow warning signs and safety alerts issued by authorities.
“NSW’s coastline is vast, stretching over 2000 plus kilometres, with many cliff top walking tracks found within coastal national parks,” Mr Elwood said.
“Most visitors to coastal parks have a healthy respect for coastline safety and will stay on designated pathways and adhere to warning signs and barriers restricting access.
“We can’t stress enough how important it is for park visitors to stop taking unnecessary risks near cliff lines.”
Surf Life Saving NSW said if you’re planning on visiting a coastal area, particularly a rock platform such as Figure Eight Pools, it’s important to follow ocean safety advice from authorities before stepping out onto the rock shelf.
“Rock platforms are natural areas exposed to the elements and inherently dangerous and unpredictable, particularly rock shelves that are open to the ocean,” said Lifesaving manager Matt du Plessis.
“If conditions on the day are safe to visit Figure Eight Pools, and once you are on the rock platform, stay alert and never turn your back on the ocean as large waves can crash across the platform even at low tide.
Mr Elwood said before visiting Figure Eight Pools, check the NPWS safety alerts issued daily as they advise when it’s too dangerous to visit the pools due to dangerous swell conditions.
“Before you travel, check the Figure Eight Pools safety website to review the safety checklist, to know that you need to pack things like a small first aid kit and 2 litres of water per person and to decide if you are capable of walking the challenging 6km return hike to the site.
“It’s important park visitors check ocean conditions and the weather and if conditions aren’t right to visit the pools safely, don’t risk it, go another day.
“We want people to enjoy our stunning coastal parks but please don’t risk your safety. Stay on designated pathways, abide by warning signs and safety alerts and always check ocean conditions before climbing onto rock ledges,” Mr Elwood said.